ABOVE: This may or may not be Bullgoose when he was three. He was a big baby.
New Year, Sunrise, Chez Piddens
Wes: I see Bullgoose is on the go again with his Indy column.
Wes: He went quiet over New Year, but he’s back now.
Alice: Oh hurrah! My life is complete once more.
Wes: You’ve gotta admit he’s funny.
Alice: You’d laugh at anything. You’d laugh if your nose caught fire.
Wes: Thank you Alice. He’s our local guru.
Alice: He’s our loco galoot! Anyway, did he ever return that vinyl record you lent him?
Wes: Ah yes, the rare bootleg recording of Slim Dusty sitting in with Frank Zappa’s band. Man, they smoked on I Love to Have a Beer with Duncan!
Alice: They’d be smoking something. I thought better of Slim.
Wes: That’s where you’re wrong. Frank Zappa was never, ever, into drugs. You’ve just been drinking the full-sugar lime cordial The Man has been feeding you for all these years.
Alice: Did Bullgoose ever return the record?
Wes: Erm, he told me it required further scrutiny.
Alice: For another ten years?
Wes: Bullgoose is inscrutable. You can’t scrute him.
Alice: Ho hum. Well, go on. What’s he on about today?
Wes: Glad you asked. (reads aloud)
Well, folks, New Year came and went like a ship-board romance on the Ruby Princess. And, let’s be honest, you’ve probably forgotten who you kissed when the fireworks struck twelve. No, seriously, apparently about eleventeen Australians were injured from bravado with illicit fireworks on NYE.
I tell you, if the odious panda, Xi Who Must Be Obeyed, ever tries the invasion thing on with us he’ll get his own Chinese medicine back extra hot from all the double happys, po has, tom thumbs and sparkler bombs that Aussies have been quietly stockpiling.
Have you remembered your New Year’s Resolution, let alone stuck to it? Hmm, I thought not. I have. And it’s a hard one to keep, because you have to remember about it for a whole year. My resolution is to not stay up so late on New Year’s Eve.
“Why, you pathetic party-pooper, Bullgoose!” I hear you shriek.
“Well-rested, pathetic party pooper in a fit state to enjoy New Year’s Day to its fullerist,” I smugly reply.
Yeah, nah, but I have actually made some resolutions concerning future Bullgoose humorous columns.
It’s not easy coming up with these things, chained to a virtual keyboard in a converted cupboard in an unlit corner of the otherwise-swank Indy office and humbly enduring the rasping denunciations and unreasonable demands of the Gang of Two who constitute the Indy’s farcically-denoted Editorial Team.
Oh, Susanna may look petite, demure and all “chocolate wouldn’t melt in my orange juice”, but let me tell you, that woman has a vicious streak wide enough to land a jumbo jet, and she puts more stick about than the Big Nun at Saint Salacious Grammar.
Make it funnier.
Make it breezier.
Make it simpler for the rednecks.
Make it more alternative.
Make it sound browner.
You cannot write that!
And this before she jumps into that motorised breadbox and swans off to a lamington and gin luncheon or a spot of gold panning (gold-diggering more likely).
The Sub Editor? Constantly out of sorts after lying awake every night fretting over the future of the Oxford Comma and the misuse of ‘whom’, he will storm into my cupboard to thrash me about the head and shoulders with a red pencil before laying into my sensible headline and converting it into a crossword clue-cum-declaration of martial law by an African dictator.
I don’t have to put up with that. Not when they only pay me in shells and shiny objects. From now on I’m working from home, where they can’t torment me.
Also, I’m upping the Truth Quotient. My stories used to be 75–115% true. But inflation is up, interest rates are up, piercings are up, fuel prices are up, buffalo fly tag prices are up, so I’m boosting the truth in my columns. From now on, all stories will be 80–120% true.
More cracking bush tales, more alarming history, more family revelations, more Bonalbo lore, more curry for supernaturalists, superstitioners, conspiracy theorists, sham therapists and intolerants, and more Nissan Cedrics. This is my 2023 promise to you.
A lesson to us all.