Ahh A Current Affair, the bastion of Australian investigative journalism. Just when you thought there were no more societal ills to point a camera at, no more scumbags to scream questions at while they slink into their cars, ACA went out and found a service station selling bongs. And in its own special way, ACA has accidentally crafted a TV classic.
"This is the servo where you can fill up your car, buy your milk and bread, and pick up a bong to go," a dramatic voiceover intones, while the camera quickly zooms in on a suburb service station.
"They're calling them 'oil pourers'… But we're not that stupid."
To get some answers, ACA investigative reporter Reid Butler corners an employee behind the counter, wielding an oil pourer as evidence. "Since when did servos start selling bongs?!" he probes.
"I don't know. My boss knows. I don't know. What's that?" the employee responds. For some reason, even though you can make out exactly what he's saying, ACA has decided to subtitle this guy. I'm not sure why.
"It's a bong!" Reid Butler shoots back, holding up what does look a lot like a bong. In fairness though, I'm not a big car person. I've never actually seen an oil pourer before, and so can't make a definitive statement one way or another.
Waiting for the owner to arrive, Reid Butler paces back and forth across the servo, clutching his "oil pourer." There's a twinkle in his eyes—he knows he's about to blow this story wide open. This is his Watergate.
And when the owner does show up, he's not happy. Things get physical quick. ACA gets its money shot as its reporter is manhandled out the front door of the servo. But Reid Butler is still trying to get answers. "This is illegal mate," he yells as the doors slam in his face. He peers in through the glass, still clutching his bong, which the report doesn't indicate he ever actually paid for.
As the report stretches on though, you can't help wondering—is this an exposé or is it an ad? "There's a variety of drug paraphernalia on offer," Reid Butler says as hidden camera footage plays of the servo's drug cabinet. "Scales, vaporisers, pipes, and lighters…
"It's a one-stop shop for marijuana smokers."
When you think about it, this is kind of the perfect business model. At any given time, you're likely to find three or four "marijuana smokers" roaming the aisles of your local service station, hunting for lime and chilli Red Rock Deli chips. Plus stoners are exactly the demographic who love everything ACA hates. Welfare payments, DIY Jackass videos, unhygienic Asian restaurants, illegal parties, drugs, not paying rent. Telling stoners about a servo that sells bongs and chips, let alone one that gets ACA's disapproval, might just be the most clever piece of targeted stoner marketing ever.
Plus, as one commenter on ACA's Facebook points out, "the servos already sell Gatorade bottles, shutting down this display will do nothing." What do you really think people are doing with those bottles Reid Butler? Drinking from them? Of course not. You're not that stupid.