Jim ….. a Character Study (Part 1)

Another tale from Jaycee – and I’m delighted to admit I’ve deferred to his judgment. He thought it should be a two-parter, and so it will be. Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy!

(Image Credit: Your Story)

The story goes that Jim, on visiting the dentist to have his mouth-full of rotten teeth attended to, promptly told the dentist they would all have to come out…

“I’ll be the judge of that!” the dentist hastily replied. Then asked him to open up. “Good lord! They’ll have to come out!” and Jim smiled … not for the fact that he was going to lose all his teeth, but, you see, Jim was right again! He regaled us with this knowledge that same night at “The Cliff”. Jim was a specialist at “regaling” people with his stories, for that’s what they were – fictions of a very fertile imagination. But getting back to his teeth for a moment. It was a good job he attended to them when he did … he was fast losing friends from the mere sight of that “cavern of broken and blackened stalactites” as someone (I forget whom) once said: “It’s enough to put yer off yer finking,” someone else (I forget whom ) remarked (maybe it was Jeff Otto … it sounds like him!).

Jim was of dark-haired medium height, but he looked taller than he was through being rather lanky … he was one of those blokes who could hold their pint of beer and cigarette in the one hand while gesticulating a point with the other. He was always there on the fringe of a discussion, willing to make his contribution whenever he could … not by butting in, but by picking the right moment – for good yarn-spinning demands a damn good sense of timing – it is in using the accoutrements around one as props, like long-drawing on a fag, or pausing to lick the paper when rolling a cigarette, or polishing off the dregs of a beer and calling to Noela for a refill. It gives the listener pause enough to “get ahead”, in their minds, of the story-teller – but the story-teller is really always in control. Jim was a natural.

However, as much as I can make out, Jim’s career as the local bullshit artist began when he was employed with the district council on an unemployment relief scheme. Jim and his mate, Mark, with whom Jim used to board, were both working up near the old golf course, widening the road. A lot of the local riff-raff of the community were employed on these schemes and this project was no exception. There were a few members of the notorious “Barbarians” motorcycle gang working the same stretch of road as Jim and Mark. These “youths” were known to possess a rather cruel streak within their ugly facades of greasy, unwashed grottiness … otherwise, they were rather nice chaps.

One day at smoko, Jim decided to endear himself to the nearest “Barb’” with an example of his fiction. We’ll take up the thread at the ending:

“…Well, there I was – broken down truck, no food, no water, no road out … the middle of the desert … the middle of summer. I knew I was in a fix, so I started walking south … (a drag on his cigarette, slow expelling of smoke). I walked for three days, no food, no water … on the third day I was standing under a gum tree, resting, when suddenly an aborigine appeared before me. I thought I was hallucinating – I don’t know where he came from as there was nothing but desert all around – but there he was, a full-blood, dark as a pint of stout and armed with spears and things … (pause for meaningful reflection and another drag). I couldn’t speak his dialect and he couldn’t speak mine…he gave me a drink and some chewy-meat stuff, then we sat down cross-legged in the red sand and he drew some wriggly lines with his fingers which I took to mean water, and he turned his head to the sunset and pointed. Then he made three strokes in the sand – and sure enough, I walked three days in that direction and came across water.”

All through this extraordinary tale, the gruesome bikie was suitably impressed with Jim’s courage in the face of such odds and his calm demeanour in the retelling of the adventure, so that with every pause , he would punctuate the story with “Yeah!” or ”Really!?” and even a proud “Bloody hell!” so that Jim returned to work a hero in one man’s eyes – that is – until the bikie repeated the yarn (replete with amazed interjections) to Mark.

“Oh, he was just bullshitting to you – he’s never been further north than Wheatland Street !” (the street leading to the Seacliff Hotel).

“Yeah?” the bikie raged,” I’ll kill the bastard!!” It took Mark another half hour to calm the man down. Mark frequently had to follow behind to undo the damage that Jim innocently wrought. For, however outlandish his stories, he never meant any harm by them. They were, as I said, figments of a very fertile imagination.

But there was method to Jim’s madness. He would mostly relate these Munchausenish adventures to someone of influence …and as Jim spent a good deal of time in the clutches of poverty – and the front bar of the Seacliff Hotel – that “influence” usually centered around the financial capacity to purchase more beer, or as in the case just mentioned, a toke on a joint or two of “Barbarian” weed!

