In a disturbing twist to an astonishing tale of cross-species love, Dean has stopped fucking Carl, and has instead chopped him into a selection of meats, which he intends to eat over the next couple of days. And you thought your last break-up was bad!
The meat-mad maniac mashed his former lover into cutlets, chops and a string of delicious-looking sausages that wouldn’t look out of place in an Oktoberfest beer hall.
While Dean has been enjoying his prime cuts, he’s obviously upset about the downfall of his groundbreaking relationship with the four-year-old goat – a modern-day love story that has inspired thousands of young men around Australia to come out of the wool shed and pursue intimate encounters with farm animals.
When I met with Dean, he’d obviously gained weight, his eyes were red from crying, and his bedroom was littered with empty ice cream containers and used tissues.
“Things haven’t been going well for a while,” Dean confesses, while tucking into a juicy chop. “Carl’s been hanging out with a bad herd, eating shirts off clothes lines and doing hard drugs. Don’t get me wrong, the sex was still grouse, but there needs to be more to it than that. He just didn’t understand me, so I ate him.”
According to Dean, there had been cracks in the relationship for a while: “Me and Carl were enjoying a romantic dinner to celebrate our anniversary, and when I ordered the roast, he just lost the plot, and kept bleating about me eating his mum. He was really out of line, so I walked out of him and ended up spending the night with a horse I know. We slept together, and I didn’t think of Carl once.”
From that point, the relationship was unsalvageable. While Dean slept with a growing number of farm animals, Carl moved out of their shared apartment, and quietly deleted Dean from Facebook. But this break-up was never meant to have a happy ending. When Dean invited Carl around to sort through their CDs and maybe have a bite to eat, he brutally murdered the goat and spent the next six hours carefully slicing him into yummy pieces.
“Yeah, maybe I over-reacted, but I’ve never been good at break-ups. I guess I feel bad about it, but Car’s so tender and he really fills me up – something I couldn’t say about him when he was alive!” Dean chuckles, while wriggling his pinky finger in the air.
For the time being, Dean is enjoying his newly-single status: “I’ve been seeing a guinea pig, and I’ve been on a few dates with a feisty little dingo, but nothing serious. I’m not ready to enter into a long-term relationship at the moment – either with a human, or with an animal.”
“All relationships have to come to an end, and at least this way I’ll always have Carl with me,” Dean says with a sniff. “Well, at least until I take a dump.”
I’ve met a lot of weird and wonderful characters during my travels, but even I was shocked when I was contacted by Dean* recently. He’s 20 years old, works a respectable job, has an attractive girlfriend, and enjoys surfing and riding his motorbike. But Dean has a dark secret.
He likes to have sex with goats.
When I met up with him to hear his story, I expected to find a depraved, twisted individual with hairy palms, a hunched back and a persistent boner. Instead I found a charming young man with a cheeky smile and a vibrant outlook on life.
“Some people like to play video games, some people like to go fishing, and I like to fuck goats. What’s wrong with that?” he says emphatically. “I wish everyone would stop making such a big deal about it.”
A knockabout kid with piercing blue eyes and a mop of sandy hair, he looks like any other young fella on the Central Coast of New South Wales. Growing up, he usually had scraped knees from skateboarding accidents and enjoyed collecting Pokemon memorabilia, but his life changed forever one fateful Spring day.
“It was the day after my 15th birthday, and I was camping out at a mate’s farm. There was this goat – Fruity was her name, I’ll never forget it – and she kept giving me the eye. I was young and horny, so I was wanking five or six times a day, and I found it impossible to resist Fruity’s charms. So when my mates went to the river for a swim, I pretended I had diarrhea, and spent a romantic afternoon with Fruity.”
Dean made love to Fruity three times over the next hour, and was relaxing under a tree with his hairy lover when his chums returned from their swim.
“Unfortunately, there was some amount of rectal bleeding on Fruity’s part, which threatened to expose our afternoon of passion. I’m a quick thinker, though, and told my friend that Fruity had accidentally sat on a barbed wire fence. I promised to see Fruity again but, sadly, she was put down shortly afterwards. I actually ate part of her, and she tasted wonderful with mint sauce.”
