The ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup – recall

Recent news reminded me of an old column…

The 2003 ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup – Round Three Preview


Greetings Tipsters


Hard-bitten investigator Ken ‘Spillane’ Wood signed off the last of the 240 letters Velma had typed up.  It’d been a long day.  He grabbed the bourbon from the bottom drawer of  his desk and poured himself a shot, slugged it down, felt it burn his mouth, and poured another.  Turning around in his chair, he squinted through the venetians at the hard, bright light of the mean city outside his grimy office in the low-rent part of town.


He should’ve known, when that nervous Jackson offered him a long-term contract, that it might turn out to be more trouble than it was worth. So it was, with no way out.  Jackson ran some complicated nationwide business and the way Jackson had described it, they could push around at least sixteen separate organisations that they didn’t own but controlled through some kind of licensing deal, even down to telling them how much they could pay their employees.


Jackson had sent Wood up to Nob Hill to crack a few heads and see what he could uncover about a couple of poster boys. They’d been getting some kickbacks from the Nob Hill mob, flogging stubbie holders with the poster boys’ picture.  When he’d gotten back to Jackson, told him it all looked like an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s image, Jackson had turned a funny shade of purple, looked Wood in the eye and told him: “We’re not finished with you, Ken.  Get back to that cheap dump you call an office and wait for our call.  You’ll learn what it means to cop it from The Greek.”


That’d left Wood feeling a bit nervous, until the messenger arrived with the package.  A list of names, a statement, that was it.  Wood had slugged through it and still couldn’t believe what he’d gotten into.  240 names of current and ex-employees of Jackson’s organisation and he, Ken ‘Spillane’ Wood, had to grill every last one of them.  Where was their money hidden?  Locally?  Internationally?  Shares, properties, bank accounts?  Who were their friends?  Who were their accountants, financiers, personal managers?  Some of these guys had been out of the Jackson organisation for years.


Even the tax office boys didn’t have this kind of pull.  This Jackson organisation didn’t pull its punches.  The list led in other directions.  There was this guy getting around by the name of Allison – a funny name for a guy, but this was a weird scene.  Some part of the Jackson group wanted his head on a stake because of some tactics he’d pulled while acting for some of the employees.  There was a gang of guys like Allison, outside the organisation but taking a cut nonetheless.  Eventuallly Wood was going to have to pack a sap and go talk to them.  Then there was the Association – he was going to have to deal with them, too.  He rubbed his temples and the intercom buzzed.


“Mr Wood”, breathed Velma in her sultry, smokey tones, “there’s a Max Stevens here to see you.”


Football’s always been a mean, cutthroat kind of business.  Thirty-six young warriors chase a ball around a park while men in suits drink whiskey and make decisions that could ruin their lives.  Or something like that.  Poster boy Matty will pull his hand out from under the table and poke it into the sky where no Carlton player can reach it, even if they stand on Fraser Brown’s stack of brown paper bags.  Collingwood will attempt a mugging on skinny, young Geelong.  Metaphors will flow like beer at an after-match function.  Tears will be shed.


Should the Dockers record their second victory at the MCG, Richmond fans will flick their membership cards at the players’ faces.  This is unlikely to ever happen to Sydney players, who regularly get whipped by Adelaide.  Brisbane face a fine from the AFL for staying at the hotel of their choice.  Chandler’s dictum (that, whenever stuck for a literary idea, have a man come through the door with a gun) is unlikely to happen to the Lions, though, no matter how tough a private dick ‘Spillane’ Wood may be.


The Dogs and the Dees scrap it out in the carpark of the TerrorDome, at least, that’s what it’ll have felt like, come Monday.  Hawthorn fly to the City of Churches, and they better be staying in the preferred hotel, ‘cos Spillane Wood ain’t scared of the likes of Ian Dicker, footy’s condom king.  St Kilda might think about staying in a different hotel on a dare, but won’t, not unless Butterss gets stuck into the drinks cart on the flight over to Perth and takes the squad to “this great li’l nightclub I know, no-one’s gonna hassle ya, I can getchaz all free drinks” and then spends the morning of the match ringing players’ mobiles and sending taxis all over Perth to share houses full of blond young ladies.  Ha-hah, thinks Woosha, that plan works every time!


Good luck, tipsters

About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.

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