X-rated ad detail that you can’t unsee
The Queensland border will open to Australian Capital Territory residents this week, but news was somewhat sidelined by another talking point - an eye-boggling image the ACT Government used to announce it.
On Twitter, Chief Minister Andrew Barr confirmed the Sunshine State would welcome Canberrans back from 1am this Friday, accompanying the tweet with a picture of a surfing owl in sunglasses.
What stopped many people in their tracks, though, was that the owl looked, rather unmistakably, like a giant grey penis.
Today marks 10 weeks since a COVID-19 infection was reported in the ACT.— Andrew Barr MLA (@ABarrMLA) September 18, 2020
Canberrans have done great work over the past few months, and it’s great to see it being recognised.
The Queensland border will be open to Canberrans from 1am next Friday, 25 September. pic.twitter.com/EVZZlVrcl2
"Apparently this is definitely an owl #notapenis," political campaigner and author Dee Madigan tweeted.
"What kind of penis-bird is this?" one Twitter user said his brother-in-law in the US had texted him.
My daughter lives near that owl in Canberra. It’s not any better in person!!— Deanne Dewar (@DewarDeanne) September 18, 2020
But as ACT residents would know well, this is no ordinary phallic-looking bird.
It is, rather, the famed Belconnen Owl, a statue in the Canberra suburb of Belconnen that has become a local icon.The 8m public art piece was widely panned when it was (ahem) erected in 2011 but it has since earned a place in the hearts of locals - and become a popular selfie backdrop for visitors.
"Over time, Canberrans have come to embrace the eye-catching icon," Tara Cheyne, member for Ginninderra in the ACT Legislative Assembly, previously told news.com.au.
"It has become a landmark in its own right and is a must-see for anyone visiting Canberra."
By way of explanation, we have a famous piece of public art in my city — an Owl sculpture — which we’ve collectively nicknamed the Penis Owl for obvious reasons. I love this city. #CBR #Canberra #WeAreCBR pic.twitter.com/9JQqo2di8v— iPaulie (@iPaulie) September 18, 2020
But many have been yet to behold the Great Penis Owl of Belconnen in person, and got their first hysterical glimpse of it, in Ray-Bans and on a surfboard, on Mr Barr's post.
For others, it was not so much the suggestive shape of the owl, but the use of an owl itself, that left them bemused.
"WTF does an owl have to do with surfing, Queensland or Canberra?" someone tweeted.
"OK fine it's not a penis, it's a giant penis-shaped owl. I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS CANBERRA," another said.
WTF does an owl have to do with surfing, Queensland or Canberra? 😳— Dr Penelope Impact (@RedFiddler) September 18, 2020
Queensland will reopen to the ACT from Friday this week, with Deputy Premier Steven Miles urging Canberrans to consider a Sunshine State holiday.
"We've been saying for some time now that for Queenslanders, Queensland is good to go. Well now for Canberrans, Queensland is good to come," Mr Miles said on Friday.
"Now is the time we would urge them to start thinking about coming up for a holiday.
"This is timed to coincide with the school holidays in the ACT, for them to come up and visit friends and family, or to visit one of our great tourism spots.
"This is recognition of the fact they have had some time now without any new active cases."
On Tuesday, Ms Palaszczuk said Queensland would open its borders to five additional NSW Shires from next weekend.
The 41 postcodes that make up Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Glenn Innes shires will be welcome in Queensland from 1am on October 1, with Queensland residents allowed to "travel freely" to those regions.
Ms Palaszczuk said residents would be able to apply for a border pass to travel around Queensland, and Queenslanders "will also be able to travel as well".
Originally published as X-rated ad detail that you can't unsee