Now, what you hear is not a test I’m rappin’ to the beat,
And me, the groove, and my friends are gonna try to move your feet;
See, I am Wonder Mike, and I’d like to say hello …. to Toyota and Holden and Mitsuibishi and to Ford and Skoda and Volvo

I’ll start with a disclaimer, and declare my conflict of interest in the interests of media ethics and state for the record that Mike O’Connor once of the now-defunct Telegraph and latterly of the monopoly issued Courier-Mail was my juvenile journalistic hero, and many years later became became both a mate, an admirer of my eccentric art, and a mentor.

Then I’ll take it a step further and put on the record that I regard the once-upon-a-time Prince of Paddington pundit of the typewritten patter as once-upon-a-time the wittiest and most incisive columnist in the whole of Queensland, and an exemplar of the erstwhile journalistic excellence, who gave an eye for an eye and kept an eye on eye-Q.

That was then though, and this is now, and these days I wonder what the hell the bloke who gave us such joy de vivre by virtue of his always humorous and cutting columns in the Queensland daily rags- and recently gave me for gratis personally signed copies of his wealth of worthy literary works – is doing churning out the cheap, self-serving chutzpah that Wonder Mike weekly delivers in his vapid and extremely ethically dubious advertorials for the ozone-layer oxidising vroom-vroom makers in the pull-out section of our weekend fish and chips wrapper that masquerades as the Q-Magazine.

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Time may change me – but I can’t change time – and ain’t that the truth Ziggy?

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Set aside for a moment the fact that Wonder Mike has morphed over the decades from a mustachioed nerd into a sixty-something manicured metrosexual, because I’m doing the same thing too, and if it takes some scribes a lap band and a dozen or thirty blasts of botox to pull off the look then that’s what it takes and good luck to you friend, although unlike Wonder Mike my naturally gifted genetic blessings mean that I don’t have to spend my punting bank on such frivolities, and therefore remain free to fritter my readies on the favourite in the first at Flemington each Q-Magazine publication day in the forlorn weekly hope of landing a decent-prized winner that will make me a millionaire.

Nup sportsfans and Skoda Superb lovers, it’s not the leather and lithe surgeon-enhanced skin that’s the issue with O’Connor, it’s simply the fact that every time I read a story of the columnist writes about a car just so happen to find a hellishly overpriced paid advertisement for the same said vehicle languidly lurking like a licentious lecher in the suspiciously close by vicinity.

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Now I’ll fess up and take the fall and risk the wrath of Rupert by admitting that I am not one to keep back copies of the Courier-Mail’s Q-Magazine, but I will plead not guilty to the charge of disposing of the evidence and swear a rock-solid alibi defence, for since the mag morphed from a quality stand-alone glossy to a mixed-mish-mash cheap paper disaster the bead twirling missus has been using it each weekend to line the chook pen.

Notwithstanding the lack of concrete – or to be more precise cheap butcher’s paper – evidence, I can affirm and attest that for months now I’ve noticed that when Wonder Mike writes gushingly about a Volkswagen Golf, then a couple of pages later a big expensive ad for the hun-made hatchback suddenly shows up a flick of the page later in the faux mag.

And when the once great-man writes a preening piece of praising prose about the terrific newly released Toyota Corona, then three pages later you cop an ‘Oh What a Feeling!’ staring at you large in the meat pies as you turn the next page of the lift-out of the much-loved weekend pretend magazine.

Trust me on this one sportsfans, something’s somewhat fishy about this whole Wonder Mike weekend automotive love-in, and if you don’t believe me and reckon I’m pulling your paranoid chain then just take a quick Captain Cook at this weekend’s erstwhile edition of Rupert’s Queensland rag that features the pensioned-off Elvis-like lithe liana in leather’s loving spruik for the supposedly superb Skoda Superb on page 43, and – lo and bloody behold, and blow me down with a damned freckled Czech duck’s feather – a f*cking fantastically expensive full page ad for the Bowen Hills-based Peugot/Skoda/VW dealer exclusively flogging the Superb on the back page just five pages later.

Just a coincidence Archie?

Not on your life Leroy.

Go back over just about every edition of the Q-Magazine since it merged with the once entertaining Canvas entertainment section and segued into a hybrid rough paper replica of what the good read used to be in its glory days as a glossy and you will find the same thing, over and over and over again.

Golden Tonsils and the Budgie can read it and weep. And the media regulator can take a long and lonely ride on the cash for comment light rail.

The Saturday edition of the Courier-Mail may not have sold out sportsfans, and under the current editorial control probably never will again.

Just between you and me and the brick wall though punters, I’m not so sure about Wonder Mike. But Pugeot certain I’m VWey sure that he’s Skoda a good excuse.

Don’t you worry about that.

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