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The legend of old Ned.

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 20 August 2007 | Views [2523] | Comments [1]

Researching like all good writers should

Researching like all good writers should

Thanks to the work here necessitating substantial amounts of contact with the main red neck who runs the second farm, it was unavoidable that his ideology would influence me in some way. After politely enquiring of me, “What the fuck do you have going on with your leg tattoo?”, he boldly stated that I “need to get more Ned!”, as if his thoroughly thought out cure-all solution would fix everyone that wasn't as cool as he was. To illustrate his point, he unveiled his pride and joy, a generic, straight off the wall, seen-it-a-million-times-before tattoo of Ned Kelly and his famous last words, “Such is life!”. Everyone it seems, would benefit from getting some more Ned, and by saying that, I mean to lionise him, and not degrade his memory.


It got me thinking about how Mr. Kelly's anarchic and non-conformist attitudes are most greatly appreciated by people who have no idea what those two words mean. I would like to relate the highlights of his story as it is quite famous in some circles. I can't though, because I obviously don't move in such circles, and am largely unfamiliar with most things about him except the armoured letter box he wore on his head. In many ways, good old Ned epitomises the Australian spirit. If TV gold such as Neighbours or the Australian Tennis open didn't teach me it, a Weet bix box must have told me the Australian spirit was rooting for the underdog, and rising up against an unjust system. Ned just happened to kill a few cops in the process, which is much further than where most people would take things. Like the Southern Cross, the winged keel, or 'Sylvania Waters', Ned is an icon for all things true blue and ocker.


And what could be more Ned than the gutter mouth than comes from working with a group of predominantly Y-chromosomes in an agricultural setting? I would make a sailor blush with the obscenities I have to pepper every sentence with just to be understood. The 'ocean' word (or the 'c' word if euphemisms are wasted on you!) gets aired so regularly it has lost all impact even though it is best kept for intimate moments with a loved one, like your unicycle, or a Ned tattoo. The self-evident majesty of essential items of Australian life such as Winnie blues and meat pies are not fully realised until they are complimented by the moccasins and flannellette shirt I have started wearing to work in another act of red neck emulation. An act, that I must reassure friends, has not lead me into the washed out embrace of XXXX beer contrary to previous statements made by me, on my own behalf.


And no word about red necks would be complete without speaking about Sir Punch-a-lot of the recently unemployed salmagundi. An expected confrontation was narrowly avoided with Rus when he used bourbon to delay getting out of bed this particular morning I write of. Lucky too, as Rus might not sport any visible Ned but his 'crack a bourbon for breakfast' attitude demonstrates he has a large quantity of Ned, and would be more than capable of handling himself. Anyway, pointless story going downhill fast,  a cracked mains was found that could have only been damaged by human volition. No jury would have any trouble convicting Sir Punch-a-lot of that crime and now the police are on alert about his possible nefarious intent. Apparently he's off to prison for reNeducation anyway, so that threat will soon fade.


Anyway, with no relation to the previous paragraph, it seems the care-free approach to saving money is back in vogue now that work is pretty much full time. I nearly had a panic attack at the end of my fourth day straight, but the addition of a coffee perculator to our long list of a luxury items meant 5am alarm calls are no longer an impossible nightmare to respond to. After allocating $1,000 of my savings to material possessions of an inconsequential nature, $300 has already been spent on a tattoo kit. A new laptop and digital camera have been penciled in for the remaining funds that I have pretty much spent but am yet to earn. Alcohol expenditure has been reduced to 'one carton' to be purchased every payday. After wrestling the gun from Adams hand, I soothed his disbelief with the compromise of 'one carton' not having to be exclusively beer. Such a readiness to take up arms meant that Adam's Ned levels were pretty high, and I rewarded his bravado with a packet of Winnie Blues and a meat pie.


I hope my philosophical rambling has not marginalised my readers, but trying to interestingly describe a repetitive situation is bound to incorporate some tangents out of necessity. I confess to being terrible at thoroughly thinking through what I intend to share with the world at large, and I often forget that more than just family members read this. Such is life! Life on the farm, and life in the country! Eye opening experiences for sure. Ned's spirit is alive and well here and the future holds many an exciting possibility of incorporating more Ned into my life. Probably not going as far as letting Adam add more Ned to my leg tattoo though. Time will tell.

Tags: I should have known better!



I quite like the descriptions by some recent historians of Ned's famed 'Jerilderee Letter' (His long diatribe blasting the then government) as 'the petulant rantings of an adolescent'

See my in depth documentary here for more 'Ned' :)

  stowaway Aug 20, 2007 12:34 PM

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