Radio Fallout

“This is your morning show host,
Miles Platinum, on 2GC.
Responsible protestors are out in force today.
Their banners read:
“Don’t fuck, don’t fiddle.
“Contraception is evil.”
“Miscarriage is murder.”
“War is the road to peace.”
“The Flintstones is a documentary.”
“Science is a cult.”
“Ban teenage pregnancy.”
“Burn French letters.”
“Cognitive dissonance has too many letters.”

Get your protesters license today.
And remember,
unauthorized slogans may result in kneecapping,
according to riot police discretion.

In other news,
the Heroin Dealers Association
successfully lobbied parliament
to abolish quality controls today.
According to a recently deceased journalist
“Black Pearl Corp’s needle samples have sampled everything.”
Rinsing is expensive, autoclaving unthinkable.
Needle exchange nurses,
they’re worse for business
than a tsunami at a seaside resort.
Their lead coffins are free.
Their cemetery lies beyond the continental shelf.
Our benevolent dictator says
“They’re good guys,
they did a terrific job, tremendous”
the executioners that is.

Making environmental news today,
satellite pictures of our world heritage listed areas,
have revealed mountains of syringes,
coated in the bloated corpses of endangered species.
Rangers cigarette butts float to earth like dead bees.
Concreting over all remaining wilderness
is the only means of cleansing the nation.
Syringe Everest tourists,
run over litter bugs for sport.
They empty their tanks on the way to nowhere.
May they crucify other ecological crusaders
and exchange their barbed wire crowns
for armoured vehicles.

Yesterday, climate change hoaxer Rob Green
lit a fire on his rural property.
Hazard reduction burning?
That’s as deranged as brain transplants.
You’re a hypocrite Green.
Sparky wants you for arson.

According to a discredited journalist,
who was reported missing on Monday,
my urban cottage has four fireplaces.
I want justice.
The defamation inferno is out of control.

Sydney property values continue to plummet.
Some blame white supremacist gentlemen,
for replacing their footballs
with the heads of refugee quadruple amputee scum.
Those in the know blame Islamic immigration.
My equity sales have sailed beyond the horizon.
I demand compensation.
It’s worse than the Great Depression.

Dear Diary

11/08/15

Have these tourists never seen a seagull before?
Close your eyes and it’s easy to believe
they’re marvelling over spectacular plumage, 
not seen beyond taxidermists workshops
since Linnaeus fathered taxonomy.

The gulls are stalking my sandwich,

like they’re the bomb squad
and it’s a doomsday device.
I almost wish I had an air rifle, 
to scatter a few feathers
and deflate the mood a bit.

Buskers abound.
The levitating reptilian
levitates the coins
scattered across his banjo case.
The guano mine in his hair doesn’t phase him.


My eyes almost land on the pavement,

as I spot a Federation era one hundred pound note,
among the fivers.
It looks as freshly printed
as the fifties the ATM spat into my world.
“I’ll give you a thousand dollars for that”
I offer with surprising calm.

12/08/15

“I found it in a rusty old safe,
in the basement”
I tell the museum reps,
as they apply their magnifying glasses
to my random discovery.
A few tests later,
I’m admiring the Picasso fakes
on the walls of my new apartment.

Dinnertime arrives.
“That cornflake looks like Richard Nixon”,
I muse,
as I rescue it from my serial bowl,
before drowning the likenesses of lesser criminals
in chocolate flavoured soy.

Cornflake Nixon is inspirational.
He will star in an animated advertisement.
I can see the agri-giants limousines
causing a multi car pile up,

in their bid for parking spots
at the premiere.
Naturally they’ll risk financial ruin,
at the auction for the rights to
“The Adventures of Dick the Cornflake”

13/8/15

An advertising executive suggests quitting smoking.

Strenuous Sleep

I fought exhaustion like a gladiator,
before drifting into dreams with no colosseums in sight.
“Why dry July?” asked the bus stop graffiti.
“Are your droughts broken with floods?”
was scribbled on the weeping fig fractured footpath.
“Happy to collect locusts with the Baptists,
or trekking to the land of vodka rain”
was scrawled across the toothpaste ad
on the side of the bus.

“Fluoride is an industrial waste product”
said the chemistry encyclopedia beneath my seat.
The stench of tobacco and last night’s bourbon
hung in the air, like fumes from a volatile factory.
Owen’s breath was the keys to freedom,
for the contents of my stomach.
I painted the bullet proof glass
with something resembling the latest
Museum of Contemporary Art masterpiece.

A blue collar philosopher snapped a photo
of that chunky ticket to the visual art community.
The dazzling array of berries
in my vegan ice cream
had done a pretty face justice.
My one in a billion chunder,
looked like a gymnast riding a unicorn,
in what the ladies from Pride and Prejudice
might call a most improper manner.

As I departed,
the driver shook his mop in rage.
The getaway car
raced to Burrogorang Road.
In a forest gully,

Tawny Frog Mouths flocked
to the bottle orchestra man’s treehouse.
A cloud of red browed finches
obscured his dreadlocks.
He nodded with approval
at the poisoning of African Olive regrowth.
The oil on canvas version
of my vomit on window,
hung on his wall.

