Prisoner said it was MacIntyre. Said did I not tell you on that occasion I’d rather be shot myself than tell you anything about the other men if you were going to shoot them?

I’m about to tell you a long hidden secret, and although I’m a tad concerned that Kevvie might have me dragged into the coolroom behind the Karaoke Bar at the Bunger and coshed for daring to do so, I’m nevertheless prepared to run the gauntlet and give you the inside info about a hitherto unknown Geebung giant named Johnny Cash, a side-burned Seppo who despite his ethnic handicap was dead set as solid as a rock.


Until now not many people other than moi and the Former Spandex Wearing Rock Star – the singlet wearing nearly 50 something whose only claim to fame other than being married to the hottest archaeologist in Australia is that he once beat the snares in some dud wannabe pop outfit called Custard – knew this, but the Man in Black who had the Folsom Prison Blues once upon a time in the 1970’s spent a few months sleeping on Spandex’s Dad the footy coach Keithy’s chaise lounge in Akaroa Avenue, Geebung, just across the road from my oldies shop the Womble Bar and right next door to Bowden Park, the land where time began.



Which Bunger boy in the back row is better looking – the stick man or the wordsmith?

Johnny was at the time getting off the drugs and the grog, having woken up the morning after the day in August 1977 that our Dads all got as pissed as newts on Bundy Rum in the wood-chopping arena at the Ekka, then at chunder-time learnt that the King had Died, drug- f*cked and heart-stopped on his throne.

At that exact moment the Man in Black realised that cocaine-fuelled stardom wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be, and by virtue of the love of June Carter and chicken soup prepared by Mrs Spandex Senior and the motivational speeches that Keithy once delivered to young chaps like the Chismunk down at Frank O’Callaghan Oval and now recited repetitiously to the side-burned Septic on the sofa, the soon to become Solitary Man got clean and was thus locked and loaded in preparation for the comeback that was to propel him back to stardom.

What’s not known at all about these drying out days is that the bird from the Bung who mopped Johnny’s brow and dosed him up with dexies during his detox was none other than Delvene Delaney, the later to become TV star who as a teen lived just down the road from Spandex, and used to but her Mum’s bottle of milk and her own pack of Maltesers in the Womble Bar, and tended tenderly to Johnny in his hour of need.

The ever-grateful Johnny took a shine to young Delvene’s boyfriend, whom he nick-named Strop to stop the confusion after old Mrs Delaney yelled out’John’ and they both used to spring to attention, which was no surprise given that they both shared Jesus’ cousin the the Baptist’s name, but an inconvenience nevertheless.


So Strop the younger John with the hot bunger bride-to-be became, and Johnny C (ash) gave Johnny C (ornell) more than a few tips during those grog-free nights about how to crack the Yankee movie market by making a cliched flick about Crocodiles, replete with both oblique and overt references to the Bunger code – You think that is a knife? This is a knife! – and in return the bloke who was now and forever after to be known as Strop taught the Bunger-bed-bound Man in Black a bit about the second most revered man in the Bung’s mean streets, Albert Jacka of course being the number one.

And thus the Cash Man, when back in Nashville on the straight and narrow, penned a little tune about our boy Ned, and flew a little 6-year-old Bunger Boy and future Spandex wearer-to-be to bang on his drums, and there the young lad met Johnny’s mate Keef and so his destiny was set in stone.

Meanwhile the drum-beater’s mate who came along for the ride was learning to move like Jagger and bowling Mick middle stump three times an over. Bianca was lapping it up, Nicaraguan’s loving a straight bowler, if you know what I mean.

Keep beating your sticks Spandex, and I’ll keep bowling ’em middle stump.

Don’t you worry about that my childhood friend.