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I had a lovely day yesterday, catching up with my brother who escaped the New Zealand winter and made it to Queensland before the travel bubble burst. Sadly, or happily, depending upon which side of the Tasman you sit, he is stuck here in Godzone for the foreseeable future. 

Mind you, not a bad place to be stuck, if stuck you must.

I felt a bit guilty that I didn't rock up with doughnuts in hand ( the most decadent and delicious doughnuts on this planet are to be had at the Sunrise Beach Bakery ) but I got over it rather smartly when I saw my " comfortable " frame in the mirror when I trundled into Redhead's home.

My brother had been hard at work in Redhead's garden, pulling weeds, trimming trees and generally doing as he was told. I believe that he started after dawn, but knowing Redhead, it could be completely false and he had been in the " slave camp " as we call it, since before sparrows fart.

Anyway, I digress.

Redhead's hairdresser is on leave at the moment - she is working full time at another job. So it fell to me or my brother to give her a haircut. Now, I don't know if any of you remember " Keeping up appearances " but when Redhead asks me to trim her hair, I become like Elizabeth, the next door neighbour and I tremble and get nervous if I have a pair of scissors and am told to cut Redhead's hair. So my brother stepped up and took on the task.


When we were little kids, Redhead cut our hair. We used to get what was known as the pudding bowl haircut. We were ordered to sit down and we would get toilet paper wound around our necks, a tablecloth draped over us that was secured with a clothespeg.

Oh how we loved those haircuts! NOT. So, yesterday, my brother, aged nearly 70, had his mother in the chair and it was time for payback.

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To be fair, my brother is now as bald as the proverbial badger ( though quite where that saying comes from, I have no idea ) so his haircut these days is more of a fuzz trim on his not so bald patches. I have not had a haircut since 2012 when I nearly got scalped by a hairdresser and was therefore doomed never to make with the canoodles with Mr Beaconsfield ( yes, that also, is another story)

We had a jolly old time taking the mickey out of Redhead and I found my doughnut denial easing with every snip snip snip of my brother's scissors. 

But here is where it gets interesting and why I am writing this frivolous piece.

My brother told me a story about a lady I will call Beth. 

He was camped at a beach in Queensland, with his cohorts of Grey Nomads, sat around a campfire at night and they were all telling stories and enjoying each other's company. 


Beth works for some government department in NSW and was tasked with enforcing QR code compliance at small businesses in towns in NSW. A take away shop owner who was checked did not have the document displayed, and was warned that he had 3 days to comply or be fined $5000. When Beth returned, he complained that he didn't have a computer or the skills to produce the document required. Unfortunately, rather than assist the small business owner, she immediately issued a penalty fee of $5000.

It seems that the government authorities have lost any concerns about the people they are meant to serve. It is a disgraceful indictment. 
My brother asked Beth how she would feel if that had been her father? Her brother? Her Uncle? He clearly lacked the ability or technological kit that would be needed to comply. Why did she not offer to help him?
She replied " That isn't my job. "
My brother said to me that he wondered what Beth would have done if the man had asked her to go into the kitchen and cook some fish and chips or a hamburger. 
Obviously she would say that it wasn't her job.
So why was it the job of the shop owner to do something that wasn't part of " His job? "
What kind of bitch was this woman? Fining a hard working man of older years $5000 for not being able to do HER job? Surely, she could have helped him? She had the knowledge, the skill set? 

But no. She fined him $5000.

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My late father was computer illiterate. But he worked hard all of his life and did a pretty fine job of providing for his family.

If I asked him to comply with QR code regulations, he would have asked me what the hang I was talking about.

What on earth has happened to Australia?  What kind of people are out there, on the public payroll, playing Nazi prison guard?

" I was only doing my job. "

Yeah, your job is to fine hard working decent people for not knowing what the hell you are asking them to do?

Which brings me back to the haircut and the pudding bowl.

Neither my brother nor myself are trained as hairdressers. We can only do our best. But we did our best and managed to muddle on as best we could. 

But we weren't fined $5000 for giving a crappy haircut. I feel sure that Redhead's hairdresser would applaud my brother's efforts and fix up the mistakes and give us a pat on the back for trying.

For me, I would fire that uncaring, insensitive bitch and send her to Redhead's hairdressing salon and this time, yes, I would pick up the scissors.

And the pudding bowl.





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