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Byron Shire
February 9, 2023

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: These salad days

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Then his chair turned into Clive Palmer and started molesting him. It said
‘I love pensioners.
My closest relations are pensioners.’

Meet Craig. He’s enlightened. He wasn’t born enlightened. And he certainly didn’t go out looking for enlightenment. It found him. And Craig, and Nerang, will never be the same.

Craig isn’t the type of bloke to meditate or do yoga or read Sanskrit teachings. Craig eats meat pies. He loves footy. He has a mullet. He also has an ex-wife and two kids he rarely sees. He is overweight and has a cholesterol issue. He’s a heavy smoker. He’s on a dating app, he’s holding a fish, but no one has ever swiped right. Except his ex-wife, by accident, when she was checking what he was up to.

Craig hates Greenies. He doesn’t know why, but everyone he knows hates Greenies and he couldn’t be bothered to be different. Last election he voted for Palmer United. He loves the idea of Freedom, but to be honest, other than having a piss outside and driving over .05 without a seat belt he doesn’t really have a clue what it means. He’s always done whatever the fuck he wants.

Before his enlightenment Craig was just a regular bloke who became a dickhead when he was pissed, with absolutely zero meaningful emotional connection with anyone other than his border collie, Carol.

But then one night in Craig’s Nerang flat everything changed. He met God. He saw through the fabric of the universe into the connectedness of all things. Craig saw everything happening all at once. He realised that time wasn’t linear, and that he had been driving a forklift at Bunnings for eternity. You might say that the man in high viz had a vision. Heaps of them.

In fact, Craig puts it more succinctly. ‘I was tripping balls,’ he said. ‘That was some intense fucking salad. Hippies are hard core. They eat that shit all the time.’

Salad wasn’t something Craig usually eats. Ever. Although he once snorted a parsley garnish for a laugh. But his doctor told him he had to lose 30 kilos – that he was a heart attack risk. So one night he ditched the carbs for green leafy veg. Hot chips for English spinach. The sudden change in diet almost killed his body. But it saved his soul. 

That night, as he lay in the foetal position, naked, apart from his high vis vest, next to the toilet bowl, covered in vomit and faeces, Craig was reborn. Only Carol knows what really happened.

Unbeknownst to Craig he had ingested a shit tonne of hallucinogens in the form of deadly nightshades; Spinach laced with Jimsonweed. 

He started feeling weird, sweaty, and then his heart rate increased. His face went red. Well, redder than usual. He couldn’t tell if he was sitting in his chair or he was his chair. Then his chair turned into Clive Palmer and started molesting him. It said ‘I love pensioners. My closest relations are pensioners.’ And then the chair tried to eat him. Craig realised you can’t trust chairs. Or Clive. And that billionaires will never care about pensioners. 

As she licked the seat from his forehead, he looked into Carol’s eyes and realised that it wasn’t the salad that was toxic, it was this stupid masculinity that had closed down his heart and left him a lonely fat man, full of rage, driving a forklift in a Bunnings Warehouse.

Craig started to cry. His tears filled the street, and lifted him high above Nerang, where he floated like a giant naked blimp in high vis. 

‘I am the Shaman of Nerang,’ he boomed.

‘We are all one. We are all connected. Love is everything.’

Thousands of people poured into the streets. They took to the supermarkets, snatching spinach from shelves. It was the invasion of the microdosers. It was the perfect summer – the opening of the portal to that fifth dimension we have all been waiting for; the dawning of the time of Salad and Truth. And shamans called Craig who drive forklifts and live in Nerang.

Popeye was right… true power is in the spinach. Happy New Year. Eat your greens.

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  1. This seems akin to Hilary Clinton’s disastrous “basket of deplorables comment”. Perhaps any aspiring politicians should take note. Reads to me like a nice bit of profiling and elitism. Some people make their living in the entertainment industry and dabble in art. Some make their living working at Bunnings and perhaps like football and a beer.

    How many other conclusions we can draw from these details about emotional connectedness, social conscience or human worth is anyone’s guess

    But this is all just a bit of a laugh I’m sure. Just some fun for the truly enlightened.


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