But Dean’s appetite for billy goat love would not be abated, and as he grew up, he had experiences with a number of hirsute hunks.
“I live in a suburban area, so there aren’t a lot of goats wandering around just ready to be porked, so I was stoked when a petting zoo opened up a few kilometres away. They had six goats in there and I violated every single one of them, but one really captured my heart – a little black fella called Carl. He had an arse that could make a jellyfish hard, but it was his personality that made me fall in love with him. He was so playful.
“And honestly, Carl’s race didn’t come into it at all. I don’t see colour, I just see goats.”
Dean entered into a three-year relationship with Carl, where they frolicked by moonlight, binge-watched crime drama Breaking Bad, and even went on a romantic cruise through the Pacific. But Dean’s heart was soon to be broken in the most crushing way possible.
“I snuck into the zoo one night and saw the owner fucking Carl, and Carl seemed to be enjoying it. I turned around and walked home in tears, and spent the next week locked in my bedroom, eating chocolate ice cream and watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls. I was a wreck, and vowed to never let another goat break my heart.”
From there, Dean’s sexual experiences with goats took on a more casual nature, as he sought out anonymous sex to help heal his broken heart. He would spend weeks at a time driving through rural areas, stopping only to have sex with goats he didn’t know and didn’t intend on seeing again.
“I was a wreck, and I’m not proud of how I acted. I must’ve had sex with 300-400 goats during that period, but none of them could replace Carl. I even tried bonking a few sheep and cows, just to help blank out the pain, but it didn’t work. I never thought having sex with farm animals would lose its luster, but it did.”
Dean gave up on goats and, in a move he never thought possible, entered into a relationship with a human woman. To outsiders he was just a happy-go-lucky young man with a bright future, but his passion for goats still burned.
“My girlfriend walked in on me masturbating over an episode of Landline. She was a bit freaked out and called me a sicko, and I broke down and told her everything. She was really understanding and cradled me in her arms while I told her about Fruity and Carl and the farmer, and afterwards she gave me a big kiss, as well as her blessing to have sex with goats. I think that moment really strengthened our relationship.”
Dean’s girlfriend took him to her car, and drove him back to the petting zoo where he’d spent so many nights. There, in a back corner, was Carl.
“He looked great, yeah. He was a little bit older, and not a kid anymore, but he still looked good. My missus waited by the gate and I sort of awkwardly shuffled over to him, and my heart was beating so hard I thought it was going to burst out of my chest. The feelings were obviously still there, and we made love next to a small patch of turnips. It was like we’d never been apart, and it’s so good to have Carl as part of my life again. Even my girlfriend loves him.”
When I decided to meet with Dean, I was expecting a pervert and a social outcast; someone to write a funny story about. Instead I met a sensitive, intelligent gentleman who isn’t so different from the rest of us – he simply chooses to express his love and lost with animals. In fact, it’s had me wondering if Dean has the right idea, and it’s the rest of us who are the misfits, depriving ourselves of meaningful relationships with critters merely because of societal conventions.
It’s a happy ending to an unusual story, and Dean has a message for any other young men who are battling with their passion for farm animals.
“All I can say is, if your heart’s telling you to fuck a goat, then fuck a goat,” Dean tells me as I leave. “Don’t worry about what other people say or think, because all that matters is shooting your bolt deep into a goat. It’s the best feeling ever – trust me, I’d know.” * name changed by request of the goat fucker
Have you fallen in love with Dean and his heartwarming story? His journey through animal lust continues:
Exactly one year and one week ago, I received the greatest gift a man could ever hope for. No, not a blowjob off all four remaining members of One Direction some hot chick with big tits, I’m talking about my redundancy from the evil empire of Bauer Media. It was a pay-off that not only meant I no longer had to spend my days locked away in an office, sitting in a chair that was as comfortable as Clementine Ford at a Weight Watchers meeting, but that I would basically be paid to spend the next year fucking around and doing whatever the hell I wanted.
So how has that year gone?
