Sticking it to The Man
  |  First Published: July 2017

There are plenty of things that confuse me about people’s behaviour. Spend some time on the knobtracks, what some people call ‘highways,’ around the place and you’ll find all sorts of stuff that defies human logic. In fact, it probably defies chimpanzee logic as well. But I can’t for the life of me get my head around people, supposedly sensible people, that push for a fishing licence across Queensland.

Imagine you’re walking through brigalow scrub half an hour out of St George. You’re in your jocks, with no hat or sunnies and you’re armed with a 4” length of baling twine and a pair of tweezers. There are tracks all through the melon holes showing that there have been big mobs of pigs destroying everything in their way. As you get through a five strand fence that’s sagging because the strainer post has been pushed over by a particularly large tusker, you catch a glimpse of a massive bulky body through some rosewood branches.

There’s snorting, snuffling, moist chewing sounds and some squealing. You consider whether the Queensland Government is holding a cabinet meeting, then correctly assume that there’s a very large, extremely dangerous animal just downwind from you.

At this stage, in my opinion, the correct option is to clench the baling twine, and various body parts, very tightly, and get back through the fence, avoiding making any noise or emitting any odour that might alert the nearby mammal of the potential for some slashing, stabbing, chewing and stomping work, and head for the nearest belah tree, at which point you shimmy up that trunk and wait for as many hours as it takes for that beast, or the Cabinet, to move far enough away for you to take your twine, your tweezers and your trembling body back to base camp.

The incorrect thing to do is to move toward the boar, punch out a few trouser coughs, bellow like you’ve stepped on a six inch piece of galvanised burr, and waveyour arms around like someone whose boat may have broken down trying to catch the attention of passing vessels to get a lift back to the ramp. Not that I’m emotionally scarred by that memory, you understand?

That sort of behaviour is to me similar to requesting a fishing licence. There’s this idea in some people’s minds that fish are in short supply and that by giving The Man the power to regulate even further how, when, where, why and with whom we fish, things will magically turn around and there’ll be fish aplenty for everyone. Ain’t gonna happen.

Firstly, if you can’t catch fish now, you won’t find it any easier with a licence.Secondly, the grubs who flout the laws now will still flout the laws with more regulation in place. It’s what they do. And thirdly, why on earth would you offer some shinybottom in a Queen Street high-rise office more ways to tell you how to run your life? If you’re that way inclined, knock yourself out. Wave your arms and yell. Fart. Attract the beast. Just don’t expect me to stick around. I’ll be up the belah tree, holding on with everything I’ve got.
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