All aboard the New Byron spaceship
THE fight to save Byron Bay appears to be lost.
Long the victim of our own incredible attractiveness (if you don't believe it just ask us, we'll tell you) we seem to have hit a real flat spot.
In town we are beset by a plague of tourists of biblical proportions, homeless people and rapacious developers.
Just take a look at West Byron. Two separate housing estates side by side on a piece of ecologically fragile swamp that will have to be built up with around a million tonnes of fill not to mention 4 metre high wall (I'm not sure whether to keep them in or us out) down Ewingsdale Road. It's positively Trumpian.
Our homes are being 'zombified' by Air BnB and other holiday letting platforms (some estimate more than 15% of our houses are walking dead already), we are paralysed by traffic and some believe our parking meters are paying to fix up other parts of the shire.
In the water it seems our surf breaks are swarmed by kooks and legrope-less hipsters hogging the waves while just off shore packs of blood thirsty sharks are lurking because we've got too much Marine Park (I know, go figure).
Our spirit is broken and like a faded movie star that has lost their looks (and undergone one too many nips and tucks) we babble incessantly about the good old days, yearning for everything to be how it used to be and endlessly bicker with each other about where it all went wrong and who is to blame.
Just like desperate Hollywood stars we go on ridiculous diets, our hypochondria sees us succumbing to non existent food allergies (we can't eat ham sandwiches like normal people) and we have retreated into mysticism where every kind of quackery, like crystal healing and anti-vaccination, take hold of our minds.
The state and federal government aren't coming to the rescue any time soon because they think we're bonkers as well as every shade of green riding on a dolphin, so no bed tax or cut of the GST for you Byron.
It's sad I know, but I write this with love, because I am one of you- a slightly punch drunk Byron ratepayer worried about the seemingly impending destruction of the place I love and also wondering what stupid thing someone in the big city media is going to make up and write about us next.
Me? I can write what I like about how crazy we are here in Byron because I am a Byron crazy myself. But if someone outside of Byron calls us crazy I will spit in their latte next time they're here on holidays re- discovering their lost youth.
But I have a plan- the Gallipoli Plan.
In 1916, when it was clear the ANZACS didn't stand a chance of getting off the beach at Canakkale (what the Turks call Gallipoli) they stealthily retreated over a series of nights. The Turks had no idea they were gone until they were all gone.
So we do the same, a few of us will leave Byron each night and re-group somewhere down the coast where we can start New Byron.
One morning the holiday letters and the developers and the tourists and the kooks and the hipsters will wander into town and there will be nobody in Byron who is from Byron - we will all be in New Byron.
Maybe New Byron is down the coast, maybe its on another planet and we leave in a giant mother ship, I don't know, the details aren't important right now, but this plan is beginning to take on a pleasing New Byron-ness about it.
If you're in, simply return to your home and await my instructions.