Cultural Festival Parade 2006
An excitied Loose Brown seeking greater meaning in life decides
community engagement is the way to go.
He attends local government meeting to enter Rat Patrol Oz in the
Harmony Parade of the Canberra Multicultural Festival. Sits between
Falun Gong protestor and German Cultural Attache in information
session. "What culture do you do?" asks Cultural Attache.
"Sub-culture" is the witty reply. This is not enough for
Cultural Attache — which prompts a long explanation of making
crazy bikes and drinking beer. He understands the beer part.
Interrupted by local government organiser — he informs the
assembled that there is to be no throwing of lollies, money, etc.
into the crowd, as small children can be fatally crushed by slow
moving floats. Also, no national flag waving — parade theme
is harmony not national pride.
Day of parade dawns hot and dry with assembled Rats at the Flying
Pigsty, frantically making adjustments to assembled bikes. Minor
- total strip and rebuild of one ratty member's bike who has
put his back-pedal-brake hub in backwards. This makes it difficult
to ride forwards.
- Beer is consumed but has no effect whatsoever, due to the heat.
- Limp Jimmy is gaffa-taping an ironing board to the back of Master
Gravity Esquire to carry DJ equipment.
- Nancy Porker is attaching various kinds of explosive confetti
cannons to his steed.
- Loose Brown nervously thinks of local government organisers'
"nothing to go into crowd" requirement.
As Screwjette and Dr Splat are painting their bodies, the pressure
proves too much for Loose Brown with mustering time rapidly approaching.
He makes his way into the city centre to register the team and represent
the Oz. The road is so hot that the rear tyre of his tallbike explodes,
but luckily his lady is summonded via mobile phone technology with
new tyre and tubing. The other parade participants are rapidly assembling
and many are admiring Loose's orange tallbike The Penthouse. "Ha
ha!" Loose thinks — just wait!
Waiting is rewarded by the gradual approaching of a subsonic sub
woofer. This is steadily drowned out by the other parade participants'
giant intake of breath. Through the shimmering heat horizion appears
Master Gravity Esquire piloted by Limp Jimmy. On the rear is Marky
B DJ extrodinare. He is powered by a generator as he pumps out funky
tunes and mixes it up with his CD mixing equipment. For effect a
smoke machine blasts out to the rear.
Surrounding this incredible sight is a swarm of tallbikes. Riding
one is a real, live alien. Choppers also swarm around — one
piloted by the parachutist Nancy Porker. Chris rides a shop-bought
chopper much to the horror of all Patrol members. Screwjette is
on Pollyanna and Dr Splat rides the Governor complete with rear
trolley filled with ice and beer. Other ad-ons ride a medley of
bikes — Small Boat Alert rides a standard mountainbike due
to motivational issues in preparing the Executioner in the lead
up; disgraceful conduct which deserves a severe penalty.
The parade passed in a blur. The crowd response was great —
next year more effort is required in preparing synchronised dance
moves for the judging areas. Highlights included Nancy Porker kept
whipping the disgruntled lead man in the float to the rear, with
his long Rat Patrol Flag. Heh heh. Candy did a great job with sign-holding
out the front — rep-re-sent! Funky dancing by Jingara on his
After the parade finished. we cruise through a packed Gareme Place
with the PA so loud it drowned out the Brazillian band on the stage
Then it was off for more beers and an eytis
gig. Fark it — ride the bikes up onto the stage. That's slyleeeeeeeee!
Saw Cultural Attache in the crowd. He understands.
Skid Mark had a reasonably good time, that day...
Note, Candie holding the RPOz banner up font, giving members of
the audience the finger! HA!!
Jingara dancing up a storm with the on-board DJ and smoke machine...
Stoked Josh: at that point in history, our youngest RPOz member
(too young to drink beer, so we'll have to leave his Rat
Induction for a few years)
We weren't allowed to spit on the children :(
Great shot of Loose throwing stuff directly into the crowd...
Squadron Leader Charlie Tango Minor
Dr Splat hauling iced beer, had skirt issues that day...
Mouth cramp. Skid Mark is having diffculty seeing his laptop screen,
slightly negated by the Polly-designed funky parasol... which would
never be the same after that day!
Oh yeah, then we
did a gig...