My honour has been besmirched!
l feel it is incumbent upon me to clear my good name.
Last week l watched Australian Story on the ABC, the episode was called ‘ Children of the Brush’ It was all about Tim Olsen and his father John, who is a genius by-the-way, and a bit about his sister Louise. At a tender age poor Tim became consumed by that dreadful complex that all boys go through apparently, where one develops a desire to copulate with your mother and kill your father. We’ve all been through it, us blokes, haven’t we? Yes we are talking about the Oedipus Complex. Girls on the other hand have to deal with their Electra complex. A perfectly normal part of growing up according to Sigmund Freud, no less, and he should know, he was a genius!
But alas and alak, some kids get stuck in the groove, and just become more and more obsessed with competing with their father. This can often lead to an untimely death for either of them, sometimes both, or more commonly, the afflicted become “all messed up in their head” to quote Sigmund Freud – The Genius. Then they turn to drink, and ruin their lives, then go to rehab in L.A. with all the other famous people who want to have sex with their mothers and kill their fathers, and often succeed. Then they get better and live happily ever after, then they write a Best Seller and go on TV.
Well as it turns out Timothy is a text book case of that exact syndrome.
After his rehab, where he met Amy Winehouse, (It didn’t go so well for her unfortunately) followed by his Best-Seller and his reveal all TV show, he was once more accepted back into the bosom of very-high-society, though not quite on an equal footing with his father. (He is a genius, after all)
Now that’s all very well and good, but l would like to take you back to the specific incident that Tim alludes to as the very seed of his all consuming obsession. An incident so egregious that Timothy felt the need to tell the entire nation.
It took place at Arthurs Creek Primary school circa 1970.
Tim’s peripatetic father was forever upping stumps and dragging the entire family off to some God forsaken corner of the globe that would nourish his genius: Paris, Majorca, Tuscany, Cottlesbridge. That’s how they ended up in a so-called ‘commune’ called Dunmoochin (as in Dun-roamin’) way out in the bush, far from the bright lights of Sydney Town. One can only imagine the shock it would have been for young Timothy, and it was!
Insult upon insult, he was sent to a tiny little school in the middle of nowhere that was meant to baby sit farmer’s kids till they were old enough to work the plow. On a good day, when the barley had all been reaped, we had up to eighteen pupils.
Tim tells us that it began with his father winning a very prestigious landscape prize. (Being a genius, this was a common event) A prize coveted by his drinking pals like Clifton Pugh, Albert Tucker, Fred Williams, John Percival and other assorted ne’er-do-wells that hung about the great man. The next day at school a couple of ‘Dunmoochin kids’ decided to put him in his place.
“They held me down and pissed on me. l can still taste the amonia in my mouth”. Now l would have to admit, that sounds like a pretty traumatic incident. Something like that could really effect your sense of self worth for a long time to come, even someone as insensitive as me, brought up in the rough-and-tumble of ‘the bush’, let alone some ingénue plucked from the comforts of inner-city Sydney. l feel nothing but pity for the poor kid.
So the day after the TV show was aired, whilst strolling down the street, l was accosted by an acquaintance who confronted me with the accusation:
“You pissed on Tim Olsen didn’t you?”
l was taken aback to say the least. l had not seen the show and had barely heard of this Tim Olsen character. It took me a while to muster a convincing retort;
“l have never pissed on anyone….that didn’t ask me to, and even then l found it an irksome task”
True, l did go to Arthur’s Creek primary school, but so did Cadel Evans.
(l was not the one that pushed him off his bike, by-the-way)
True, l was a Dunmoochin kid, having been raised in that den of sin and iniquity beyond the reach of morality, but let’s make this abundantly clear: we were a peace loving people who would never countenance such an abominable act. We liked to drink ‘piss’, we liked to get pissed, sometimes we got pissed off, but we didn’t go around literally pissing on other people.
But l have asked around and l can say with some surety that l do know the identity of the perpetrators. At this stage neither of the miscreants is willing to talk about the incident. It has been fifty years now but it seems their conscience is still not ready to absorb the fact that they did a nasty thing to someone and it seems to have effected that person deeply for a long time. l get the impression they hadn’t given it a moments thought until now. But they did remember the incident, and they were more than willing to point out that they didn’t piss on him because his dad won a prize. They pissed on him because “he was a little shit.” Now, no matter how much of a little shit he may have been, no one deserves such degrading treatment, which makes it obvious that the perpetrators were behaving like little shits themselves, and you would have to say, particularly nasty little shits! Now those 2 little shits have mercifully grown up to be quite reasonable human beings, surprisingly enough, while poor Timothy has born his ignominy for most of his life. It hardly seems fair, does it. But we all know that kids can be unthinkingly cruel, can’t they, inflicting lasting damage on some poor wretch, without having the faintest idea how much trauma they may have caused.
But then again, some kids are just very sensitive – according to Sigmund Freud, and he is a genius, don’t forget!