“Did you know there’s a lack of independent research
into the safe level of fluoride?” he whispered.
“Colgate’s spies walk among us” he continued.
“Is four parts per million too much?”
a sulfur crested cockatoo probed.

The bus featuring my one in a billion art work
flew from an unfinished bridge,
scattering my skull in eighty two directions.
It’s lucky his ghost loves jigsaw puzzles,
the funeral director whispered.

I thought I was dead, as I woke up in bed.
until I felt the intact portions of my head.

I felt like a ghost as I wandered to the bus stop.
My fellow pedestrians
appeared to peer right through me.

“Why dry July” asked the bus stop graffiti.
“Are your droughts broken with floods”
was scribbled on the weeping fig fractured footpath.
“Happy to collect locusts with the Baptists,
or trekking to the land of vodka rain”
was scrawled across the toothpaste ad
on the side of the bus.
The driver assured me I wasn’t hallucinating.
Owen’s bourbon and tobacco breathe made me gag,
I felt ill as I reached beneath the seat
and grabbed a book.
Cold sweat threatened to drown me
as I hauled the industrial chemistry enyclopaedia,
on to my lap.
A tsunami of relief washed over me,
as I remembered there’s no bridge on the farm.

The driver turned to me and said.
“I had this crazy dream last night.
You chundered a masterpiece on to the window,
depicting a mermaid riding a unicorn,
in an x rated fashion.”

“A mermaid?
Are you sure it wasn’t a gymnast?”

“Maybe it was a gymnast mermaid”

The Dregs of Drongo Vale

To quote Garth Izzard’s kindergarten teacher “That kid wouldn’t help an old lady pick up her walking stick, not unless she guaranteed him at least two thirds of her pension cheque first.”

Garth hadn’t grown kinder with age. As a boy Adolf Hitler had been his hero. After a while he noticed the correlation between praising Hitler and finding a steaming pile of dog turds in his lunch box. This prompted him to worship Richard Nixon’s secretary of state and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger instead. Garth’s favourite Kissinger quote is “the illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer”. Izzardcorp’s Shareholders trusted him to apply this philosophy humanely.

Garth’s interest in the carbon trading scheme, reluctantly implemented by Prime Minister Jock Waffle, is as altruistic as God, all of Rudolph Mordor’s newspapers say so. Izzard was apoplectic with rage when he realized his weed imperilled wilderness on the outskirts of Drongo Vale had to be regenerated manually. He reluctantly provided his army of Sunday hippies with free tools from the reject depot of his hardware chain and permitted them to dumpster dive for biscuits, at the back of his supermarkets, providing they waived their right to insurance cover for needle stick injuries.

Garth was astonished to discover his flood of generosity wasn’t enough to inspire sixteen hour shifts of hacking into seething masses of Lantana and Morning Glory, with the ferocity of a Spartan warrior, in a fit of roid rage. Impatient to discard his ageing eco-maniacs, he fed their morning tea stockpile of stale biscuits and use by nineteen eighty six lime cordial to his pit bulls. They chased the hordes of doddering pensioners off his land once and for all. Garth’s departure speech was brief and brutal.

“If you greenies are doing what you love why do you need to be paid for your Olympic swimming pool of shirt saturating, eye stinging sweat? Fuck off you fucking hordes of tree hugging lemmings”

Garth’s chief accountant Niles Cash attempted to console his heartbroken employer
“Sir, unfortunately slavery is frowned upon in twenty first century Australia.
It must be hard to accept the mighty injustice that your problems can no longer be solved
with your favourite stock whip or cattle prod. Don’t fret, I’ve the utmost confidence
in Prime Minister Jock Waffle’s top secret plan to abolish the minimum wage.”

“Nile’s, why do the criminal classes expect to have their living handed to them on a platter?”

“Left wing lunatic propaganda makes them soft sir. Should I rebook your pedicure
and four hands Hawaiian massage, so your therapist can calm your Greenie mangled nerves?”

Garth eventually swallowed his pride and called Matt Rush, his estranged half brother and CEO of the self proclaimed “conservation kings”, Mother Nature’s Bodyguards. Whenever Matt wandered on to site, productivity plummeted and suicide climbed. He did the least damage when innovating from afar. His morning musings had recently led to the purchase of spy drones disguised as eagles. Unfortunately Matt’s budget only allowed for a brand manufactured in Albania. He often daydreamed about arming his surveillance fleet with low calibre weapons, to shoot down Indian Mynas. It was one of his more practical ideas.

Rush returned South Western Crew Supervisor Davo Davidson’s call, more aggressively than Andrei Agassi ever returned serve “Davo we aint changing the company name to The Weed Massacre Gurus. It’s the perfect label for a heavy metal band that advocates the use of hashish laced with crystal meth but not for a conservation company. Yes Davo, I know your Green Thumb Green Berets start screaming threats of violence at blackberry thickets before dawn, in between mumbling obscenities at tool thieving, hairy extra-terrestrial goblins, but it’s not something we want advertised on of our fleet of utes.
True, yesterday I said it’s your best idea ever but that wasn’t a compliment Davo, it was a comparison, like comparing influenza with radiation poisoning.”

