Believe it or not, this article has nothing to do with browneyes or the chucking thereof. A pommy bastard once enquired of me what the cultural difference between Australia and Britain was.
I responded by telling him this: In merry old England one ‘throws a moony’ – it is rather polite in the way that it is thrown almost as if a spiffy chap is going to catch it. Technically, the pasty white Britisher buttocks are exposed and resemble a moon, hence the term ‘moony’.
In Australia, we ‘chuck a browneye’ – no more throwing here you understand, it is chucked aggressively and no more polite exposure of one’s buttocks…fuck no! They are spread open in a vulgar display to expose the ‘browneye’.
Forget all that pseudo-intellectual socio-economic bullfuck; the moony/browneye metaphor explains the cultural difference between the two countries in a nutshell.
And now for something completely different…
Being an international man of letters, I have had many strange and varied jobs throughout the years. Most of the work I did was part time as I was on the dole for 20 years in two different countries.
This two decade long streak was only interrupted by my many jaunts and escapades abroad. The dole is really just an art grant for truly committed artists and musicians. Casting all anal japery aside, I have compiled a list of some of the jobs I have had and the strange things that have happened to me at work.
Front Counter, Tattoo Shop, Toronto.
When I first started at this job, I thought I would be meeting lots of interesting people. Wrong! I soon discovered that 99% of people who get tattooed are slathering imbeciles, whores and bastards.
Not only that, but hardly anyone got any decent tatts, for the most part they would settle for whatever was trendy at the time which in ‘98 was Kanji. That and Canadian flags were the most popular. I quickly became bored talking to the brain dead filth that stumbled through the front door, so I spiced things up a little.
First off, I bought a fart machine. This little marvel worked on radio waves and the farts sounded like the real thing. Next, I bought some ‘Billy Bob’ teeth which I would wear all day long. So when a potential customer came through the door, I would hit the fart machine and say, “was that you?” At the time I was going through a phase where I hated to eat. At home I would put everything through a blender and scull it.
Naturally, I couldn’t do this at work so I would bring in a litre of yoghurt which I would scull for lunch. I could do this in ten seconds and would leave a ‘yoghurt beard’ around my mouth for kicks. Combined with my Billy Bob teeth the effect was devastating. People would turn away in horror as I tried to engage them in small talk. Then the fart machine would start up and I would give them filthy looks.
A standout encounter happened when some fuckwits came in one time and started asking all kinds of dumb fucking questions like, “does it hurt?” etc etc. As I answered their cock sucking questions, I started rubbing my scalp and caused dandruff to flow freely onto the top of the glass jewellery display.
When there was a decent amount, I pulled out my bank card, cut a line and rolled up a note. Then I caught myself – how could I be so rude? I asked them, “you want a line?” Of course they declined, so I snorted up the line of dandruff and barked, “fuck, that’s some gooooooood shit!” Then carried on as if nothing was amiss. The best thing about the job was that I got free tattoos, so of course I took advantage of that.
Medical Orderly, Sydney.
This was one of my fave jobs as I got to see so many cute things. My uniform issue was a pair of white trousers, black belt and a blue polo shirt. I had a zero crop at the time so I ‘clockwork oranged’ my outfit by tapering the trousers and hemming them above the ankles to show off my steel toe bovver boots.
Two other orderlies that I worked with dug the style and followed suit, they both had shaved heads as well and thanks to equal opportunity laws, were employed despite neck tattoos. This was years before neck tatts were synonymous with wimps. We looked completely fucked when we marched down the hospital corridors.
My two pals told me that I should volunteer for doing enucleations as it was so much fun. What had happened was this: surgeons only worked in the daytime and lots of patients who were full organ donors died during the night. They were put in the morgue which was real cold, but even at such temperatures the corneas in their eyes would be useless for transplants after 8 hours.
So they started training orderlies to do the surgical procedure of removing eyeballs, which is called an enucleation, so that they could be sent off for proper storage at the eye hospital.
My two pals brought me down to the morgue to meet the mortician who was a complete degenerate sonofabitch. He was in the middle of an autopsy and had gloves on that went up to his elbows. He also had a cigarette on an unused mortuary slab and it was soaked in blood. I watched as he related a story about fucking a prostitute the night before who had “tits like fuckin’ poached eggs mate” to my friends as he took careful drags on his blood ciggie and cut organs out of the cadaver he was working on.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure how I would react to the whole blood ‘n’ guts thing because it made me squirm when I saw it on the telly. In person though, I didn’t mind it at all and found it fascinating.
