The magic of the bush doof lies not just in gathering with the tribe for a psychedelic boogie you won’t get anywhere else. It’s the freedom you discovered under a gum tree a million miles from the pesky world that makes doofing such a special experience!
A doof is a place where, no longer bound by the usual constraints of “civilised society”, we can frolic in free and naked ecstasy. It’s a place where nobody cares what you wear, no demands are made on your time, and you can express yourself without fear.
So, logically, it follows that nothing is more anti-doof than the presence of a big fat judgey cat sitting up on their moral high horse judging all the silly hippies below. Right?
Wrong! Whilst you’ll often hear the phrase, “I don’t judge maaan” (except of course, judgements relating to judgey people, who are judged to be despicable judgers!) uttered at a doof, there are in fact times when it’s not only perfectly acceptable to judge, but it’s necessary. Of course, we aren’t talking about judging someone’s value as a person here, we are talking about judging behaviours and attitudes which fly in the face of the doofing creed.
Gaia, Mother Nature, Creation, call it what you will, doofers have a massive hard on for the Earth. Inside each doofer is a little tiny Planeteer trying to foil the corporate pig who wants nothing more than to turn our bush into a wasteland overflowing with nuclear sludge and the plastic remnants of a consumerist society gone mad.
Which is why, if you see someone littering at a doof, whether it be throwing a ciggie butt or empty into the nearest bush or casually pushing a couch down to the bottom of a ravine (ahh! Outta sight, outta mind!) it is OK to say, “Hey! That’s not OK!”.
Of course this doesn’t mean you need to tackle the perpetrator, brand the word “LITTER BUG” across their largest, most accessible piece of flesh, and give them a stern talking to before release. A simple, “can you please use the bins” will go a long way.
Leaving a doof under the influence
We get it. It’s been a long weekend. You are all doofed out and nap in the back of the van just aint’ gonna cut it. All you want to do is go home, fashion a nest out of the nearest linen pile you can find, stick an IV of vitamins into your arm and sleep until you can feel your legs again.
Besides, everyone else is leaving and you want to get out of the campsite before the tracks to the main road turn to sludge and you’re forced to stay in the bush and live like a wild beast, foraging on nuts and berries and fashioning clothes out of stringy bark forever.
But before you turn your key in the ignition, take a moment to think about all the extra risk factors involved in a half pissed drive home from a doof.
It’s a recipe for disaster: take one part poor co-ordination, two parts slow reflexes, three parts difficult terrain, and add 4 other people to the mix, stir, brake, and you’ve got yourself a tragedy cake! So, next time you see someone at a doof about to endanger their lives at the wheel of a motor vehicle, judge away! Let them know it’s not safe, and you don’t want to be “eating their ghost chips bro”.
Going MA in a PG place
The great thing about doofs is that, unlike night clubs, they aren’t just for teenagers looking to bump and grind on sticky floors with a $12 drink in one hand and a pack of tailors in the other. Doofs are meant for ages.
So whilst it’s parents responsibility to tuck their little kiddiwinks in safe and sound at camp once night has fallen and the party gets a little more wild, it’s also doofers responsibility to remember that doofs are still a public place. Whatever your poison is, there’s no reason to indulge in broad daylight when little bush fairies and elves are running around enjoying their innocence.
And that goes for parents too! If you see an adult getting MA in a place that is clearly PG, it’s OK to fall on your knees, throw your head back and scream at the top of your lungs, “Won’t somebody, please, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!”
The guy who just won’t STFU
You know what I’m talking about. You’re on a hiatus from the dance floor, chillaxing by the fire with your friends, new and old. You’re deep into a conversation about the metaphysics of the universe and how everything is, like, intrinsically connected. The vibe is right. You are learning from each other, your mind’s opening and your third eye’s winking.
And then, from out of the darkness, staggers that guy. That guy who waltzes up to your conversation and decides to take a big fat dump on it.
He doesn’t know what you’re talking about really, he doesn’t care. All he knows is that he’s got an opinion on everything from Indigenous health care reform to what’s going on in the Ukraine and it’s his mission to enlighten you.
He’s just inebriated enough to construe your polite attempts to redirect the conversation as blatant patronisation, and he’s not going to stand for it! Before long, each member of your group remembers they need to go wee wee, grab a drink, or call their long lost Aunt Tilda, and you’re the only one left with THAT GUY!
When your good time is ruined by the conversational hijacker, we say, judge away! Of course, a long winded diatribe on the intricacies of conversational etiquette is probably not going to get the warm reception you’d like from an overstimulated doof troll at 2am. However, come the next morning, instead of whinging about what a downer he was, make it your mission to find that guy, and explain to him how he was last night. He probably doesn’t even remember.
The unofficial doctor
Let’s use a handy little analogy to get our point across for this controversial topic. Say that you love the Ekka. Year round you hold off on all dagwood dog consumption because you know it just wouldn’t be the same sucking down one of those artery clogging badboys at some other two-bit carnival. There’s something about the combination of flashing lights, loopy music and the presence of great friends which makes the Ekka the only place you want your lips to lock on one of those greasy heart attack sticks you know deep down are bad for your body.
“Everything in moderation,” you tell yourself as you make your way to the vendor, cash in hand and heart racing. Suddenly, you catch a glimpse of a leg sticking out from behind the haunted house. Curious, you skulk over to have a look. There is your friend, a friend you never even knew ate dagwood dogs, moaning semi-conscious, face encrusted with tomato sauce. A half eaten dagwood lay in their hand, wooden sticks are strewn all around them.
They certainly haven’t treated the sacred stick or their body with the respect they deserve and now they are suffering. As you begin to drag their sausage filled body over to the nearest place of respite another friend approaches. This guy is a self-styled professor of carnival snacks. He doesn’t have any knowledge about how the body processes carnie food, he lets oily chin and protruding gut speak for themselves.
He recommends what your mate needs is a bag of fairy floss to counteract the fat and salt overload the dagwood dog binge has induced. His intention is good, but at the end of the day he has no idea how many bags of hot chips and caramel popcorn your mate has wolfed down before the dagwood dogs tipped him over the edge.
What is the point of this long winded analogy you ask? It’s simple.
1. It’s OK to judge carnival food which leaves people you love feeling awful. Of course, we don’t mean judge the person doing the eating. What we mean is there’s nothing wrong with approaching your friend in kindness, sharing your concerns and listening to their needs so together you can help prevent future dagwood dog induced misery.
2. It’s OK to judge suggestions as to how to fix carnie food overdose if they don’t come from a bonafide medical professional. It’s better to leave the Ekka with one recovering friend and one friend with a bruised ego than to leave with just one friend.