Long time no see son. How are they hanging? And what about you Bads? All good?
Thanks for dropping me a line or two. It does get lonely out here in the Bunger blogosphere no vacuous pretty young things or drunken old hacks for company, or free coffee and scotch finger bickies to chuck into your guts during a half hour tea break, so I really appreciate you both touching base to check in on me and pep me up. Pardon me for a second will you, I gotta have a quick snort um sniff no sneeze. Yeah sneeze, I just have to sneeze. Sorry about that, I forgot for a second that your emails are hacked.
Hey buddy, it’s my birthday in a couple of weeks as I’m sure you already probably know, so do you reckon that you might follow up on today’s snow oops ice sh*t ah, ah, ah sleet, yeah sleet breaker by sending me a card with some more of the same? Some of those happiness lollies would be nice too – I like the ones with the peace signs on the front – but if you want to buy me some of that expensive liquid in the little bottle that’d be ok too. I’m probably due for a change after a week without a shower anyway, if you get my drift.
So, down to business. The killer picture. Or the picture killer, whichever way you want to look at it. I’ll have to be quick, because I’m helping a couple of your journos with some research and a bit of background detail for some story ideas they’ve got and I need to get back to it because they’re running to fill tight gaps in the body of tomorrow’s page 3 spread and no-one wants to miss those, do they? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more Bads ‘n Action cos you’ll need all the oxygen you can get.
Now look boys, I did try to get hold of Rupert last night to ask if I could borrow his picture for the piece – he borrows my storylines all the time, so I was sure he wouldn’t mind – but the Septic Tank named Hank who answered the phone at Jerry’s dude ranch in Texas told me that Ms Hall and Rupeme M (does she really call him that?) were busy in the bedroom following her Mum’s fine advice and couldn’t be disturbed just at that moment, which of course is simply Hank speaking in a code that you and I understand.
I did leave a message for the old bloke to call me back, but I guess when you’re 85 years young and trying to hoist the flag securely to keep it from fluttering in the wind it’s not as easy as it is for we young blokes, and takes a little bit longer than it once used to do, so I simply took his silence for tacit consent, and in the interest of keeping all the young campers in the Valley same from murderous harm I made the call to go ahead, and flicked the publisher a quick message over Skype to request that she push the go button and publish the story pronto before that Murderous swine Michael Atkins started acting out his sick fantasies again and f*cking up some other poor family’s life forever.
And do you know what chaps? I reckon that I made the right call, because after all how would you feel if that evil bastard did to your kid what he did to young Matthew Leveson? Yeah that’s exactly right, not too good at all.
So I just want to check that I’m understanding your request correctly here, because it sounds a bit bloody odd if you ask me and I’m not sure if I’m reading it right. Just bear with me for a second so we can get this straight: Rupert’s asking me – via you – to ask my publisher to take down the picture accompanying the public service announcement we posted advising punters of the whereabouts of the self-confessed murderer who’s roaming around the streets of BrisVegas posing a clear and present danger to every buff bloke bouncing along Brunswick Street and beyond.
Am I understanding this correctly? Is so then all I can say is strike me bloody pinker than Peter Sellers panther! Has Rupeme M gone goddamn senile or something? What about the kiddies! The young blokes expressing themselves by dressing up in hot pants and ripped singlets and strolling happily around the streets of Vegas’s Sin Central at night?
Doesn’t your boss give a bugger about their welfare and safe passage back to their Mum and Dad’s home half-pissed in the wee hours of the morning?
Are you dead set?
Does Rupeme M not realise that there’s a killer roaming Vegas’s streets at the moment and putting young BrisVegas blokes in peril? A bloke who’s staring straight down the barrel at a long stretch for lying to the Coroner and therefore has no cause to care any longer about the consequences of putting his dark, evil urges into play? Who’s going to warn the lads and their loved ones of the danger out there that he poses if we don’t? Which bugger’s going to keep them safe from being sunk under six-feet of freshly mattocked soil if we won’t?
No one! That’s bloody who!
I simply cannot believe that your bloody billionaire boss is more worried about a pissy little claimed copyright action and sending me a bill – for what to him is a mere grain of sand – than he is about keeping the men of BrisVegas safe from potential bodily harm being inflicted upon their person, and possible even bloody death, at the hands of a psychotic remorseless killer who’s done it before and who the form guide tells us is even money of doing it again.
For f*ck sake fellas, they’re not odds I want to be taking about waking up in the morning to find my child missing I can assure you.
