My email to the ABC (about Rat from Bananas in Pyjamas)

 

Dear ABC,

This email started its life, many years ago, as the transcribed harrumphing of a Baby Boomer (in the body of a Millennial). I intended for it to be no longer than 75 words and for it to go no further than one of the world’s great galleries of inconsequential sourpussery:

Dear Green Guide,

I wrote,

I am concerned about a character on what must be the world’s most well-known and longest-running tropical fruit-based children’s programme. I’m referring, of course, to Bananas in Pyjamas. The character causing me this consternation is Rat. His behaviour seems often to stretch beyond roguishly slippery and moves into a territory I can only describe as odiously conniving. To give just a few examples…

Here is where I stopped because I found that the examples I was about to give were flimsy. They were scavenged from tattered memories I’d acquired by passing the TV and stopping for a minute or two to satiate my morbid curiosity. What I needed to do this subject justice was a carefully collated and shortlisted catalogue of incidents. 

So, over the next few months, I made a habit of sitting down with a pen and paper and watching Bananas in Pyjamas whenever my children were. And often when they weren’t.

The Bangla-Dash (or how I became friends with the great Marc Favre)

I think it might have been Henry James who said “Tell a dream, lose a reader.” That’s a lie – I don’t think, I know; I checked it in Google and then changed George Eliot to Henry James in my draft. (And while we’re on the subject of confessions, when I found that I’d got it wrong I said to myself “Ah, of course – Henry James” even though I don’t know who either he or George Eliot is. I think one of then might have been, or still is, a woman, but that’s about as good as my knowledge gets.)

(I did a Literature degree at university.)

Anyway, what I think this bloke/woman was getting at was that a dream is the ultimate item of esoterica – almost nobody can relate to your starring role in a game of Gaelic football played between a team of creatures from Greek mythology and an assortment of your childhood heroes, including Sooty and Ricky Jackson (unchanged since 1991), played on a hybrid ground, one half of which is lined with silver ash, the other half of which resembles the Punt Road end of the MCG. Very few people care that you played as a ruck rover and had license to roam far and wide, taking both courageous last-line-of-defence marks while also slotting thirteen goals (not to mention the eight or nine Joe the Gooses you unselfishly popped over to Ricky Jackson).… Read the rest