Well, it’s been a big one. Shortly into my retirement I took a course in paragliding, and it turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life (along with that sheila from Home & Away – hi, Colleen!). The feeling of freedom is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced, and the sense of accomplishment I received from being able to learn this wonderful new skill really set me up for a productive year.
I spent the early part of the year travelling through Indonesia (great), Myanmar (brilliant) and India (fucking shithouse), on what became the toughest trip I’ve ever been on. The things I saw and the people I met (and the near death experiences) will stay with me for the rest of my life.
And when I came home, with no job to go to and adventure in my heart, I went exploring. There’s so much of my own country that I’m yet to see, so I just got out there and checked shit out.
I’ve been on treks through the Aussie wilderness that have pushed me, both mentally and physically. With my tent and sleeping bag and delicious nachos strapped to my back, I scrambled up cliffs and crossed remote rivers all across Sydney and the Central Coast, spending days at a time without seeing other people.
My desire to see more of Australia took me to Tasmania, where I got stuck in a blizzard, climbed a mountain while drunk, visited an art gallery full of pictures of penises, and drank my bodyweight in cider. It’s an astonishing island that is well worth exploring, and I’ll be back there to see more of it before long.
I’ve learned how to rock climb and abseil, and how to teach others to do both, and in the process show patience that I don’t think anybody thought I had.
I’ve met people through paragliding, travelling and working, as well as in parks and under bridges while on the drink, and every one of them has changed my life and will remain important to me. Well except for fucking Stavros – he can go sit on an ant hill as far as I’m concerned.
And hell, I even managed to get that Deputy Editor position that was only available to friends of the boss while at Bauer.
It’s been a good year, the best in a long time, and one that’s seen changes that were sorely needed. My last few months in Sydney were dark times, where my sense of self worth was stomped into the gutter and my confidence wrecked, as I wallowed in a negative working environment, writing for a magazine that was heading straight for the bin.
My favourite song by the band The Real McKenzies is called I Do What I Want, and features the lines, “Cold water is all around, is this what it feels like to drown? Ain’t nobody to pull me out, I feel like I’m going down”, and that completely sums up how I felt back in those bad times. The same song also has a chorus that adequately reflects how I feel now.
I do what I want
Whenever I like
Because it’s my right
I don’t ever want to do what I told
‘Cos I’m getting old
And this is how my life’s been turning out
I was horribly lost for a while there and, while I’m still a long way from being found, I’m on the right path for the first time in a long time.
Now that’s out of the way, it’s time to get fucking drunk on a Monday night… oh, that’s right, I already am!
I usually go camping alone, and end up with my pants off, dancing around a fire by myself. Occasionally I decide to be a bit more social and go camping people, which is exactly what I did this weekend, with a short jaunt to beautiful Lake St Clair. You might remember it from my near-death experience a few months ago.
In attendance were my brother ‘The Dagwood Daddy’ Ben, Wade, Mitchell, Dezza and Leon. Also in attendance was a heat wave that would melt the cock off a Greek statue, with temperatures hitting 43 before we even headed off. I haven’t been so warm since I decided to wear my doona to work.
Lake St Clair is home to some of the most magnificent scenery in Australia, with sheer, green mountains rising out of perfect blue waters. It’s remote and strange, quiet and perfect, and the camping ground is incredible. Not so incredible was the caretaker of the place, an obese slug with tattooed-on eyebrows and a serious problem with hording. She lives in a tiny caravan that smells of BO and dog shit, and I’m pretty sure if you looked closely you’d find bottles of urine stacked up in there.
The first night was just beautiful, as the sun slunk behind the horizon and the goon started flying. It’s an incredible part of the world, and it was lovely to watch the water turn orange and then purple and then black, as the day dribbled away. Music played and conversation flowed, and before I knew it, it was almost 5 in the morning, which was my signal to pass out under a tree with my trousers around my ankles. I guess it doesn’t matter who I go camping with or where I go, I always end up naked in public.
