in which the naked chimp is unmasked, his machines debugged, and his bugbears debunked

Friday, January 18, 2008

“I’ll say sorry, but I’m not taking of my glasses.”

A week ago, nobody cared about whether Corey’s family name was Delaney or Worthington. Hell, a week ago, nobody cared about Narre Warren, the place that raised Corey in obscurity until last weekend. In a month’s time, Narre normal will have re-asserted itself, and the vast majority will have forgotten about Corey, his five hundred or more rowdy friends, the police helicopter, the dog squad, and the run-ins with the media As you read this, people are already forgetting to care, or they will, as soon as the next self-generating media story arrives.

On some level, Corey must have known this, must have known that he had approximately five days to flash in the greasy pan of 21C stardom, and that’s why Corey Delaney/Worthington is one of the most media-savvy people in Australia, and deserving of at least some respect. It all happened at that moment when ACA femmebot Leila McKinnon asked him the following question.

“What would you say to anyone who wanted to party while your parents are out of town?”

If that had been you or I or most people, we probably would have said something pathetically conciliatory – a mumbled apology. Something lame. When most of us were teenagers, we all had our Ferris Bueller fantasties, our Parker Lewis fantasies – but very few of us had the balls and stupidity (balls is often a kind of stupidity) to actually make the tree of madness bear ripe fruit. We were lame. At my school, we spent six years regaling one another with the muck up day exploits of previous years: the vice-principal’s Mini, carried up four flights of stairs and put on the roof. A neighbouring school, placed on the market and sold to a Hong Kong real estate speculator. Five tons of sand placed on the pedestrian island in the middle of the main street outside, to facilitate an all day beach party. But when our turn came, we produced no more than a handful of chicken eggs, the odd water balloon.

What we lacked, what the overwhelming majority of us lack, is that instinct to reply in the way Corey did, to say what he said. What did he say? What would Corey say to anyone who wanted to party while their parents are out of town? “Get me to do it for you.” For that moment, if for nothing else, Corey deserves the respect of all teenagers, past present and future. And hey, it’s a better news story than that cricket one from last week. Am I the only one who couldn’t be bothered working out what happened in order to care?

But there was also something admirable about the way Corey understood the role of his outfit in general and the sunglasses in particular, the way he quietly but defiantly refused to take them off, until they became an obsession to his interviewers – with that Tilley knob from Fox even trying to manhandle them off him. Corey knew, he knew he had fucked up in grand style, and he knew that all teenagers have but one chance to transition this kind of idiocy into an art. Corey had the space of five days and the airtime for perhaps two well-placed replies in media interviews. And he acquitted himself like a seasoned pro. Say what you will about his taste in parkas and parties, his poor parents, but Corey could teach us a thing or two about what it means to grab the spotlight by the balls (while mixing metaphors), not to mention showing the media the fluorescent reflection of its own ghoulish opportunism. Corey, I half-heartedly salute you.

And just in case you had any doubts, here, for the last time, is a list of what Corey can do for you and your party….

$200: For two hundred bucks I’ll get a bag of chips, some cruisers and maybe a strippa. It’ll be awesome. Everyone says so.

$500: For five hundred bucks I’ll get a six bags of chips, a group of sixteen year old girls who are really easy (my mate reckons he’s banged like five of them) heaps of cruisers and UDL’s coz they’re awesome and a TV Rock album because they make the party GO OFF.

$1000: For $1000 I’ll get all of the above, plus fireworks so that the police will be called and you might make the news.

$20,000: For $20,000 I’ll make you internationally famous by getting 500 idiots to attack police cars. Of course, you will have to pay $20,000 to clean up the mess but shit happens and it’s not my fault.


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