Sunday, November 28, 2010

The origins of Melbourne

A good friend of mine recently stated that Cheam in the UK was the bit God created last - and by then He'd got a good bit of practice in so Cheam ended up perfect.

Well I'd like to put the theory that Melbourne was the bit God did first - not chronologically, but methodologically. Melbourne was God's sandbox, the system He used to try things out with. So for instance if He contracted Slartibartfast to design some fjords in Norway, He'd first try them out in Melbourne to see how they worked and to test for any ill effects. As often as not He'd recycle them afterwards - I believe the fjords ended up as the Yarra Valley, God just heaped all the rocky bits up and made the Dandenongs out of them, and the bits that were too small for mountains He put around Eltham and Hurstbridge. As it turned out the seawater didn't really fit with the whole theme so He made it a flood plain instead. Incidentally the flood plain idea worked so well He developed the theme significantly when it was time to do Egypt.

So anyway, I'll focus on the people because terrain quite frankly bores me to tears. God, like any good engineer, works clockwise so He started at Werribee. The train of thought went something like this:

Jesus: "OK, let's start... I reckon I'll put some bogans in here, I like bogans, they're a lot of fun and they can do all sorts of really clever stuff with their hands."

Holy Spirit: "Yes but what about after the fall? They'll all start stabbing each other and living off Centrelink instead of doing the cool stuff!"

Jesus: "Yeah I know, but let's face it, after the fall everything's up salt creek without a paddle anyway."

Holy Spirit: "I know that, but can't we put some old age pensioners there instead? At least then there'll be no blood running down the streets. I have to think of my crew of guardian angels you know, the workload on them will be pretty full on if you fill the place with bogans."

Jesus: "Hey, they're spirits, they're not subject to fatigue!"

Holy Spirit: "True, I forgot, carry on."

So Jesus grabbed a barrel full of bogans and started filling the suburbs, starting at Werribee. As He reached Point Cook He started thinking "Hey, there's some really nice people in here! I should probably sort them out a bit..." So the nice people got placed in Point Cook, Altona, Spotswood and Yarraville.

We really don't know what happened at Newport. It got filled with the absolute cream of the cream of nice-type bogans when it was created, but something must have happened to it afterwards to attract all those unsavoury gunzel types.

As for Julia Gillard, how she got to Altona is a complete mystery.

So anyway, as Jesus was going through Seddon the supply of nice bogans ran out and nothing was left but the dregs. He couldn't leave Footscray unpopulated so He just had to shove them in and hope for the best. Being a good engineer He tried all sorts of things to mitigate the problem - He made the place a railway junction and prompted the good Sir Rod Eddington to put a road tunnel through it, which would divide the place up and reduce the risk of an uncontrolled chain reaction, but even so, the dregs of the bogan supply have made Footscray what it is today.

So Jesus made a full report to His Father about the progress so far. "Yeah Dad, I'm pretty happy with the way things are turning out. There'll be some bugs after the fall of course, but We expected that."

"Ah yes, on that note, are you still prepared to go through with your massive plan to fix the after-effects of the fall?"

Jesus took a deep breath and replied "Yes Dad, it's going to be rough, but hey, no guts no glory, right?"

"You're the awesomest son ever, Jesus!"

"Ta Dad... anyway, do You mind if I try these nice bogans in Birmingham and Manchester?"

And so it was settled that Yarraville would be the prototype for thousands of industrial cities around the world.

So Jesus went back to Melbourne to have a go at the eastern suburbs. The supply of bogans had run out so He was left with office workers.

"These people aren't as interesting, I mean, what can I do with them? One works in finance and one works in IT but they're all pretty much the same really."

The Holy Spirit consoled Him. "You know, the fact that they're all the same means You could probably put one awesome railway line in. Look, just drive it straight out of the city to Ringwood, and put some express trains on it. That'll be pretty cool don't You think?"

That made all the difference and Jesus started cramming the middle class types in.

It still didn't look quite right so He decided to cram the place full of churches. "A bit of music will make the place really shine!"

"But what about after the fall?" the Holy Spirit objected. "They'll all be empty and some will even go liberal!"

Jesus shuddered at the thought but replied, "I know, but we already agreed that after the fall's going to be pretty gruesome didn't we?"

And so it went on. As a change from office workers Jesus decided to try out some overseas students. Ringwood was already full so He decided to go a bit further south and put them around Clayton.

"Actually we could put a lot of different people here, some Greeks, some Indians, some Orientals, some Vietnamese, some Africans - this place is going to be one culinary delight!"

"Do you like curry on your pizza Jesus?" the Holy Spirit asked.

"Just LOVE IT!"

And so Clayton, Springvale and Dandenong became the "melting pot of the nations", and were so successful that the Godhead decided to build New York the same way.

Stretching His fingers right to the bottom of the people sack Jesus found he had some upper class people left - lawyers, executives, governmental high flyers and the like. "Where should I put these?"

The archangel Michael had an idea. "Put them over there near the sea and call it Brahhhhhhhtown, doesn't that sound good?"

"Yes," Jesus objected, "but it's impossible to spell! Why don't I just make it something simple like Brighton?"

Even in heaven Rank Has Its Privileges and Jesus' spelling was what went on the official map. But you must realise that angels spend more time chatting to humans than Jesus does (apart from the earthly ministry, of course) so Michael's pronunciation took root among the natives. Non-Brightonians, of course, pronounce the place phonetically.

And so the process of creation went on. The city centre became the prototype for a modern race of hunter-gatherers who charmed foreigners with music to induce them to throw money with which they purchased food from overpriced commercial establishments run by the people in Brighton. Northcote was a trial for the island of Lesbos - an experiment which was halted after the initial results turned out to have some unwanted side-effects (some of which remain in the world today). Essendon was designed to try out fixed wing aviation on short runways, which was so successful that it became the transport mode of choice in many places in the world (South America, Africa, South East Asia, etc). Eltham was an experiment in miniaturisation, which worked well in Middle Earth and some parts of Africa but was so much fun that 7.25" railways were built all over the world.

And so God saw Melbourne, and it was very good. So He collated the results, picked out bits and developed them into the rest of the world. Last of all He took Mount Waverley, loosened the population density a bit, stabilised the weather patterns, and made Cheam.

The original God decided to preserve intact, as a showcase of the planet and the human race. Besides which, the variety gave it a character and charm of its own which it would be a shame to destroy.

6000 years later He put me there. He's so good to me!