Farewell to BMA (2007)
Four years ago, a small, poor Tasmanian boy came to Canberra, down on his luck, with only a Beck cassette and a brown vintage suit to his name. He spent his time as a horse whisper at the Civic carousel, but this meant working long, voluntary hours, so he quit there and took on a casual job fishing shopping trolleys out of Lake Ginninderra and throwing them off Telstra Tower. It didn’t last long. One grey Thursday afternoon, he spent his last cent on a Sweet-chilli chicken burger from Chicken Gourmet and some poems from that tall guy called Rudi with the wonky eye, and sat down beneath a poster pole feeling very sorry for himself. It was then that a massive gust of wind blew, causing a stray magazine to blow into the boy’s face. It was open to a job advertisement: ‘Columnist Wanted.’ It was a local magazine, and as the boy looked around he noticed that everyone else his age was reading it.
The boy had never written a column before, and at first he thought it was some kind of labouring job involving the building of cement columns, so after an awkward job interview, he sold his overalls and cement truck (it was borrowed anyway) and bought a typewriter, and settled down in some bushes outside the University of Canberra computer labs. Under a neon moon he wrote like a man possessed. This wasn’t very good, as when you’re possessed you tend to write about minotaurs with bleeding eyes and stuff like that and it tends to get quite repetitive, so after a decent sleep and a breakfast of a muesli bar he found on the oval, the boy wrote all day like a man obsessed, (which is a better status.)
He read over what he’d done and couldn’t believe the way he’d effortlessly balanced engaging prose, journalistic structure and edgy, post-ironic humour. He raced into town, which was an awful idea as it was about thirty five degrees and it took ages, but eventually he marched into the offices of the magazine and delivered his life’s work. The editor was confused and it turns out it was the wrong office, BMA was next door but the thing is no-one was in there at the time, so he ended up coming back the next day, and I probably could have left that bit out.
To keep a medium story medium, the boy landed the column and the editor loved him and even gave him a tip-off about a mattress in a back shed in Woden he could stay at and the boy thanked him and spent the rest of the year writing column after column. He’d write about everything, himself, bands, himself, TV (if it related to him), feelings (his own), and about the people close to him that reminded him of him. The general public fell in love with the boy (more like a family kind of love, like tolerating an occasionally funny uncle) and soon he was invited by bands to come backstage and hang out with them and this meant he could steal cans of coke out of their rider for later. Sometimes, girls wanted to talk to him too, and one time he slept with a girl, but only sleeping and in the morning she made breakfast but didn’t offer him any.
This amazing success continued for about four years until one day he decided he would take a break from it to concentrate on his music career. Did I mention that? No. Sorry, I’m not the best story teller. But what about the bible? It doesn’t say what Jesus did between the ages of 12 and 33 and it’s the most popular book in history so just lay off.