CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
Usually a stoic man devoid of human emotion, local dad Tony McKeon (64) is today struggling to process two very different historical events.
This unusual rush of very vivid ‘feelings’ has him on a knife’s edge.
It’s got nothing to do with the floods on the coast, and it’s got nothing to with the war in Eastern Europe. Like most people his age, Tony is able to switch off from the disasters in the world until they arrive on his doorstep – as he waits for his turn to throw on the steel caps and shovel mud out of his own living room.
Tony is only thinking about two things right now. One makes him feel sadder than anyone could know, the other makes him fantasise about assassinating elected officials..
The result is a man on the brink of a meltdown. The sadness and outrage converges as one flickering white flame of anger.
Sitting at his kitchen table in Betoota’s light industrial Flight Path District today, Tony has that look in his eyes that his adult kids haven’t seen since that fuckwit next door tried to deny fucking up the entire street’s plumbing with his stupid fucken bamboo shoots.
Everyone knows to give him a wide berth, except for his darling wife, a woman that has rode time on this bull before – and will inevitably be the one that locks this bull up behind a gate.
First, it was the passing of his beloved Shane Warne – the greatest bowler to ever live. Nearly a week ago now.
Tony hasn’t processed that yet, and likely won’t shed a tear until the televised state funeral next week. This means the grief is something that will remain buried deep inside him until then.
The one thing he HAS processed is that our government hasn’t got a fucken plan to lower the fucken price of fuel.
“ARE YOU FUCKING READING THIS SHIT?!” he asks nobody in particular.
“NEARLY TWO FUCKEN BUCKS A LITRE”
As a post-war Australian male, the price of fuel is something that Tony can talk about for hours – and it’s not just small talk to him, but a deeply interesting bellweather to what is going on in the world.
While there has never been a time when Tony is happy with the price of petrol, it’s fair to say that at $1.94 he has well and truly allowed to be cranky today.
“What are these politicians elected for? To sit on their fucken hands until something goes wrong and then say there’s no way they could have prepared for it?”
“If I was terminal, I’d be heading down to Canberra with a fucken gun”
Even though Tony hasn’t officially ‘exploded’ – his spiralling temper requires quick input from his wife Barb – who knows as well as the kids that she’s the only one who can nip this tantrum in the bud.
She takes a deep breathe.
“Now now love” says Barb, immediately defusing the imminent mushroom cloud.
Tony wheels it back.
“I’m so sorry everyone” he sighs.
“I just fucken miss him so much”
MORE TO COME.