Allan Takes Aim Blog

Does Canberra have the biggest 99 Club?

Posted on: 16 June 2011

First published The Chronicle, Canberra,  Tuesday14 June, 2011

 The original 99 Club established in New York in the 1890’s was dedicated to alleviating the plight of the city’s poor. Later, more clubs were established in the US and around the world but not all on the same basis as the original.

To the delight of London satirists and critics, a 99 Comedy Club was established in Leicester Square and while Australia has a 99 Club it is for students who achieve an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) of 99 plus who if not already either satirist or critic could later become one or the other. So this week let me paraphrase for you a satire on the 99 Club from the 2010 Roskow Newsletter Archive that I think has relevance for many people in Canberra.         

Once upon a time, Australia had a Prime Minister who, despite her position, never seemed happy or content. One day, as she wandered the corridors of power she heard a man singing happily as he cleaned a corridor.

This fascinated the PM and made her wonder why he was so happy? To assuage her curiosity she asked him why he was so happy, hoping his answer would provide an insight into how she could produce some great new policy that would so please voters it would ensure her party a majority at the next election.

The man answered that although only a cleaner, he enjoyed a happy family life and except for a house and food didn’t need much to live on. Wondering how the cleaner’s answer could be turned into a great new ‘happiness’ policy the PM sought the advice of her most trusted advisor. After the adviser heard the story, he told the Prime Minister she should create the 99 Club promising her that it would be the greatest policy initiative she’d ever take.

He then told her how to start the club. Find out where this cleaner lives and one night put 99 dollars in a brown paper bag and leave it on his doorstep at home. Mystified but like many other politicians, ministers in particular, afraid to question advisers, the PM put the scheme into action and that night a brown paper bag containing 99 dollars with short note saying the dollars were a reward for his wise words when he met her in the corridor, was put on the cleaner’s doorstep.

Next morning as the cleaner went out to pick up the milk he saw the brown paper bag but like a good citizen and thinking it was garbage decided to put it in the garbage bin. However, as he was putting it in the bin he heard the jingle of money and on opening it he found the dollars and the note.

Scarcely able to believe his luck he counted the 99 dollars. Thinking he had miscounted he counted them again but could still only tally 99. He then convinced himself that giving him only 99 dollars was a test and that the PM would give him the hundredth dollar, if he became more cheerful.  He also told everyone about his reward. However, from that day on, his life changed.

All day long he sang non-stop. He even sang between his chores, although he began to sound less happy. The PM noticing this dramatic change of mood was puzzled and again sought her adviser’s help. After listening, her adviser told her the change had occurred because the cleaner had joined the 99 Club.

He then went on to explain at length that people who became members of the 99 Club were people who, although they had enough to be happy are never content to be only 99% happy. Only 100% happy will satisfy them and so they always yearn for that extra 1%.

The moral of this story is that most people can have a happy life even when they have less than others, but as soon as they’re given more the more they become convinced they should be given more again. However, in trying to acquire more again they pay the price of losing their happiness.

Talking to Canberrans I say with sadness, that too many of seem to be trying to join the 99 Club.

The Chronicle for Canberra’s best Community News. Published every Tuesday


5 Responses to "Does Canberra have the biggest 99 Club?"

Good day! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

very good post, i certainly love this website, carry on it

Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything. But just imagine if you added some great graphics or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this blog could certainly be one of the very best in its field. Terrific blog!

I have replied times without number that the only pictures I use are word pictures. Regards, Don

This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

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