The Ringo Kid

Greetings Tipsters

Found a pamphlet I wrote, season review ’97. Geez, I’ve been doing this for awhile. Interviewed Troy Luff in the Swans rooms, Feb that year. He was a regular bloke, on talking to oppo players during the game, “Sometimes you might say there’s a good looking girl in the crowd but mostly it’s nothing.” He had, and may still have, a gardening and landscaping business. A lot of footballers did, that or cleaning or similar, it was physical and flexible time-wise…

Well, as you know, Aragorn took my ideas and made them League policy. Nineteenth man, check. Compulsory pre-match drinking sessions, check. Regular jobs for all players, check. And it just so happened that one of Stop Privatisation Of Footy Productions secret sister companies – under the benevolent umbrella of Trans-Dementia Inc but several Bahamian cut-outs removed – scored the contract for ensuring compliance on the jobs.

Thirty five hours a week, every club in the League was wanting to rort it, but TabsOnU were a couple steps ahead of them. A subtle operation, we had the best operatives in the field. Ringo ran the Westralian branch.

He did good work getting the Purps starting midfield on a council truck. Yep, sitting in the truck smoking durries, eating meat pies and giggling at cheeky magazines, let alone the longie at lunchtime and the one just before you head back to the depot, these blokes would be everyday champions in no time.
His contact got back to him, it wasn’t quite working. The Purps were doing all the work at sprint pace. Mowing the sports fields after bench pressing the mowers was bad enough, bench pressing the mowers while they were running…

Bloomin’ heck, the ramifications if Nat misjudged a lift and removed his nipples. Ringo finished his cigar and coffee, straightened his suit and walked to his car.

It was a good suit. Cotton, wool, silk, leather, no half-arsed poly blends with this organisation. And the car, a few people had laughed, but a black A9-X hatchback, with a touch of red trim, was a perfect ‘hiding in plain sight’ vehicle and as quick point-to-point across town as one could wish.

Especially with the connivance of the local cops, who knew he was an Important Man In Football. This morning he’d checked on the WC backline, who were doing pretty well on the tele-marketing lines and chugging a suitably excessive amount of Fanta, then covered twelve miles in seven awesome minutes to discover that the three cafe blokes were being a bit too keen. Easy fix, that one, send two to the sewage treatment works.

The Torana sported a Minassian Special stereo, Ringo had discovered that the right song at massive volume could move campervans, but today the Brown Out album at a reasonable listening level would suffice. He flicked onto the road, shoved the throttle thru the firewall, covered half a mile before the next easy breath.

Then, the hell of it, Norman broke thru on the stereo. Struth, this must be important. Norman was, some say, the comptroller. No one could say exactly what’s he looked like. He was sort of average height, maybe a little less, sort of average weight, maybe a little less, wore average clothes, a little better maybe, and when he broke in on the stereo, it was a fair bit more than average work.

“Ringo, we need you in Melbourne. Pull over, a copter is two minutes away.”

“And leave my car for one of your dumbarse lackeys? Rak off, I’ll race the chopper to the airport.” He didn’t win, but it was a lot closer than you’d have expected.

He drove onto the runway, braked to a sideways stop beside the Lear jet, its engines running hot, the attractive stewardess gave him a large glass of bourbon and branch as the wheels retracted.

“It’s a serious issue, Ringo,” said Norman as the jet levelled out at 700mph.


“Yes, afraid so.”

“Goddamn, could they be so cocky, after last time?”

“Well, that’s Hawthorn. You’re the only one for this job.”

A car was waiting, a Ferrari 365 Daytona. Six Weber carbs sucked air and howled, the valve gear on the V12 lashed, the custom headers barked and rumbled and Ringo was in the carpark at the old Waverly ground before he’d gotten thru side one of Kill City.

It wasn’t that big a deal. Sure, he’d had to give Al Clarkson a bit of a shove and a few slaps around the chops. That smack on Roughead’s knee with the shifter wrench, he didn’t really want to do it, but if the bloke had just kept on trying to sell aluminium cladding like we’d said, he’d have been okay. Still, it seemed to have been sorted and Ringo was short-shifting the Daytona on his way back to Tullo when Norman broke through in the seventh minute of the Monroe’s Fur ‘Live at the Evening Star’ album.

“Defcon Seven, ninety second window.”

Holy Crap, a Ferrari 365 Daytona and now this.

“I can get to the bloody airport!”

“Defcon Seven, eighty second window.”

Ringo checked the screen, he rarely did, hated it, but the details were right there. Thirty hostiles, well organised and closing in fast. One TDI chopper that he could have seen through the sunroof, if the Ferrari had one. He turned from the busy main road to a spacious residential street, left the keys in the ignition, stepped onto a rope ladder hanging from a UH-1 and, as he looked down upon the cop cars and black SUVs converging on the blood red Ferrari, thought “Bloody hell, I think I left my Zippo in the door pocket.”

The ladder was winched up, he was hauled in, there was Norman, what the hell does he look like, does anyone know?

“We have to get you out of here,” yellled Norman. Neat, thought Ringo, bourbon and branch on the jet with the pretty stewardess.

“But the airports are closed and we have reports that the RAAF is on alert. We’ve gotten you a sea passage.” The Huey flicked thru a few skyscrapers, flew over the bay and toward a square-rigged three-mast. Ringo dropped out, landed on the mainmast topsail and slid gracefully down the main and lower sail before landing on the deck, grateful for the cushioned soles in his shoes. A crowd of young people smiled and applauded.

Being President, CEO, Chief Stylist, etc, of Trans-Dementia Inc, I have a lot to cover and I didn’t know all the details of Ringo’s maritime escape route. It was vital to make sure he got out. But I ask myself now, couldn’t we have put him on a bus to Wagga Wagga?

Because he’s now on a sailing ship doing a non-stop counter-clockwise lap of Australia and will be thrown overboard when passing Perth’s surf . Rum and cider are being brewed according to strict nineteenth century practices, as is everything else aboard.

Cheers Tipsters

P&C A Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production
A Division of Trans-Dementia Inc

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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