It's official - Rocky isn't a Sh*it town after all
AS of today it's official - Rocky isn't a sh*t town after all.
Well, not as sh*tty as Gladstone, anyway.
That's according to a controversial Facebook page called "Sh*t Towns Of Australia" which has been dividing a nation by pitting nearby towns against one another and asking its followers to decide which one is worse.
This week's showdown poll on the Facebook page, in which voting closed this morning, was billed as "another Queensland derby as cow town Rockhampton takes on coal-dust-coated Gladstone."
What a load of sh*t, I hear you say.
Well, that's what I thought too until I had a closer look at this page's popularity.
It has more than 134,000 Likes and, believe it or not, more than 13,000 people voted in the Rock Vegas versus Happy Rocks bout.
The winner of the sh*ttiest town, by knockout, was Gladstone with 69% of the vote.
So who's behind this phenomenon?
I thought Google might give me the answer, and sure enough, I was right.
On July 5, news.com.au reported:
"On any given day, Rick Furphy and Geoff Rissole are public enemies number one and two in regional towns across Australia.
"Those aren't their real names. They use pseudonyms, partly for their own protection from hordes of parochial locals they've infuriated and partly for the fun of the mystery.
"The men operate the viral Facebook page Sh*t Towns of Australia, which reviews and ranks the country's worst locales on a range of criteria.
"They have built a huge following over the past year - a mix of amused readers and furious locals of the latest target of the men's unique blend of observational wit and downright slander."
Furphy told news.com.au: "We're just a couple of mates with a sense of humour who started a Facebook page that accidentally became popular.
"We don't do it to offend people - but it's a bonus.
"We love it when the anger is funny. A lot of the angry messages include hilarious insults or bizarre spelling and grammar. Those are our favourites. And there's always something funny about someone blowing their top over a little joke.
"We're not so keen on the angry gronks who make violent threats or the nannas who just get sad."
Having myself lived in Rocky for more than three decades I've heard just about every joke or criticism there is about the Beef Capital, and quite frankly I think it's all a load of bull dust.
Scrolling through the plethora of comments made on this controversial Facebook page's Rocky v Gladstone poll, I found at least one that made sense.
Gladstone resident Natalie Pritchard-Ross said: "A town is what you make it, people live in cities and complain, people live in the country and complain. Make a life instead of complaining."
Having recently returned to the journalism scene after a seven-year hiatus, I've found it a real eye-opener to see just how useful social media, in particular Facebook, can be as a source for stories.
I've also discovered fairly quickly that there is a fair bit of Sh*t on there as well.
But hey, there should be more laughter in the world, so let's not take it too seriously and roll with it!