Regular conniseurs of this cracker of a website will be aware that we hold the Courier-Mail’s Saturday morning cash-for-columnist Dashing Des Houghton in very low regard, and have a consistent record of attacking the constantly turped-up, free-loading pen-pushing, plonk-junkie, lover of laissez-faire loot, once upon a time curly-locked but now fast receding hairlined halfwit at every conceivable opportunity.
The animus that your teller of true tales Archie bears toward this free-fang-loving bloated badger is no mere whimsy belching from a bitter and twisted tall-tale-telling stranger, but in fact dates all the way back to the year of nineteen hundred and ninety five, when your hot-looking yet humble correspondent had the huge misfortune to have worked under the tiny-todgered tossing tyrant in the newsroom at Rampaging Rupert’s now-defunct fish and chips wrapper the Daily Sun.
We’ve written before about how the narcissistic nobody pissed away a once-promising penman’s career by virtue of a combination of greed and gluttony, so there’s need to repeat that reality newspaper vignette, but let me just say that Dashing Des’s head was so far up his hugely inflated arse back then that he could clean it with the complimentary lifetime supply of toothbrushes provided to him courtesy of whichever plaque-cleaning multinational mob he cynically plugged in his column that week..
Look sportsfans, let me put my pack of pilfered from Gerry Bellino’s Bubbles Bathhouse cards on the table and be totally Francis about my mercifully short spell working with Dashing Des, and tell you that he was such an obnoxious, rude, queer red-wine quaffing swine that I didn’t believe for a second thereafter that my inch above nadir opinion of the claret-squaffing clown could possibly sink any lower.
But on rare occasions – very rare – I get it wrong. This is one of them.
You see there’s this little thing we Australians hold dear that’s called standing by your mates.
Johnny Williamson sings about it regularly – in fact he famously did so at Crocodile Crikey Steve’s funeral send off – so there’s no need for me to bore you sh*tless by repeating the mantra, and anyway sticking staunch is something that blokes and birds of the Wide Brown Land learn at birth, or school at least – unless of course their oldies sent ’em to Churchie or Grammar, but we won’t talk about that.
The rules are pretty f*cking simple.
You don’t freestyle a fork into your family member’s guts.
You don’t take the cleaver to your close friends, unless of course it’s a friendly free-for-all sledge in the sunshine, like my devilishly humorous dabs at Doubting, he of the hail-smashed head and obsession with supposed freedom of speech and Section 18C of the Race Discrimination Act, despite the hapless and hopeless but totally unrehabilitatible tote punter being absolutely unable to reconcile the immutably irreconcilable disparities between law, ancient wog ideologies dreamed up by Gorgeous George’s white-skirt-wearing Socratic ancestors, libertarian nonsense spouted by seventeenth-century silver-spooned Poms, and just plain bloody Aussie common sense.
You definitely don’t do your mates missus doggy style in the dunny. Unless of course you’re Wayne Carey and you’re cursed with a coal-colored notch on your noggin that’s even darker than Cains, and hated by every bundy-sipping bastard at the bung and the recipient of a ban from Queensland’s premier family-friendly entertainment arena issued under the royal seal of Kevvie.
They’re the sub-bottom line basics, rules numbers two, three and four.
Of course you don’t need me to instruct you how to suck eggs by telling you that the cardinal rule – the one every half-decently taught little drought and flooding plain raised tyke knows better than their own name – is what is colloquially known from Goomeri to Gundagai and Geraldton and back as the Gallipoli ‘Lest we Forget’ immutable law of Great Southern Land science.
That being that a Digger doesn’t, under any circumstances whatsoever, take the tee-ball bat to his or her bloody team mates. And in particular they don’t wield the wickedly North and South-smashing sized piece of willow at the back of a squad member’s skull while his eyes are faced forward searching to expose all manner of some mendacious men’s sordid and squalid secrets.
But Dashing Des has broken the code.
These esoteric artist-typess just never throw their teenage-era t-shirts away do they sportsfans?
No, that’s not a fair suck of the sav, or the Sauvignon Blanc if like Des you prefer, because what the sneaky low sucker’s in fact done by wielding the wooden weapon and smacking it into the back of my mate and his stablemate Matthew Condon’s (above) silver-haired skull is that he’s smashed the sacred covenant signed in blood by our countrymen at Suvla Bay into seven thousand bloody shattered pieces.
