ABOVE: Angus Young all grown-up. Photo: Weatherman90 at English Wikipedia
At the Piddens residence
How come you have both pineapple and apple on your salad sandwiches, Dad?
Nutrition, Big Minch. I need a regular serving of at least two members of the apple group.
Actually, there are four members.
Apple, pineapple, custard apple (which would kill a brown dog) and ground apple.
Yep. Looks like something the dog buried years ago. It’s a tuber. I’ve only had it once or twice, but I understand it’s rather tasty.
Wait a minute.
Yes, Little Minch.
You said you’ve had it a couple of times.
How come you ‘understand’ it’s very tasty? You know it’s very tasty: you’ve tasted it.
Bob Zarnoff. A drummer I used to play with. One day he said, “Hmm, Chiko Rolls. I’ve only had one or two, but I understand they’re rather tasty.”
That’s just mad. Too mad.
Well, that was Bob: a violent man, but mad. I once saw him knuckle his left hand because it couldn’t keep up with his right. He also said, “Watch it, mate. You’re skating on thin grass!”
He said that to you?
Nah. I made him nervous.
(Alice rolls her eyes) And rightly so.
Thank you, Alice.
Because I was neither violent nor mad.
Well, you’re not violent.
(Wes rolls his eyes) Thank you, Alice. Well anyway, I do enjoy my pineapple.
(Alice re-rolls hers) You boys should know by now never to get betwixt your father and a pineapple. Or a watermelon. Watermelons are possibly worse.
(Wes scoffs pineapple) Ah! (slurp) sunshine in a skin! Wanna know the first time I had pineapple on a sandwich?
Boys: Oh yes, ra-ther!
Alice: Oh, here we go.
I was in 5th class primary. National Fitness Camp.
Were you out of shape, Dad?
Nah. That’s what they called Sport and Rec. camps back then.
When the Earth was dark and shaky and everything was a ‘saurus’, Dad?
Correct. Actually, that camp was rather Earth-shattering. Y’see, I made several major discoveries of momentous note.
The birds and the bees?
No, you tacky young imp!
So, for a start they let us make our own sangers on a picnic one day, and there were these monster tins of pineapple rings, so I just had a flash of inspiration and went in hard.
Thank you, Alice. Next, there was box hockey.
They had these big boxes made out of thick hardwood set into the ground and you had goal holes cut into them and you said, “Hockey one, hockey two, hockey three!” and you bashed the bejeezuz out of this cricket ball with big sticks and tried to knock it into your worthy opponent’s goal hole. Rare sport! Made a noise like elephants demolishing Rome with baseball bats.
Were you good at it, Dad?
There was absolutely no finesse involved, so I completely ruled, My kinda sport.
Thank you, Alice.
And one night we had a concert, and this girl played Moon River on the piano. I’d never heard anything like it. I was transfixed.
Did you fall in love with her?
What? No, I wanted to work out how she did it then bump her off the stool and try it myself.
Thank you, Alice. And all the lady teachers were activists and hippies and commos, and they taught us to sing protest songs like We Shall Overcome and Blowing in the Wind, The Times They Are A-Changing and Eve of Destruction. (Sings, growling) And ya tell me, over and over and over and over again, my friend, arr, that you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction!
Thank you, Alice.
Then the Head Cheese/Big Honcho smacked everyone, en masse, for some infraction.
We never found out.
On the bum?
On the bum. Girls and boys.
He should have been locked up.
I daresay. They were violent times. And there was this kid. He wasn’t all that hot at box hockey, and he didn’t sing or play anything at the concert, and he was little, but he was quite popular because he wore this sort of sheepskin jacket, and his brother was in the Easybeats.
Yep, big Australian band back then. Well, I don’t know what he made of all the pineapple, the box hockey, the Moon River, the mass smackings or the protest songs, but I do know his name was Angus Young.
Yep, Angus Young. I’ve even got the photo. Nyuk, nyuk nyuk!
A lesson to us all