Almanac Life: Talking Crap

“How do you place your toilet paper in the holder? With the end facing out, or with the end facing the wall?”


It was deep in winter, on a grey day common only to Melbourne football seasons, that I experienced one of my most inglorious on-field football moments. I had awoken on that Saturday morning a little furry-mouthed and crook in the guts – not the result of a hangover, I hasten to add – but did not pay too much attention to my condition until I arrived at the opposition’s ground an hour before play.


The Ted Adjani Reserve, home of the Bulleen-Templestowe footy club, was typical of many of the ovals in the Ammos in the late 80s and early 90s: a sodden, muddy glue-pot on which wet-weather AFL stars like Jimmy Bartel would have no hope of executing even basic skills. And this day was no different. What hope did an E Grade VAFA footballer have? As I took my position and then wandered about in the ankle-deep slush, I knew there would be no happy ending to the increasing queasiness I was feeling. During the second quarter, my bowel could hold on no longer. My direct opponent glanced at me suspiciously, for the smell – already bad enough – had suddenly become seeringly unbearable. Just before half-time, my game was over. I signalled to the coach that I was too crook to carry on, and I trudged forlornly from the oval to the rooms, my legs and boots covered in what looked like mud but was something much, much worse.


Earlier this year, in the time when Covid-19 was just a mysterious virus affecting China and small pockets of northern Italy, I was invited by my friend Sally to relate this tale to a wider audience. Why, you may ask. Well, it is because Sally – with her mate Fiona – hosts a weekly community radio show in a small country town. Irreverently named ‘Talking Crap’, the show airs each Tuesday evening, and the ladies riff hilariously in an unfiltered way on all things shit. No poo-related tale is too tall to tell. When I volunteered that I did indeed have a shit story, she urged me to be a guest on the show. She is one of those rare gems who is the heartbeat of their local community: wife, mum, business owner, member of various town committees, including – importantly – the local footy and netball club. I sometimes wonder where the town would be without her. I also wonder how she manages to fit in a weekly radio show. But I was humbled that she asked me on to talk about my “B-O-G” performance.


If you are ever in Apollo Bay on a Tuesday night, tune in to 87.6FM at 6.30pm to hear Fiona and Sally’s ‘hour of crap’. Failing that, you can always catch up with their ‘poodcast’. Thanks for having me on as a guest, guys. If you ever do want to have me back on, I promise I have a few more shit stories that I would be more than willing to disgust the listeners with.


Fiona and Sally, the hosts of ‘Talking Crap’



And of course, when Sally asked me the toilet-paper question, my answer was immediate. The end of the paper must be facing out. Always.


To read more of Smokie’s Almanac contributions, click HERE.


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About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. Ian Hauser says

    Without a doubt, Smokie, this will be the most self-defecating story we hear today!

  2. Out. No question.

  3. Kevin Densley says

    As long as you weren’t taking the P-1-5-5, Smokie!

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    At least it was a muddy winter day and not a game on a sunny April afternoon in perfect conditions.

    Out is the only option surely.

  5. What a shit story ! I’m not fussy about which way it’s facing ! As long as it’s there.

  6. Smoke – you did a Rob de Castella!!

  7. Rulebook says

    Smokie C Marsh B Lillee no score yep well played to manage to get a wet muddy day

  8. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Was that the year the CYs played in yellow shorts Whiffie, er, Smokie?

  9. Excellent Smokie, to step up and tell such personal a tale. Extra points for sparing us the details. Outside of course.

    I have an affinity with your mate’s radio show, Talking Crap. Back in 2003 or 2004 we put a comedy show on at Trades Hall called Plop about all things poopy.

  10. I wasn’t expecting that.

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