Had occasion to be at my local Newstand this arvo and while looking over the new arrival display, casually asked the clerk if they would be getting Bristol Palin’s book Not Afraid of Life.

The clerk looked up from the register and said “who?” so I explained that Sarah Palin’s daughter, Bristol, aged 20 had just published her memoirs and I wondered if we would be getting copies. She fiddled for a moment on the computer then left to ask the manager. A rather matronly woman standing next to me said (to no one in particular) “How does one write their memoirs at age 20?” Then she answered her own question by cocking her head and snickering “Yankee arrogance!”

The clerk returned to say there were no plans to have the book available in the shop but I could order it online, probably. Then she said “Isn’t Mrs. Palin the one who ran for president and lost?” But before I could answer, the snickerer beside me chimed in with a hearty ” Yes, she’s the one who demanded an audience with Margaret and was put in her proper place. And now her daughter’s written her memoirs at age 20!” The sarcasm in her voice dripped onto my shirt. I stepped aside.

An old man in a beanie and flannel jacket, flipping through the newspaper he was waiting in line to buy chortled “Silly poofs!” and I thought – I’d never heard a more appropriate description of Sarah and Bristol Palin than that… Silly Poofs!

In Australia, the term ‘poof’ began as slang for a gay man. It has evolved through the years to mean more like a man behaving unmanly, and is in general used among mates to tease each other. Like when a bloke loses a bet and has to wear his wife’s skirt in public. I’ve heard the term often while living downunder and I can’t recall a single time when it was meant to be derogatory.

Except! (And there’s always that exception) when it’s meant to imply someone’s complete idiocy. An old man calling two women ‘poofs’ is definitely meant to convey to the listener “pfft – idiots!”

I’ve pinched the phrase and intend to use it a lot from now on so Sarah? Bristol? Let the trademark wars begin!

I wonder how many ghost-writers will get thrown under the Silly Poof bus before Harper-Collins figures out there’s no more money to be made from these two monumental frauds.

Oh and speaking of idiots, this made me giggle:

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