“What! You’re planning to leave the company and you’re begging me to be your referee? If you leave this organisation in anything besides a body bag, all I’ll reveal to prospective employers is the true nature of your fixation with the rare Cumberland Plain Land Snail!”

Davo Davidson’s elite line up of chain sawing lunatics were yet to massacre a hectare of African Olives. Assistant supervisor Laura Bogan’s treatment of the jumping ant bite on Davo Davidson’s tackle was unorthodox to say the least. She was too focussed on her work to notice Davo’s video link to his backyard Cumberland Plain Land Snail farm.
These creatures are rare in the wild but at Davo’s place they’re in plague proportions.
“For Chrissakes not now” Davo hissed, as his phone vibrated in his pocket. He struggled to speak normally. Matt Rush’s voice tormented his ears like a demonically possessed angle grinder.

“Davo, if your hordes haven’t smashed five hectares of African Olives by midnight, you can forget about recouping the cost of fuel. Nathaniel Smoke and Mirrors Daniels, our new accountant, is more creative than Leonardo Da-Vinci. And don’t even think about sabotaging the spotlights.”

“Will you be paying us overtime rates Matt?”

“You want penalty rates, what’s the fucken point of penalising you if I have to pay for it?”

“I’ll go to the union.”

“Davo, if you approach the union, you and the snails gonna be all over YouTube. Oh, I nearly forgot, HR manager Gail Wilde will be on site tomorrow to discuss Mother Nature’s Body Guards anti-bullying policy. Make sure ya ready for that loser, or I’ll kick you up the arse so hard you’ll be farting through your nostrils and punch you in the nose so hard you’ll be sneezing out your arse. I’ve got to go Davo, the CEO of Stratosphere Apartments just arrived.”

“Yes Medusa, we’ve got that former wasteland, near the National Park, looking like forest wilderness and pretty signs advertising Stratosphere Apartments sponsorship. Nobody will suspect a thing until the bulldozers arrive. That penthouse discount is huge. Words can’t express my gratitude. Sorry, I must take this call.”

“Jonathon, of course I’m happy to edit that threatened species report for the solar farm construction site we’ve been working on. Yes, a few commas are out of place, of course that’s all you mean. I’ve got to go, Medusa Crabtree, the CEO of Stratosphere Apartments, is here for an urgent meeting.”

Matt Rush was still sampling the six hundred dollar bottle of champagne, that had mysteriously found its way to his desk, during Ms Crabtree’s visit, when Garth Izzard strolled into Mother Nature’s Bodyguards HQ, flanked by his most obsequious lawyers.
The dollar signs in Rush’s eyes flew like fireflies in a cyclone. The tender manager Billy Giant, appeared from nowhere, holding his pen like a flick knife, in anticipation of ruthless negotiations. The participants stared at each other across the boardroom table
like rival gangsters in a game of high stakes poker.

By three A.M the one hundred million dollar contract was a done deal. The tedium of re tendering charades was years away. “Get up ya mug” Matt roared, as Billy Giant collapsed from exhaustion on a crocodile hide door mat. “It’s alright he’s out cold, he can’t feel a thing” Matt explained to Rowena the cleaner, as he used Billy for a door mat on his way back inside, to get his keys.

Matt Rush, Billy Giant and HR manager Gaile Wilde embarked on a mission to assemble
the greatest conservation and land management crew ever to wear Mother Nature’s Body Guards high vis orange and forest green. Most in demand was former Western Sydney Warlords prop forward Richard Johnson. It was said that Lantana shrivelled and died in terrified anticipation of the first cloud of Round Up from his lethal weapon.
Johnson was most famous for mistaking escaped serial killer Ivan Milat for a bunyip,
after Milat made the mistake of robbing a cosplay store, in search of a disguise. Johnson was half way through barbecuing the notorious murderer for breakfast, when he realized his error. The revelation did nothing to diminish his appetite.

Once Johnson had been poached from Weed Busters, Liverpool’s landscaping, amateur stunt car driving and mixed martial arts legend Dangerous Dylan Donovan was in Mat Rush’s sights. The man could plant trees as fast as he could get a hand bag snatcher in a headlock. In the combat sports world, he liked to blur the boundaries between grappling and striking with his back flip double knee to the collar bone, followed by an aerial choke hold as his opponent crumpled to the canvas. Dangerous is also famous for pioneering the front flip double axe kick. The laws of physics and common sense flee from his path like finches from a leopard.

The unofficial reason for Dangerous Dylan Donovan’s employment was putting Richard Johnson back in his cage, if he insisted on using plutonium to kill Alligator weed, like he’d allegedly done during his stint at If it’s Noxious we Nuke It. According to David Attenborough, “Richard is disturbingly prone to taking things literally.”

It was rumoured Johnson was under investigation by ASIO and the Federal Police, concerning alleged links to the Russian mafia. Many assume that was how he acquired his long since confiscated stock pile of radioactive herbicides. Johnson was still in denial concerning the illegality of lacing Fluroxypyr with uranium.

