Love Excels

Source: Love Excels


New address:

G’day everyone.

A quick note to say I’m taking my digitial vigilantism, lavatory humour and erotic fiction to a new address:

Come over and say hello.


More erotic fiction

A few weeks ago I published an excerpt from Cold Tequila Comfort, an erotic fiction/crime thriller hybrid I’ve been working on. The response was huge. I received emails that made me squint such was the intensity of the glowing praise within, mailed underpants, several awards, eight marriage proposals, an offer from a condom company (they wanted to name a new brand of prophylactic devices after me: Haught Naughts) and numerous other things that I can’t mention here because my wife reads this blog.

The resounding message was “we want more”, so here it is:

(From Chapter 6, titled ‘Best Laid Plans’)

“I’ve been thinkin’,” said Brunden.

“Mind you don’t hurt yourself,” said Dierdre .

They laughed as heartily as an old-fashioned steak and kidney pie with a thick crust. They both had good senses of humour and could deprecate one another without fear of violent reprisals. And anyway, they both knew Brunden was smart. Real smart. He was, after all, a chartered accountant and knew some French.

“I’ve been thinkin’,” Brunden repeated, “Dierdre … it’s such an uncommon name these days.”

“You don’t like it?” Dierdre asked.

“No. That is not what I meant,” Brunden assured. “If I had to guess I would say it was German for hot – VERY HOT!”

And then it was on. Again. For the fourth time that morning. And as Brunden eased his hulking juggernaut into Dierdre ‘s humming inlet the fact that Dierdre was actually an Irish name meaning sorrowful meant precisely nothing.

They had intercourse three more times that day, for a total of seven.


“Where the hell have you been, Brunden?” Davis growled. If he hadn’t been so handsome, you might have mistaken him for a werewolf, such was the gruff, dog-like quality of his voice.

“I’ve been having sexual relations,” Brunden replied.

“I don’t need to hear that,” Davis said, shaking his head.

Brunden had a grin on his face that only a man who had vigorously and repeatedly used his corporal javelin earlier that day could sport.

Brunden had become a police informant, sometimes known as a “snitch”. But the word snitch didn’t seem to befit Brunden, who had licorice brown hair like the mane of a horse that used product.

Davis had short hair that was dishevelled and smelled slightly unpleasant because he had not been home to wash for three days.

It was a poignant contrast.

“You ready to do this?” asked Davis, who had led Brunden into an interview room. He was holding a tattered blue clipboard. It was one he had been using for seven years. The police just didn’t have the funds to spend on stationery.

“Your clipboard is tattered,” said Brunden, sitting down on a chair made from cheap aluminium. The small area of subtly-pinstriped trouser now touching the piece of furniture was more valuable than the chair itself.

“So will your career be, if you keep up with that,” Davis shot back. He was sharp, sharp like a stone age cutting implement and just as rough around the edges.

Brunden raised his hands in a show of apology and tried to subdue his grin. It was a grin that could moisten a woman standing up to forty metres away (Brunden himself had conducted scientifically rigorous experiments to prove it), but it did not stir anything in Davis, who was not a homosexual, other than bitter resentment. Bitter like a chinotto.

Davis clenched his jaw, painfully swallowed his pride like it was a large, unripe, unchewed strawberry, and got down to business.

“Let’s do this thing,” he said. He sometimes liked to use the vernacular of a younger generation when talking with informers. He felt it got better outcomes.

“OK,” said Brunden.

“Talk to me about Vince Tricalico, my main man,” said Davis.

It wasn’t strictly a question, but Brunden answered anyway. “They call him “Vinny”. He plays golf on Sundays. At the Royal Oaks.”

“I think that’s enough to go on, dude,” said Davis, and promptly ended the interview. “Interview with Mr Brunden ended at 2.36 pm,” he said.

The clock ticked over to 2.37.


Felicity Montgomery was the daughter of the Establishment. She sometimes rode in a horse-drawn carriage, even though that mode of transport had been obsolete for more than a century and was extravagantly expensive and exceptionally inefficient. She had hair like a flowing waterfall of molten bronze and eyes like two shimmering orbs of cobalt, except with some white (the white) and black (the pupil). Her eyes not only looked like cobalt, they also had a cobalt-like radioactivity, and although they could not cause cancer in a man, they could certainly make him very ill indeed. Ill with love.

