Opinion

Care for a tasty plate of foot?

Darren Burnett.
Darren Burnett.

FOOT in mouth disease.

I've had my fair share of it. I've probably had your share too.

There is nothing else quite like the sensation of realising - mid-sentence - that you've just said something that has just gone over like a lead balloon with your hearers.

Like the time I told a brilliant fat joke to a good mate ... then remembered just at the punch-line that both he and his wife suffered from the medical condition known as moreso of the torso.

Or the time I reeled off a cracking gag about "rangas" at a work meeting ... then realised the boss's child sports a shock of bright orange hair.

And while nothing is as mortifying as realising you've just made a major faux pax, trying to back-pedal from some unintentionally offensive remark is even more excruciating.

That is, unless you're among the listeners as some unfortunate schmuck makes a giant gaffe. And then, of course, it's hilarious.

In a culture that is becoming increasingly politically correct, I heartily enjoy the antics of the few brave souls who dare to be outspoken ... and risk the occasional foot in mouth.

Iconic Aussie feminist Germaine Greer is one such free-spirited individual.

Greer last week sparked a mini-media storm when she told an ABC TV show that Prime Minister Julia Gillard needed to stop wearing "those bloody jackets" that showcase her "big arse".

Opposition leader Tony Abbot then incurred the wrath of the political-correctness police when he dared to laughingly agree with Greer's remarks.

The Australian media frowns on free spirits - and doubly so if they happen to be in politics.

But while the media is full of shallow hacks who are quick to bash out an angry headline anytime anyone in the public eye dares step outside the boundaries of bland political correctness, I suspect that deep down most of us enjoy hearing or reading about the brave few who refuse to toe the politically correct line and just say what they think - even if they do end up with egg on their face.

Winter Olympics gold medallist Steven Bradbury is another committed member of the Foot in Mouth Fan Club. His recent gaffe was a cracker.

In a recent address to a room full of West Coast Eagles players, Bradbury thought he'd break the ice with a gag at the expense of former West Coast great Ben Cousins.

Bradbury apparently stunned the crowd when he said: "The only person who would have spent more time on the ice than me was Ben Cousins."

The joke itself was lame. The fact that Bradbury unwisely opted to tell it to an audience of West Coast players and supporters is priceless.

So while the political correctness police and tut-tutting journalists will always be quick to condemn Jason Akermanis or Germaine Greer's latest howler, outspoken characters like Aker, Germaine Greer and the NRL's Phil Gould are so much more interesting than the hordes of politically correct politicians or slick, media-groomed metro-sexual sports stars.

Topics:  media, politics


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Terri Irwin 'sacks' Australia Zoo general manager

Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin outside the Africa exhibit when it opened in 2011.

Frank Muscillo is married to Steve Irwin's sister Joy

MY SAY: Nothing funny about weddings

Sunshine Coast Daily deputy editor and columnist Damian Bathersby.

HANDS up if you cry at weddings

New Sunshine Coast CBD set to be ‘30-minute’ city

BIG PLANS: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The new Maroochydore CBD is being hailed as blueprint for new plan

Latest deals and offers

Police fury as violent attacker released from jail

THE victim of a Sunshine Coast bashing has slammed the justice system after a judge released an offender who attacked three strangers.

Terri Irwin 'sacks' Australia Zoo general manager

Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin outside the Africa exhibit when it opened in 2011.

Frank Muscillo is married to Steve Irwin's sister Joy

MY SAY: Nothing funny about weddings

Sunshine Coast Daily deputy editor and columnist Damian Bathersby.

HANDS up if you cry at weddings

New Sunshine Coast CBD set to be ‘30-minute’ city

BIG PLANS: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The new Maroochydore CBD is being hailed as blueprint for new plan

Man freed day after forcing family to flee in terror

Glenn Brian Tidyman, 43, (with face covered) leaves Maroochydore Watch House after being granted bail on charges of common assault and entering a dwelling with intent by break at night using violence.

Woman and her children flee home in terror.

So what's the best recipe for a healthy heart?

VITAL RESEARCH: University of the Sunshine Coast researcher Tom Bailey checks the condition of a volunteer patient as part of research into healthier hearts.

University experts give their advice on best combination

RACQ releases SE Qld's worst choke points

Paul Turner, RACQ

Paul Turner from RACQ talks about our worst roads at peak time.

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Ben Hunt wary of Sharks Halfback

Ben Hunt of the Broncos looks to pass during the round 23 NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and the St George Illawarra Dragons at Suncorp Stadium.

Ben Hunt talks about Cronulla's Chad Townsend.

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances