The Flack

The Week the Remote Control Inventor Died and Sharon Stoned Got Sued

Posted May 25, 2012 by Mina Durack in Regular Items
Remote control FNDP

What a week! You were planning a holiday and had to get everything done. Many people were out of the office. Where were they? What do they know that you don’t? You were worried. You certainly didn’t have time to read the newspaper or watch the TV news. But now you need to drown your sorrows while making cogent points about the week that was. What to do? … A solution is at hand.

What to read if you’ve been too busy to read this week.


  • Craig Thomson makes a speech to Parliament, claiming he’s been framed by HSU officials. Speaking points: This whole saga would not be believable if it had occurred in a sit com. I don’t like it when our politics isn’t believable.
  • Therese Rein makes it to 199 on the BRW Top 200 Australian rich list. Speaking points: Discuss what you would do if you won the lottery.
  • Schapelle Corby could be home in September this year after Indonesia shortened her sentence. Speaking points: Watch this video of her sister, Mercedes, and then just talk about it. It never gets tired. Also, if you had to name a child Schappelle or Mercedes – which would you choose?
  • Melbourne seige in Keilor East comes to an end in the early hours of Wednesday morning when police used tear gas and fired bean-bag-type rounds to subdue Christopher Binse. Speaking points:this is now his google vanity search. Wow. His crime name was ‘Badness.’ What would yours be?
  • Qantas announces restructure and intention to sack 500 people. Speaking points: Alan Joyce said the decision wasn’t easy. Discuss difficult decisions you have made and compare them to the ease of sacking 500 people. End by citing something hard and saying ponderously, “THAT was a pretty hard decision.”


  • European stock markets fall about 2% because of anxiety that Greece might have to exit the Euro. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy says he still really wants Greece to stay. Speaking points: this is like when you have a partner who’s a total flake but really good in bed and you’ve lent them a lot of money. You can’t quite let them leave. They also have a really awesome holiday house that has been in the family for generations.
  • The first commercial cargo delivery in space – SpaceX – goes off. People are saying the founder, Elon Musk, is a real life Tony StarkSpeaking points: you’d have to say this guy’s chances of getting a date on a Friday night are good. And he just broke up with his second wife. Ladies!
  • Blind Chinese dissident, Chen Guangcheng, arrives in the US to study law at NYU. Speaking points: let’s not forget this guy escaped from house arrest while being blind. Hence, a law degree in the US will be a breeze.
  • The inventor of the remote control, Eugene Polley, dies at age 96. ”It makes me think maybe my life wasn’t wasted. Maybe I did something for humanity – like the guy who invented the flush toilet.” he apparently said. Speaking points: was this man a hero? Or a villain who created turf wars and fatter humans for all time? You decide.

Entertainment & Gossip


  • Sheeds says he would have traded Jobe Watson if given a good player in return. Speaking points: It’s surprising this passes for news. Like, who wouldn’t trade someone for someone better?
  • Queensland wins the State of Origin against New South Wales, played in Melbourne. Speaking points: if you’re a New South Welshman, talk about how you were robbed by the bad try. If you’re from Queensland, brag endlessly about winning. Oh stop, you would’ve done that without encouragement.
  • Commentator, David King, says appointing Neeld to coach Melbourne was a mistake. Speaking points: how could you tell?
  • Chelsea won the Champions League Final, beating Bayern Munich on penalties. It was kind of a dream for Russian Oligarch Roman Abramovich. Speaking Points: It cost the Russian almost a billion pounds over ten years to achieve his dream. What would you buy for a billion pounds?

Emergency go to subjects

  • Someone you know has done something interesting but I can’t write it here for obvious reasons. Call me.
  • Rare white echidna found in Queensland. Speaking points: Awwww. Oh my goodness why isn’t the interwebs making this go viral?

Prediction for next week

  • Your hands will be cold at some stage.

Photo: By Jtalledo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons



About the Author

Mina Durack
Mina Durack

Wilhemina (Mina) Durack was born in Lithgow, NSW to Henry and Shirley who, in the absence of sons, forced her into the family business. She became an apprentice blacksmith at the age of 15 but her true passion was Cheese Rolling at which she longed to turn professional. She trained secretly in the Blue Mountains. Despite her parents entering her in the Lithgow St George's Day International Jousting Tournament, she ran away to Gloucester, England where she entered The Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, coming twelfth in 1995 and third in 1996. She struggled to break into the cheese rolling speakers’ circuit and eventually resettled in Fitzroy, Melbourne where she lives with her husband Fred, offering a boutique cheese advisory service. She collects vintage swimsuits and is an avid swimmer and online shopper.