Strange Politics: Budgie smugglers' international exposure
PURVEYORS of crotch-hugging men's swimwear must be doing cartwheels right now with all the free publicity coming their way.
Nine young Aussie dingbats who were facing possible jail terms for stripping down to Malaysian flag-themed banana hammocks and shrieking like curlews after Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo won the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix.
The whole while they sported heavily branded Budgy Smuggler noodle benders; the misspelled trademark broadcast across the world as Malaysia decided how to punish the men for the perceived insult.
The swimwear brand's website explains why it chose "budgy" over "budgie", and the story is a fairly feeble one.
"Two of our favourite explanations are the impressive sounding, 'it has to do with trademark law, you wouldn't understand it', and the mysterious sounding 'we're not detail people, we are concept people'," they say.
"The sad fact is, we only realised the incorrect spelling after it was too late to change back again.
"So budgy smuggler should have been budgie smuggler.
"But you know what, however you spell it, you'll still look great in a pair of smugglers."
That sounds pretty bloody 'Strayan to me, although that last comment is debatable.
If I lose a little bit more weight, I can get into my budgie smugglers.— Clive Palmer (@CliveFPalmer) October 5, 2016
The recent free, ahem, exposure has not ended with the Budgie Nine by any means.
The Oxford University Press released the second edition of the Australian National Dictionary in August - the first update since 1988 - and our nation's very own synonym for quick-drying cluster busters made the cut.
Tony Abbott was the inspiration for not just the budgie smuggler entry, with "captain's pick" and "shirtfront" now legitimately able to be used in academia.
As a side note, Abbott apparently told a room full of British Tories this week he had a reasonable shot at becoming prime minister again because he was more popular with the Liberal Party membership than Malcolm Turnbull.
He dismissed the story as lies, posting on Twitter: "As for unsourced, unattributed, unprofessional reports, the journalist in question is yet again making things up."
But back to matters at hand: Showing off your front lump.
The Budgy Smuggler brand is running a search for "Australia's most ordinary rig" - a competition for which a six-pack earns an automatic disqualification.
Criteria include: "Should look like they could have been good at sport at some point in their life, although were most likely prevented via injury or being robbed by selectors early in their career" and "must be capable of launching a child from their shoulders several metres in a swimming pool".
I reckon I know a few contenders.
Spotting a barely concealed weapon while soaking up sun is not everyone's idea of a good time, but there are far, far worse sights.
Earlier this week a 59-year-old man in New Jersey was arrested after allegedly spending two days cavorting along the beach in a pair of togs fashioned from cling wrap. Glad they got the guy.