When I got up the next morning I was still drunk, so I did my best to polish off the rest of my cask before we all headed out in Wade’s boat. I’m not much of a fisherman (people who don’t eat land animals but eat fish annoy me, so I eat fish and not land animals, just to piss them off), so I went for a swim instead. The lake was dammed about 30 years ago, and the corpses of long-dead trees still poke out of the water, providing an eerie backdrop for a lovely splash. I even felt a slimy eel brush my leg, so now I know why none of my ex-girlfriends have enjoyed snuggling up with me in bed..
The weather turned and the wind picked up, so we beat a hasty retreat back to land, where I discovered my tent had collapsed like every boner in the room as soon as Penny Wong walks in. Actually, that’s putting it nicely, because the thing was fucked and there were poles pointing in every direction like a gang bang porno.
As I was trying to put the stupid thing back together, a fat, shirtless man wandered over to me with a confused look on his face. “Have you seen my wife?” he asked. “She was there when I left to go to the toilet, and now she’s gone. I think someone kidnapped her.”
He left before I could ask him what his wife looked like (if he was anything to go by, she probably hadn’t popped off to compete in the finals of the Miss Universe competition) and I went back to fixing my tent. Twenty minutes later, he was back, with a big grin on his face.
“You must’ve found your wife,” I said with a smile.
“Nah,” he replied. “I just realised she didn’t come camping with me.” And then he swaggered off into the sunset.
The second night was somewhat more reserved than the first, owing to everyone having hangovers. But we still polished off plenty of booze while the storm kept storming and my tent did its best to fly into the sky like some sort of oversized butterfly. My brother pulled out a box of frozen Dagwood Dogs and attempted to cook them on the BBQ, before finally deciding to eat the half-frozen and half-burnt. Finally, unable to polish off the last two of his eight Daggies, he threw them away, only for a couple of lucky possums to race over and tuck in.
The next day’s weather was as angry as a hungry stepmother, so we packed up early and got the fuck out of there. As we were leaving, the shirtless bloke stopped our car. “Fellas, can I just check your boot to see if my wife’s in there? I haven’t seen here all morning.” We floored it and got out of there.
The weekend ended with a much-appreciated bout of paramagliding at the beautiful Catherine Hill Bay. The conditions were poor and the ride was short (but enough about my sex life!), but after my flying troubles it was just great to get out there and fly through the heavens for a minute or two.
Just to float above shrubs, and dance in the air, and be away from troubles for a time. It really is wonderful. There were times when I thought I might not fly again, to have this short flight meant so much. And I didn’t end up with a barbed wire fence up my blurter, which is always a good thing.
I’m often too drunk to drive, which presents me with a real problem every time I finish another cask of wine; how do I get up to the bottle shop? Sure, I could walk, but that’s stupid, so I recently invested in a mobility scooter.
Yes, a mobility scooter, like the ones old people hoon around in. Well, they don’t really hoon, because these things max out at about 6km/h, but the one I’ve got provides a comfortable ride that is also very safe, due to the big fuck-off orange visibility flag on the back.
So I’ve been riding this thing around a lot lately, taking it to the bottle-o, taking it to the supermarket, doing doughies in car parks, that sorta stuff. And the biggest thing I’ve noticed is that when I’m seated in my mobility scooter, everyone’s really, really nice to me, because they all think I’m either physically or mentally handicapped. Sure, some people assumed that beforehand, but the scooter really sells it.
Normally I’ll walk along the street and people won’t even look at me (I give off a bit of a bad-arse, devil-may-care vibe, so they’re just doing the safe thing), but when I’m in the scooter everyone wants to say hello. They say it slowly because they assume I’ll have a hard time understanding a word with two syllables, but they’re lovely to me all the same. Strangers wave at me for no reason and I wave back with a big, cheesy smile spread across my face.
Yesterday I was tootling along past a family who were enjoying a picnic, and they called me over to have a couple of sausages, with a side of pumpkin salad and homemade quince chutney. I was pretty drunk at the time, so I was slurring my words and wobbling around like some sort of demented fish, which added to the image of me being differently-abled. They kept telling me how brave I am and I just nodded goofily, helping myself to another slice of garlic bread and pinching one of Dad’s craft beers. When I left they slipped a $20 note in my pocket, which I used to buy some wine.
