Melbourne streets deserted during AFL (not so) Grand Final

You could have exploded firecrackers in the streets of Melbourne yesterday afternoon and nobody would have noticed.

It was reminiscent of the scene that greeted the invaders from that 1959 Peter Sellers film, “The Mouse that Roared.” The impoverished principality, The Grand Duchy of Fenwick, had decided to invade the U.S in order to be defeated and thereby be eligible for great sums of money as compensation from the U.S for their losses.

As it happens, everything went wrong and the best laid plans of mice and men came to a tragic end. The Fenwickians had attacked the U.S on the very day that some nuclear war games were being staged and so the streets in the U.S were deserted. There was no opposition to the invasion. Regrettably, The Grand Duchy of Fenwick was the victor.

And so it was in Melbourne yesterday. The gentle folk of Melbourne were either in the stadium or were glued to their TV sets watching a most auspicious Grand Final football match between St Kilda and Collingwood.

We felt like the only people in Melbourne who did not watch the match since we belong to the AFL, the Anti Football Club. That’s not quite true, however. We aren’t against football. It’s just that we simply don’t care.

Anyhow, it turns out that just like the recent federal election, the whole thing ended in a draw and so has to be repeated next week.

Australia seems to be plagued by draws lately, but at least the football will have a rematch while our government is still trying to work things out without a rematch.

What really intrigued me last week was a report of a 70 something year old man being bashed up outside a supermarket. The widower was described as a Collingwood supporter and I wondered what difference did this make in the scheme of things. Had he not been a Collingwood supporter would the attack have been justified?

The whole incident was over some youths who had been rude to the man inside the store and then waited for him outside and bashed him up. It had nothing to do with football. Nor did it have anything to do with the fact that he lost his wife six years ago and had been doing the shopping himself ever since. Many people do their own shopping, don’t they?

What did any of this have to do with the attack? It’s what I call irrelevant padding to make a story seem sadder than it is. “Elderly man bashed up by youths” is apparently not horrifying enough for these reporters. But it should be!


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