ASK PETE – SEPTEMBER 2015

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He talks more than he listens, but hey, he’ll still try to solve your first world problems – no matter how dumb they are!

Hi Pete, I need to whinge about my local council; cutting down trees seems to be their default response to everything. Hello? Environment anyone?

Ian, Maribyrnong

Pete says: What you should do is… Write them a letter, tell them how you feel! Because councils really love getting letters, complaints in particular, and tend to be incredibly proactive and responsive about such correspondence. They save them all up, pick out the best ones, and then hire an industrial sized shredder, and hold a festival (they love those too!) and invite all the locals to a ceremonial #Shredfest. It’s like that movie “Eat the Rich”, with all the people gleefully tossing paper into the steel teeth of the beast, when all the while it’s actually their very own complaints they’re consigning to the depths of administrative hell. Hey, here’s an idea – the council should just turn those trees of yours they’ve cut down into pulp for your complaint letters, and help save the environment in an ironic kind of way!


Pete, since they removed the give-way sign on the corner and replaced it with a stop sign, it now takes me ages to get out of my street – sometimes two minutes! It’s beyond stupid.

Isaac, Newport

Pete says: What you should do is… Approach this the same way as everyone else in the community does when they’re not happy with developments – in the dead of night, dress in all black attire, apply dark war paint, and creep down to the corner with a spray-paint can or two. Sneak up to this newly installed, offensive sign and then right under where it says “Stop”, spray the words “Hammer time!” At least now while you’re waiting to get around the corner every morning, you’ll get a chuckle out of your own amusing little piece of road safety wit!


 

Pete if one more waiter tries to upsell me from ‘still’ to ‘sparkling’, I’m going to scream! I thought water was water?

Irene, Footscray

Pete says: What you should do is… Mess with them and tell them you want toilet water! But seriously Irene, I feel your pain, as have millions of people in the past. In fact this behaviour has been going on for centuries. It all started in Ancient Greece, when they started upselling tavern patrons from yoghurt to kefir. Then in the trattorias of Rome they tried to convince the toga-set to start buying fermented grape juice instead of wine. Medieval England wasn’t immune to this problem either – after a hard day’s work, all a serf wanted was a frothy mug of bubbling grog, yet the inn-keepers continually tried to upsell them to mead! Shocking! Are you still there Irene? Here’s an idea; just say ‘still’, and bury your head in the menu.

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