THE LOW ZONE, REVISITED


[Well may you say “Aghast from the Past”. This dates from a time when I was trying to put a book together of some of my radio scripts, back in the 1990s, I think, at the offices of my buddy David the Body Vodicka, who let me use one of his wooden computers. The book never came out.
(My first and only book was Ad Infinitum, a collection of my Ad Nausea columns about TV advertising originally published in The Age “Green Guide”. In sales terms, it shipped flint and returned quadruple worm-droppings, but I’m still kind of glad I did it, as it means I put a book out, and also now I always have a ready answer when some bright spark says, “You know, you should do a book.”)
Anyway, it’s a collection of one-liners from even earlier radio material I’d written, the mast vajority from an old show called Danger: Low Brow which predated the Edison Phonograph and was no doubt almost as funny. In these cases I’d pretty much decided the one-liners were better than the pieces they’d come out of. Hope you enjoy.
In the case of any folks in here I’m rude about who have since become dead, I’ll apologise to them personally when I’m dead and I catch up with them.]

LOST IN THE LOW ZONE AGAIN

* “…shows like Paradise Beach help the intellectually challenged, by giving them a job.”

* “Follow the example of such legendary lateral thinkers as Alexander the Great, Sir Edward De Bono, and Jo Bailey of Sale of the Century, who once said to a female contestant:
‘You’ve won over $2000 worth of men’s clothing. Enjoy wearing them.’”

* “Wanted – experienced, enthusiastic self-starter, 15-18. (Junior wage applies.) Position – Iraqi President. Either sex, but must have own mustache. Cerebellum optional. Psychotic hatred of the motherland’s enemies required, but will train. Apply Monday by invading Kuwait.”

* [re. Melbourne’s Swanston Walk development]
“Arguably we’d be better off with a Lego village sprinkled with fruit loops.”

* [verbally captioning newspaper photograph of Crowded House]
“(Left to Right): Nick, Geek, Squib, Cardigan”

* “The Black Crowes – thank God there’s still one band trying to prove the world over that rock’n’rollers are thick degenerates”

* “A BBC special on ghosts showed viewers manifestations such as ‘objects flying around rooms’, ‘dark figures’, and ‘mystery puddles’ – hey, it’s the ABC’s winter variety schedule!”

* “Cottage cheese is aptly named. It looks like something you would find between the toes of a cottage.”

* [re. singer Richard Clapton]
“Richard Clapton was a spectacularly Yoko-shaped example of the Australian singer-songwriter – a title which claimed about as much respect then as ‘VFA Boundary Umpire’ does now.”
“His first two albums were highly acclaimed by three dandruff-studded rock journos with a tendency to prescribe their own extra-curricular medication. Since I can’t for the life of me remember the titles, we’ll just call them Pear Shaped Libido and Taking Tiger Mountain By Jelly Donut.”
“Clapton’s trademark enunciation made all the lyrics sound like a Japanese toaster-oven instruction manual.”

* “To paraphrase that great destroyer of the English language Ron Barrassi, Black Sabbath’s last seven or twelve albums have had the raw excitement of ‘…watching warm concrete rise.’”

* [re. the later Presley movie Double Trouble]
“Elvis, in a performance apparently inspired by the title character in the famous Russian movie Earth.”

* [re. a 60s movie called Skidoo]
“The appearance in this film of Carol Channing, the Bette Midler of the 1800’s, pretty much puts the icing on the coffin.”

* “When it comes to decent lyricists in Heavy Metal, you could count them on the fingers of Donald Duck’s glove and have a digit or two left over for a good scratch.”

* [re. a night at a Cure gig]
“The stage set looked like the palace eunuchs’ bathroom after the earthquake hit. It brought new heights to posterior decorating.”
“The sound was crystal clear, the performances representative of the recorded sound, the set carefully chosen from a wide period of their history, and I required liquid adrenalin to wake up enough to leave the building.”
“As stage performers they would make any line-up of Pink Floyd look like the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes.”