When he had finished the autopsy, he prepped up another cadaver and showed me how to do an enucleation. The eyes were spread open with clamps just like in A Clockwork Orange. The mortician was a raging alcoholic and couldn’t stop his hand from shaking when he went to cut the viscera on the eyeball with a scalpel so I had to do it for him. Every second word out of his mouth was ‘fuck’ or ‘cunt’. I did the whole procedure and he said I had “Fuckin’ hands like a fuckin’ surgeon’s, mate.”
I took to my new task with relish, plucking eyeballs out of prepped cadavers in less than four minutes. I just loved being down in the morgue at midnight, high on ketamine (apart from nitrous oxide it was the only drug I could steal at the hospital) and cutting eyeballs out of dead bodies – it made me feel very ghoulish.
What I didn’t enjoy so much was taking the blood sample afterwards. This was done by fishing around in the cadaver’s upper inner thigh with a jacked 10 ml fit trying to hit the femoral artery. The body bags were always filled with piss from the dead body, never shit though because as soon as you die they slam a butt plug up your date. Just for the record, I am a ZERO donor now.
Ever since I read Post Office by Bukowski, I had wanted to be a postie. My wish finally came true when I moved to Melbourne. My round was Fitzroy/Collingwood/Abbotsford. What I hadn’t bargained on were the petty-minded, cocksucking middle management losers I had to deal with at Australia Post. These people were the most pathetic, cheap, low-IQ, un-cultured human beings I have ever met in my life.
I quickly became the Union Steward however and made their job as difficult as I could. The job itself was incredibly monotonous but it had a few good moments. Like the time Chopper ‘doored’ me (he lives in Collingwood).
I was riding along on my postie bike while off my tits on MDMA when I came up on his parked SUV. I could see the earless cunt looking at me in his rear-view mirror, and then as soon as I was alongside him, he swung open the door. I called him a ‘fuckin’ cunt’ and he laughed evilly at me, but overall I was happy with the exchange as I am still alive.
Before I left Australia Post, I made sure that my managers were declined their yearly bonuses – they were happy to see me go as they said I was a ‘disruptive influence’ on the other staff.
My modus operandi for moving to another city/country was this: make the decision and leave within a week. So what would usually happen was I would end up in a foreign city completely broke and coming off whatever drugs I was on and know no cunt. This happened when I moved to Toronto in ‘98. I got a room but had no TV so every evening I would head down to a venue called the Big-Bop to watch Jerry Springer on their large screen TV.
I got to know the bouncers and owner, and one night a staff member didn’t show up so I got his job. Over the seven years that I worked there, I did pretty much every job in the joint, but requested to just be the cleaner.
The reasons for this were that as a cleaner, I didn’t have to deal with the fuckin’ general public and you would not believe the amount of drugs I found. Punk gigs were the worst for lost drugs, but parties were the best.
No shit, sometimes I would bounce home with enough assorted drugs to get me high for a week. I fuckin’ hated finding ketamine though, because I would often mistake it for coke, do a huge rail and end up in a k-hole which wasn’t conducive to cleaning a two-storey club.
One time I found an ounce of hash, brought it home and boiled it up with butter and ate three quarters of it. When it kicked in, I felt very ‘heavy’ and groggy. I could hear this angry buzzing from what I assumed was a bumble bee caught in between the snow windows and paid it no heed as I stumbled to bed and crashed out.
When I awoke, I was lying on the couch with no pants on. It felt like my dick was on fire and I looked down and there was a black and yellow hornet clasped onto my pecker and was repeatedly slamming its stinger into it. I whacked it off with my hand and it gripped onto the back of my hand and stung that several times too before I managed to dislodge it onto the floor.
I leaned over the couch to look at it on the floor and I thought it was a Lego beetle spinning on its back. On awakening the next morning, I thought ‘what a weird dream’ then I noticed that the back of my hand was filled with fluid under the skin. On examining my pecker, it looked like a fuckin’ turkey neck with heaps of fluid hanging under the skin. Understandably, none of my mates believed me, so I flobbed out it to show a female friend and she fuckin’ retched.
This was one of those ‘dream jobs’ that you hear about. And for a while, it was. I was working on a sixty-foot yacht and every morning we would head out to the Great Barrier Reef with a boat load of European backpackers.
