The Flack

The week Lance Armstrong was accused of doping

Posted June 15, 2012 by Mina Durack in Regular Items
FNDP Lance Armstrong

What a week! You returned to work after a fortnight holiday and the email inbox was brutal. The first day or so you were jet lagged then the holiday glow started to wear off and you had to do real work. You certainly didn’t have time to read the news or watch the television but now you want to have a beverage and seem like you’re all over current affairs. What to do? A solution is at hand.

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


  • A fourth coronial inquest into the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain has ruled that a dingo really did take Lindy’s baby in 1980. Lindy and Michael are now separated with Lindy having remarried. She has said she won’t be seeking compensation but he has not ruled it out. Speaking points:  Do you think Meryl Streep’s portrayal was any good? Is it worth watching that movie again?
  • Federal Government announces the creation of the largest marine reserve in the world covering the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef. Speaking points: bet the guys from Chagos, the previously largest marine reserve, are spewing.
  • In the lead-up to the next State Budget, and apparently quite unexpectedly, the WA Treasurer (Christian Porter) has quit to seek preselection in the Federal parliament. He will sit on the backbench until Federal preselections happen. Speaking points: what a boss! It’s like saying, oh hey, I know we’re doing a presentation to a big client next week but I’m not going to be there because I’m going to prance around as an exec at our TopCo in a couple of months. So until then, I’ll just be doing some photocopying. Check ya later!
  • Prime Minister has an economic forum and business leaders reject company tax plan. Speaking points: why do people have forums so much but confabs are a thing of the past? Forum vs summit vs confab – discuss.
  • Queensland moves to amend same sex civil union legislation so the unions can still be registered but participants cannot have state-sanctioned ceremonies. Speaking points: this is basically the don’t ask don’t tell approach to marriage equality. You can have a civil union, but please don’t get in our face about it, la la la la this isn’t happening.
  • Hugs are outlawed at a Victorian school. Speaking points: this looks like a total beat up.


  • Aussie lawyer, Melinda Taylor, is detained in Libya, accused of being a spy which seems partly because she said her client was being held in appalling conditions. Speaking points: This is genuinely awful but also, have you ever said – upon viewing the photo of someone kidnapped – that you really need to work out which photo of yourself you’d want circulated in such an unhappy event and need to leave that with someone you trust? Yes? Is it possible Melinda Taylor did that? Or maybe there are just no bad photos of her. That woman looks fantastic! And she’s a mother. Maybe I secretly hate her for being too talented. Bring her home, Bob!
  • Three-parent babies have been given the green light by UK ethicists which means a second mother’s genes could be spliced into an embryo to prevent genetic conditions. Speaking points: get crazy and talk about Frankenstein a lot. People love that.
  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeals against UK Court decision to allow extradition to Sweden over alleged sex crimes but court rules against him. Speaking points: I don’t care for his hair. There, I’ve said it. Speculate wildly on his guilt or innocence, with or without reference to his (bad) hair.
  • At least 66 people are killed in Iraq bombings. Speaking points: Al-Qaida’s Iraqi affiliate, Islamic State of Iraq, claimed responsibility. Discuss which Al-Qaida affiliate you most dislike.
  • Prosecutors decide not to re-try John Edwards after his mistrial. Speaking points: John Edwards is one of those guys who just looks like he might have done something a bit salacious, am I wrong? Or am I wrong? Is that even a thing? Discuss co-workers who have that look (unless HR is nearby, in which case, tulips are a lovely flower, n’est-ce pas?).
  • Suu Kyi vomits at a media conference. Speaking points: who hasn’t been here?

Entertainment & Gossip


  • New South Wales wins the League State of Origin. Speaking points: talk about how awesome coach Ricky Stuart was yelling from the bench rather than the coaches’ box.
  • U.S. Anti-Doping Agency brings doping charges against former cyclist Lance Armstrong, which if proven, would result in the loss of his seven Tour de France titles. Speaking points: this will really stuff up some trivia night questions. Does no one at the USADA think these things through?
  • Lots of teams have a bye this week in AFL, so just pretend yours is having a bye and you won’t have to know anything about it.
  • Socceroos valiantly draw against Japan despite having only 10 men on the field in their latest 2014 World Cup qualifier. Speaking points: I love the fact that in soccer, people can be very brave when playing with ten men and getting a draw. I’m not being sarcastic. I really love it. What was with the referee and his high pants? Is there a correlation between high trousers and a desire to officiate?
  • Simon Katich is retiring from first class cricket. He played 56 Test matches for Australia from 2001 to 2011. Speaking points: Man, I find it hard to muster enthusiasm about cricketers. Even retiring ones. Yawn.
  • Reports surface of an Aussie weightlifter, Daniel Koum, demanding money to compete in a meet last week in Samoa, knowing that if he didn’t, the whole team would be prevented from making it to the Olympics. Speaking points: observe the media outlets falling over themselves to highlight without seeming racist that he was originally from Cameroon but became an Australian citizen in 2008.

Emergency go to subject

Prediction for next week

  • You will look at new heaters. You will know in your heart that you should have done this in January but you won’t care.

Photo: By de:Benutzer:Hase [CC-BY-SA-3.0], 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.

One Comment


    Thoroughly entertaining.

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