While cruising down the chip aisle of Coles in my scooter, I nearly had an accident with a very fat lady who was also astride a fancy ride. She looked me and my scooter up down, coughed until she hocked up a golf ball-sized chunk of phlegm, then gave me her sexiest wink, which wasn’t too sexy at all. “I’ve got space for two scooters in front of my unit,” she said in a husky voice, and I backed out of there so fast I knocked over a standing display of Arnott’s Shapes.
I’ve even made friends with some of the fogies from the old-people’s home down the street. Most mornings we do laps of the local park in our scooters in what must look like the world’s slowest grand prix, and talk about lost love and why the young people of today are such fucking idiots. We’re like a car club, only our chariots cruise at the speed of a sausage dog and struggle to make it over cracks in the concrete.
I live an idyllic life of free sausages, sexual innuendo and heartfelt conversations Alzheimer’s sufferers, and it’s all because of my mobility scooter. Maybe I should get a colostomy bag next, everyone would love that…
I love getting pissed. Give me a cask of cheap wine, a bag of chips and some good music, and I’m sorted. I could do it all the time – and I do, in fact. But sometimes I get sick of stumbling around the house by myself, crying over lost loves and passing out in the spa in a pool of my own sick, so I go other places to drink.
It also works as lawnmower petrol
Tonight, I’m hitting the turps in the beautiful Watagan Mountains, at a peaceful place called The Pines. As the name suggests, my campsite is within a large pine plantation, that is at once pretty and bizarre amongst the thick bush. Instead of trekking in, I drove the Del Sol all the way up the mountain, in conditions it was never designed for, but which it handled admirably.
I’m always looking for cute birds…
Despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to locate the helicopter that crashed in the Watagans a few days ago, but I did find a wishing well, where I wished for an end to world hunger.
Something, something, world peace, something, something, Bill Shorten finally fucks off…
Nah, just kidding, I wished that I was drunk, and now it looks like that’s coming true. Moral of the story, wishing wells fucking work, as long as you don’t try to use them to feed hungry African kids.
The tent’s big enough for two, ladies…
And now, with the sun setting and birds calling, I’m listening to The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band and getting quietly sloshed on [brand] wine (at $10 for five litres, I can ignore the fact it tastes like sweat wrung out of a hobo’s sock and burns the back of my throat as if I’ve been swallowing coals). I reckon it’s only a few more glasses until that possum over there starts to look pretty damn good. Ah, it’s a good life…
For those just joining us, I haven’t always been the Row Show. I haven’t always had sexy long hair and acool car, and been able to make women go week at the knees with a smoothly-delivered line. When I was a junior burger, I was pretty awkward and shy, especially around women. Hell, I remember walking along the street in Surfers Paradise when I was younger and having to consciously stop myself from looking at the footpath. But when I was almost 19, I met this really pretty girl.
At Joe’s Garage.
If you don’t know Joe’s, it was this shitbird of a nightclub in Gosford, full of drunks, with filthy toilets, expensive drinks and a punch to the head around every corner. It’s now a shitbird of a club named Pulse, and is still full of drunks, with filthy toilets, expensive drinks and a punch to the head around every corner. But now, there are also those dudes in the shirts that look like nighties.
But enough about that, let’s get back to 2002, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and the internet didn’t come on phones, it only existed within the confines of very slow computers. I think I also had one of those little chin beards with no other facial hair, but it’s cool, because that was alright back then. Sure, women weren’t throwing themselves at me, but it had nothing to do with my little chin beard.
So I’m pissed at Joe’s one night, bopping around to Angel by Shaggy and that song about birds by Nelly Furtado, and I met this girl. Really pretty, great body, I even danced in a cage with her like I was some sort of champion homo. Gave her a pash, and I couldn’t believe my luck when she agreed to meet up with me again. I thought it was love, she thought I was just the latest bloke to slip a few fingers up her, usual story. I was still new to everything, so when my birthday rolled around, I invited her to Club Troppo with me.
Yes, so now you know that I’ve always been a romantic.