Felicity had a fine pair of buttocks.

Felicity was in a sauna. It was a male-only sauna, but she was not there by accident; she knew what she was doing. She knew big time.

In walked Whorl Broxell. At first he didn’t notice that anyone else was in the large sauna. It was steamy and Felicity had deliberately settled, like  a very attractive troll, in its darkest corner. (Soon she would be probed in her own dark corner.)

Thinking he was alone, Broxell, as was his wont, let his towel drop to the floor and began to dance. It was the dance of a confident man. Confident in his movement and in his body. Confident in his ability to make the music his companion, even when there was no music to befriend. He bucked and swayed and sometimes there was a pelack-ing noise like a cold pancake hitting a slab of granite.

Felicity, who had spent the last three weeks planning for this moment, suddenly melted, transformed from a calculating woman who knew she was the master of her own destiny to a beguiled schoolgirl believing that the man in front of her was not only the centre of her universe, but had the right to use her and discard her like an object with little intrinsic or sentimental value – a cheap spatula, or perhaps a paper napkin that had been used to pick up a dead bird.

Words entered her head that hadn’t been there since she had been a teenager, words like “beefcake”, “love-sponge” and “diddle”. She found them both sickeningly juvenile and profoundly appropriate.

Her heart felt like it was beating faster than the wings of a hummingbird (it wasn’t, as she would have died instantly if it had been). Goosebumps dimpled her skin so intensely that she felt like a human golf ball. A pink one. Sweat slid down her face in rivulets. They would have been there even if she had been outside in the freezing St Kilda morning.

Felicity Montgomery’s best laid plans had most definitely gone to waste.

Want more? Of course you bloody do.

Haught fact of the day:

Horses can’t use product because their legs are rigid.

My email to Hoo haa Bar

Earlier this month, two young women tried to get into a venue on Melbourne’s Chapel Street by the name of Hoo haa Bar. They happened to be partners. They happened to be holding hands.

The women say that they were not permitted entry, and suspect their sexual orientation had more than a little something to do with it. Several witnesses support their claim.

Of course, it’s all “alleged” at this stage.

What’s not alleged is Hoo haa Bar’s Facebook-page response to the ensuing furore. It’s real and you can read it here.

I get confused, flustered, but ultimately excited when private enterprises show a willingness to respond to questions and criticism. And I feel like I have cola-activated Wizz Fizz in my underpantal region when they choose to play the woe-is-us victim.

This, combined with the fact that I recently found myself a  patron at this particular establishment, meant that the following email flowed as easily as hypocritical drivel out of Kyle Sandilands’ mouth:

Dear Hoo haa Management Team,

I’m writing to seek clarification on an incident that took place at your establishment earlier this year. In hindsight, and in light of recent events, I now consider the event in question to be enormously distressing.

On Saturday the 26th of May, I travelled to Prahran to attend the birthday party of a friend at Hoo haa Bar.

I was let in.

This is causing me great consternation and I desperately need to know why it took place.

The obvious answer, of course, is that I am now one of Melbourne’s A-list celebrities and should be granted access to every single establishment in the city. But this doesn’t really cut it, when you consider that I have earned my reputation as a bloggospherical deity by working almost exclusively as a semi-anonymous cyber vigilante. Despite the fact that most Australians know and adore me, very few know what I actually look like.

And what I look like is really at the crux of this matter.

Recently, it’s alleged, your door staff denied entry to two women on a Saturday night at around about 9pm. Their names are Kay Girardi and Ari Missikos. Now, the old saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder generally holds true, but let’s be honest here: unless the Herald Sun has gone into a PhotoShopping frenzy and given Kay and Ari’s faces a complete digital reconstruction (and we are talking about a News Limited publication here, so I concede that anything’s possible), these were not unattractive people you told to bugger off.

And even if you wanted to mount a case that they had been given a couple of lashings with the proverbial ugly stick, everything is relative. Relatively speaking, these two women are smoulderingly, wickedly, incomprehensibly sexy hotties. Relative to what or to whom, you ask?

Relative to me.

While I may be the world’s most promising and precocious literary talent, this doesn’t change the fact that I am as ugly as sin. And I’m not talking about one of the spurious Catholic ones like “original sin” or one of the piss-weak Deadly ones like sloth or gluttony; I’m talking about the absolute shockers like wrath, Avada Kedavra and, by far the worst of all, vanity. (I absolutely abhor arrogance and conceit, and as the owner of a Chapel Street night club, you undoubtedly do too.)

