ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A couple of all-time legends put on a brave face last night as they assembled down at the Gutshot Brumby Hotel in Betoota Heights to farewell one of the best who’s off to the North Pole today to work in Santa’s Toy Factory for the next four weeks.

In the center of the circle of men, local elf Zeke Stephens (or ‘Meek Zeke’ as he’s known to many) was the victim of many a backslap as they shouted him pot after pot of Gold.

There was some light ribbing of the 165cm professional chimney sweep. A few of his smart-arse mates held up a pint glass next to his head and could only just laugh.

One of the men there was The Advocate’s editor, Clancy Overell, who at 200cm tall, lifted Zeke up and nuzzled him about the neck like you would a baby. Despite drinking at the Gutshot Brumby for ten years, Clancy reportedly didn’t know that Zeke was 27 years old, telling our reporter that he thought Zeke was the school-age child of the publican.

“I mean, I thought it was a bit on the nose letting a child drink in a pub. The lefties have hanged people for less in this day and age. I had no idea he was that old. He looks like he’s not a day over 12. You’d get a thicker beard on a Korean bloke, you would,” he said.

“But it was good to see him nonetheless. We got him good and pissed. Good for a Monday, anyway. He must’ve had ten pots and two shots. That’s a lot of grog for someone in Year 6 [laughs] No, I’m glad he’s off to help Santa; he needs it this year.”

Zeke woke this morning and thankfully had someone responsible to drive him to the airport, where he ran into our reporter in the Qantas Club.

He helped himself to a James Boags and sat slumped on one of those cube chairs as he charged his phone.

“It was a good night,” he said.

“Big night. It was fun until Clancy put me up on top of the bus shelter out the front of the pub. It’d be like him jumping off something four meters high. It might only be two and a bit meters up in the air, but it took me ages to get down from there. I had to flag the bus and have the driver get out and help me down,”

“I feel bad for Santa in a way, having me turn up this evening. I smell like I’ve gone for a swim at the Bundy distillery.”

More to come.


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