We rolled up, and it was packed because it was a public holiday. When we danced, it felt like no-one but us were in the room. Shit, it felt like no-one else was in the universe. I got on the piss with the fellas, she got on the piss with whoever the fuck she was with, I tried not to get my carefully-spiked hairdo messed up. Then this lass invited me to meet a friend, who appeared to be both a midget, and a gay. Let’s just call him Gidget.
No, not that one, like this!
Yeah, like that. He kept grabbing my arms and saying that I must work out, calling me a ‘handsome boy’ and basically being gay and small. I was pretty chuffed, thinking some mad poof thought I was the best thing since the invention of anatomically-correct Ron Jeremy dildos. I kept holding onto the girl I was seeing, to prove my masculinity and to keep Gidget from grabbing any other large parts of my anatomy… like my legs.
Or my penis!
In my drunken state I became detached from my lady friend, so I wandered outside to see if she and Gidget were out there. Well, I went outside to see if there girl was there, I couldn’t have cared less if Gidget had fallen down a drain. She wasn’t out there, the handsome Tongan chap on the door wouldn’t let me back in (many ex-girlfriends have had the same thought), so I waited outside for this lovely lady.
An hour later, she wandered out… holding hands with Gidget… fucking GIDGET! She took one look at me and said, “I just cheated on you with him” and they swaggered off into the night. I swaggered off to cry under a palm tree.
So, not only did my girlfriend cheat on me, but it was with a gay midget, who I thought found me attractive, but probably didn’t really. It was a double punch to the guts.
It was bad, and I’m not going to lie about that. Hell, I’m sitting here as a 32-year-old, writing about it. I’ve had my share of people treat me badly, and I guess some people would say I’ve treated them badly, but that made me feel like shit. I was just a kid, dumb and trusting, and I couldn’t understand why someone would do that to me on my birthday. I’ve since discovered that it’s not weird, and people replace people every day, which is a load of dog turds, but it’s what happens.
Our story has a happy ending, though. I recently looked up the girl on the Facebook, and it looks like she’s spent the intervening years keeping Four ‘n’ Twenty in business, because she’s massive. She’s also in a long-term relationship with a bald man who looks like he’s not allowed within 200m of schools.
As for Gidget, I assume he caught the AIDS and carked it. Or maybe he finally did fall down that drown. The sawn-off shithead certainly deserves it!
Hiking through Olney State Forest is a bit like getting a lap dance off your best mate’s mother – pleasant and refreshing, but not overly exciting, with the whole experience leaving you feeling dirty at the end of it.
I’ve been as busy as Rolph Harris in a kindergarten lately and haven’t had a chance to get away for more than a month, so when I found myself with a few free days, I packed my bags and headed into the wilderness. After driving through glorious valleys and pretty rural towns, I parked by the side of a dirt road and headed out into the trees, making my way from Cedar Brush to the Basin Campsite, on the NSW Central Coast.
The track headed steeply upwards, and it wasn’t long before I was regretting every meat pie I’d ever even. Actually, that’s a lie, because I’ll never regret a pie. It was a real slog through the scrub with little in the way of rest areas, and after an hour or so I was very happy to reach the top of the mountain and stop for a well-deserved lunch break.
The next two or three hours of swaggering along the ridgeline were lovely, even if there wasn’t a lot to see. Lots of trees, plenty of dirt, some rocks, that sort of thing. It’s been a busy few weeks and I’ve barely had any time to myself, so it was wonderful to be out there with nothing but the birds for company.
As the track dived down the other side of the mountain, the vegetation changed quicker than a small-penised man in a public swimming pool bathroom. Giant ferns and palm trees towered above me, and I stormed down into the valley as the daylight waned and darkness settled over everything.
In fact, the darkness settled just a little too much, and I found myself stumbling through the night, with only a vague idea of where my campsite was. I fell over rocks, bumped into trees, and tumbled into roots (not for the first time!) before finally coming out (no, not like that) at the glorious Basin Campsite.
While it was too dark for me to fully appreciate, the Basin is a huge, well-kept camp with heaps of fire pits, a few picnic tables, and a view over a muddy creek. It’s next to a dirt road, so most people drive in and set up camp and rock in with beers and sausages and big tents, but I had the place to myself. Well, pretty much.
