YOU know that couple who fight in front of everyone?
Novocastrians are in danger of becoming that couple.
We hiss at each other and clatter the crockery and make it tense for our guests (the rest of Australia), who hold each other when they get home and say, "We're not like that, are we?"
If we're not careful, they'll never come back.
Vincent Burke, from Adelaide, had a letter published in the Herald this week that sums up what we're talking about.
Mr Burke visited Newcastle on the cruise ship Radiance of the Seas, and had warm praise for its harbour and skyline. His only problem was the volunteer guides, who were eager to editorialise.
"It is a cardinal rule not to be negative about your own city," the letter writer said.
"I heard about the trees being cut down, uncertainty about what to do with the cottages at Nobbys Head, the derelict building at the entrance to the port, the money allegedly wasted on the gallery, with several mentions of incompetence or worse on the part of the civic leaders.
"It's not what visitors want or need to hear."
Now, no one's saying these matters aren't important. Patriots point out what's wrong with their hometown.
But sheesh, if you want to regale a cruise passenger with the finer points of the rail debate, wait until you're (a) better acquainted and (b) three schooners deep.
We act like we're the only city that ever had crappy politicians or poisonous debates.
Let's give people a chance to feel comfortable in our house. That's what families do when they have people over - run the vacuum over the floor, bury their issues and bring out the smiles and the good china.
What do you reckon? Do we as Novocastrians drive visitors away, or are these discussions we need to have in front of out-of-towners?
Party a year too late
LET'S not be too hard on the Newcastle FM radio station that did this.
After all, maybe they had so much fun in 2012 that they wanted to relive it.
Whatever the reason, listeners who tuned in for the last moments of Monday night were treated to an unexpected New Year's countdown.
After a blast of Psy's Gangnam Style . . .
"Now . . . now . . . now. Prepare for 2012! Ten! Nine! Eight! Seven . . ."
Thanks to reader Tim for sending us a recording of the moment.
What’s in a name: Southern capital folk need an identity
DON’T go to too much trouble with this one, but it’s hurting our heads. What do you call someone from Adelaide? Or Perth?
These questions arose after reading cruise tourist Vincent Burke’s letter about negative guides. The following is a transcript of the subsequent conversation we had with our peers in the office.
Us: What do you call someone from Adelaide?
Them: ‘‘Adelaidian? Adelaideite?’’
Us: Nope, can’t find that anywhere.
Them: ‘‘Have you Googled ‘what do you call someone from Adelaide’?’’
Us: [Googling that.] ‘‘Wiki Answers says: ‘There is no specific term such as ‘Adelaide-ite’ or any similar name.’ So what do you call them?’’
Them: ‘‘Bored. Hehe. Or Croweater. Do they actually eat crow?’’
Us: [Distracted.] ‘‘What do you call someone from Perth?’’
Them: ‘‘Write a Topic about it. See if someone knows. [All turn back to their computers].’’
Over to you, wise readers. What do you call someone from Adelaide or Perth?