Uncut: the last

28/7/2007

Right, this is it, the last. It didn’t last long, but I had fun. Some of you did too and at least one didn’t.

How do I know? Well, my email address was always at the bottom and a number of you made the best of it.

One bloke from Augusta took advantage of my good nature and asked me to send garlic. I did. He then googled me and later apologised: “Sorry, mate, I thought you were a landscape gardener.”

A number of old friends emailed to try and get back money they said they lent me in 1973, or 1987, or some other year I wasn’t in the country, the country next door, or one they had difficulty spelling.

And the one bad? Well, hard to tell, but certainly a bloke stuck in a literal world with no underlying meanings and no pleasure to be gained from running a brain over a crafted gathering of words seemingly chosen at random. Or he banged his head getting out of bed. Who knows.

Maybe you’ve heard already, but in case you haven’t, let me help. Next week this entire page is leaving this page and when you pick up the lump on Saturday morning, this will not be this, but something entirely different.

Same with me.

Instead of waking up in a blind panic, knowing the next column deadline will more than likely creep up and bite me on the back of the neck, I’ll just lie here while you run onto the front lawn desperate to read what wise crap I have imparted.

Don’t email me. Don’t call. I’m asleep.

Now, so you know what you will miss with me missing, here is a taste of what was coming up.

First and foremost was how the on-line, user-created, user-managed, user-used encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, changed my life. Seriously, until recently I always referred to tomes created by dead academics and living hacks riddled with personal agendas.

And, yes, there was another column on palms and I intended telling you about Cliff Reeve, Radio West legend, who told me about waking up inside his Bunbury house at 3am in a blind panic as the walls around him burnt to the ground. Well, not the walls but his beloved palm trees, which, fortuitously, he had planted outside and I said: “Who did it, Cliff? How can I find them? I need to know?”

“Are you a palm lover too, Jon?”

“No, Cliff, I want to fund their operation.”

And with all the tales in the papers about Mafia style behaviour and the Sopranos being my favourite TV show of all time, or just about, I fully intended running by you the tale of my brush with the Japanese Yakuza.

It happened in Osaka, comedy capital of Japan and where Morley Senior High School legend Chad Mullane learnt the comic art of manzai, the double act. But that’s another story. The one I’m sticking to is how a Yakuza boss walked into my coffee shop, the only one I could find after five hours of wandering the vast underground city that is Osaka.

As soon he walked in I knew I was in trouble and I could see even more brewing as his moll peeled off and sat down next to me.

“You very handsome man,” she said.

“You need glasses?” I replied.

“You very handsome man,” she said.

It didn’t end there, or even close, but I can’t get to it because of the other end that’s fast approaching.

If you want the rest, email me, but not today, I’m still in bed.

Ah, the future. This time next year Hildegard and I will be building a house in Albany, on the other side of the harbour, near Frenchman Bay.

It will be a house that embraces its setting, that respects the environment, that is solar active and wind resistant.

And, as I say goodbye, I issue a challenge to every one of you with lawn and palm to get right back out there, remove the blights and plant native vegetation and garlic.

If you can’t get locally grown garlic knobs, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with that bloke in Augusta, the one who got all my remaining stock.

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