Wishing to avoid all internet filters and the attention of international authorities and domestic police services, we here at the Joe Chip Laboratories  make it clear from the start that we are not in any way advocating, suggesting or even disussing the consumption of opium.  In centuries gone by, Professor Chip was a Romantic Poet, and if he could only remember he would tell you what his views were then, but be reassured, like Tony Abbott(1), Joe says No – to everything (not that anyone ever asks).

No, a tall poppy is not opium, and while one of the purposes of this site is to serve as a radical, trendsetting source of  gourmet insights, neither is it something to be eaten.  It is something to be mowed down and placed in a compost pile (2), where it may serve some use at last.

In Australia, we do not have  a thing known as “Tall Poppy Syndrome”.  Or we do, but it is not what we are led to believe it is.  One of the lies we tell ourselves here is that we live in a very egalitarian society, which is supposed to be a good thing.  However, it is seen as having a “dark side”.  The dark side is that we do not like anyone to succeed.  If anyone tries to climb out of the bucket, the other crabs allegedly drag the climbing crab back down.  (There is an assumption that we live in a bucket, and that someone is about to cook us all – James Packer, perhaps, though he has lost a lot of weight lately – I don’t think he’d cook us, but I have no doubt that he would use us a fuel for one of his super yachts.  The smallness of the Australian bucket is why every Australian worth their salt – by their own estimation – had to flee to take up residence in the dankness of England – Clive James, Germaine Greer, Clive James … at least Jeffrey Smart, oh he of blessed brush, had the smarts to take up residence in Rome instead of London.)  Apparently all Australians are poppies (I always knew I was a bit of a dope), but we only like poppies that grow to the same height as the rest of us (see, we’re not racist, we’re heightist, that’s why we pick on Vietnamese immigrants, if only they would grow taller and fit it).  Any time a fatuous celebrity is caught out misbehaving or comes in for a bit of well earned criticism, they play the Tall Poppy Syndrome card, that they are somehow better than the masses and the masses are trying to cut them down to size.

No, its just that in the past, we tended not to give free passes to the famous.  We held them to the same account as we held others.  TPS only existed in the mouths of their publicists.  I see that the latest revised edition of the DSM correctly includes TPS as a delusion of the slightly famed that they are somehow better than other people and must never be criticised, but if they are, the criticism can only reflect a failure of the critic.  The only cure is as indicated above, a good cutting down to size and a period of lying in a pile of rotting vegetation, to restore one to a proper state of mind.

Never eat a Tall Poppy, they taste disgusting and you never know what you might catch.


Happy new year scientists!



(1) Mr Abbott is the leader of the Opposition in the Australian Parliament.  He is commonly referred to as Dr No, because he wears speedos and says no a lot.  If you are of a certain leaning, you are supposed to hate him, as Joe Chip Sr does.  While I dislike many of his positions, I cannot find it in myself to hate him.  I think he is a bit of a lost soul.

(2) described by Joe Chip Sr as “a rat’s smorgasbord”.

  1. […] Joe Chip Laboratories, we have been spitting out Tall Poppy seeds as part of our investigation of the alleged Australian disease known as the Tall Poppy Syndrome.  It is an interesting condition, a disease diagnosed by those who have been subject to scrutiny, […]

  2. It’s one thing to say Australians suffer from tall poppy syndrome, but it seemed the Brits suffered from short poppy syndrome.

Scientists, I am ready for your peer review:

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