Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Some people say that Hector’s a crusty old curmudgeon. Of course, Corey Delaney wouldn’t. The newly celebrated 16-year-old let’s-wreck-the-neighbourhood party organiser from Narre Warren, Melbourne, would never have heard the word or, on the evidence of his serial post-party television appearances, have the faintest clue what it means.

Nevertheless, Hector feels disposed to fly an urgent interdiction mission in Corey’s defence. Not because the young man has been unfairly treated, but because like many 16-year-olds, he’s clearly a nincompoop. Another word he wouldn’t know, understand, or on the evidence of his televised media celebrity appearances, be able to pronounce.

A lot of folk have been thoroughly stupid in the Corey Delaney House Party matter, now apparently a ‘global’ story.

They include, in descending order of demerit: Corey’s parents, who left him alone at home while they went on holiday 1000 kilometres away; the Victorian police, whose senior leadership has ensured the entire force now looks as if it comprises a deliciously and dangerously impractical genetic synthesis of Keystone Kop and PC Plod; the media, for forgetting (as it always does, especially on a slow news day) to apply common sense to appreciations of story ideas and presentation; and Corey himself, an uneducated, mindless little dork without an ounce of understanding of what self respect actually means or involves. But then, he’s 16 and clearly shouldn’t be let outside unless under supervision or on a leg-rope.

But, ahem, Hector admits that on the way to becoming a crusty old curmudgeon, he was responsible for a minor trail of riot and rampage. Not in recent years, to be sure, and never to the extent that young Corey apparently managed in the previously undiscovered and soporific suburb of Narre Warren.

But there was a week in London in the early 1960s that Hector confesses is completely blanked from his mind.

That too involved a Must Not Be Missed Party. Someone else’s; and it wasn’t at anyone’s parents’ house. But it must have been a knockout blast.

Little Corey, instant media celeb, says he doesn’t remember his party because he was out of his head. Hector, former unapprehended raver, relates to that.

It would be unfair, even as a curmudgeon, to feel negatively towards Corey simply because he speaks in MySpace grabs, wears yellow sunglasses and a duvet in public, and has a nipple ring. Times change and one should not be churlish about this.

In Hector’s teen years, nipples were never a matter of public record, or ringed except by the natural aureole. They were things (female things) that were reserved for between-consenting-adults-time or the teenage facsimile of same if you were bad enough to get lucky enough. Today, when you are officially a Nobody until you’ve made a tit of yourself, a nipple ring is apparently a Must Have among the low and disgraceful.

So let’s not be too hard on Corey. One day he may realise he’s been an idiot. Let’s hope so.

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