WE'RE amazed that anyone gets the 2HD Secret Sound - it's always something like a slug caressing a leaf, or a whisker being plucked from a Pacific walrus - but the station lifted the bar yesterday morning.
The Secret Sound was, wait for it, "rubbing your thumb along the bristles of a body brush". Host Richard King took a call from Ron, of Clarence Town, who guessed "rubbing your thumb along the bristles of a back-scratcher".
What a tactile life Ron must lead. Close enough, said Richard King. Ron took out the $4200 jackpot, and good on 'im.
But the Secret Sound was about to trigger the sounds of discontent. A caller complained that he'd guessed "using a back-scratcher". The dough was his, by rights. No, insisted King, you had to mention the thumb.
This was all sounding a lot like the scandal that erupted when a contestant on Burgo's Catch Phrase missed out on the car for guessing "boogieman" instead of "bogeyman". Topics demanded answers. We'd love to tell you that King went to ground, but he actually called us straight back.
"We had a dozen or so callers who were very close but it is $4000, so you had to be spot-on," he said.
"One caller said, 'Running your fingers across the plastic bristles of a body brush'. If he hadn't said plastic, he would have won. But they're natural bristles."
You've got to respect the integrity of it all, we guess. King, incidentally, records the Secret Sounds himself. The most obscure one he recalls was by one of his predecessors at the station, who tossed up "a peg being pulled out of a sock hanger".
"I didn't know there was such a thing," says King.
Calling real people
THIS morning [Saturday], at The Social cafe on Hunter Street, casting agents will meet Novocastrians with no intention of signing anyone good-looking.
Not classically, anyway, says Chris Mayer-Plummer, director of the Sydney-based Rough Cast agency. They want models for editorial stock photos, ads and maybe acting parts, and they want colourful. Real. Inner beauty. However you want to put it.
"I do have some very good-looking people, but they're not what you'd call classically good-looking," he tells us.
"We're after ordinary people, real people. Bikies, bogans, inked people, large people, thin people."
The agency shares its philosophy with Britain's game-changing Ugly Models, though Mayer-Plummer tries to avoid the U-word. One of Ugly's models landed a contract with Giorgio Armani.
"He was a courier, and now he earns $1 million a year. And he is pretty ugly. But there's beauty in him, and he's having a laugh."
And if you've ever wondered how actors end up in roles where the whole point of their character is, say, that they're fat, Mayer-Plummer says casting agents can be pretty blunt. But the actor will know they've signed on to play fat. Fascinating business.
Not a snake, surely
PLEASE, someone tell us this scaly skin (pictured) we found by the footpath on Morgan Street, Merewether, didn't once belong to a snake.
Or at least, not one of the deadly ones. We should be cocooned from these things in built-up suburbia.