Dangerous Dylan Donovan’s sidekick, Jumping Giles Corkhill, was renowned for splatter gunning Lantana in places where a goat wouldn’t dare tread. In his never ending quest for a more cost effective means of delivering herbicides to rugged mountainous areas, Giles had pioneered the adaptation of RPG’s to weed control.

Then there was Dexter Finklestein, a former botanist and master story teller. The man was like a psychedelic hybrid of Grandpa Simpson, Robin Williams and Aussie garden show presenter Don Burke. You could never tell when his forty minute talk on alternative methods of ironing would give way to how he once robbed a Melbourne tram with a cap gun, while dressed as a fifteenth century Japanese bandit. Dexter’s hobbies included pressing weeds and telepathic communication with ducks. With Dexter on board, Plant File was obsolete.

Oliver Oxford, the man who spoke of his heroics with the S.E.S, as though they were unsurpassed by the most daring exploits of the S.A.S, joined the crew as some sort of consultant. Precisely what his job description was nobody knew but he seemed to enjoy polishing tools, making sure the site boundaries had been marked correctly, listing his qualifications, discussing the botanical dictionary he’d been working on since he was four and ranting and raving about what he’d do if he were Prime Minister. What Oxford loved most was giving orders.

Ricardo Hohns, the last recruit, was renowned for cutting down African Olives and privets in his sleep. Some mornings he’d wake to find himself poisoning a stump halfway down a cliff. Matt Rush bought him a tent and made him the site security guard. After all, at 3am, how many things are scarier than a guy with a zombie like stare charging at you with two bow saws and a tube of weed killer? Drongo Vale local, and former member of the south western crew Laura Bogan, was appointed supervisor, on the basis of Matt Rush’s belief evil people get the job done.

Aware that Matt would be onsite, on the first day, Laura marked the site boundaries at dawn. A tennis ball skipped across the shallows of a heavily polluted creek, like it had been struck by Roger Federer and splashed an evil looking puddle into her face. The mouthful of water from Izzard Creek was infinitely worse than raw sewage. Laura looked about wildly for the culprit. She imagined Ricardo Hohns was responsible and wrote this down. After a few dabs of liquid paper the tennis ball became a rock. Laura rolled her eyes at Dexter Finklestein. Dexter was too busy reading the aura of the koala he’d just finished shaving and tattooing with his self portrait to acknowledge her.

Shock waves from Dangerous Dylan Donovan’s speakers had more than Laura’s coffee cup vibrating, to the tune of Uptown Funk.

“Too hot, hot damn, too hot for the Police and the Fireman,
too hot, hot damn, make a dragon want to retire man,
to hot, hot damn, say my name, know who I am……”

At first glance Dangerous Dylan Donovan looked like the best equipped bush regenerator she’d ever seen, then she realized his trailer was merely the casing for gigantic speakers.
Laura motioned for him to turn the music off.

“Mister Donovan, how are you? Wow, so these are the famous hands I’ve heard so much about. How about we put them to the test in my favourite cave. It’s a moist wonderland with countless satisfied visitors. There’s always plenty of work to be done there”

“I’ve heard about it. A couple of my mates reckon it needs to be fumigated regularly”

“What do you mean fumigated?”

“You know, pump it full of poisonous gasses to kill off the tiny monsters lurking inside. That place is more dangerous than Afghanistan, you’ve got to be real careful what you put in there.” Laura’s beaming smile transformed into a snarl.

Jumping Giles Corkhill, somersaulted to Earth from the lounge chair bolted to the floor of Dangerous Dylan Donovan’s ute tray.

“The boy knows how to make an entrance” Dangerous stated with pride; before turning his attention to Oliver Oxford. ‘Give me the run down on Golden Whistlers Oxford.
That’s one there isn’t it?

“The scientific name is Pachycephala pectoralis, Mr Dangerous. They’re distributed throughout eastern and southern Australia as far north as Cairns and as far south as Tasmania. They inhabit rainforest, scrub and open forest. Usually solitary and deliberate in their movements, they possess a sweet and ringing song.”

“Sorry, I wasn’t listening, can you repeat that Oxford?”

“Don’t annoy me by raving on about birds, I’m busy” was Dangerous response to take four.

“It’s okay Oliver, it’s all good practice” Rowena, the crew’s morale and safety officer consoled. She would’ve reprimanded Dangerous Dylan Donovan but his boulder pulverizing biceps, meteor shattering manly jaw and larrikin grin left her too dizzy to speak.

The news that Matt Rush, the owner of Mother Nature’s Bodyguards, was on site prompted the crew to scurry to the makeshift parking lot for a discussion on weed targeting priorities, the dangers of cutting down trees in which crew members had taken up residence and questions concerning how Richard Johnson had acquired a dozen mining helmets since signing on.

Richard had a gripe of his own. “I wanna know whose bin spreadin bullshit bout me being cannected to the Wussian Mafia. Whoever it is I’m gonna knock im inta the middle of next year.” Oliver Oxford, who had been front and centre poised to impart his knowledge on everything from Work Health and Safety legislation to the likely date of the apocalypse had mysteriously disappeared.