I’m so unattractive, my wife employs a Perseus-style mirror-plated shield when conversing with me. I’m so unattractive, I’m reluctant to have children because I fear that if my son or daughter got my face genes, I’d be dragged to The Hague and charged with crimes against humanity. I’m so unattractive, when I sent an email to Ben Polis earlier this year implying that he looked like “a rodent with mange…a loathsome mouse-dog… a repellent maggot… a rosy-faced cretin… a small, podgy dipshit and an angry little gerbil [resembling] Jake King… a dead carp’s slowly disintegrating prolapsed anus and an unctuous, ulcerous semi-human” I feared that he would respond with “I know you are, but what am I?” and his case would be water-tight.

(Speaking of emails to famous people, last year I sent an email to the well-known human/dinosaur hybrid Margaret Court (she still hasn’t responded – RUDE!) and told her that a boy at school once described me as looking like a pig with Down’s syndrome. His jibe, though cruel, was excruciatingly accurate.)

What I’m getting at is that if you want to argue that the two women you didn’t allow into your alcohol-serving-sauna-with-very-loud-music are not aesthetically pleasing enough, you have to take into consideration me. Not as an arbitrary point of reference, but because just a few Saturday nights before you told them they weren’t what you were looking for, you told me I was!

Now maybe you’ll argue semantics: it wasn’t so much what they looked like as their look. Again, I’m the hurdle that will make that argument’s finishing line very hard for you to get to.

To be fair, I don’t know what Kay and Ari were wearing on the night in question. But you do. So perhaps you can tell me: was it a pair of off-white cargo pants purchased in the late 1990s, a blue and red Melbourne Football Club tie with an old-school AFL logo on it, an ill-fitting white Rivers shirt with uneven stripes or a beanie of a similar vintage? Did they at any point produce a multi-coloured, multi-textured wallet with a small cowrie shell embedded in it?

The reason I ask is that’s what I was wearing on that chilly, and dare-I-say-it, soon-to-be-infamous May night.

Plus, my hair was as shit as ever and my beard was poorly trimmed, to the point where if you poured three litres of liquid on to the crotch of my trousers and squinted, you could easily have mistaken me for Biff Pelican.

Apparently, your hired muscle told Ari and Kay that they might consider coming back on a Wednesday night when the venue was “more liberal” about who it gave the thumbs-up to. In my experience, however, your Saturday night at 9.00pm policy is more liberal than a hippies-only Swedish key party at a vibrator factory incorporating a swimming pool filled with champagne jelly and Enya playing in the background.

So what’s going on here? Why didn’t you tell me to go back to Thornbury and put on some more appropriate clothes? Why didn’t you tell me to come back another night, even though I was there for a friend’s birthday? Why didn’t you look me up and down, smirk and tell me with undisguised disdain “Not tonight, buddy”? Why did you let me in?




Thanking you in advance for your considered response and wishing you all the very best in your (sensible, in my opinion) public campaign to have consumers consider the potential impact of their actions upon innocent businesses before launching their vicious, inane and destructive personal opinions and experiences out into the social media universe,

Jonathan Rivett

I’m looking forward to Hoo haa’s response even more than I’m looking forward to The Shire on Channel 10.

Haught fact of the day:

Enya’s most famous song isn’t named ‘Sail Away’; it is in fact called ‘Orinoco Flow’.

Other emails I’ve sent:

My attempt at erotic fiction

A few years ago, I was reading Peter Temple’s crime thriller The Broken Shore and found it so inspiring, I decided to write some fan fiction. It was good, very good, but I got sidetracked by other projects and forgot to ring back the many many publishing houses who had asked me to turn it into a novel, or any of the Hollywood studios who had enquired as to whether I would give them the film options.

Only since the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, the book that began as erotic Twilight fan fiction and became an international best seller, have I revisited my work. I discovered  that what I had – its working title was Cold Comfort –  was undoubtedly first-class prose, but it was single-genre prose.

I’m a trendsetter by nature, but I’m also a brilliant entrepreneur and I know when to start from scratch and when to take a proven idea and make it even better. So Cold Comfort became Cold Tequila Comfort, an erotic crime thriller no longer based on Peter Temple characters.

Here’s an excerpt for your delectation.

