A Thief in the Night

It’s been a very weird 2 weeks. By that I mean, something weird and unexpected happened this week, which has been strange enough to weird out the whole two weeks, more on that in a moment.

Work wise it’s been great I had an excellent week in Adelaide with the crew from Adelaide Comedy doing the rounds down there at Rhino and the like. I always enjoy going to Adelaide outside of fringe time, its a lot more relaxed and easygoing. The weird gets turned up a little too high during fringe and the booze flows a little too freely, that said I’ll be back in Adelaide next year doing the Fringe in the Garden with my Burlesque Stand up show, ‘Comic Strip’

Last Tuesday night I revived my labour of love, The Oyster Club as a way of helping some of my excellent comedy colleagues to write new material for the upcoming Melbourne Comedy Festival. Dave Thornton, Anne Edmonds, Dave Callan, Randy and Mat Keneally graced us. I’m going to be running The Oyster Club for about 5 weeks, and this Tuesday its Harley Breen, Lawrence Mooney, Kate McLennan, Mat Keneally and Nazeem Hussain from ‘Fear of a Brown Planet’. Ticket details are in the link and  heres a little video of last weeks guests.

I also had the rare pleasure to commentate a wrestling night at Red Bennies a week or 2 prior with Iman Hadchitti. It was without par one of the most enjoyable gigs I’ve ever done. An unending stream of ludicrous similes seemed to appear one after another from my mouth like a pez dispenser. I believe I may have found my 2nd calling, cheese ball wrestling commentator.

So the other thing.

In 2010 my car was stolen at approximately 12.30am from Jamison st Fitzroy with a boot full of very expensive sound gear. It then turned up 4 weeks later dumped, fucked and trashed on the other side of Edinburgh Gardens. The Police called me to tell me they had found the car and when I found it I wish they hadn’t. It was trashed inside, covered in crude childish ‘tags’ and covered with a fine film of ‘meth’ residue. The car became known as the crack wagon from then on. I drove the ‘crack wagon’ for a while then traded it to a wrecker for $100.

One week ago I received a call from the Police informing me they had caught the culprits and furthermore would I like to come to a conference with one of the young men responsible for stealing my car, and 18 other cars. I thought about it and instantly said no, then my selfish curiosity got the better of me when I thought I might be able to ask the young hood where my sound equipment went. Plus I like a bit of middle class lecturing in a safe environment. So I made my way to the Jesuit services in Brunswick and waited for the young man ‘——–‘ and his Father. I was joined by a police man in his late 20’s, a jowly lawyer who had seen me do a gig somewhere, a young woman who had her car stolen also and a few stooges from the youth justice system. We sat in a circle in a non descript office room and ‘——-‘ told us what happened and why. Turns out he stole my car second, although he didn’t steal my car, his accomplices did and they did it with a pair of scissors! So if you own a Camry pre 95 get a bolt lock for your wheel. We talked awkwardly but not angrily for an hour or two. Going round the circle taking it in turns to explain the repercussions of the young mans actions and I was given the chance to say something to him. I thought him quite brave to volunteer for the conference; he took a pretty solid tongue lashing from everyone there.

It was strange, the theft seemed so distant that I didn’t feel angry at all; all I felt was empathy for the young man. He was 16 and he had stolen 18 cars with his mates and been involved in one high-speed pursuit with the cops. He was looking down the barrel of proper time in Juvvey. I left the meeting feeling punch drunk and tired from the intensity of the round robin discussion we had had, ‘——-‘ had cried openly at one stage and seemed truly remorseful for his actions.

All I could hope was that this was a turning point in his life.  I had been in his position once in my youth and the only real advice that I felt I could give him was an ironic contradiction of the old Jesuit adage ‘give me the child for his first 7 years and I’ll show you the man’, when asked if I had anything to say before we ended I said to him ‘who you are as a child does not define who you are as a man’

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