47. Michael Leunig chastised.

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
T. S. Eliot

1. Despite rain looking imminent, our intrepid speakers turned up. The rain held off all afternoon, and the temperature would have suited Goldilocks.

Ray (our Christian evangelist speaker) unaccountably came to sit with Mr B’s grasshoppers. He brought with him a smirk. Apparently, Ray had prayed to God that there would be no rain and his prayer had been answered. The pesky Mr B asked him, “Why would God keep the rain away for you, Ray, yet ignore the prayers of equally devout Christian farmers suffering from the drought?” Ray’s answer was more mathematical than satisfying. Apparently, bad guys can cancel out the good guys’ prayers. Mr B questioned this and consequently received a warning drizzle for his temerity. He shut up and changed the subject, so the rain stayed away. Result: another smirk from Ray.

One grasshopper claimed that television evangelists are con artists, and Ray agreed with him.

2. Poet and cartoonist Michael Leunig turned up and Mr B had a crack at him. Mr B claimed that in at least one of Michael’s books there were cartoons found in previous books. “That isn’t fair”, said the petulant Mr B. He likened the practice to the habit of the Phantom comic publishers replicating stories in later issues, and not warning the buyer of the fact.

After Mr B threw his hissy fit, Michael said he knew nothing about any replication. Michael’s charm permeated the crowd and it was Mr B who ended up looking bad. It served him right.

Michael’s sister, Mary, is also an exciting, accomplished cartoonist and we would show you examples from both Leunigs if we didn’t fear million dollar lawsuits. You’ll just have to settle for this old fashioned curling iron which is, presumably, an indispensible item for Mr Curly. (Or is that the actual shape of his head??)

For examples of Michael’s work: http://www.leunig.com.au/works/cartoons
For examples of Mary’s work: http://www.maryleunig.com/recent/?currentPage=2

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

4. Other subjects discussed:
– Doctors are required to keep up to date with their knowledge of medicine. Should we also require teachers to keep up to date with new teaching methods? (Not the curriculum itself, but in ways of teaching it.)

– Who started World War II? One man said Russia, when it invaded Finland before the Germans invaded Poland. Helmut said the Allied Forces started the war because they felt threatened by Germany’s strong economy and skills. Mirko said something unintelligible. This misguided scribe had always thought it was Germany, so there you go. I sit corrected. (At least no one said “Samoa”.)

– Pete the Younger gave us a true story about being chased by shooters in a desert. Did he experience some psychic warning to get away in time? He wasn’t sure, but the close-minded Mr B (who wasn’t even there!) insisted it could only have been a coincidence. That said, it would have been a scary experience!

– With a scepticism similar to any religious fervour, Mr B explained how people can see ghosts that don’t exist.

– Steve Maxwell (ex-business owner and operator) patiently explained to Mr B (no financial acumen whatsoever) why tradies aren’t over-charging when they charge for their services.

– “Why do students have to pay to go to university?” asked two German tourists. (In Germany you only pay for your books.) “Because our politicians have failed us,” was the reply.
Later on, Mr B explained how Germany has remained immune from the competition generated by the cheaper Chinese manufacturing.

– A man asked: “I’m earning heaps but I’m stressed in my job. Would it be okay if I got a more enjoyable job that paid less?”
What would you have told him?

– Helmut spoke of the Higgs Boson particle and how the universe came into being by always being here.

One of Higg’s Bosons.

5. We have a Facebook page.   We have an archives site. We are thoroughly modern.