Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Horror of Rod Island

I'm just posting this to get a record of the disturbing and hilarious story my dad just told me about his misspent youth which seems to have inspired more than a little of The League of Gentlemen.

It was 1973 and my dad was on an early work for the dole scheme that involved him and two other reprobates being sent to the distant and disturbingly backwater Rod Island. The trio would unit at Rod Point at 6 in the morning and then be shuttled across to the island by the caretaker in a little tinnie boat, whereupon they spent the next three hours having cups of tea and sandwhiches.

The job was simple - go across to the field beside the warehouse, currently used as a playground and dig up the equipment and then smash the concrete plugs around the base of the poles. Dutifully, the trio did as they were told but quickly discovered that they were expected to take all day cracking the concrete. The senior of the group - a conniving bastard alcolohic in his mid-40s - worked out that if you whacked the poles, the vibration would resonate the concrete more effectively than whacking the concrete itself. Ergo, a few whacks on the pole would equal forty or fifty whacks on the concrete and they could do a day's work in ten minutes.

Being true Australians, the gang immediately decided to do absolutely bugger all for the rest of the week and do a solid hour of work on Friday afternoon and thus fulfilled the true spirit of the 70s by getting completely drunk and stoned and chilling out at the taxpayer's expense.

However, this halcyon enjoyment came at a price.

For next to the field was a lighthouse whose keeper was a very strange man whose wife was hideous. I mean, seriously ugly. No oil painting myself, I have to say that if my dad think she was abhorrent than she probably resembled Davros' passport photo. The lighthouse keeper took his duties even LESS seriously than the work for the dole gang and spent all day and all night getting incredibly drunk and at one point on the second day came over to speak to the gang. He passed out. They went home. They came back the next day. He was still there. Finally he recovered enough and explained the reason he turned to alcohol.

He was totally impotent and worse, his wife's insatiable sexual desires (which made up for her disgusting aspect) had merely increased. Unable to satisfy his wife, the upset lighthouse keeper had turned to drink. But now he saw three younger, virile men and desperately tried to bribe them to have sex with his wife. They would have been suspicious at the best of times, but they KNEW what she looked like and no amount of sob stories could convince them to risk it.

The lighthouse keeper wandered off and the next day returned with a heap of incredibly filthy pornography that nowadays would have got him arrested and put on a police register somewhere. He explained that it was perfect to turn on the male of the species while his revolting wife did the nasty and tried to show off his magazines to the gang, who were so scared by now they started to actually do work so they could avoid the lighthouse keeper. Soon he started offering them money, promising them riches beyond the dreams of avarice.

By Thursday the lighthouse keeper had bought a heap of condoms, sex toys and disturbingly foreign lubricants. By Thursday afternoon he was on his knees, desperately pleading for them to help him. "You're still young!" he shouted. "The scars will fade! You can forget about what you see! You can still get on with your lives! PLEASE!" he wailed.

On Friday afternoon, the third and hithertoo-unmentioned member of the gang finally snapped and agreed to come round to the lighthouse on Sunday afternoon. He was promised good food, good wine, music, company, and he accepted. My dad and the coniving bastard never returned to Rod Island, and the good Samaritan never left it...

...OK it's not a perfect narrative, but real life rarely is, capice?

9 comments:

Miles Reid said...

Fuck.

Best. Anecdote. Ever.

There is just something truly disgusting about that tale.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Why didn't he send that into Brian Brown's Twisted Tales the other year?

Man... I may be stealing that story some time in the future. Like it.

Hopefully this won't turn into a contest for the weirdest dad stories. My dad did sound for a garage band in the 70s and also lived in Ireland for 2 years, so he has an incredible repository of them.

Youth of Australia said...

Why didn't he send that into Brian Brown's Twisted Tales the other year?
He only just remembered the entire horrific experience today.

Man... I may be stealing that story some time in the future. Like it.
Feel free, dude. I was going to dine out of it at Chris Hale's graduation party on Friday...

Hopefully this won't turn into a contest for the weirdest dad stories. My dad did sound for a garage band in the 70s and also lived in Ireland for 2 years, so he has an incredible repository of them.
Ouch. Of course, I could come up with an even stranger encounter that occured at a Doctor Who convention involving my dad and a famed author...

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Your dad and Mad Larry got on like a village carpet-bombed, eh?

Nah, seriously, who was it? McIntee? Orman? BLUM?? PARKIN?!? RUSSELL T DAVIES?!?

Or is this just another vague allusion to your bad experiences with Mr Saward?

Youth of Australia said...

Your dad and Mad Larry got on like a village carpet-bombed, eh?
Nah, seriously, who was it? McIntee? Orman? BLUM?? PARKIN?!? RUSSELL T DAVIES?!?
Or is this just another vague allusion to your bad experiences with Mr Saward?

LOL. I didn't think of that.

He wasn't a Doctor Who author, and I've completely forgotten the guy's name.

Anyway, it was the big tour of 2005 when Katy Manning, Sylvester McCoy and Colin Baker visited a theatre in Sydney. My parents and I booked seats and as we waited for the show to start, we idly discussed the celebrities we'd met. My dad had met McCoy, and I'd met all three.

"You know the guy in front of us?" my dad asked. "Well the book he's reading, I know the author."

The guy turns around. "Excuse me."

My dad explains. "The guy who wrote that book. He dated my sister back in the 1960s."

The guy stares at him. "*I* wrote that book."

"So you are," my dad says, not missing a beat. "Remember Ursula Clarke in Grafton?"

The guy's eyes bug out. "WHAT THE HELL?! Kevin?!!"

My dad turns to me and says, "Told you."

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

So... erm... the guy sits around reading his own books in theatres while waiting for Sylvester McCoy to show up?

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Oh, also I'm pretty sure I past David Wenham in Sydney once. But I think I already mentioned that..

Youth of Australia said...

So... erm... the guy sits around reading his own books in theatres while waiting for Sylvester McCoy to show up?
Well, he was there with his kid, and the book was part of a promotion AFAIK - Dymocks was just around the corner.

But it DOES sound a tad egocentric now I come to mention it.

And I saw David Wenham at Bondi Junction. He thought I was an animatronic Santa, though...

Miles Reid said...

I think I could beat that anecdote with the 'Washington Prostitute and Drug Dealing' story.