Friday, 26 October 2007
Our local tabloid, the Toowoomba Chronicle, generally features stories of local lads and lasses who have done well, school reunions, and local politics (very conservative).
Not a lot happens in town, but when something a bit sensational occurs, The Chronicle sometimes gets a bit over-excited. On Wednesday night, a local policemen shot an individual who was throwing knives at him. This individual is now in hospital in Brisbane.
Today’s edition has blanket coverage – A front page story “Officer Shoots Violent Attacker”, two more on page 2 – “Major has Total Faith in Officer” and “Unexpected Shooting Will Touch Lives of Many People” and another two on page 3 – “Police Support Decision to Fire” and “Neighbours in State of Shock” – 5 stories in all. In this last story there is reference to the neighbours’ dogs (who did not comment).
There is also an Editorial “Shooting at Gatton”, in which Steve Etwell, provides a précis of all the other stories.
I am accustomed to this now, having lived here since 1996. I think the full understanding came after an incident in 1998. I was at school one Thursday morning when I received a call from one of my teachers who had been involved in an accident on the way to work.
He was OK, and wanted to get to work, but his car was wrecked, so I drove the few blocks to collect him. The accident was at a major intersection, and emergency service vehicles were blocking the intersection, so I parked in a side street.
As I alighted from the car, an elderly woman, in her nightie and with blue hair, abused me roundly saying “How dare you park in front of my house on a Thursday morning?”
She was worried that her wheelie bin wouldn’t be collected.
I explained that I was avoiding the accident, and wasn’t planning to be there for more than a minute. As soon as I said “accident”, her eyes lit up and she set of for the intersection at a brisk trot.
Not a lot happens, so when it does, people get very excited.
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