(If you like it, I might post some more again soon.

Let’s be honest, I’m going to be posting some more again soon.)

(From Chapter 3, titled ‘Big Time’)

Boyd looked out his window. The city was cold. Cold like Boyd’s heart. Cold like the iceblock in the tumbler of whiskey that sat on his desk. A triple –  Boyd didn’t do half measures. Like Jensen used to say, if you wanted to do half measures, you should join the rodeo as a clown at the rodeo.

He’d never understood that advice, as taking half measures at a rodeo could lead to serious internal organ and brain injuries, but Jensen was a multi-layered character and probably hadn’t meant it strictly literally.



“Sorry, boss.”

It was Davis.

“Davis. You scared the shit out of me. I was thinking about Jensen.”

“Multi-layered man, Jensen,” said Davis.

“Yes he was. Now he’s dead.”

Davis nodded slowly, quietly, thoughtfully. He nodded like a man in deep thought. Hell – he was.

“What do you want? Make it quick. I’m busy.”

Davis could tell this was a lie. Boyd had been looking out the window. Again. Possibly for up to eighty consecutive minutes. But he let it slide.

“It’s King.”

“What about him?”

“He’s dead.”


“He drank thirty-eight alcopops, got slightly tipsy and fell into a pool.”


“No, someone had put three blue ringed octopuses into the pool and, well… one found the mark.”

“His balls?”

“Yeah, boss.”

“Jensen always said King would be bitten on the genitals by an octopus and die from the poison of the octopus.”

“We can’t think about Jensen now. He’s long dead. King, on the other hand, is still warm.”

“You are right, Davis. As usual. How warm?”

“Pathology thinks it happened between eight and nine minutes ago.” Davis was talking  in between deep breaths. He had obviously run to the office. He had some sweat on his face. It glistened like salt water on a statue. In many ways, that’s exactly what it was.

“Any suspects at this stage?”


“Who’s your prime?” asked Boyd, using the terse, cold idiomatic language of the Homicide Squad. It was just his way. The only way he’d ever known, since being kicked out of a state school in Form 4 and being told by a teacher he’d never amount to anything. (Ha! Where was Ms Cuthbertson now? Almost certainly dead, as she had been in her mid sixties at the time she had made the comment, which meant she would be nearly one hundred and ten now and very few people lived that long.)

“A guy called Hank. Hank Brunden.”

“Talk to him. And do it now, goddamn it, before he leaves the country!”

Davis turned to leave the office.

Boyd picked up his whiskey, went to sip, then said “Davis.”

Davis was at the door. He turned to face the rugged head of the Homicide Squad, who hadn’t shaved for a few days. “Yes boss?”

“The King is dead. Long live the king.”

Davis didn’t need to respond. But he did. He said “Mm.”


Hank Brunden had a broad mind, a broad chest and a broad share portfolio. He loved women, but more than that he loved accountancy. And accountancy was what he was doing right now, at 10.45 in the evening, in bed. He was doing some work for a very special client. The client was himself. You see, Hank had a passion for accountancy that transcended work hours. He “did the math”, as he called it, like someone else might do a soduko puzzle (or “sudaki” as his dim-witted brother would say).

Hank’s bed had satin sheets.

Hank completed a difficult equation and yelled with satisfaction, as he sometimes did while exercising his gift for arithmetic. It must have been loud, because he could hear Dierdre, the thirty-four year old divorcee who lived in the apartment next door wake up and ask herself groggily, “Wh-what’s going on?”

Then suddenly it was on.

Big time.

Dierdre was at the door with all her clothes on and a duffel coat and a prim early 19th century replica bonnet, then she was about halfway between the door and the bed without her duffel coat and only some of her clothes on, but the bonnet still on in a coquettish manner. Then she was straddling Hank Brunden completely naked, her gulf throbbing like a frightened mouse’s heart. It had been like watching a very early, very amateurish attempt at stop motion cinema.

As Dierdre reached for Hank’s burgeoning groin trunk – his poppet head purpling with the same uncontrolled urgency as his doltish brother the time he’d been on the inane 1980s game show that challenged you to run around a faux supermarket putting as many consumer items into a trolley as you could in thirty seconds – Detective Inspector Gary Davis kicked the door down and charged into the room, gun drawn. He had the look in his eye of a man on a mission, a mission that didn’t come with very many protocols or instructions. Or exit strategies.

