Lowest prices have nothing to do with it: How Bunnings became our ersatz church

It’s been memed, satirised and sung about, but I think it’s time we talk about what Bunnings really means to us.



In this fine land, we prop up a rather nonsense (albeit charming) habit. We tend to elevate the institution, but not the ones we should. It’s why we celebrate the return of the one-horse carnival to that patch of grass outside of town, it’s why we browse while lining up at the Post Office, and it’s certainly why we salute the Reichsmarshall of our weekends, Bunnings Warehouse.

But while lower prices are just the beginning, it has somehow morphed into a national icon, and I’m entirely sure that we’re not entirely sure why.

That hasn’t stopped the march of memes, the whirling fingers of dropkicks covering the jingle on a Fender, or clickbait articles miraculously extending to 300 words explaining it. It’s a place of industry, and grit and snags.



Its power is so grand, that even our greatest living poet/impulse eater has felt compelled to digest the true meaning of the place.



While many of us in this country have cast off religion as a load of shit, I believe we’ve just carried over both the meaning and the habit wholesale to Bunnings. It’s a trip we repeatedly do on a Sunday, but we’re not sure why.

We just do. We’re going to Bunnings.

I’m of the mind that those bogglingly cheap television ads they run/ran were actually mind control nonsense, and that climbing jingle was only made to trigger our Pavlovian response. I mean, who of a right mind would solely drive somewhere to buy pieces of 2×4 and freely feast on a rubbish foodstuff that we usually avoid? Bunnings is our Cathedral of nonsense.

We walk through the door, and the week doesn’t matter, and for whatever reason, we feel better. It’s soft televangelism. We’re being manipulated by forces we don’t understand. What’s $89 in a grander scheme of things?

We needed that other bin for the other room. Look how much we saved!

As Leonard Sweet (who may have sold shovels) said: “…The strength of the church is not the strength of its institutions but the authenticity of its witness.”

I mean, why else would the dorks of social media mobilise when the order of the sausage sanga was slightly edited?



They weren’t removed, or taken away, they weren’t even changed. Nevertheless, we can’t handle it. We’re religious zealots. Any changing of the sacred texts bristles. Don’t change the commandments. It’s fine. It’s a tradition. We need it.





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