Make the Pandas pay…

Written by

Andrew Millar


December 16, 2011

Every now and then you find yourself sitting quietly, minding your own business, contemplating life's rich tapestry, when suddenly your head explodes with the violence that only truly new ideas can create.

This is precisely what happened to me yesterday… wham… out of the blue came a brilliant piece of clear insight, documented as follows…

We have a car race through the streets of Adelaide every year. And to facilitate it, we construct a tunnel-like structure along our streets… a path you can't escape from… a walled lane, a linear playpen if you like. And I was thinking about other tourist events that might be able to use the space while it's there.

We had Celebrity Car Races, but these were stopped after the famous people, carefully trained for 6 months on correct racing technique turned into bloodthirsty animals the minute the flag dropped to start the race. Manufacturers got sick of being presented with a large bag of unrecognisable parts after the race. That being all that was left after the carnage dust had settled. There was the odd bit of Mark Knopfler in the bag one year.

Go-carting was tried but there is just no where to go if you got into trouble… no run off… and several drivers were rather badly shaken as they tried to become 'one' with the logo of a car dealer that was painted on the concrete wall. Some were almost successful at reducing themselves to the consistency of a stain.

Motorcycle racing suffered the same fate. Or the riders nearly did.

Cycling? No. I have to endure their constant prattle about spokes and knicks every week in the local coffee shop. The last thing I want is to watch them scurry past as I wait for a V8. And then I thought a combination of V8 Touring Car and cycle event might work… at least in favour of the V8.

And then it hit me… Adelaide could host a Pamplona style event… a testosterone fuelled fun run. Only not with bulls… let's make those fat Chinese things at the zoo earn their keep… Let's be the only place in the world that hosts 'The Running of the Pandas'.

No-one has ever crossed the road to see them at the zoo. But people might come from far and wide to see if they can out run them. The braver boys might rub themselves with bamboo before the event. They might put some Number 18 (Bamboo shoots in sweet and sour sauce from The House of Chow) in their socks. They might stuff a sushi mat down their shorts… all in an effort to attract a little extra attention from the black and white lumps.

And… and.. we could broadcast Wagner's Ring Cycle over the public address system just to remind us of the really effective tourism vehicle we had lost to fund a couple of freeloading 'bears'.

This idea could work on so may levels.

Now excuse me, I'm off to see if Jay knows a good idea when it bites him…