News from the border


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One of the best parts about going home (besides seeing friends and family and all of that) is reading my hometown newspaper, the Border Mail.

It’s always full of interesting stories, and I do try and keep up with it when I am in Sydney (my coworkers can attest to this… I am always forwarding them crap from it).

Lately there have been a few stories that have grabbed my attention.

-There was a big story in when I was down home about how anyone caught buying Underbelly DVDs in Albury (which is in NSW) and taking them back to Wodonga (a 5 minute drive from Albury, in Victoria, where Underbelly has been banned from being screened to due to court proceedings) will face the full consequences of the law. Good luck policing that one.  Are they going to search cars?

-Lately there has been a massive war in the letters page over whether it is rude to stare at baby twins in prams that has had the whole town talking.

It started with this letter;

To all the sticky beaks, well-wishers and the plain just rude people, stop looking in our pram.
are 4-month-old twin babies and wherever we go people are leaning in
our pram breathing smoky, germy breath on us, needing to know if we are
girls – yes we have pink dresses on. are we identical – no.

Yes we are cute and yes our mum is very lucky.
are human beings not a stage show for you to invite your kids or your
sister over to have a look after you have stopped us in our tracks, we
have somewhere to be as well. what gives you the right to stand in
front of the pram and stop us from walking down the street.

We are
twins and that does not give you the right to invade our personal
space, people with single babies dont get this nearly as much or if

So if you’re one of those people who just can’t resist
looking in someone’s pram and stopping mothers or fathers in the street
just think how would you feel if your car got stopped every five metres
on the road and people poked their head in the window and asked you a
million obvious questions.

We don’t care what your story is just leave us alone.

This controversial letter prompted a huge backlash from people who thought it was rude, unAustralian, all manner of things.  Then more people chimed in to support the obviously stressed young mum, and it was going back and forth and back and forth. 

And now, there has been a final part of the story.  A last response from the mother;

"To all the negative people who
responded to my letter regarding people looking in my pram, I didn’t
realise that I would be the talking point at a lot of places in

I did not ask in here for your opinion only that you keep your heads and hands out of my pram and leave me alone. Only I tried to write it nicely the first time.
don’t want people stopping me in the street and I am sick of trying to
get somewhere only to be stopped twenty times, so just leave me alone."

The scary thing is, people are STILL probably talking about their outrage over these letters.

-There is a suburb/housing estate in Albury called Norris Park.  And a plucky young local signwriter then decided to rename it "Chuck Norris Park". See here.  Then, someone else decided to redo the whole thing as Mr T Park.  See here. (from Albury Wodonga Online, the Border Mail doesn’t have the stories online).

The council, of course was pretty pissed off.  And then, the cheeky signwriters started fueding.  Apparently, the first one only used vinyl stick on letters that were easy to remove, while the second prankster used paint.  The first one believed that the second’s action were really irresponsible.  Hilarious!

The local paper is always worth a read.  I don’t know whether it’s because there are more quirky characters down there, less serious news, or the paper is a bit tabloid and maybe the editors and journos just see the humor in it all, but you usually find a laugh in there somewhere.

One Response to " News from the border "

  1. Thanks for the link, in fairness I should say that the BM did indeed run both of those stories, but since they have updated their website it is impossible to access archived stories (hardly an improvement in my estimation).
    Yes the battle of the B-grade action heroes over naming rights to an Albury housing estate has certainly been an amusing episode, I sometimes wonder how it would turn out if someone wrote a musical score for a stage production based on the events, well, maybe it’s just me.
    I like to think of the midnight sign-writing escapades as an imprompteu community arts project, it certainly has engaged the community at all levels, it’s memorable, a talking point, has drawn widespread attention to the area and is a source of some community pride, all of which I think are the goals of community arts projects.
    Obviously Albury council can’t be seen to officially condone this kind of thing, but I’d like to see a pictorial record of the two sign alterations, perhaps displayed in the Albury regional art gallery, the gallery here does collect photographic art after all.