To keep up his supply of stories, Jim would clip out articles from newspapers to file away in this little notepad he kept he kept in a top pocket. Occasionally, he would be seen to write something in this pad, but never was he known to show anybody its contents. I suspect there was little to show, but was “played upon” to increase the mystery surrounding his person … there was a rumour (no doubt started by himself) that he was in Sth Aust as a kind of modern-day remittance man from a wealthy family back in Sydney. Jim would draw upon those clippings and notes with suitable embellishments to concoct another outlandish tale with himself as hero to impress whoever had the generosity to maintain supply …

An Example …

You may have read in the papers many years ago about the discovery, in the sea north of Darwin, a sunken Japanese submarine from the Second World War that contained a fortune in mercury. However, the Japanese government pressed for the wreck to be left alone as a war grave – which, eventually, it was. Well … a couple of evenings after that story broke in the papers, Jim had buttonholed some unfortunate, and was relating to him the details (between draughts of the old amber), of how he, Jim, and some others had dived for and retrieved canisters of mercury from a Japanese sub sunken out in St Vincent’s Gulf. “… if you follow that sunbeam on the water there straight out ‘bout five mile …” and sold it for a fortune which was used to buy arms for gun-running to Timor … oh!, pardon my slip, I forgot to tell you that Timor was at that time in conflict with Indonesia, which also made the dailies, and Jim’s notepad.

Most of these tales were good entertainment and people didn’t mind paying the price of a beer or two for such. However, Bruce (The Pinball Wizard) made the mistake of believing one of Jim’s creations and he never lived it down!

(Image Credit: Australian Traveller)

239 thoughts on “Jim ….. a Character Study (Part 1)

  1. I bet there’s lots of phone call and some hurried ‘get-to-gethers’ going on re’ this. Looks like Simon McInnes will drop them in it.

    What a shame. 👿

    “Brian Loughnane has agreed that for the time being the Fed Sec will operate on the policy…in effect, there is no benefit for a NSW donor to donate to via the Fed Sec, unless they are a property developer,” said Federal Liberal executive Colin Gracie in an email to Simon McInnes, the finance director of the NSW Liberal party.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/icac-hears-that-liberal-party-boss-brian-loughnane-knew-of-developer-donations-going-through-federal-channels-20140806-100vlc.html#ixzz39aJofWJQ

  2. Just on the QT, if you have the right metadata then you have a bloody good idea of the contents.

  3. ICAC scores a couple more notches in the belt

    CHARLESTOWN Liberal MP Andrew Cornwell and Newcastle Liberal MP Tim Owen will stand aside from the parliamentary Liberal Party and serve on the cross bench with Mr Cornwell to stand down as government whip following ICAC revelations this morning.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/newcastle-mayor-jeff-mccloy-allegedly-gave-charlestown-mp-andrew-cornwell-10k-in-brown-paper-bag-icac-hears/story-fni0cx12-1227015275883

  4. The phone scammers are really at it at the moment.

    I just got a recorded voice –

    This is Qantas. Your last flight has just been selected for each passenger to recieve $900 …

    At which point I hung up.

    When the ‘Windows Department’ ring (every 3 months it seems) I listen and respond to the initial drivel and then tell them to hang on while I take something off the stove. I wonder how long they wait before they realise I have no intention of picking the phone back up.

  5. Tlbd – It looks like a big week.

    I assume that the plan is to hit as quickly as possible with McInness’ evidence.

  6. You couldn’t make this stuff up if you were a scriptwriter for The Sopranos. I’m wondering how many of those who have agreed to blab in return for immunity from prosecution will end up sleeping with the fishes.
    It’s paywalled, but…

    ICAC’s Operation Spicer resumed this morning after a three-month break, but the corruption investigators have not been on holiday. In his opening address, Geoffrey Watson SC laid out a long list of witnesses, most of whom have agreed to assist the inquiry in return for immunity against prosecution. In common parlance, they have “rolled over” and will now be free to point the finger at their bosses. For ICAC groupies, the prospect of seeing a gold-class list of high flyers — coal baron and former billionaire Nathan Tinkler, former Labor powerbrokers Joe Tripodi and Eric Roozendaal, and Newcastle mayor Jeff McCloy — in the box should ensure a full house.