The shot that the pea-hearted plonk addict has taken at his team-mate Matt – who is without a shadow of a doubt Queensland’s pre-eminent crime and history writer, and in my view Van Diemens Land’s best by panels too – may seem a trifling one-liner to the non-media industry mug punter enjoying an early morning weekend meat pie and BBQ sauce with their bloody mary, but let me tell you straight that Dashing Des’s seemingly innocuous salvo at Condon is in the sanctified-circle of the writers world nothing less than a capital offence, with a dash of meatballs chucked in just for good luck and because Houghton’s nothing short of a punch-drunk poser with hatred born of envy in his heart.
Matthew Condon’s one of Queensland’s living treasures, a bloke who’s written a poignant and absolutely brilliant personal and historical homage to the greatest city on the planet, Brisvegas. He’s also authored the definitive Pineapple State true crime trilogy, and entertains readers young, old ad in-between most Saturdays in the now cruelly cut and paste thanks to budget cuts and idiotic editorial decisions Q-Magazine.
But who the hell is Des Houghton, the dickhead who faux-cooingly and somewhat smart-arsedly calls Condon a prominent novelist yet completely fails to acknowledge that the bloke is not only by the length of the straight the leading investigative journalist living and working in BrisVegas – sorry Doubting old son, but to the average punter Brookfield’s some mythical millionaire-crowded citadel south of Shangri-La, so you’re disqualified – but the silver-haired scribe is also without any doubt whatsoever our best-loved and most widely-read wordsmith and non-fiction tale teller to boot.
Now most moderately well-informed mainstream media subscribers – all four of them, three on tax-deductible comps – would agree with the Bead Twirler’s view that Houghton’s naught but a washed-up tippy-toed shiv-in-the-spine merchant sporting a Shiraz-shot liver whose fan base these days consists almost exclusively of long-haul 4BC listeners, cheap wine wholesalers and a conga-line of chattering-class LNP and lobbyist deep-throats who’d sell their mother’s soul for a shot of Sambuca it gave them or their cloying clients a safe Hamilton seat in the high-paying, little-work requiring House of Broken Dreams.
However as has often been the case in his long roller-coaster of a ride with his dearly-beloved bride and chief critic, Archie however begs to disagree, for simply describing the wine-sodden, Wagyu Beef-Loving As Long As It’s Free wanker Des in the manner that the Bead Twirler does above is letting the low-road rambling lazy rook with the life was indeed meant to be easy if you have the right River City-ruling class connections and know how to work the system believing life-view off the hook far too bloody easily.
So we’ll take it a step further than the weak-gutted but hot-bodied Bead Twirler and channel the wisdom of the bloke who inspired the Geebung code by declaring that Dashing Des Houghton is nothing but a cheap-shot king-hit merchant, and a big ugly fat-necked wombat headed big bellied magpie legged narrow hipped splaw-footed son of an Irish Bailiffs or English Landlord who’d cop a sling in return for a favorable mention in his column from anyone who’d pay in wine or kind, and has sold his fellow writer Condon down the Brisbane River for a wretched two lines and a couple of hundred bucks.
For fuck sake Des, even Judas Iscariot held out for thirty pieces of silver!
It’s the last gasp of a drowning man is what this is. Or more correctly, the sinking shot of a loose-principled Harold Larwood bowling a bouncer at his better while he watches his secret-circle of high-society Tom Brown-style Anglican Church of England Grammar School-loving lewd boys go under the breakers and start sinking down to the reef.
No doubt you have no bloody idea what old Archie’s banging on about sportsfans, and unfortunately for you but fortunately for me I know the code and unlike Dashing Des have a strong sense of journalistic ethics, so I can’t tell you.
Those in the know however know what I’m banging on about, and if you hold on to your horses for another week or two you and make sure that you keep a sharp eye on any article written by Mr M Condon of the Courier and Sunday Mail’s will too, and then you’ll be running out and around the Bung telling every bugger that you know that Archie bloody Butterfly’s a genius.
Just don’t be upset when Kevvie raises his right eyebrow in the traditional manner, shakes his finely-nuanced noggin, turns to his sidekick Sharky and tells him that you’re a bloody idiot, because everyone knows Archie’s always spot on the money, and this joker – you – has clearly been dumped by a big fat grey cloud and come down in the last shower.
He’s a clever bugger our old Kevvie, and don’t you worry about that, unless of course you went to Churchie and continue to proffer craven excuses for the conduct of Pedophiles once employed at and now protected by the Emirs of the country estate posing as a school, and/or you’re name’s Dashing Des Houghton.
Then you’d be worrying I would imagine.
And don’t you worry about that.
Dashing Des ducks down to the Hunter Valley to have a chat with his most reliable sources. And to get on the free in exchange for a cloying Courier-Mail column otherwise outrageously expensive vintage Grange Hermitage sauce.