“What do you mean rumours? It’s true isn’t it” Ricardo Hohns piped up.
Johnson lurched forth like Frankenstein. He swung and missed, almost uprooting an African Olive. Hohns looked as relieved as a man who has successfully crossed Conrod Straight, during the Bathurst One Thousand, by a hairs breadth.
After regaining his composure, Ricardo sang “Do ya, do ya, do ya wanna dance”

“I hate that song” Johnson bellowed. As he covered his ears Riccardo lunged and planted a leaping overhand left on the point of his chin. It had less effect than a marble clanging against the turret of a tank.

Dangerous Dylan Donovan barked instructions ‘Riccardo, use your speed, circle clockwise, unload with a left on his recently re-attached right ear’

“What speed?” Ricardo asked.

“Betta find some real quick or I’m gonna havta step in for ya”
Dangerous removed his jacket faster than a Spanish bull fighter shifts his capote and flung it the length of a bowling alley, into the waiting arms of Jumping Giles Corkhill.
If he’d been any more accurate Giles would’ve been wearing that jacket.
Hohn’s taunted his Godzilla dwarfing opponent “Johnson, you look like a teletubby hybridised with a troll. You’re so stupid you’d crack open a coconut to make a cup of cocoa.”

Ricardo ducked beneath a haymaker that might’ve decapitated him if it had landed.
“Grow up” Rowena screeched, startling the combatants into statue stillness and shocking the cheering mob into silence. Any more of that and both of you can stand in neutral naughty corners all day without pay.”

Matt Rush, who had bet Dangerous two thousand dollars on Ricardo being knocked senseless by the first punch Richard Johnson threw, gave Rowena a nod of approval. Matt completely forgot about the coal miners helmets Richard Johnson had mysteriously acquired. It never occurred to management that Hohn’s vs Johnson might’ve been staged as a diversionary tactic, with the added bonus of $2000 being split three ways.

Within minutes, Large Leaf Privet massacring chainsaws and Lantana annihilating brush cutters destroyed the serene atmosphere once more. Only Dangerous Dylan Donovan’s sound system could compete with the cacophonous roar of machinery. A team of knap sack herbicide sprayers blanketed the vastest Moth Vine, Cape Ivy and Morning Glory patches, which had spread so rapidly time lapse photography was barely needed to watch their advance. Dangerous spread Acacia seeds on the patches of bare Earth.

A chain saw wielding Richard Johnson, stem injected the world’s largest African Olive with a jackhammer and a drum of diesel, before charging at the next Olive infestation like he was going over the top at Gallipoli. Four former NFL players, seconded from the landscape construction crew, hauled the slain weed trees from his path. Rowena Grey ran around with the grace of a flamingo dancing, in her bid to poison the stumps in time. Ricardo Hohns stacked the butchered invaders remains, between towering Eucalypts and Corymbias.

After morning tea, Ricardo and Rowena extricated Erharta From a patch of Weeping Meadow Grass. Riccardo was spellbound by Rowena’s tales of everything from mushroom farming to entertaining hospitalised children with her ukulele. He delighted in pointing out every passing Rufus Fantail and Yellow Robin. He named every rare native herb he spotted. What magnificent specimens of Solenogyne bellioides and Cymbonotus lawsonianus he proclaimed. One could be forgiven for thinking they were thought to be extinct since the ancestors of whales first fished in coastal shallows.

“Out of the sun Ricardo” Laura Bogan barked with the fury of a rabid Doberman.

“I’m perfectly comfortable” Ricardo answered.

“Get the fuck out of the sun now” Laura screamed, as she aimed the nozzle of a Staraine laden sprayer at his eyes. With his hands raised in the air Ricardo did as he was told.

“I’m just thinking of your safety Ricardo.” Rowena looked ready to flip Laura into an African Box Thorn thicket. Laura made a note in her diary “Ricardo always seeks the shadiest spots to work, at the expense of the crews health”

Richard Johnson yearned to spray an Asparagus Fern patch with Agent Orange. “Who is Agent Orange” he demanded to know, after Laura Bogan invited Rowena,
the site safety and morale officer, into the conversation on the whereabouts of his illegal herbicide supply.

After terminating the interview, Laura gazed at a pair of red belly black snakes slithering into a hollow Grey Box stump. Ms Bogan was nothing like red bellies, the timid puppy dogs of the venomous serpent world. She longed for a cup of their venom, to add to the crew’s coffee, in her quest for younger, more subservient replacements. Her crew damning diary contained more fantasy material than the complete works of JRR Tolkien. Ricardo Hohn was the main character. She’d hated him ever since he’d informed her the weeds she chastised him for ignoring were native plants. This diabolical humiliation occurred at the now defunct At War With Weeds, on the day the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded. Laura had been plotting her revenge ever since. Mother Nature’s Bodyguards CEO Matt Rush, looked forward to reading her damning reports.