    In a nutshell, former billionaire Nathan Tinkler and his company Buildev wanted to build a coal loader on the Mayfield site at the Newcastle port. The problem was that sitting Labor member Jodi McKay (pictured above) opposed the proposal. Newcastle was a marginal seat, and the local Liberal Party saw an opportunity to use the funds of Tinkler and others in their campaign to unseat her. Electoral donations from property developers have been prohibited in NSW since 2009.

    On top of this, ICAC has graphic evidence of what Watson described this morning as a “rare example of bipartisan support”, where Joe Tripodi and Eric Roozendaal appear to have joined forces with Buildev to unseat a member of their own party.

    One of the people to have “rolled over” is Tripodi’s former friend Vince Fedele. Watson said this morning, in connection with Tripodi, that “attempting to influence a person to give false evidence is a serious offence”.

    McCloy, a property developer, has already admitted making an illegal $10,000 donation; this morning we heard that the money was handed over in cash, in a brown paper bag, to a Liberal Party officeholder who was sitting in the front seat of the mayor’s Bentley.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2014/08/06/stand-by-for-fireworks-as-gold-class-a-listers-front-icac/

    A bit more from the same piece – that posh private school is Newington.

    Liberal Party campaign director Rod Bosman will be giving evidence this afternoon. Bosman, the son of the former MP for St George, Leonard Bosman, is a Liberal Party apparatchik who managed the campaigns for Bennelong in 2007 and 2010. When the Liberal Party won the seat back, he was rewarded with oversight of the Hunter Valley and Central Coast marginal seat campaigns in 2011. The qualified rugby referee and owner of a memorabilia business called Bosman Memorabilia works full time as chief fundraiser at an elite Sydney boys’ school in Sydney’s inner west

    http://au.linkedin.com/pub/rod-bosman/17/396/378

  7. Tlbd – In the unlikely event the Cornwell’s get prosecuted they could apply for a ‘family discount’ on legal fees and sentencing. 😀

  8. Another jewel from Our Idiot:

    Abbott said “an interesting, and I think instructive, metaphor” for the government’s plan was that of an old-fashioned letter.

    “The contents of the letter will remain private. All we want is for the telecommunications companies to continue to keep the person sending the information, the person to whom the information is being sent, the time it was sent and the place it was sent from. It’s, as it were, the information on the front of the envelope which is currently kept, has been kept, we want it to continue to be kept; that’s what we’re proposing.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/06/metadata-telcos-confused-by-conflicting-messages-from-abbott-government?commentpage=1

  9. I can’t be bothered with the Microsoft -type scammers. I get one of those almost every week, sometimes more, and I just hang up. No 1 son is keen to handle one of their calls for me but he’s never here when the pests ring. Over the last few weeks I’ve had quite a few callers allegedly from Virgin about my ‘last flight’ with them. I’ve never flown Virgin. They get the hang-up treatment too.

    As a result of all these unwanted calls I now hang up on any caller who does not respond as soon as I answer the phone. If there’s that long pause the call gets terminated. I’ve hung up on some legitimate calls doing that but stuff it. If you want to talk to me then be there when I answer.

  10. http://limitednews.com.au/2014/08/what-the-hell-is-metadata-and-mandatory-data-retention-anyway/

    http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/sell_shmell/

    http://www.theage.com.au/business/transurban-pays-just-3-million-tax-despite-collecting-1-billion-in-tolls-20140805-100le8.html

    http://www.theage.com.au/business/transurban-an-unstoppable-money-machine-20140805-100evt.html

    http://www.theage.com.au/business/retail/jeff-kennett-to-teach-coles-how-to-play-nice-with-suppliers-20140806-100waw.html

  11. There are stand-over tactics and then there are stand-over tactics

    Building workers have been threatened with $10,000 fines for rallying in Brisbane in support of union boss Michael Ravbar before his appearance at a royal commission.

    Several hundred unionists showed their solidarity for Ravbar, the vice-president of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU), by chairing him into Brisbane magistrates court.

    But the federal agency Fair Work Building and Construction (FWBC) has warned they could face penalties of up to $10,200 if construction sites were shut down for the rally, as the royal commission into unions enters its third day in Brisbane.

    The agency’s director, Nigel Hadgkiss, said workers who took part in a rally without permission cannot be paid, or ask to be paid, for their time at the rally.

    “Their conduct may also constitute unprotected industrial action, which is illegal,” he said. “[We] will not hesitate to bring people before the court where necessary.”