Davis had size 9 shoes.

“No knock, Detective Inspector?” asked Hank, smiling broadly, as his embarrassed neighbour covered his still-engorged jabberwocky (and she did see it as a mythical creature) with her prim bonnet.

“Oh, for fuck’s sake, Brunden!” Davis growled. He fired two rounds into the roof. “Finish off here, get dressed, brush your teeth, eat some toast and meet me downstairs. We’re goin’ downtown.”

Davis and Brunden had form.

Big time.


I’m thinking of releasing an audio version with me as the narrator.

Haught fact of the day:

When Boyd asks Davis who his “prime” is, he means prime suspect.

I’ve hit pay dirt… again

Sometimes I receive messages in the spiced ham folder of my email that get me so excited I feel like I want to climb onto the tallest building in the suburb and shout my exhilaration to the world. I’m always reluctant to do that because I also feel like I could spontaneously combust at any moment and the tallest building in the suburb happens to be a school, and I wouldn’t want to scare the kiddies, or spatter them with charred human meat.

I think the closest I’ve ever come to climbing the bell tower at St Mary’s with post-email elation was after reading this little doozy. But today I received a piece of electronic correspondence that blew Jean Fafona’s effort out of the water. Some of that water happily sprayed onto me, putting out the fire that had started on both of my arms.

Here it is:

Dear partner,

I am James Francis from Florida USA I was the personal account officer of  late Libyan Leader Omar Muammar al Gaddafi for 25year, before his dead last year 2011 he ask me to transfer a very huge amount of money about $20m (Twenty Million US Dollars) to a Commercial Bank in Malaysia (Chase Bank) for a twenty five story’s building he wanted to buy in SARAWAK MALAYSIA without a beneficiary name  because of the nature of his country, Since after his death  no one has come for the claim of the money due to the fact that there was no beneficiary to the fund.

Now the Bank (Chase Bank) is asking me to present the beneficiary of the money that they need to transfer the money back to the owner since the account is dormant for a long time now.  After going through your profile and that of your company I believe you are the right person for this job since your company’s business correlates with a kind of business I would like to invest my own share of the money when is finally transferred.

But right now my healthy condition and security in my country I can’t transfer this fund to my personal account rather I want you to assist me to receive this fund” If you would assist me with this I will compensate you with 30% of the total sum and at the same time invest my own money in your company’s business. More details will be sending to you when I receive your interest response.

You are free to call me for more information.

Thanks & Best Regard
James Francis,
H/P: +1-732-659-5513

Here’s what I sent back when my arms stopped smouldering:

Dear partner (indeed!),

First, congratulations on getting to the silver anniversary under the Colonel. Fair effort, that.

Now, let’s get down to tin tacks: I like the sound of this deal for three reasons:

  1. It’s straightforward and makes perfect sense.
  2. You’ve obviously done your research.
  3. It dovetails nicely with a similar transaction I’ve been looking for a partner to help me complete.

When you say you’ve been through my profile, I presume you mean you’ve read my blog. (You and half the rest of the world!) Before I go on, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Now, be honest – is it the best thing you’ve ever read? A few people have told me it is, but I get the feeling they’re only saying it because they want something from me. It would be great to get the opinion of someone who has no ulterior motive.

In any case, I really believe that investing in my business is a financial decision you won’t regret. At the moment I make an annual profit of A$0. Your generous cash injection will ensure I can maintain the operation’s stability and I am extremely confident that I can continue to post similar profits into the foreseeable future.

Now to the money. US$20 million is certainly a very huge sum. But not as big as the sum I’ve been looking to transfer from an account in ULAANBAATAR, MONGOLIA for the last decade or so.

You see, my story sounds remarkably similar to yours.

I am, as you well know, Jonathan Rivett from Melbourne Australia. I was the financial adviser to the late Idi Amin. (We might have even bumped into each other at one of those Swiss alpine retreats Idi and the Colonel went on together, now I come to think of it. Do you have thick red hair and a small scar on your left cheek?) Before he died in 2003, the big fella asked me to mortgage Uganda and transfer the proceeds into a commercial bank in northern Asia. I said to Idi, I said, “Idi, you silly fat fuck, you can’t mortgage an entire country. Get serious, please.” (By the way, when I told that to Forest Whitaker while he was doing research for The Last King of Scotland, he laughed so hard he fell off the chair he was sitting on and thought he’d dislocated his shoulder, but it turned out to only be a minor subluxation and he was fine.) So Idi returned to the realms of possibility, did some  stock standard embezzling and told me to transfer the resulting US$97 million into a commercial bank in Mongolia (Khan Bank) for the purchase of a mountain.