That night, I learned two things. 1) Possums love nachos every bit as much as I do. Shortly after finishing my deliciously authentic Mexican meal, these cheeky bastards rolled in and smashed the leftovers, then hung around for the next few hours while I listened to music and danced around the campfire like some sort of demented hippie.
2) It gets pretty fucking cold in the Watagans in the middle of winter. I went to bed wearing thermals, a shirt, a jumper and a jacket, wrapped up in a sleeping bag rated to zero degrees, and I still woke up feeling colder than a penguin’s penis. The council needs to install some heaters out there.
The next morning I headed back to the car, and after a 10km walk I was feeling a tad thirsty – so I headed to the Six Strings Brewery at Erina, where I drank beer and embarrassed myself in front of a pretty lady! Maybe I’m best off out in the bush by myself, at least I can’t make a dickhead of myself out there…
When I was a kid, I spent many memorable days (and a few boring ones) at Old Sydney Town. For those who aren’t familiar with it, Old Sydney Town was a theme park that accurately recreated the early settlement of Sydney, with historically-correct buildings, dudes dressed as convicts and more angry cannons than a Sasha Grey film.
Unlike most theme parks, there weren’t any rollercoasters, waterslides, whizzy things, whirly things, or other fun stuff, so it was a bit shit. But it was the closest thing Gosford had to a fun park, so we were proud of it.
Oh, and the public whippings were fucking aces. I still think of them every time I pay Madame Mayhem from the local knock shop to flog me.
Good sheila, that Madame Mayhem. Built like a truck with a broken axel, but she sure knows how to please a fella. This one time… right, sorry, I was talking about Old Sydney Town.
The lack of rides and the community’s general apathy towards Australian history led to it shutting down in 2003, after which it was basically left to rot. No-one’s been there for more than 12 years, and I’ve long wondered what it looks like. I’ve often considered going in there to see what it’s like, but I’m a law-abiding citizen, so I haven’t.
It’s lucky, then, that a very good friend of mine recently busted into Old Sydney Town and went exploring. He even sent me the photos. His name’s Mustafa Chen-Wilkins and, while he’s a brave dude and takes great photos, he can’t write for shit, so I’ve translated his words so they read exactly the same as my own stuff. In fact, it will be just like it was actually me who went there, but we all know that’s definitely not the case.
Over to you, Mustafa!
G’day, I’m Mustafa. You might’ve heard rumours about my large, oddly-shaped penis and adoration for donkeys, and I’m happy to say that it’s all true. Especially the bit about donkeys. I’m a real bad-arse with a cavalier attitude to breaking the law, so when I saw a sign saying people weren’t allowed into the former site of Old Sydney Town, i took it as a challenge.
I’m not going to tell you how I got in, but it involved climbing over a few fences, crawling through heaps of bushes, and basically being cool and secretive, like Kurt Russel. Once I was in, I found myself on the banks of the park’s lake, which once represented Sydney Harbour. In the distance, the buildings looked the same as they always had, but one thing broke the illusion that time had stopped – the giant ship that once stood guard over the harbour had fallen onto its side and was rotting in the murky water.
As I made my way into the remnants of the town, I was overcome by the eeriness of the place. It’s well-kept and tidy, and the buildings are largely the same as they were before the closure, but it’s quiet and empty. It feels more like a ghost town than an abandoned amusement park.
I checked out the local pub, the King’s Head Tavern, which was once used for weddings and random piss-ups. Apart from some warped floorboards, it looked like it had been abandoned yesterday – plates and microwaves were still spread around, as were signs reminding employees to wash their hands and lock the doors. There was even a piano in the corner, which I couldn’t play because 1) it was completely waterlogged and rotten and 2) trying to teach me the piano would be as successful as trying to teach and aardvark to shit gold nuggets.
As I was looking through some decomposing cottages, I heard a motorbike blatting towards me, and quickly hid behind a broken wagon. With my heart racing and visions of being raped by a buck-toothed security guard racing through my mind, I grabbed my stuff and started heading back to my car. But as I passed the lake again, I was overcome by the beauty of the sunset and, telling myself I’d imagined the bike, sat down to watch the sky transform.
