So last week I went along to the Australian mining awards, an evening to celebrate the people "making a difference in the mining industry".
Any second now, I thought to myself, they'll fire a diamond cannon into the crowd while we sprinkle cocaine on our creme brulees but unfortunately it wasn't nearly as decadent as that, and more like going to a work event with your dad.
Still, it was a pretty strange way to spend a Friday night.
1. There were penguins on escalators.
2. After a Benny Hill-esque chase with security guards, the penguins got moved along in the sweetest way possible.
3. Activists staged a game show on the street, and dressed up as Liberal politicians grabbing notes with Gina Rinehart's face printed on it.
4. The Friendly Jordies hosted the cash grab but nobody at the event really knew who they were.
5. Greenies aren't very good at dressing up as rich people.
6. And apparently, neither am I.
7. Everyone seemed a bit disappointed that the protesters didn't get to do one more big stunt in the main ballroom.
8. Topics of discussion at my table included the benefits of nuclear energy, solar power, mine safety, Australian wine, and "global warming".
Yes, someone actually said "global warming" making air quotes with his fingers. One of the award's judges explains to the table how the world will run out of coal before we ever see a change in global temperatures so there's really nothing to worry about. Wheeee!
9. The sector is remarkably positive about its future.
10. For the first time in my life, I feel awkward about the fact that I do not own a vineyard.
11. They show some really weird ads for mining equipment.
12. Mining is a really dangerous industry.
13. There is an award called Coal Mine Of The Year.
It went to London-based company Anglo American for their Moranbah North mine in central Queensland. It produces 6.9 million tonnes of coal each year.
The award for the best overall mine went to Doray Minerals for a gold mine called Andy Well.
14. There is a Facebook page dedicated solely to sharing pictures of mining accidents called Mining Mayhem.
15. Gina Rinehart took out the prize for Contribution to Mining and Who Run The World? (Girls) by Beyonce blasts out of the speakers!!! I am the only one who finds this amazing.
16. Then the night wrapped up. Aside from some rowdy cheering about the rugby, it was pretty boring. This was what I ate for dessert.
17. And I'm pretty sure I was the only person there who got the train home at the end of the night.
Alexandra Lee is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Contact Alex Lee at email@example.com.
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