Because of the nature of the toiletries industry at the time, he made the transfer into the account of his invisible friend, JimJam Jones, a gigantic talking prune with predilection for stamp collecting and brightly coloured bow ties. Now, JimJam Jones owned a concrete business operating out of Libya (you may even have purchased some concrete on behalf of the Colonel from him) and was away on business at the time of the transfer – Idi demanded that I make the transaction without informing JimJam. When JimJam discovered the money in his account (now holidaying in Cancun) he made the assumption that he had won the lottery, despite never having bought a ticket. He became reckless, decided to go waterskiing for the first time in his life, even though he was an invisible prune and didn’t have opposable digits, and was killed in a spectacular explosion involving an offshore oil rig (JimJam was smoking two cuban cigars as he skied). While this was all happening, Idi’s kidney’s were playing up; he died in Saudi Arabia not long after the last of JimJan’s delicious remains washed up on the beaches of Montego Bay, Jamaica. This meant that nobody was left to claim the money now lying dormant in a dead figment’s Mongolian account. Of course there was me, but everyone knows foreign banks only let you transfer large sums of money if you have a complete stranger into whose bank account you can make the transfer and, until today, I didn’t know any complete strangers. But now I do. His name is James Francis, and I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. (By the way, I’m referring to you, not another James Francis.)

OK, so here’s the deal. I will give you 42.87 percent of the US97 million and will invest 12.43 percent  into your Miami pineapple growing business. All you need to do is send me a statement of your interest, followed by your bank account details, followed by your left hand.

You are free to email me for more information:

With a jiggly wiggly sense of anticipation and a yearning to trade despot stories, I remain faithfully yours,


PS: I once bench pressed a fully grown cow.

PPS: Who do you think will play Gaddafi if they make a movie about him? I think probably Fassbender.

Wouldn’t it be good if he replied?

Haught fact of the day:

Until recently, I thought Mongolia was like Siam and Abyssinia and Ceylon and was now called North China or South Russia. What a bogan, eh?

What’s happened to the Grape Men?

A lot of people have been enquiring as to the whereabouts of the Grape Men. I’ll write a full post about it later, but in short grape season is over for another year and their allotment of land no longer resonates with the word “putana” or the gentle stop and start and stop and start and stop and start of engines.

Who stole the cookies? [The Mike Lamprill Incident]

At primary school, a boy whose real name I won’t reveal (I’ll call him Mike Lamprill) took our collective seven-year-old understanding of honesty to a new echelon during a game of Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar.

For those who don’t know the game, it goes something like this:

Kiddies sit in a circle and create a beat by clapping their hands then slapping their knees in unison – hands-knees, hands-knees, hands-knees, etc. The teacher then gets the game started in earnest by singing “Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?” followed by “Li stole the cookies from the cookie jar.” This brings that child into the game, and their response to the accusation must be “Who me?” which is immediately followed by the whole group baying for blood: “Yes you!”, then back to the accused who pleads their innocence with “Couldn’t be!”, then back to the group of shockingly fickle accusers who, instead of broadening their line of enquiry just give up, and together ask “Then who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?”, which gives the now-innocent child the chance to make their own evidence-free allegation: “DAVID stole the cookies from the cookie jar!” And so on and so forth.

If you’re still not sure what the hell I’m talking about, I highly recommend Wikipedia’s description, which includes a superlative use of the word “apocryphal”.

Who Stole the Cookies had a chequered history at my primary school. There were rumours that in the mid 1980s a girl who had indeed thieved baked goods just prior to a round of the game began to  hyperventilate during the song and collapsed when she was inevitably accused. A few years later, so the primary school lore said, a racist teacher had tried to casually introduce the words Who   Shot the Coolie in the Coolie Bar into the game. In the early 1990s a young boy now sometimes known as Haught decided to attempt some paradigm shifting and demanded that the song be Australianised – Who Stole the Bikkies From the Bikkie Tin didn’t manage to capture the imagination of his NBA-worshipping, Nike-wearing, Disney-obsessed peers. And then there was the Mike Lamprill Incident.