And then I heard another motorbike cutting through the silence, and this time there was no mistaking what it was, because I could see the bloody thing coming around the water. I jumped up and raced into a gloomy wool shed, and that’s when I heard a vicious guard dog barking. Fucking hell, I wasn’t just going to get arrested and raped, I was going to get eaten!
The motorbike roared closer and the dog barked harder and my heart did its best to jump out of my chest, and I crept around the side of the shed while the two hunters stalked past me. As soon as they were past, I turned and piss bolted back around the lake, hoping they wouldn’t see me.
They did, and I heard a yell come from a couple of hundred metres behind me. The motorbike screamed and came back at me, with the rabies-afflicted hound not far behind, foam pouring from its mouth. A little bit of wee came out of my doodle, but I just put my head down and kept going, then dived into the bushes and started blindly bashing my way through the gloom in the vague direction of my car.
I heard the bike stop, but the dog kept coming, screeching in the darkness as it closed in on my. I hit fence topped with barbed wire, climbed it in record time, and slipped my foot over just as the rabid mongrel snapped at my ankle.
I dropped over the other side and spent the next hour battling through the darkness, and by the time I made it back to my car, I was torn apart, bleeding and sore, but very happy with my trip back in time.
With no job to go to, girlfriend to annoy, or pet to feed to prevent it from dying, this week I went bush for a couple of days. I packed my tent and my sleeping bag and headed up to Mangrove Mountain, west of Gosford, where I found a 24km hiking track that was beautiful, remote and historically significant. Yes, we’re in for some learnin’ here, kids.
And don’t worry, I managed to keep my clothes on most of the time.
I parked the red rocket (I mean my car – that’s not a euphemism for sex) at the top of Dubbo Gully Road and headed into the valley, admiring the trees and rock formations, and enjoying being completely surrounded by the sounds of birds. When I hit the bottom (again, not a euphemism for sex) I came across the Upper Mangrove Cemetery, where many of the pioneers of the region are buried. It’s quiet, peaceful and pretty, and seems out of place in the middle of the endless wilderness. I enjoyed my lunch there, but unfortunately I was disturbed by a zombie.
From there the track wound through the floor of the valley, eventually happening along the abandoned Fairview homestead, which was apparently pretty fancy when it was built back in 1922. It looks like a pile of shit now and has a barbed-wire fence around it, but I still reckon I could fix it up and live there. Good luck to any Mormons or pregnant chicks from Tinder trying to find me out there.
Further along was a clearing with a log book for visitors to sign, so I wrote my name and a simple comment.
After a mammoth 5k trek back up the ridgeline, I made it to the wonderfully-named Ten Mile Hollow, my camp for the night. This has to be the most historically interesting campground I’ve been to – it was originally used as a stockade for the convicts who built the Old Great North Road back in the 1830s. It was later given the delightful title of Snodgrass Valley and was intended to become a town, but no-one wanted to live in a place with a name like that (they moved to Watanobbi instead) and it was abandoned. Apparently there was an illegal inn built there at some point, but I couldn’t find it no matter how hard I searched, so I had to be content with guzzling cheap vodka in my tent by myself.
I set out the next morning bright eyed and bushy tailed (actually, I was neither, as I was hungover and am not a possum), and the first stop was Clare’s Bridge, which is the second-oldest bridge in mainland Australia. The dudes who built it must’ve been drunk at the time, though, because they forgot to put any planks on the top of it. No wonder we no longer use slave labour in Australia – the bastards are useless!
The track continued up another mountain and along the ridge, presenting some outstanding views out over the valleys. This is a glorious part of the world, easily accessible yet completely removed from the pitfalls of modern life. It was one of the most interesting walks I’ve been, with remnants of history everywhere. Perhaps the most incredible thing is that the trail I walked on was once the main road between Sydney and Newcastle. It was never more than 4m wide, and trees hugged it on both sides, but there was a time when people would pack up their buggies and travel through those lonely hills on their way north.
I highly recommend you trot along and check it – but just watch out for that fuckin’ zombie!
I originally wrote this… just then! Woo, a completely new blog entry!