LOUIS BURKE | Culture | CONTACT
Aspiring writer Mick McHannon (34) formerly of the Betoota Flight Path, district reckons he has never asked for much just the respect and dollars of millions of adoring fans after penning the great Australian novel.
Making the sea change to Betoota’s coastal sister town of Magpie Bay, McHannon wanted to capture the recurrent spirit of this funny ol’ continent in the form of a novel that is mostly symbolism and stuff that people who used to listen to TISM remember.
The whitest of whales, McHannon has spent the last five years penning his great Australian novel in the hopes his migaloo will go down as a cornerstone of Australian culture.
Unfortunately for McHannon, such a novel already exists and was published in 1991 by author Tim Winton under the title ‘The Bugalugs Bum Thief’.
Intended originally to be a children’s book, The Bugalugs Bum Thief is coming of age tale about Skeeta Anderson who wakes one morning to discover his bum is missing, as is the case for everyone else in the fishing town of Bugalugs.
McHannon was made aware of the novel’s existence while chatting with the last local he hadn’t told about his novel at the top pub.
Upon hearing about his dreams of Australian literary greatness, local codger Ernie Gerns (88) told McHannon that his idea sounded a lot like The Bugalugs Bum Thief and that he should try and write something great like that.
McHannon was then seen rushing to the library, polishing off the seminal novel in a single sitting and taking his anger out on the unfinished fruit of his labours.
“This is bullshit!” cried McHannon, tearing his manuscript to pieces at the end of an old wooden dock as ribbons of tears fell from his sad eyes.
“How did he fit it all in? The central mystery, the larrikinism, the harsh critique of the decline of remote coastal Australia?”
Having been a crucial part of Winton being named an Australian Living Treasure, The Bugalugs Bum Thief is well remembered for the description of the sans-bum tuckshop lady looking like a meat pie with a bite taken out of it and allowing children to imagine how funny it would be if every time your mum tried to smack you bum she just hit air.
Unfortunately for McHannon, the charm of the novel is lost upon him as he contemplates five years spent in vain chasing a dream that had already been realised over 30 years ago.
“I could have done anything else! I could have worked on my body or helped a charity! I could have taken up painting or learnt a new skill! Fuck, I could have played golf or got really into online poker, instead I wasted my time penning the great Australian novel when the cunt already existed!”
MORE TO COME.