    Employers or unions can also be penalised up to $51,000 for being involved in paying, or demanding, strike pay.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/06/cfmeu-workers-could-face-fines-after-rallying-behind-union-boss-at-inquiry

  12. Search result on ABC news 1 minute ago

    “Sorry, there are no results for loughnane Today”

  13. I am just back from lunch at the Espy, with Danny Lewis and Bk. Danny and I attended the funeral service for Helen Foster, our own Crikey Whitey.

    Helen was a much loved member of her extended family, treasured for her support of anyone unlucky enough to land in hospital, for her love of the children, and generosity of spirit and caring nature. Her love of classical music, antiquitues, politics and blogging were mentioned. It is obvious all the qualities Helen was generous enough to share with us as Crikey Whitey on PB were a microcosm of her IRL (in real life)as Helen.

    We left a posy of garden flowers and a card from her blogger friends. I hope it gives a little comfort to her family to know she was valued and had friends in the blogoshere.

    BK could not make the service but did share lunch with us where we raised our glasses in a toast to our online friend,

    Vale, Crikey Whitey.

  14. Fiona
    Rules you say!!!
    Don,t get me started
    Truckies are the most policed,regulated,harassed of any occupation in Australia.

  15. 6Pack

    I don’t think I will be driving it much.

    If you get a turn in the first month you’ll be going well.

  16. Puff and Danny , that was very good of you. It is appreciated by a lot of good people , as was CW

  17. Apparently , there are moves afoot to expel a famous Labor rat from the party [inside mail]

  18. Fiona

    The SA Chapter hears that you may be in SA in October. If so it would be a great opportunity to reconvene.

  19. BK,

    Mid November is more likely – I’ll still be up to my whiskers teaching and marking assignments in October.

  20. 4everJ , his hold was always perplexing . Their is a concerted , but subtle drive to rid the party of his ilk. The good guys are winning , just not as quickly as we would all like

  21. Could be eating popcorn with your weetbix tomorrow.

    mark forbes ‏@forbes007 8m
    Investigative expose in @theage tomorrow will be very embarrassing for Scott Morrison, a massive leak!

  22. I am just back from lunch at the Espy, with Danny Lewis and Bk. Danny and I attended the funeral service for Helen Foster, our own Crikey Whitey.

    Good for you, Puffy. I hope they got the message that CW was a treasured colleague (I’m sure you passed it on). Thanks, on behalf of all of us.

  23. BB
    At CW’s mini-wake we did say that it would be good if Bushfire Bill would grace SA with his presence sometime.

  24. Puffy
    Thank you, and a big thank you to BK and Danny too, for representing those of us who could not be there today.

  25. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

    The other day there was this story about AGL and the NSW government in my local paper.
    http://www.portnews.com.au/story/2460522/port-macquarie-mp-leslie-williams-praises-state-governments-solar-credentials/?cs=257
    That’s our useless-as-teats-on-a-bull Nats MP in the photo, a long, long way from her electorate. She campaigned on a promise to ‘get rid of the carbon tax’ in her 2011 election campaign and has done not one thing to advance the use of renewable energy in this electorate, but there she was, doing what she always does, finding a way to get her photo in the paper.

    Now we know why the NSW government was so keen to talk up its involvement with AGL –
    AGL gets nod for CSG fracking in Gloucester
    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/agl-gets-nod-for-csg-fracking-in-gloucester-20140806-1011b1.html#ixzz39af36QoO

    Gloucester is in the next-door state electorate and the same federal electorate as me. The folks down there will be hopping mad at this announcement. I doubt it will stop them voting for the Nats though.

  26. Not sure about Richo, although he “richly” (geddit?) deserves to be rissoled. Might be Uncle Tom Mundine. One day it will be Martin Ferguson.

  27. Dozens? Just ‘dozens’? Well, with The Idiot pissing off voters faster than any PM has ever done before even a few dozen votes might be crucial come the next election.

    Dozens of disillusioned Liberal Party members have approached the Institute of Public Affairs, the free market think tank says, threatening to quit the party because of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s broken promise on the Racial Discrimination Act

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/liberal-party-members-threaten-to-quit-party-after-tony-abbotts-backdown-on-changes-to-race-hate-laws-says-institute-of-public-affairs-20140806-3d8i7.html

  28. Richo would be first pick for me BUT why do it now after deserving to for years. ?

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