TOPICS: Counselling with comedy

TENSION. Laughter. Tales to warm the heart. Newcastle City Council meetings keep getting better.

This week, regular viewers were shocked to discover that Labor’s Jason Dunn, a gun motorbike rider, had a spill at Eastern Creek and broke his collarbone. 

He got through Tuesday night’s meeting with painkillers. No, they weren’t available to the gallery.

Liberal deputy lord mayor Brad Luke, meanwhile, was out of action altogether. He broke his leg pretty badly over Christmas.

Lord mayor Jeff McCloy revealed that he’d become a grandfather for the first time, and we think he’ll be great. He’s had practice with little people.

For example, when the mayor miscounted a show of hands, he apologised and pointed out that former jockey Allan Robinson ‘‘has got short arms’’.

To which councillor Robinson replied, dryly, ‘‘not everything’s short’’.

He hadn’t said much at the meeting, but it’s always memorable with Robbo.

Love actually costs

FIVE ways that Valentine’s Day can grate.

1. The cost.

‘‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,’’ said Jules to Romeo. She didn’t mention that a dozen roses, at three times the normal price, shalt burn a hole in thy pocket.

2. The exclusion.

One day, the bosses of the greeting card companies gathered round a boardroom table. They clinked glasses.

‘‘Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day are strokes of genius,’’ said one, a bald fellow.

‘‘Two days for people to congratulate themselves for having kids. What else can we manufacture?’’

His colleague lit a cigar.

‘‘How about a day to celebrate everyone who happens to be in a couple?’’ he said, slowly. The room fell silent, then erupted. Glasses clinked.

3. Cupid.

A baby-faced sniper who fires arrows at singles. Right. Lovely.

4. Everything’s booked out.

‘‘Sorry sir, we’re booked out on Valentine’s,’’ says the voice on the end of the line, sealing your fate.

The odd thing is, many restaurants hate the day. All the bookings are for two, which messes with their table settings, and the chatter that normally ripples from big groups is replaced by the awkward, intimate whispers of coupledom.

5. The high school angst.

You remember how it went. Class would stop so the popular (and often mean) girls could be showered, like Indian brides, with floral tributes. Other kids went empty handed and heavy hearted. 

And no, Mum. Heart-shaped chocolates from a ‘‘secret admirer’’ don’t make one feel like a winner.

But if a card has arrived in your mailbox, we tip our Cupid wings to you. Happy Valentine’s Day from Topics, especially if you’re alone.

Horny little devils make lovely pair

ONE Central Coast couple has a reason to get amorous this Valentines Day. Their species is counting on it.

February is the start of breeding season for Tasmanian devils, and all eyes are on a pair at the Australian Reptile Park.

Princess Mary, a female who arrived in the park’s Devil Ark program last year, is considering a fling with a Prince Frederick.

Unrelated, they happen to be the most genetically important male and female at the park.

“Mary has settled in very well and has now reached sexual maturity, so is ready to breed for the first time,” operations manager Tim  Faulkner said. 

‘‘We’ve giving them every opportunity to breed.’’

Ideally they’ll find a tree hollow, one thing will lead to another. Let’s give them some privacy.

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