I remember it vividly. So vividly that I fear I may have unconsciously darned the holes in my memory that time had worn into existence, and darned them so well that the story I’m about to tell you, which I honestly believe to be true down to the very last detail, is in fact mostly fabrication.

I was in Grade 2. My class gathered in the little room beside the Marble Tree (whole ‘nother story there) for Music and the Music teacher told us as soon as we’d entered to form a circle. There were excited murmurs. The teacher waited until everyone was seated with legs crossed before asking for guesses as to what we might be singing. Sally Atkins put up her hand and guessed ‘Crocodile Rock’. Nobody laughed because our Music teacher was a goddamn trailblazer and regularly asked five year olds to smash out some Elton John. The teacher said it was a good guess but not the right answer. James Prendergast put up his hand and guessed ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo‘. Everybody laughed because he had a lisp and couldn’t have chosen three worse words to pronounce. The teacher told us to be quiet and again praised the guess. Steven Bellis put his hand up, tried ‘Botty Botty Cuttlefish’ and brought the house down.

The teacher, above the hysterics, yelled “NO! NO! SILLY! NOT FUNNY AT ALL! QUIET!” but with only limited success. Through my tears I noticed that Mike Lamprill had stopped laughing and put his hand up. Hoping that he might be considering one-upping Steven’s work of genius, I watched intently and saw the teacher wave his hand away while she continued to yell things like  “EXCUSE ME!” and the archetypal teacher’s “UUUH!” Mike kept his hand up and as the laughter from the rest of the class abated, I thought he might get his chance, but the teacher dismissed him once and for all: “NO MIKE! HAND DOWN! Silly Steven has ruined it for everyone.”

Mike looked understandably distressed.

The teacher told us that we were playing Who Stole the Cookies. There was an exact fifty-fifty split between disgusted groans and overenthusiastic YES!es (accompanied by obligatory fist pumps).

The teacher got things started – hands-knees, hands-knees, hands-knees “Grade Twos. I was looking in my pantry this morning. And do you know what I found? I found that someone had stolen some cookies from my cookie jar. So, I’ve got a very important question I need to ask you all. Grade Twos… Whooo stole the cookies from the cookie jar? Ahmed stole the cookies from the cookie jar.”

“Who me?” asked ultra-reliable Ahmed Massri, knee-hand rhythm remaining impeccable the whole time.

“Yes you!” yelled the few members of the class who had managed to get into the swing of things and weren’t distracted by their own nostrils, or their immediate neighbour’s hair, or the vestigial hilarity of that magical cuttlefish line.

“Couldn’t be,” Ahmed assured us.

“Then who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?”

“SARAH stole the cookies from the cookie jar,” Ahmed suggested.

“Who me?”

“Yes you!”

“Couldn’t be!”

“Then who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?”

“STEVEN stole the – ”

At this point the teacher intervened, out of tune “NO! Steven didn’t steal the cookies. I think …” and then returning to the pattern of the song said “Wei stole the cookies from the cookie jar.”

“Who me?”

“Yes you!”

“Couldn’t be!”

“Then who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?”

“MIKE stole the cookies from the cookie jar.”

“Who me?” Mike asked, back straight, hands meeting then falling to his knees in a regimented fashion, face suggesting something was terribly wrong.

“Yes you!”

“Couldn’t be!” Mike managed, still keeping time, but looking as if professions of innocence were the furthest thing from his mind.

“Then who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?”

Suddenly facially relaxed, still keeping the hands-knees, hands-knees, hands-knees beat going, Mike departed radically from the script, while valiantly attempting to retain the song’s meter: “I’ve got two poos inside my tracksuit pants.”

And he did.

From that moment on, certainly for as long as I was at primary school, Who Stole the Cookies was a write-off. I remember emergency teachers coming in and innocently setting up a game (and being visibly cheered by the positive response it received from the students) only to become mouth-agape horrified when the class clown  flung in Mike’s now-legendary line like a gigantic purple dildo at a Boy Scout’s meeting.

Is it immortal? I sometimes think I should return to the school pretending to be a social researcher and find out whether it became a rock-solid cultural institution like “No way! Get fucked! Fuck off!” in ‘Am I ever gunna see your face again’ or whether it’s a moment from another time, the only evidence left being the darned recollections of a childish blogger.