Locals in Western Plains claim that aliens have returned to the town after an absence of several weeks.
There hasn’t been a reported sighting of aliens in Western Plains since last month when a couple were allegedly spotted drinking in the public bar of the Grand Hotel in Liebig Street. This gave rise to fears that the aliens would eventually meet – and almost certainly mate with – Western Plains bogans. That now appears to have happened.
The precise location of the aliens’ sighting hasn’t been disclosed as locals fear public attention could encourage even more bogans to visit the town in search of a mate.
Western Plains Council has identified six locations that need to be re-named as part of the town’s plan to replace names that are now considered inappropriate or merely anachronistic.
The places that have been earmarked for re-naming are: Discovery Bay, Mount Victory, Jograffy Point, Kidnap Corner, Murder Reserve and Buchenvald Caravan Park.
In the spirit of reconciliation, the Council wants them replaced with names that reflect the progress that has been made since the area was first occupied by Europeans sometime in the mid-nineteenth century, give or take a hundred years. The proposed new names are Mullett Bay, Mount Ruffly, Texting Point, Truants Corner, Sheep Tackling Reserve and Dogging Park.
A Council spokesperson said it was the same as Tasmania which used to be called Van Diemen’s Land but is now known by most people as a place where people often marry their cousins.
The proposals is open for public comment.
President Donald Trump has ignited controversy this week with his claim that Andrew Jackson is one of his favourite eighties singers. Mr Trump’s remarks have raised eyebrows, in part because until now people were not aware that Andrew Jackson had recorded any albums, either in the 1980s or the 1880s.
The Herald asked three well-known historians – Sanktimonius Kant from Western Plains Technical College; Kylie Minogue from Neighbours; and Crabbit McScunner from Western Plains Caledonian Society for their response to Trump’s comments.
TRUMP: I love Andrew Jackson…I’ve got all his albums.
Kant: I love Jackson too. I listen to his music all the time on my gramophone.
Minogue: Your what now?
McScunner: You know, it’s a little known fact that Trump’s ancestors came from Scotland and…
Minogue: Yeah, yeah, we know. Did he mean Michael Jackson?
Kant: Well, can we ever be definitive about these things Kylie?
TRUMP: And I’ve got Marvin Day, Smokey Robertson, Whitney Fustaigne…
McScunner: You know, rock and roll has its roots in the traditional Scottish country dance tunes of the…
Minogue: Yeah yeah. Do you think he means Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and Whitney Houston?
Kant: That’s a very good question.
TRUMP: All of these great musicians were like me, of Scottish descent.
McScunner: I knew it!
Minogue: Do you think Trump has actually listened to any of these musicians? Or has seen photographs of them?
Kant: Probably just Jackson, Kylie. I think we may have to consider the possibility that Trump is deaf and blind, as well as dumb.
McScunner: You know I think it was Shug McDuddy who said, ma ma say ma ma coo…
Minogue: Oh, shut up!
By Crabbit McScunner, President of Western Plains Caledonian Society
Scottish ‘Bannocks’ have been popular for centuries with each generation adding something of ‘their ain’ to the old traditional recipes.
Highland Bannocks, often served with treacle, are probably the best known nowadays due to the work of Sir Walter Scott who popularised many of the Highlanders’ best loved recipes and sanitised them to suit southern palates.
But Border Bannocks also have a rich distinctive flavour that has been preserved thanks to the ‘honest folk’ of towns like Selfy, Dunsmidden, Cowpton, Sheugh and Feckhaugh who have kept alive the old recipes and even come up with some new concoctions to tempt the public, especially since the invention of the internet.
In a land which time forgot, and truth deserted soon after, some curious explanations have been put forward to explain the origins of Borders’ bannocks and traditions like the riding of the marches, the veneration of Thankerton Man, going out ‘guisin’ or knocking down primary schools to build carparks. Why? Well, it’s instructive to find out, and never more so than at this time of the year, when Borders townsfolk try to convince everyone that Thankerton Man was in their class at the school.
Border Bannocks first made their appearance in the works of the medieval balladeers – men and women renowned for their skill in turning a few simple ingredients into a fantastic work of fiction. Before long everyone was at it; producing bannocks flourished in the Borders particularly during the long dark winters when people had a lot of spare time on their hands and a lot of alcohol to drink.
A lot of bannocks were traditionally produced by the notorious Border ‘cooncillors’ (from the Old Scots word for an elected representative or chancer). Back in the days before accountability had been invented, the cooncillors were a law unto themselves. Sometimes they were just hoping to go on a trip to Mallorca (twin town of Mallpracktiss-on-Tweed) to collect new recipes and many did indeed submit exotic expenses claims when they returned. ‘Whit a load o bannocks!’ people would say when they saw them.
