For those who think Classie Corner is a heap of s. . ., here’s one from the archives on that very subject. Dateline, 1998, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
FORGIVE me if I'm a bit breathless and starry eyed. I have just had what undoubtedly will be a legendary brush with fame. I have yarned with a new business operator who will become the nation's first dog poo millionaire.
Yes, you read it right. Don't adjust your spectacles. Australia's first dog poo millionaire.
Mother-of-three Joanne Luckett, of Maroochydore, says people "crack up" laughing about her new business. But she is the one with the grin because the venture has had a healthy start signing up clients, courtesy of a brief notice in the Checkout Classifieds Pets column.
Jo's Scoop-A-Poop may take time to rise to stock exchange listing but its prospectus is certain to read a lot better than those of most companies.
When the time comes, investors will be able to forget the bull and the bear. All they will need worry about is the health of the Aussie dog.
Joanne's core business is a new service industry that will improve the lives of dogs and their owners. Owners pay a chihuauua-size fee for the firm to remove the droppings of any size dog from their yard weekly.
A wag may say that it simply shows the level people will scoop to for a living but Joanne has long had a plan to make a business from the thing that many say they hate most.
Future investors need not worry about factors like exploration, production "overheads" and the gold price; Scoop-a-Poo is assured of a strike, has little infrastructure and offers a top exchange rate (from $3 a week).
"Everyone hates to pick up dog poo," she said. "The wife nags the husband and he tries to get the kids to do it.
"Dog poo lying around the back yard is just disgusting, especially in summer.
"Imagine sitting down to your lunch with it in your yard. The flies. Yuk!
"It makes the grass die, too.
"Even though councils provide special bins at the beaches, how many people do you see using them.
"Some dog owners make a practice of taking their dog out to do it on someone else's property or in a public area.
"So I am hoping the availability of a home visit service should reduce this problem."
Now the proud owner of eight-year-old rhodesian ridgeback Buster, Joanne says she has always loved dogs.
"When I was a child growing up it was dog, dog, dog, dog, cat and cat," she said. "I brought home stray everything.
"I used to work for the Animal Protection League on the Gold Coast when I was a little girl.
"I went around with a box collecting money for them."
Joanne recently moved from Brisbane to get a beachside lifestyle for her three sons, aged 4, 7 and 12.
Her research has shown that Maroochy shire alone has an estimated 18,000 dogs, meaning she should never run short of work. But Joanne says she is in the poo business more for the chance to help clean up the country than for the money, and she's more than happy to console lonely and bored pets.
"Nowadays everbody's so busy with wives and husbands both working there are so many lonely animals left at home all week, I want to help them too," she said.
"As part of the service we can spend a bit of time with the dogs, give them a pat and throw the ball, as well as pick up the poo.
"We have included a worming service and take the refuse from the property for composting or disposal according to health regulations."
She hopes her service will also appeal to the elderly who want the security of a dog but may have limited ability to exercise a pet.
Clients can take heart that Joanne, as a former bar attendant, knows the difference between bulldust and the Scoop-A-Poo targets.
Newcomers to the Classie Corner blog take note: Just over 25 years ago I started an exploration into the marvellous community of classified advertising, partly to help repay a debt to classified advertising for giving me story leads galore to feed the news monster. I realised journalists like me were poaching stories from a special world and transporting them to ours, usually without any acknowledgment of the original source. After many sidetracks, I returned to the concept in the 1990s with the APN News and Media group in two Australian states, New South Wales and Queensland. Classie Corner now appears on paper in the Rural Press newspaper, Redland Times, at the front door to Brisbane and one of Australia’s economic hotspots, south-east Queensland. I am writing from Russell Island, part of Redland Shire, in beautiful Moreton Bay where I have lived for the past three years. Those who stick with this blog will get some great entertainment as I dig up classics from the past and publish my new explorations into the hopes and dreams of the users of free and paid classified advertising. Have a good day/night.