The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #71418 Message #1221967
Posted By: GUEST,sandra in sydney still @ work
09-Jul-04 - 04:05 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: The Midnight Mail (Jez Lowe)
Subject: RE: Origins: The Midnight Mail by Jez Lowe
here in Oz we call/called them the Dunny Men (dunny = outside toilet)
One of the best ever descriptions of dunny emptying I know is in the satirical 1970's book 'Outcasts of Foolgarah' by the same bloke, Frank Hardy, who wrote 'Power without Glory' 'Power' was was judged to be a libel of a powerful man (Wren or West, I never can remember who was who) when the man successfully sued the author.
The outcasts were the garbos, street sweepers, dunny men, etc. & they went on strike leaving Foolgarah (Sydney) awash in everything. The characters were thinly disguised persons like Billy Bigears, a politician who had married a socialite who had been on the shelf for years. Strangely enougth no one sued him here - perhaps no-one wanted to say they were the character concerned?
My favourite character was Darcy Meanswell (based on Billy Wentworth the latest in a long line of Darcy Wentworth's descendants). Darcy loved publicity so decided to show the world how easy it was to remove a full tin. The dunny men were among the watchers, & commenting on the fact that he hadn't fastened the lid properly. The author said something like "all his political life people had wanted to tip s*** on Darcy & here he was doing it himself" . I love that line cos Billy had a similar effect on folks of a non-Conservative political hue.
He used to come to our office to get data & take away publications & even tho I was the little wig here, I charged him for one when all my bosses bowed down & gave him stuff. Sometime later someone read the regulations & realised he was not entitled to free stuff & he had to pay like the rest of humanity.
I really must find 'Outcasts" & read it again.