The moment Laura disappeared from view “Richard Johnson rummaged through her bag. He was desperately hungry. The two litre bottle of Coke, packet of Oreo’s and the feral goat, he’d had for morning tea weren’t enough. He felt around for false compartments, sniffing for anything that vaguely resembled food. Eventually he pulled out an exercise book. After reading the chapter entitled Richard Johnson, he considered sending Laura Bogan’s van falling end over end into the broad, fast flowing creek, that wound its way through the property. The handbrake would be no use against the one man scrum that is Richard Johnson.

All he found in the other vehicles was a jar of instant coffee and the manuscript for Oliver Oxford’s memoir’s. According to chapter seven, Oxford taught Johnson the art of simultaneous brush cutting and knap sack spraying.

“That Mista Puniverse bludga musta shown me howta do it with the Lego version of a brush cutta and spraya. Otherwise howda fuck coulde’ve lifted em?” Richard Johnson raged. He went to lunch early, leaving a cloud of dust in his wake. He was feeling a bit sleep deprived, so he poured the jar of instant coffee down his throat.

Johnson paid little attention to the late model silver Lamborghini he nearly ran off the road. The driver got a good look at the Mother Nature’s Bodyguards logo on the side of his vehicle. If Office Works had of been closed, it might’ve been the victim of a ram raid, for the sake of borrowing a shredder. Johnson fed the life and times of Oliver Oxford into the biggest, baddest document destroyer available.

“Are you going to buy that sir? You’ve been testing it ever since I started working here”
sales assistant, Melanie Tulip challenged him. He glared down at her, as though she were trying to talk him into paying five dollars a minute for the air he breathed. Then he used his unbelievably good eyesight to examine her sheer, lacy underwear. Shoddy brain surgery, after Johnson’s prize fight with a self driving tractor, had given him the ability to see through any clothing less opaque than a leather jacket.

“Your panties are blue” he stated, as proudly as if he’d just solved one of quantum physics most baffling mysteries. From that day forth, Melanie wore six pairs of stockings
and yoga pants beneath her trousers. Richard reread Laura Bogan’s diary as he drove back to site, only twenty k’s over the speed limit.

Johnson had one hand pressed firmly on the horn, to drown out everyone who had a problem with his latest multitasking feat. He almost side swiped Dangerous Dylan Donovan at an intersection. Dangerous’ own lunch time escapade would prove to be more action packed than Richard’s, but he didn’t know it yet. That afternoon, Richard worked as hard as a lone tank versus the United States air force.

“I am King Kong’s conqueror, Godzilla fears me. God, I dare you to unleash your fury upon me” he roared as he sprinted towards a patch of Inkweed, wearing a spray pack the size of a swimming pool. Dexter Finkelstein wandered off to share his supply of LSD with a wombat. Laura Bogan took her usual three hour lunch break, to visit her dope dealer and attend an orgy hosted by an extra terrestrial from somewhere in Alpha Centauri. It’s claim to fame was four breasts and more penises than fingers. Oliver Oxford spoke to everyone in earshot about the superior ergonomics of his loppers and his reclining camping chair. He shifted every hour, to saw another tree. He was one of those people who manages to do less work than the long term unemployed, without ever being out of a job.

Dangerous Dylan Donovan raised his middle finger as a scowling, silver Lamborghini driving, gang leader cut him off at the service station entrance. Dangerous was searching his wallet for cash, when something slammed into his cheek bone. Had a wedge tailed eagle just committed suicide on his face? Dangerous whirled around to see a shirtless body builder type shadow boxing and kissing his own biceps in triumph. Needless to say, he was not amused.

In his endeavour to give the narcissistic gym junkie some insight into his personality Dangerous grabbed his detachable driver’s side door and used it for a shield as he advanced. Luckily he was wearing Kevlar body armour beneath his work clothes and the door was reinforced with titanium because a variety of stolen weapons ranging from a crossbow to an AK-47 were trained on him. All of them were fired simultaneously. There was an eerie silence, once mirror boy’s henchman realised they’d exhausted their ammunition.

Jumping Giles Corkhill returned from the pizza store across the street. Dangerous Frisbee’d the ute door to him and motioned for him to reinstall it. He headed for the self kissing show pony, with his right arm cocked. A startled looking Mirror Boy took evasive action. In his haste he crashed into the outhouse wall. Now he was cornered, his ailing bravado was re-inflated. Donovan’s right arm was reminiscent of a cobra poised to strike. His left dangled by his side as though it were partially paralysed. As Mirror Boy prepared to counter a devastating right cross he was knocked senseless by a left hook.
“Idiot” Dangerous remarked as he strolled back to his vehicle and refueled.
“That’s Dangerous Dylan Donovan. The Americans call him the twenty first century Arthur Fonzarelli. The Chinese call him the Aussie Bruce Lee” A bystander proclaimed.

“I call him dead meat” the gangsters roared in unison. Jumping Giles Corkhill casually sipped his frozen Coke. Dangerous had gotten them into and out of situations more dire than this. He looked bored by the ease with which he flung his attackers into their vehicles. Jumping Giles slashed their tyres before they could disentangle themselves.
Two carloads of police officers took time out from replenishing their donut stockpile to arrest the thugs. Nobody had reported the fight. The service station attendants were reoccupied with putting out a fire in the dumpster and getting their lunch time exercise chasing away graffiti vandals.

