31. A murder mystery.

“The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof,
a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an
oracle, is inborn in us.”

Paul Valery, poet and philosopher (1871-1945)

1. “I know. It’s for ventilation.” 

Those were the words spoken by Mirko as he stood on the Ladder of Knowledge spruiking his new message. He had just been informed that his fly was undone.

Mirko was serious. He brushed off the interruption and continued spruiking, with fly agape.

Three weeks ago this scribe may have been guilty of a little fabrication. Pointless really, because what goes on at Speakers’ Corner really is stranger than fiction.

Mirko is hoping that scientific bodies take him seriously and adopt his 21st century principles. This scribe would have thought that purposely leaving your fly undone to give yourself ventilation would not significantly add to your credibility.

2. We had the ‘Something That Changed My Life/Anecdote’ segment and Uncle Pete again starred. Last week he told us how he gained an interest in chemistry, and today he gave us a warm story of how he so astonished a class with his knowledge, enthusiasm, and ability to inform that both the teacher and some students suggested he become a teacher. It was a light bulb moment for Peter who, up until then, had no idea of what career he would choose. He still teaches.

From Mr B we heard an anecdote about the ‘Wise Woman and the Stone’ story. According to an Optus guy in Mumbai, Australians tell that story to him about 60% of the time! It has to be a lie, but what a strange lie.

3. We had five good souls contributing to our Jokefest today.

4. A good murder mystery has a murder, suspects, alibis, a clever detective, and a solution which makes the reader want to kick themselves and exclaim, “Gosh, I should have picked it. The clues were there!” The murder mystery (by Jon Jermey) below has all those elements. Two weeks ago it was read aloud at Speakers’ Corner and today there was an enquiry about it. Ear tiz.

5. The ‘Something Nice’ segment, to charm some and irritate others.

6. Other subjects discussed:
– The selfish way councils use their power to promote and applaud themselves, by placing plaques in our parks and on our buildings.

– Mr B put paid to the idea the a few NSW Blues sabotaged themselves by having a few drinks a few days before the State of Origin football match. He recounted how AFL player Robert Dipierdomenico got drunk the night before a Grand Final (he thought he wouldn’t be playing) and was still best on ground the next day.

–  ‘When someone votes for a candidate solely because the candidate shares their creed, is the voter being prejudiced, or are they simply hoping to be represented?’ Discuss.

– The hole that was created under Sydney University’s law building was huge, yet there are only a few car park levels going down. The question: is there a building under the car park we don’t know about?
One grasshopper said it wouldn’t be a spy centre, because spy buildings hide themselves in plain sight. He gave us an example of a telecommunications building that’s obviously a base for ASIO.

‘Are women in Australia paid less than men? If so, why?’ Mr B addressed that question in two ways: by comparing like with like with two neurosurgeons of different sex; and then by comparing the total amount of money women earn compared with the total amount of money men earn, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

7. Our Facebook page is ventilated, too.