As a regular Neighbours viewer (er, when I'm not reading Proust, of course), I have noticed that of late the show appears to be undergoing some serious reboganisation. Not only has the uber-bogan himself, Joe Mangel, returned, he has actually become romantically involved with Ramsay St.'s current bogan matriarch, Lyn Scully. The pitter-patter of little ugg-boot-clad feet can only be months away. However, the most striking example of Neighbours' bogan renaissance is the appearance of the Timmins family, who, for the uninitiated, look like this:
The Timmins's bogan cachet is such that even the other residents of Ramsay St. - many of whom are only a bit of chin fluff and a rat's tail away from being proper bogans themselves - refer to them as bogans. (One wonders whether this word requires subtitles for overseas markets, or whether they just dub over the local equivalent.) Individually, the Timmins family are bogans par excellence, but together they are truly a force to be reckoned with, a kind of bogan Fantastic Four. Except there are five of them.
Although it is hard to play favourites with such a loveable bunch of dags, I must confess to preferring mum Janelle (bottom left) and youngest son Stingray (bottom centre) to the rest. The latter was the first Timmins to appear on Neighbours, introduced last year as the troubled cousin of Toadfish Rebecchi. Stingray is a manic wunderbogan, his rapid-fire speech punctuated by such boganlogisms as "cake-taker", "spiggin" and "hufta". Needless to say, he's a devil with the ladies. Janelle, for her part, is the last word in bogan motherhood, advising her sixteen-year-old daughter to have plastic surgery, getting the family into debt, and constantly irritating everybody with her lack of humility. Currently, Janelle is writing a romance novel based on the lives of her neighbours which, given the storyline is one of the most hackneyed in all soapie-dom, will doubtless be met with much chagrin on its inevitable publication.
The best - or possibly worst - thing about the Timminses is that they keep mentioning two other children who have apparently remained behind in Colac to attend to the greyhounds or something, but who will almost certainly turn up in Ramsay St. at some point. I long for the day when the whole street is taken over by the extended Timmins family. Cars up on blocks on the nature strip, Kid Rock blaring from number 30, Harold getting in touch with his bogan roots and growing a mullet. It'll be sweet, it'll be noyce - yes, it'll even be spiggin awesome.