“Not again” the owner Lawry Wise, moaned as he discovered the confectionery freezer had been stolen.

“Giles, I heard Conor Mcgregor is signing autographs at Drongo Vale Mall, that #### owes me money. Let’s pay him a visit” Dangerous declared as he turned out of Drongo Vale Service Station and put his foot to the floor. Fortunately for Mcgregor, he was on his way to the next book signing by the time Dangerous pulled up in the cark park.

If they’d watched the news that night Dangerous and Jumping Giles would’ve seen CCTV footage of their stoush with the Drongo Vale Boys. Mirror Boy and his cohorts had robbed two service stations in twenty minutes before their defeat at the hands of the most feared weed killer since Genghis Khan took up gardening. Overshadowing that triumph was Dangerous’ Australian Rules football style catch of a baby, who toppled over a Drongo Vale Mall railing. It was quite an impressive feat considering that he was chasing a handbag snatcher at the time. At last count there were four babies who would’ve gone splat, if Dangerous wasn’t looking for Conor Mcgregor, at the right time.

Laura Bogan missed the news as well. She was busy trying to contact Dangerous Dylan Donovan, to interrogate him about misuse of company vehicles.

“You’re telling me that speeding on two wheels is against company policy? Since when? I’m busy darlin, the Warlords are playin. I’ve got five hundred riding on the first scorer. We’ll talk about work at work. Then again, I’ll probably be too busy then too.” Dangerous turned the volume down, knowing Laura would screech for an eternity before pausing to discover he wasn’t listening. He recorded every call from Laura Bogan and sent the audio files to Ricardo to summarize the death threats.

Not content with disturbing Dangerous Dylan Donovan, during a Western Sydney Warlords match, Laura Bogan made the mistake of offending Richard Johnson again. “What do ya mean we can’t arm drones with herbocide cannins. I could fly em by remote control from my car during an extended lunch break. I’d neva be more than two feet from an ice cold six pack.” he raged.

“Garth Izzard isn’t paying the company enough to support the use of that kind of technology” she insisted, as one of Mother Nature’s Body Guard’s surveillance drones emerged from its hiding place in the clouds overhead.

Within moments of Laura being out of sight Richard had stolen her diary again and sped off on another Office Works escapade. This time there was a strong police presence in the shredder section. Melanie Tulip’s new trousers were as opaque as a fortress. An enraged Johnson wreathed photo copier laden shelving high into the air. Each rep was more reckless than the last. Exasperated with the local police’s refusal to risk pepper spraying or tasering Richard Johnson the manager tried a different tack.

“If I give you this state of the art shredder for free, will you promise to never come back?”

“I will consider your offa” Johnson replied as he headed for the car park, shredder in hand. It made short work of Laura Bogan’s forty thousand words of meticulous fabrication. Richard made a phone call to Oliver Oxford, who he hoped had taken time out from bird watching to fill up his herbicide spray pack.

Matt Rush initiated a video conference call, to discuss Laura Bogan’s diary. Richard Johnson listened from afar. Two kookaburras and three goannas suffered from strokes during his fits of maniacal laughter. The electronic copy of Laura’s diary had been mysteriously deleted from her laptop and online back up. Using her name for the password had proved to be a bad idea. Every member of the crew knew Lady Justice’s guillotine was about to descend upon her, except her. It was a guillotine they’d all had a hand in building, sharpening and polishing.

“Closed circuit television footage will show that since the beginning of the job Laura has repeatedly left site during lunch without returning until mid afternoon” Ricardo informed everyone.

Garth Izzard nodded his approval, as he joined the meeting from his Honolulu office. He forgot to switch off his camera as his four hands Hawaiian massage ventured into disturbing territory.

“It’s true Matt, it was quite cunning how Miss Bogan avoided the regular trails and built her own personal gates but not as cunning as Dangerous Dylan Donovan’s repositioning of the perimeter cameras.” Izzard confirmed. Richard Johnson was halfway to the airport by the time Izzard realized he was broadcasting some questionable muscle spasm healing techniques to the entire Drongo Vale crew.

Realizing she was destined for a long walk to the bus stop Laura Bogan attempted to ring her cousins for a lift and to organise a hit on Ricardo Hohns and Dangerous Dylan Donovan. In their current predicament it was surprising they’d managed to keep their phones. What was less surprising was that they were in prison for the armed robbery of two Drongo Vale service stations and conspiring to rob a third.

Alcohol, the Only Drug we Have to Explain not Using

From an early age my stubborn streak has rendered me immune to peer pressure. In primary school, if we were painting during art and I wanted to use textas, that’s what I did. During highschool, if the other kids were using Bunsen burners and I wanted to use a flame thrower, that’s what I did. At tech, if the other students went hangliding on the weekend and I wanted to hitch a ride on an eagle, that’s what I did. Possibly, I’m exaggerating a little. The point is, go your own way.