* [English band Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, aka OMD.]
“All their stuff sounds like a Television Typing Centre graduate dialing a long international number into a touchtone phone.”
“Ordinary Music for Dorks.”
“These guys can run away from fame standing still.”
“Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, OMD, Pestilence, Locusts, Floods – these are just some of the great plagues God visited on the Egyptians. Now it’s our turn.”

* “The Baby Animals – at last a band that popularizes the ‘After 6’ look for swinging secretaries.”

* “The National Job Summit has revealed there aren’t any jobs, and, in further gloom confirmed that Joe Cocker will continue to release an album every year until we all die.”

* “Staff at BBC Broadcasting House said they had been inundated with calls from people complaining it had not been made sufficiently clear that the program was fiction. Think about this for a minute. If you couldn’t tell it was fiction, how did they know to ring up and complain that it didn’t look enough like fiction? This is the sort of thing which would drive a man to drink if he wasn’t already in the locality.”

* “As the leader of the Incas said, as the Spanish Conquistadores massacred his people,
‘I don’t mind the genocide or the death of our culture so much, but why do I have this dreadful feeling that this is all going to turn up in an Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical someday?’”

* [Michael Bolton releases his version of When a Man Loves a Woman]
“You know it’s only a matter of time before ol’ ferret features starts goosing himself into a frenzy against the studio coke machine, puts on the dreaded whine voice, and generally carries on like a pork souffle.”
“They say the mark of a true artist is to make the performance seem effortless. Michael must be a great one, because this goes well beyond effortless. I’d say it’s totally clueless.”
“That scoreline – Bolton 1: Soul Music 0.”

* [re. forgotten rapper KMC Kru]
“Here’s a guy who’s so overpoweringly feeble, he sounds like MC Hammer looks.”

* [More excerpts from reviews of BEER]
“…a carbonated brake fluid suitable for pouring over pancakes or protecting leather footwear from water damage.”
“Proof positive a brewery can be small-scale, completely natural, take painstaking, hands-on care with each unit of product, and still just suck.”
“Stone ugly.”
“Unrecognisable as a beverage.”
“All things considered, I’d prefer a beer.”
“Not only is this not beer, but it’s a violation of human rights.”

* [re. the Australian child singers, The Tin Lids]
“The news that Barnesy’s kids were bringing out their very own Christmas album was greeted by the general populace with the same sort of joy reserved for the annual announcement of the Christmas beer strike.”
“On hearing this single, I realised the group name was a misprint, and they were meant to be called The Tin Ears.”
“Gag me with a barium enema.”

[On early 90s Australian group Beatfish]
“Beatfish make the sort of records which make reviewers fall over each other in the rush to use the words ‘negligible’ and ‘talent’ in the same sentence.”
“…lyrics that make you wish poetic license was rigorously tested for by the Road Traffic Authority.”

* “It’s hard not to hate Billy Joel, so why bother? Go ahead and hate him.”

* “We Didn’t Start the Fire and Still Rock’n’Roll To Me are to rock music what potato blight is to the french fry industry.”

* “I’ve often thought the ‘first real six-string’ Bryan Adams bought at the ‘five-and-dime’ must have been either an egg-slicer or a broken tennis racquet.”

* “British pop phenomenon the Spice Girls – Spotty, Squatty, Stinky, Stanky and Nugget – have left the country, almost tearfully begging the use of the expression ‘…none the wiser.’”

* [re. Celebrity-oriented women’s supermarket magazines]
“…colourful confetti-bait.”
“Check out this headline story – ‘Teri Hatcher – Sexiest Woman Alive!’ I’ve seen Teri Hatcher act in that Superman: Bosoms & Clive show, and there’s no way she’s alive.”

* [re. a violently multi-coloured icy-pole]
“Too many of these in a row, and you’ll start feeling sounds, hearing colours, and finding that everything looks like a Jamiroquai video.”

* “…the most natural teaming since the famous matrimonial game show I Do I Do and the word ‘cancellation’.”

* “Bryan Adams makes eggplant music for cucumber people.”

* “Mal Walden has had a meteoric rise. I believe it was when he was younger and once went on a ferris wheel.”

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