I once worked in a call centre for eighteen months. (The things uni students will do to avoid starvation.) My role at the call centre had multiple tasks, but most of my shifts consisted of providing directory assistance to the customers of a certain mobile phone carrier.
One of the ways that I coped with the soul-crushing tedium and the self-esteem-destroying abuse one experienced day in, day out in such a job was to amuse myself with fanciful stories featuring characters based on the types of callers I dealt with regularly. There was “Manjib The Clueless Whining Taxi Driver”, there was “Posh Bitch Who Thinks Her Husband’s Wealth Entitles Her To Speak Like The Queen Of Fucking England”, there was “Larry The Happy-Go-Lucky Tradie From Perth With A Dog In The Tray Of His Ute”, and there was “Lorna Jane Yuppie Gym Bunny With A Massive Chip On Her Shoulder And An Extremely Tight Ponytail”.
But far worse than any of these was the most dreadful character of all – “Bogan”.
None of my tableau characters I described above could compete with bogans when it came to achieving that unique combination of ignorance, ineloquence, impatience and the inability to pronounce the word “nothing” in a manner even approximating Standard English.
Whenever my question “Directory assistance, which town or city, please?” was answered with that ghastly nasal whine that is the lingua franca of Australia’s outer suburbs, I would tremble. Would I be subjected to yet another round of verbal abuse, including aspersions cast upon me with respect to a supposed fondness for maternal fornication on my part, from the He-Bogue if I didn’t find the number for the Supercheap Auto in Kwinana within seven seconds? Would the She-Bogue accuse me of being a “dirty fargun’ poofda kyurnt” if there was a similar delay for finding the number for the Endota Day Spa in Narre Warren?
Anyway, one of my fantasy stories about my callers featured a She-Bogue, now called “Boguette”, calling me up for the number of her nearest Brazilian Butterfly waxing salon. This happened all the time, usually pronounced as “Buzzilian Butterfloy”, with the caller often sounding rather distressed.
Then one day in August 2010, the greatest blog in the world, Things Bogans Like, posted an entry about how bogans love Brazilian waxes, and I decided to share this fantasy story on the comments thread. You can read this story in Episode 1 – Brazil.
A few months later I did another similar story on the TBL threads about Harvey Norman, and a few weeks after that another one … and it eventually, as if of its own accord without any concrete intent from me, became a weekly thing. Story arcs developed, the traits of the various characters became more settled in my imagination, and most importantly of all, I found that I enjoyed writing the episodes and publishing them – it’s a great creative outlet, takes my mind off the pressures of work and study for an hour or so a week, and I’m getting a kick out of making people laugh.
And now there are so many episodes that I’ve decided to start my own blog to keep all the episodes in the one place after one of my fans encouraged me to do so. (Thanks, Edward!) I hope all of you enjoy the journey with me as I chronicle the lives, the aspirations, the habits and the sheer bloody-minded idiotic prejudices of Boganicus rex.