My way is not for the faint hearted. If I’m at the pub and someone repeatedly asks me why I’m not drinking, first I soften them up with copious detail about NYE 2000. In the early hours of the new millennium, my projectile vomiting spree melted a hole in the mirror and flash flooded the bathroom. Funnily enough, as I tell that story the puzzlement over my sobriety ceases; like the appetite of a sumo wrestler after the seventeenth watermelon. Everyone has their limit.

If they reflexively ask me one more time if I’d like a gin and tonic, before they lapse into a catatonic state, I just hold up my glass of water and ask them “what in hell do you think this is? You’ve just witnessed me pour half of it down my throat and seen the resulting gasp of relief. Then watched me massage my tongue with the upteenth ice cube and you would have me believe you don’t know I’ve already got a drink. Oh of course, it’s not a real drink, only drinks that damage the brain, punish the liver and k.o the kidneys are real. Water must be such an inferior beverage that to call it a drink is laughable because it’s not as toxic as the anxiety you seek to spread like the Black Death, whenever someone reveals the contrast between your alcoholism and their good health.”

I don’t say it too loudly though, otherwise the words “that bloke could do with a drink” are likely to ripple from one side of the bar to the other, with the echoes intermingling until one is not entirely sure if they’re merely in a room with too many conversations or suffering from auditory hallucinations.

If I’d of been sober in the early hours of January 1 2000, I would’ve realized it was still the 20th century because there was no year zero. As it was, if I had been aware of that, I wouldn’t have been able to tell anyone. My vocal ability had regressed by decades. Any thoughts that did escape made the barking and grunting of baboons sound as eloquent as Oscar Wilde.

During my mid teens, back in the early 1990’s, I had the same healthy paranoia about alcohol as I did about every other drug. I could be in the kind of mood where leaping from a bridge seems like the most splendid idea since Leonardo Da-Vinci designed the hellicopter but if someone had of put a glass of beer in front of me and told me this will make you feel better, I’d have been too consumed by visions of brain cells shrivelling and dying enmasse to take a cautious sip.

My propensity for thinking the worst is why I never jumped off a bridge. I’d use my suicide fantasy to make school days bearable. By the time I reached the bridge though, I’d be thinking what if I don’t die, what if I go from being a severely depressed able bodied boy, constantly on the verge of a panic attack, to a severely depressed quadriplegic, constantly on the verge of a panic attack? That fear was diminished in late 1993, after I was prescribed Lithium carbonate.

Lithium carbonate, the mood stabilizer that dulled my depression, anxiety, paranoia and mania worked too well. Lithium eliminates extremes but it’s not selective in which extremes it eliminates. My intense fear of alcohol was among the traits it banished. After I’d been on Lithium for a while, I got drunk about once a month, to make the real world disappear. Some people made fun of me for drinking a glass of water between beers. Obviously I should’ve toughened up and let dehydration cause the concentration of Lithium in my blood to rise to fatal levels.

Despiting consuming a potentially fatal dose of alcohol, I remember a surprising amount about NYE 2000. Advertising obviously works, I thought as I poured myself the first glass of Jim Beam and Coke. I hadn’t drunk a drop and I was feeling more witty already. By the time I was struggling to speak a word of English, I didn’t feel so sophisticated anymore. Instead of hiding the bottle my friends poured more bourbon into my cola. At about 3AM, the murky geysers of vomit that briefly gained on Halley’s Comet hit my reflection for a home run. 

The two day hangover that followed was enough to convince me it’s better to sample alcoholic beverages than suck them up like an irrigation hose. I haven’t had a hangover since. It was a close call after the 20 year reunion for the class of 95, at St Gregory’s College. We gave the Responsible Service of Alcohol Officers something to do that night. Without us they would’ve had more time to play cards than the Antarctic Forest Fire Brigade. The former National Rugby League players were wise enough to leave before any unwanted publicity arrived. Not being famous for anything, it was easier for me to keep a low profile.

I discovered that standing as still as a statue is good for more than making videos look like photos. Once the R.S.A officers attention was diverted by a decoy stumbler, I hit the gap at about three km per hour. By the time they looked around I was at the bar and as still as a statue once more. The bips of the cash register substituted for the referee signalling a try. If you’re American, that roughly translates as the proverbial touch down. “Air swing averted”, I mumbled as I raised my glass without missing my mouth. I drained it without spilling a drop, so you could say I converted my own try in a bounce on top of the cross bar and shave the inside of the uprights kind of way.

After stopping at Adam Cass’s room, with Mark Wyrzykowski, for mining industry anecdotes and more beers, I finally left the venue. In my inebriated state I felt like I was strolling along the sea floor. I picked a Bird of Paradise flower, from near the old Town Hall and looked around for a mermaid to give it to. Unfortunately there aren’t any mermaids in the shallow, murkiness of the Alcohol Sea. Alcohol, it has the dubious distinction of rotting the living and preserving the dead. Alcohol, what a blessing it seems until it causes lives to come apart at the seams.

This mostly biographical article was triggered by a Celeste Yvonne Facebook post of virtually the same name. The title and the topic is where the similarity ends.