bushman shoots his own
was sitting outside the café in the sun, picking through the
papers over a late breakfast when the mailman roared down the lane on
his little red motor-bike and handed me a letter from the ABC. Inside
there was a fat cheque and a little thank-you note on a Gary Larson
greeting card from the team at Media Watch.
work, Nick, mightn't have done it without you!" it said.
cheque couldn't have arrived at a better time. The renovations had forced
me onto Bankcard for the first time since the dark days of the mid-80s
and I had been feeling nervous and depressed.
will be a beautiful thing if Lawsie and Jonesie go down. Millions will
cheer. When I think of Sydney talk-back jocks I always get a mental
picture of a particularly mean sheepdog. That is the role: to keep the
flock together and moving in the right direction -- to be shorn or slaughtered.
Not many people get the Big Job on commercial radio without being ideologically
"sound" and only real trusties get it in the prime time hours.
Late at night and in the small hours of the morning there are clowns
to confuse and entertain the insomniacs, but the working hours are mostly
reserved for industrial strength bullies who can keep the masses moving
in the right direction.
is not the sort of job you get by doing a good interview in front of
a gender-balanced committee. You need the right breeding and have to
be trained, inculcated, groomed. It needs a fine instinct and you have
to be trusted.
good sheepdog is well-regarded by its owner and it eats well -- lots
of fresh-killed meat from old ewes slaughtered along the way. Kelpies
like it like that, still warm and reeking of blood, along with half
an old loaf of stale bread soaked down with hot water to soften it up.
the bush, nobody notices when the dog kills the wildlife and they're
inclined to turn a blind eye when the odd chicken disappears. The problem
begins when Donko starts seriously freelancing -- knocking off the neighbour's
sheep -- and when he starts to run in a pack with Patch and Brainless,
when he starts to get greedy for the kill, rather than the meat, something
drastic has to be done.
an old bush saying to the effect that "a bushman shoots his own
dog". That, I suppose, is how I got the documents. The boys at
2UE had gone too far, my contact said. Getting a bit out of the Road
Transport boys or Optus, or the clubs was like stealing eggs, or biting
the heads off chickens, but bailing up the banks put it on a whole 'nother
will admit that possums don't like dogs much, and I have my own deep
personal reasons for not trusting them not since I was old enough to
understand what had happened to Dad when he met his unfortunate "accident"
training Bluey Crabtree's greyhounds back in '51.
when Donko goes too far, a bushman shoots his own dog: he takes him
out behind the barn and puts the muzzle to the medulla, apologises quietly
and pulls the trigger ... then he goes out and gets another dog, because
you have to keep the sheep moving in the right direction.
took another sip of my second black coffee, wiped the last bit of basil
pesto off the plate with the last crust of toast and wondered whether
the day hadn't arrived for the young turks to slide into the Big Jobs