Newcastle MP Tim Crakanthorp reckons a sense of humour is essential in politics.
When collecting signs used for his re-election campaign at the recent state poll, he discovered some creative changes had been made to one in particular.
"I don't mind people having a bit of fun," Tim told Topics, referring to his image being transformed into Yoda, the most powerful of the Jedi masters in the Star Wars universe.
It wasn't the only sign to be tampered with.
"I took one home and the kids attacked it. It had horns and blacked-out teeth," he said.
Tim tries not to take himself too seriously.
"If you can't laugh at yourself, I don't think you'd be able to relate to all the crazy situations that arise in parliament and around town," he said.
Tim reckons he can take a leaf out of Yoda's book of philosophy, which is somewhat based on Buddhism and eastern ways of thinking.
"You've got to look at the big picture every now and then," he said.
"I haven't travelled overseas for 15 years, as I've been focusing on family and work, but I did a masters in international studies and spent a long time in south-east Asia."
He worked in aid and development in Indonesia.
"I'm not a Buddhist per se, but I would more readily adopt zen philosophy and meditation.
"You let the big punches come forward and be a bit more measured about how you respond. It's better to respond effectively like a good boxer, rather than with a flurry of punches that go nowhere."
Yoda famously said that fear was "the path to the dark side".
"Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering," he said.
Which makes us wonder about Tim's mortal enemy, Transport Minister Andrew Constance.
How does he react when the minister puts him down?
"When I'm in the electorate and he comes to town and tries to belittle me and my role, I think that's totally inappropriate. I take the high moral ground with that," Tim said.
"When you're in parliament and question time, it gets very rowdy. That's the time to give better than you get and go very hard."
He surfs and runs to keep the balance.
"It gives me a good start to the day, it's very meditative. When you're out there in the water and dolphins are going by and the sun's coming up, you're a small part of a big world," he said.
This helps him "take a step back and be measured" when things get heated at work.
Nevertheless, he's all for "fighting for the people of Newcastle".
"I know when to draw the line and I'm not a knee-jerk reaction type who goes off half-cocked like a bull in a china shop. I take things in and think about it," he said.
Climate Change Sarcasm
Nobbys weather station has been caught in a political storm.
We discovered this when a colleague sent us One Nation's climate change policy.
"Nobbys weather station rates a mention, clearly demonstrating that climate change does not exist. So there," our colleague said.
We urge interested readers to thoroughly read the policy before sending us a long-winded, technical, jargon-heavy and ranting email. And be sure to type in capital letters. Change the colour of the text too, if you like.
In case you missed our sarcasm, let us be crystal clear. Emails of this kind will be deleted and their senders blocked. Forever.
Sometimes political correctness just goes too far. For example, we've noticed that bureaucrats, academics and other organisations now use the phrase "overweight and obesity".
As in: "Overweight and obesity not only compromise quality of life, they are strongly linked to preventable chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, certain cancers, depression and arthritis".
Or this: "This review summarises the issues related to the measurement and interpretation of dietary intake in individuals with overweight and obesity".
And how about this: "It reduces the risk of chronic conditions and other disease risk factors such as overweight and obesity".
And geez, what about this: "The rising rate of overweight and obesity, particularly among children in Australia, has recently led to a more proactive approach from government".
The reason for this pitiful yet amusing abuse of the word overweight, as far as we understand it, is because people who are overweight might find the term offensive.
So, according to the thought police, one shouldn't say "John is overweight", one should say "John lives with overweight" or "John has overweight".
Here we were thinking that describing a person as overweight was quite a polite way of saying someone is fat or plump.
Perhaps we need to create a new word - overweighticity.