40. A big crowd!

1. Who would have thought? Uncle Pete pointed out that if John Lennon had not died (John Lennon was a “musician” from an archaic forgotten pop band) he would be 76 today. Who would have thought such a trite, banal observation could spark a conversation that lasted ages and drew a crowd bigger than the AFL and NRL Grand Finals put together?

Mind you, if John Lennon were still alive today he’d be dead by now, with all the drugs he took. The speaker made a passing reference to this:

2. Why was there a big crowd? Was it because the speaker was eloquent, erudite and charismatic? Was he entertaining? Inspiring? No, none of that, unfortunately. There was a big crowd because the hecklers were fantastic. Uncle Pete was in good form, as usual, and a sprightly, confident woman didn’t hold back with her stories and claims. Her companion was a gentle, perceptive man who spoke at just the right time, and three deep thinkers intermittently made some powerful points. Further, a lovely, sensitive man coped with harsh words from the speaker while passionately defending people with alternative views. And, elsewhere in the crowd, a polite young woman put up her hand to make some biting observations. Nearby, a philosopher with wit (who is becoming a regular) was as sharp as ever, and the guy with the grin reminded us all not to take any of it too seriously. It was a good reminder, and we didn’t. It was a beautiful, enjoyable day.

(Although this scribe felt sorry for the poor speaker, who continually looked beleaguered.)

3. The hecklers ignored the poor speaker and robustly thrust their opinions upon one another. To begin with, they argued about role models and drug taking and alternative medicine. This scribe’s head was spinning.


4. They didn’t stop there, because somehow, the Illuminati crowbarred its way into the conversation when it was ‘revealed’ that they had caused the Malaysian MH17 plane to disappear with its sixteen stem-cell scientists. Holy moly!

And, we learned how the Illuminati keep covering up the beneficial effects of vitamin B17. (No sir, nothing to do with B52s.)

They are cads and bounders, those Illuminati.


5. The crowd was in a frenzy but they were just warming up. They moved on to speak about media manipulation, and even Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds got a mention. As did The Dead Kennedys.

The hecklers were like a surging attack of army ants, and this scribe had to take a Panadol.

6. Then suddenly Donald Trump was the topic. And then Edward de Bono’s wheelbarrow!


7. But did they stop there? No, of course they didn’t. The subject of ageing came up, and some pretty interesting claims were made.


8. One topic discussed earnestly, and for a while, was gay marriage. The meme below displays two photographs. The top photograph is of two couples who married after meeting each other for the first time just ten minutes earlier, and the second photo is of a couple who have been together for decades but can’t marry. The difference? It’s something to do with the definition of marriage, apparently.


9. The conversation about gay marriage prompted occasional speaker, Tony Boyce, to move away and speak about the subject nearby. The ideas he expressed were a little different to Mr B’s. Indeed, they were ‘a little different’.

10. To calm the crowd down, the speaker explained why no one over 40 should be allowed to vote, and that perhaps we should introduce three-and-a-half-day weeks. (i.e. One half of the population works half the week, the other half works the other half week. That would create twice as many jobs and increase productivity, he argued.) The response to both ideas was tepid, and the crowd settled.

It was like a mad bull calming itself.

11. Steve Maxwell, avowed atheist, boomed from the podium and spoke about his encounter with a Jehovah Witness. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that encounter!

Mind you, Steve would have heard the Jehovah Witness’s claims before, and the Jehovah Witness would have heard Steve objections before. It would have been like two old buddies meeting up to talk about old times. And fun to watch.

12. Meanwhile, Mr B was asked about a quality he valued. He replied, ‘gratitude’ and this meme says it all:


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