LEADING journalism academic and trainee court reporter Margaret Simons is auctioning her sandals for charity, a noble gesture and potential boon to poor unfortunates in two different varieties of sheltered workshop. The first, your more conventional kind of lunatic, may soon benefit from additions to their institution’s supplies of basket-weaving materials. And the second, well that would be any Fairfax reporter or editor sufficiently astute to recognise the career-boosting benefits such footwear might bestow.
They could, for example, be worn proudly in either the Silly or Phage newsroom, where open toes would be taken as firm evidence of the new owner’s belief in rising global temperatures. With Fairfax reporters attempting daily to outdo each other in demonstrating their faith in the catastropharian creed, those pre-worn Birkenstocks would leave all but Melissa Fyfe’s jogging shoes in their dust.
Or – and this might be the better career strategy -- they might be used for paddling office heretics. If some undiplomatic soul strays from the groupthink that characterizes all the Fairfax papers, whack!, six of the best, followed by an open invitation for ideologically sound colleagues to examine the welts. Administer that sort of punishment and the office disciplinarian will be put on the first plane and sent off to cover any number of international events.
And no need, either, to fret over consequences. In the unlikely event of the police being summoned, the office windows at both the Phage and Silly are sealed shut.