A Reader And A Gentleman: 20 Qs For Dr Dog


Regular readers will not be surprised to learn that some of the most vigorous commenters on newmatilda.com articles do not travel under their own names. Dr Dog is one such reader; you will not find his name in the phone book. He has recently returned to newmatilda.com‘s comment threads after a short hiatus while the Israel question, er, cooled off and we’re happy to have him back.

Dr Dog doesn’t spend all his time typifying the model reader and advancing the cause of lighthearted banter. No! Offline, he’s known as Colin Stokes, and he’s a busy man. He drinks and he plays pool. And, in his spare time, he runs an inner city youth service. His proposal for teaching children about the dangers of being a nasty jerk is truly innovative …

1. If you were given $5 million, what would you spend it on?
The first million would go pretty fast on beer and/or skittles. After that I would go back to university to study something interesting but essentially useless like philosophy, architecture or politics. Then I would build a fully sustainable underground house and hoard water and ammunition.

2. Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
Just like Ben Eltham I would like to be stuck in Anne Hathaway. Sorry, I misread that question. I would choose Gerard Henderson, Miranda Devine and Janet Albrechtsen. They couldn’t write any shithouse columns from in there and if the lift plummeted 40 floors, I would take the fall for the good of humanity. Hell, I’d be gnawing on the last frayed cable with my teeth.

3. What trivia topic will you beat everyone else in the pub to the buzzer on?
This takes place in a pub, so we have to assume the question was of sufficient quality to stir me from a delightful alcoholic sleep. I would wipe the drool away to respond to questions about melodic punk of the late 20th century. Or pie shops of the inner west of Sydney.

4. The headline you’d most like to see on the front page of a daily newspaper.
"Daily Telegraph: Final Edition Today!"

5. Complete this sentence. I’d like to hear Kevin Rudd say "…"
"Well Col, I’m not sure why we need an ambassador to Tahiti but have a great time. Can I get you a drink?"

6. If you could have made one major life move differently, what would it have been?
I would have preferred a messier divorce. I have too many friends. Plus it is an excuse to hit the bottle hard, very hard. Also I realise we really had no possessions to fight over, although I did grab the good egg slice and hid it in my bag.

7. You’re on a desert island with only a magical television for entertainment. It only broadcasts sports. It can only broadcast one sporting code. You choose the sport.
At once I would call Panasonic and berate them for the awful service provided by their so called "magic" television. I mean, can’t they at least throw in a few episodes of Time Team or Hornblower? Weak as piss. Then I would sit back and watch game after game of beautiful Rugby League.

8. You’ve been appointed research director for an organisation funded by a hands-off philanthropist. What do you tell your staff to find out?
I would ask them where they found a hands-off philanthropist. Most of those guys are real busybodies.

9. How often do you check your email?
Every day, but I reply at the end of each month to give me thinking time.

10. What annoys you about politicians?
Way too altruistic. I really worry they aren’t taking proper care of themselves.

11. Name someone in Australian public life who deserves a promotion.
Julia Gillard.

12. Name someone in Australian public life who should be out on their ear.
Wilson Tuckey — and his ear — should be toured around rural and regional Australia in a caged ute so that children can learn that being a nasty jerk can turn you into a troll. If they pelt him with sticks and fruit — well, who could blame them?

13. Can we fix climate change?
Are you kidding? Pandemics aside, climate change is the best chance to return the human population to realistic numbers. I would prefer it flipped into an ice age though, like I saw on that show "The Science Of The Day After Tomorrow". I reckon I could eat a seal, no sweat.

14. If we were in a karaoke club and not online, what song would you sing?
"Khe Sanh". Is there any other karaoke song? I can belt it out too. It might be hard to do the questions though, those places can be noisy.

15. Have you ever seen a ghost?
No, I think they might be scared of me.

16. Computers could be improved. How?
By sending me to a touch typing school. The ends of my typing fingers are sore.

17. I’m going to get a coffee? What can I get you?
A chocolate milk and one of those big arsed blueberry muffins. Oh, and some heroin.

18. Do you have a hidden talent?
I am a brilliant writer but my talent remains hidden among the sort of crap I’m churning out here.

19. What image should hang on the wall of the PM’s office?
A Bill Henson nude of Tony Abbott. Abbott loves getting his gear off, and whatever the artistic view of the merits of that sort of stuff — frankly I don’t think there are any — just allow Tony to be Tony.

20. What question should we ask our next interviewee?
Are you getting paid for this? I heard Jennifer "Jen Jen" Mills got paid.

BONUS: This is the question from our last interviewee:

Who’s your power Muppet?
Kristina Keneally. I predict you won’t see NSW Labor’s right arm for months.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.