I would take them out on a snorkel tour then, after lunch, take the certified divers for a dive. Then a new owner bought the boat. He was a great big lump of shit of a man, a pea farmer from Adelaide no less. Not only that, but the idiot would prance around in a pair of threadbare speedos.
Watching a man in his late 50s try to root bikini clad Swedes in their early 20s was a disgusting and pathetic sight. Soon after he bought the boat, he decided that backpackers were beneath him so he aimed his business at the five-star market. Suddenly our clientele changed from backpackers to gay Germans and glum faced European families.
The boat was a ferro concrete piece of shit that was infested with cockroaches and the new passengers were rightly disgusted by it. The skipper thought he was some sort of salty dog of the sea despite the fact he had only been working in the industry for five years. The job became shitty and predictable.
I did meet some interesting people on the docks though, like a skipper who told me some of the maddest stories I had ever heard. Before he started working on dive boats, he had been a skipper on a trawler. He told me about killer whales that would stalk them when they were pulling in deep-sea long lines.
The whale would hover vertically with just its head out of the water and whenever they pulled in a fish with a huge bite out of it, the whale would let out a high pitched sound. Then it would swim directly at them causing panic on deck, seconds before impact, it would dive into the abyss until they couldn’t see it anymore. Then, in the depths, they would see the whale shooting up directly at the boat, it would breach and miss the boat by inches.
Then there were the sordid tales about ‘The Mermaids of the Sea’ which were dugongs. Seeing as the crew were at sea for three months at a time, they could get rather depraved. If they accidently caught a dugong, fights would break out over who would fuck it first while it was still warm. Apparently, dugongs have cunts that feel just like a womans’, hence the Mermaid of the Sea name.
So the degenerate sons of bitches would fuck the shit out of a dead dugong. My skipper prancing around in threadbare speedos seemed trifling after hearing that. Even if when piloting the boat, he would bend down to get the radio and all his arse hairs poked out of his speedos like the trapped legs of a hundred spiders.
English Teacher, Hong Kong.
This was the first job I had after leaving school. All you needed to qualify as a ‘teacher’ was to be able to speak fluent English. It was mainly for Chinese who were trying to get the fuck out of Hong Kong before it was handed back to China – most of the countries they were trying to emigrate to required they speak conversational level English.
Every day at 3:30 I had a 12-year-old Japanese student called Keita. He would come straight from school to do two hours of English lessons, and then go home for two hours of homework. Poor old Kite-Kites was exhausted as fuck the first time I saw him.
For the first lesson, I worked him hard for two hours; spelling tests, grammar and advanced reading. The next time I saw him, I pulled out all the study books and he groaned. Then I said to him, “we can do this for two hours or…you can read your comics.” (I had seen him reading one when I came back from a toilet break) He looked at me and went “Tea-charrrr?” I told him he could read his comics on the proviso that he didn’t tell his parents. Old Kite-Kites was fuckin’ stoked at this.
He was a little more puzzled at my snorting lines of heroin off the desk however, “I have a cold and this is cold medicine,” I would explain. He would scrunch up his little boy Japanese face and go “TEA-charrrr…”
I also had a bong made from an Old Brut bottle that I hid in the false roof. I explained to him that this was for smoking “English tobacco”. The San Miguel beer that I constantly drank was explained away in that it was the same Australian cultural custom as tea drinking was for the Japanese.
Most of the time during his lesson, I just nodded out in a stupor. Every once in a while we would have to pretend to do some work when my boss Mr Sam was doing his rounds. So I would set up a game of Scrabble with him which frustrated him no end as I would cheat outrageously.
One time, I was in a semi nod and I noticed Keita examining the bong. He peered down the hole and bong water poured out the downpipe and all over his starched white school shirt. Before I could stop him, ole Kite-Kites was out the door and running for the dunny. I opened the window and chucked the bong out (we were 16 stories up) and went after him. Mr Sam was waiting for me near the dunny.
“Keita say he spill your pipe for Engrish tobacco on his shirt,” he said to me. I explained to Mr Sam that Keita was actually a compulsive liar and what in fact had happened was that he did a “mini vomit” on his shirt. Keita came out of the dunny having washed his shirt and we left Mr Sam in the hallway looking suspiciously at us going, “mini-vomit?” I would love to bump into ole Kite-Kites again and shoot the shit.