The country town ute is such a brash, garish, self-conscious thing. Such a statement. One thinks of expressionism, even the gothic. It's both gorgeous and hideous, oozing testosterone and Aussie patriotism.
I've seen two utes recently in the Southern Highlands that have grabbed my attention. Yes, the quintessential bull bars, stickers, aerials, spotties etc. shone, but it was the signs at the front of their bonnets that really got me. One sign said Rum 'n Raisin' the other Wombat Killer. Both tags are perplexing. With Rum 'n Raisin', is the driver advertising his favourite chocolate? If so, well done, that's a more ballsy confectionary than say, a Milky Bar or a Kinder Surprise. Did he actually mean 'Rum 'n Raisin' Hell', to give us his personal manifesto, but the sign writer ran out of space? Who knows? That's a great Australian mystery up there with the disappearance of Harold Holt. As for Wombat Killer, I gotta say I'm aghast. That's not humorous, that's pathetic and unAustralian.
I asked for the council to erect a yellow diamond-shaped wombat sigh a while back as you come into my hometown, so motorists hopefully slow down and prevent more deaths of the beasties. We need to have real pride for our Aussie animals, not the desire to run them over and have a laugh about it whilst swilling 'n spilling Bundy. I've spoken to two people of late who've run over wombats and been sickened by the experience.
LJ, February 16 2013.