Some names today attest to the Borderers’ colourful past –Burgess, Provost, Conman, Swindler, Fraudster and Bliar are all still common terms of abuse in the Border region.
Surprisingly, despite the Borders’ turbulent history, there is never any anti-English flavour in the bannocks. That’s not what they contain at all. No siree Rab.
Note: if you are an English visitor to these parts and a Borders Cooncillor offers to shake your hand, you would be advised to count your fingers afterwards.
Writes Delia Fustaigne, the Herald’s Culinary and Middle Eastern Affairs Correspondent
The legendary Aznac biscuit is a traditional concoction whose ingredients include sugar, butter, treacle, western plain flour, western plain nuts, and hyperbolic soda.
The acronym AZNAC was coined in 1915 when Western Plains’ men enlisted for World War One. The soldiers were fiercely patriotic however, they were a bit baffled by spelling and many of them were surprised to find out that they had in fact joined the British Army. This gave rise to the slogan: My country – wherever that is.
Aznac rations usually consisted of pies shipped over from Western Plains which were often heavily contaminated with fumes that had leaked from the ships’ engine rooms. To disguise the foul taste the Diggers borrowed from their Indian confederates the idea of smothering the whole lot with ketchup. Western Plains men developed such a taste for this exotic flavour that even to this day many of them still buy their pies from petrol stations.
The wives, mothers and girlfriends of Western Plains soldiers were concerned about the men’s welfare and the food being supplied to them. Many feared that their loved ones might never return – the cooking in Western Plains was that bad.
Things got worse when reports began reaching Western Plains that Turkish wives were keeping their husbands sweet with delicious confections called baklava and halava and especially a sticky goo made from gelatine, sugar, rose water and pistachio nuts, a combination which many of them thought was just a delight.
Not to be outdone, Western Plains women came up with an answer – a confection with exactly the same nutritional value as turkish delight but a lot easier to put in an envelope.
At first the confections were called Western Plains Nut Jobs, but after extensive market research and product testing in a controlled environment, they were renamed Aznac Legends.
Nevertheless Western Plains is still proud of its Nut Jobs. They can often be seen hanging around the war memorial drinking meths out of a brown paper bag.
How to fake biscuity Aznac Legends
– Sift evidence through a coarse sieve. Discard any inconvenient bits. Add the nutcases.
– Garble facts and allow mixture to stand too close to the television.
– Add anything you think might improve the text. I use treacle but syrup works just as well.
– Stir the hyperbole of soda into the mixture.
– By now your concoction should have very little substance. Add sugar coating.
– Place on internet and bake at 175C for 15-20 minutes.
Note: Legends may not rise the first time you fake them – if so try adding more hyperbole to the mixture.
It’s ANZAC Day here in Western Plains unfortunately and our most famous son, currently residing in the old dart as a guest of Her Majesty, has asked us to publish his latest apology for a poem.
Tie me kangaroo down, sport
‘N’ tie me extra leg down
It’s got a mind of its own, sport
So tie me extra leg down.
Touch me peg in the pool, girl
Touch me peg in the pool
If you want a cheap thrill, girl
Touch me peg in the pool.
‘N’ hold me cockatoo still, Til
Hold me cockatoo still
And don’t go telling Old Bill, Til
But hold me cockatoo still.
‘N’ now I’m up for assault, mate
Now I’m up for assault
I know it’s all me own fault, mate
But now I’m up for assault.
So ring me barrister up, Pup
Ring me barrister up
It’s time for me to own up, Pup
So ring me barrister up.
I ain’t got an excuse, Bruce
I ain’t got an excuse
I must have a screw loose, Bruce
Cos I ain’t got an excuse.
So lock me up for a stretch, Judge
Lock me up for a stretch
I ain’t got any regrets, Judge
So lock me up for a stretch.
‘N’ take me MBE back, Jack
Take me MBE back
It’s somewhere in the Outback, Mac
But take me MBE back.
Defame me name till I’m dead, Fred
Defame me name till I’m dead
Dig out all me old discs, Fred
And hide them out in the shed.
As someone who has had a conversation nearly with every single woman in Western Plains, and nearly some of the married ones as well, it came as a complete surprise to me when I was asked to write this article not about tennis.
I knew from a very young age that I had a rare linguistic disability. I was born exceptionally long winded and while in some social situations this is a blessing, I also discovered that on account of their extraordinary length, as well as their subject matter, my sentences would prevent me from having conversations with as many women as I could have, had I been more interesting perhaps or maybe just a tad more concise at times.
You know, a lot of people often mistakenly compare me with tennis legend Illie Nastase who insisted that everyone call him “Mister Nastase” but I never did that as I was happy for people just to call me plain old Illiterate and I [read more long sentences….]