Be straight with me Action – this has all come about because rooting Rupert’s pissed off that the phone’ ringing interrupted him at half-pump, hasn’t it? Come clean and spill the beans son! This is just between you, me, Bads, the fence post and 15 000 readers: that’s the real reason for you sending the bill, isn’t it? Yeah, yeah, I know he probably made you promise not to talk about it on the threat of copping the sack and being thrown out on your arse into the Surry Hill sewers by a 7-foot tall Samoan security guard.
I feel for you there Action, I really do mate – and you too Bads, geez your quiet over there in that corner son – but there are times in this life fellas when you must put your self-interest on the second shelf and stand up and simply do what’s right, no matter how high the personal price may perhaps be. It’s just like the lad in Kenny Roger’s Coward of the County told his Dad boys – sometimes you have to fight when you’re a man. And now’s that time, so it’s cometh the hour cometh the man, and I want to know if you’re coming along the high road with me or sticking to the dark path down below?
It’s you call, but let me assure you that the image you are so worried about went viral well before my publisher put it up on her site, and that it’s now sitting in a million or more copyright-breaching internet caches across the whole of the world-wide web – Google it up if you don’t believe me – so what’s the problem really? That Rupert didn’t get a root away with the Texan sensation because I rudely rang him at 4 in the morning to ask the fella a favor?
Letting the public know about the movements of this unincarcerated murderer who poses a real and present danger to their kids is far more important in the scheme of things than Mr Rupeme M missing an early morning quickie with his former model chicky. Surely you blokes understand that, and if you don’t then I don’t know what I can do to help you other than to tell you this – I am not compromising the safety of our young blokes in BrisVegas for anyone. Not for you, not for Rupeme, not for anyone. So, you can give your boss his $247.50 and tell him to stick it up his ruthless, irresponsible arse and keep the change.
You can send me a damn receipt too so I can frame it as a monument to Bland Indifference to the Safety of Fellas Seeking Happiness in Town (BITS OF SHIT).
I was just taking the piss about the Rupeme thing, but I’m not joking about the danger that based on my experience working in the criminal justice system I genuinely believe Michael Atkins poses to young gay men in my town.
The picture stays boys.
Do as you will or you must to comply with your boss’s orders. It’s you blokes who have to take a good look at yourselves in the mirror every morning, not me. I just truly hope that whichever way you decide to head from here you’ll always be happy with what you see.
Just think about this though before you go.
Tonight, if you so desire, you’ll be able to go out for a dance and a drink down in Oxford Street this evening free from any fear that you might not be wake up in the morning; not because you’re hungover from the fantastic night you’ve had the night before, but because you’re dead and have been buried God only knows where under ten feet of earth covered by fallen trees.
You don’t have to worry about – it’s our problem now.
Remember Matthew Leveson mate. Never forget him, because the hidden hole in which he is been buried like an animal by the man whose image you want me to take down could well have been filled by you or me. I don’t want to happen – to you, to me or to anyone else, that’s why I used your picture. That and because I’m a mad punter, a gambler who’s prepared to throw the dice and take the ten million to chance that a miracle might happen and my little story will be the straw that breaks Michael Atkin’s back and convinces him to finally help Matthew’s family to find their lost boy and bring him back home, where he belongs.
It’s sounds like a wild dream – no, it is a wild dream – but gee it’s cold and lonely out there by yourself in that forest, and there’s a huge gaping hole in the Leveson’s heart that we can all here crying out to be filled. And both of us know – after last week everyone knows – that the only way the family’s wish to bring Matt home will come true is if enough little tiny pieces of pressure form together like little slivers of snow and start rolling down the steep hill of Michael Atkin’s mountain of self-denial, building up size and momentum until it becomes so big that it breaks through and forces him to fall to his knees and beg forgiveness as he tells the world the truth about the wicked thing that he has done.
As I said, it’s a ten million to once chance that my story featuring your picture will come true. But when your child is lost and all you have is hope, even those odds look a lot better than nothing at all. So please, I beg you, just think about that as you walk down to the lawyer’s office with the file marked ‘Butterfly’ under your arm, and try to imagine that it’s Mr Leveson’s shoes that you are walking in, and that it’s not a carpeted hall under your feet but instead the rough forest undergrowth floor that this brave broken but not bowed man grimly hacks through every weekend so he can keep the promise he made to his murdered son that he would carry him home tenderly, safe in his arms.
That’s all my story is really about, trying to contribute the single, small thing that I am able to offer to try and help ease this family of immense dignity and courage’s pain. Will I succeed? It’s highly unlikely. But at least I can say that I tried.
Be safe out there, and have a great weekend.