Wintoning Weekends

Should the vacant Saturday slot be open for some Wintoning?

Tim Winton Lecture Theatre

At least it wasn’t a cafe, but the guest lecture at the Tim Winton Lecture Theatre was another way of avoiding writing. But. Phwoar. Me own lecture theatre. Bewdy.  He knew there was a Coetzee Centre for Magical Realism at the University of Adelaide, but surely it couldn’t look this good could it? The Tim Winton Lecture Theatre at Curtin University looked pleasingly like a giant glass dunny in the skittish sunshine. The vitrified carapace was the green of a louvered window in the sleepout of the holiday shack where the rivers of dust motes would coil and crimp in the yellow air of that eternal 6 o’clock stretching almost to infinity, waiting for Dad to get back with the forgotten bag of complimentary prawn crackers. Takes ya breath away.

He hadn’t got a proper look at the place when he was special guest at the opening. Too busy trying to fight his way to the plate of mini quiches afterwards to be honest, and by the time he’d got a napkin full of ‘em and a platter of the last cocktail sushis nestling like… like…, in any case nestling, – which, by the way had gone suspiciously astray when he had to put them down to shake the Vice Chancellor’s icy hand – it had gotten dark. The sushi heist had been nicely done. Pickled ginger, plastic soy fish, everything. Gone, no doubt to some young writer’s shrine. Making matters worse was that the photographer had been constantly in his face every time he had tried to lift the one chicken satay he had managed to snaffle. And what had happened to the crumbed whiting they had said was going to be laid out? Jeezus you’d think they’d let the VIP’s get the feedbag on before the rest of the mob got a go. By the time you’d done the last photos and unveiled the plaque the bloody audience was all over the finger food like…

Phwoar he breathed. Put it behind you Tim. This time he had gotten to the place early. Have a proper squizz. The talk of mini quiches had got the digestion into gear and he pushed into the deserted dunnies.The crack of the door hinges skipping out over the tiles like a Blackwood River flatstone. “Me own theatre, and therefore me own dunny.” He seated himself on it, the last cubicle, settling his hocks like a net full of buoys, the kind you’d see trailing out over the back window of Deano’s battered old Townace on one of those resplendent arvos when we all used to scamper down the Quindalup dunes, our stubby fingers Cheezel-ringed and wrapped around each other’s scrawny wrists like rustic talismans against our own bad driving. But that was all to come much later, he mused, shifting his weight like a Cable Beach loggerhead waiting for that first leathery egg to emerge.

And speaking of which –

“Keeerist,” he grunted, cheeks flushed and sweaty as a day old blowfish on hot bitumen. “Me own theatre. Is this it? Is this what it takes? Are we there yet? But the drab grey fibreboard is silent, unresponsive, reflecting his own false modesty back at him like so much sea spray – limpid and obtuse. Outside, the muffled clatter of heavy doors and he’s transported back to them melancholic mid September mornings down the Metricup wrackline, toeing at the rugose heaps of perished kelp, as overhead those great grey storm cells roll in like stupefied dugongs in the Nhulumbuy swell. How things have changed! How he’d suffered, back then, how he’s laboured and struggled, every word, every contraction, every bloody pithy turn of phrase a victory to rival that salty, sun kissed, single moment when he’d finally copped a squizzy at Becky’s perfect, pert little lamingtons – and now, of course, at the arse end of his own career it all flows out like…



About AHC McDonald

Comedian, artist, photographer and critic. From 2007 to 2017 ran the culture and satire site The Worst of Perth
This entry was posted in worst of perth and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Wintoning Weekends

  1. Russell Woolf's Lovechild says:

    Did you miss the paint-by-numbers vibrancy of the Cambrige Street Festival and the main act yesterday?


  2. you'll get wet says:

    He kicked. No good. The crays were going to eat him. Alive. Lockie held his breath and marvelled at the intricate architecture of the central midwest period woven teatree craypot, in which he was tied. The relentless Westralian sun shattered into myriad ricochets of light as the waves broke overhead, on their way from Madagascar to the reefs – his reefs – his dad’s reefs. Why oh why did uncle Harold have to go and sell him to the Croatians for craybait? The last time Pop had needed pub money he’d sold Lochie to the Portuguese. For craybait. He’d escaped, using the secret trick he’d learned from Uncle Ernie, the old Noongar shaman who lived in the pipeline swamp. But this time was different. Lockie glanced at his Swedish underwater watch, he’d held his breath for 20 minutes already, how much longer could he keep it up? Gee I’d give anything for a ducky-double right now, he thought. I hope the craypot doesn’t damage the reef. He kicked again …


  3. you'll get wet says:

    The fiery ancient Gondwana sand scorched his feet through his sandshoes, waterproofed with Dubbin he’d bought to wax his Chesson footy. The one he’d lost on the neighbour’s roof.

    But that wasn’t going to stop Lockie Leonard.

    He carefully positioned the sheet of tin he’d nicked from the construction site, on top of the highest dune he could find. He climbed on and with both hands pushed himself off. Phwoaaar! His life flashed before him like a racehorse goanna [Varanus Gouldii] .


    Crashing into a putrifying levee of rotting Ecklonia Radiata weed, he stood up and limped toward the incrementally incoming tide. Shit eh. That’s nature. Even seaweed has a right to foul our beaches. Right then. He made a promise to himself. When I grow up, I’m gonna start a Save Our Seaweed foundation.

    Spitting sand, gripping his sheet of tin like a surfboard, in one crystal perfect moment of Pink Argyle-like clarity he saluted the setting sun, waved to the bulk carriers swinging on their picks like merry natives on Rottnest, and looked out over the madly whitecapped Indian Ocean. Cliches. As far as he could see. He cleaned his glasses and looked again. Yes, definitely cliches. His Lit teacher had warned him about this.

    Gee I could do with a frozen Raz he thought.


  4. Dylan H. says:

    Alluvasudden the roar of the surf escaped perniciously from his darch, and the din of clattering flutes and boags down the corridor was perceptibly muffled. In his mind he was perched on a rock in Trigg back in 1994, lungs at full capacity, swishing the grisly palette of salty dogshit and beached jellies, gelignites of rotten seaweed and discarded wooden ice cream spoons. The rough hew of the rocky outcrop could pierce your pouch and scrape off the reams of dead skin wrought by the tempura sun under the relentless blue sky, soft sepia memories of five stitches and tarnished leather carseats. Lisa broke the silence:
    “Tim? Are you in there?”
    It’s all good mate, he thought to himself, the days of discrete dumps in a Darlington donger, shamefully dodging curious glances from the local wildlife, were well and truly over.


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