Fair dinkum in Kalgoorlie

One day Jerry, a cattle roustabout, was sitting in the doorway of his country homestead having a smoke, when he saw three men coming toward him. He knew from their looks that they were not ordinary blokes, unlike most around these parts. They were Super Heroes, and one of them appeared to be God himself. All three wore one piece orange suits, the two who did not speak, bore one star on their chests, while God bore three. This is how Jerry knew that this man was God.

When Jerry saw these men coming, he went down to meet them at the front gate, and bowed to them; and he said to the three starred man, God. “Hi there God, please do not pass me by. Instead come and rest a little in our humble home. Let me send for water to wash your hands and face, and to give the three of you food, and maybe you’ll stay with us a little while.”

So this strange person, the super hero God, sat with his two aid-de-camps in the kitchen in Jerry’s humble homestead house. And what an honour it was for Jerry to have God sit down with an ordinary man such as he. They took the food which Sharon, Jerry’s wife, made ready for them, meat pies and micro-waved vegetables along with four beers, and then God talked with Jerry. He told Jerry that in a short time he would send to him and Sharon a dog, which they should name Bluey. In the Australian language that Jerry spoke, the name Bluey means “red” and Jerry and Sharon both laughed aloud when they heard it. They were so happy that they could scarcely believe the news. They’ve wanted a red dog for a long time but couldn’t afford to keep one, for they were poor.

Then the three Super Heroes rose up to go, and two of them went further down the highway leading to the old goldfield town of Kalgoorlie, home of the Skimpies and their loyal followers. But the super hero God hadn’t gone.

In the toilet God said to himself: “Shall I hide from Jerry what I am going to do? For Jerry is to be the originator of a great and tall tale, and the entire world shall receive a solid ribbing through him. And I know that Jerry will teach his children and all those that live with him to spread the tall tale, and to do it right. I will tell Jerry what I am going to do. I am going down to the town of Kalgoorlie, and I am going to see if the town is as bad as I have heard it to be. For the wickedness of any town is like a deep moan in a quiet desert.”

And Jerry knew that Kalgoorlie was very wicked, and he suspected that God had come down to destroy it. And Jerry said:

“Are you going to kill all the fair dinkum people who live in Kalgoorlie when you kill the bad? I know of at least fifty fair dinkum people in the town. Why can’t you go around, after all you are the super hero God, and find all the wicked and turf them out of the town, and if you must drive them down the empty mine shafts?”

And God said: “If I find in Kalgoorlie fifty fair dinkum people, then I will not destroy the town, but will spare it for your sake.”

Then Jerry said again: “Perhaps I ought not to ask anything more, for I am only an ordinary bloke, talking with the super hero God. But suppose that if you only found forty-nine fair dinkum people in Kalgoorlie, will you then destroy the town because it is one tinnie short of a slab?”

And God said, “I will not destroy it, if there are forty-nine fair dinkum people in it.” And Jerry said, “Suppose there are only forty fair dinkum people in it, what then?” And God said, “I will spare the town, if I find in it forty fair dinkum people.” And Jerry said, “O God, don’t get annoyed if I ask that if there are thirty fair dinkum people in the town, it may be spared.” And God said, “I will not do it, if I find thirty fair dinkum people there.” And Jerry said, “Let me be so bold as to then ask whether you would spare it if twenty are there.” God said: “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty fair dinkum people, if they are there.” Then Jerry said, “O, please don’t get too riled with me if I say that perhaps there may be only ten fair dinkum people in the town.” And the Lord said, “If I find ten fair dinkum people in Kalgoorlie, I will spare the town.”

And Jerry had no more to say. And the super hero God went on his way toward Kalgoorlie; and Jerry turned back, and went into his cottage.

Jerry’s nephew, Dennis, had years ago moved to Kalgoorlie, even though he knew there was a lot of wickedness in the town. Dennis then spent time away from Kalgoorlie and when he got out he didn’t think twice about going back there to live. He had friends there and he loved the lifestyle and the weather.

Two of the Super Heroes who had visited Jerry had already got to Kalgoorlie, and were walking through the town, trying to find the fair dinkum people; for if they could find up to ten, the town would be saved. But the only fair dinkum person whom they could find was Dennis. He took the Super Heroes into his house, and treated them kindly, and even made dinner of sausages and eggs for them.

Then many unruly folk of Kalgoorlie, when they found out that strangers were in Dennis’s house, came to it and barged at the front door, trying to take the Super Heroes outside to do them real harm, such bullies and thugs as they were. But the beasts of Kalgoorlie could do nothing against them, for as they were breaking down the front door, frightening Dennis to death, the two Super Heroes struck all those wicked men blind, and in a sudden panic they were groping at anything upright to keep them steady only to fall over themselves and the objects in front of them.

In the chaos the Super Heroes said to Dennis:

“How many others besides your good self, whom you can gather together to come to us? Whomever you have, get them here quickly, for we are here with God to destroy this place, because it is obviously so very, very wicked.”

Then Dennis went to a couple of his mates houses and he said to them;” I say chaps, you’d better get your act together and come with me, for God and two other Super Heroes are going to destroy Kalgoorlie.”

But his mates would not believe his words; they only laughed at him. What a mistake it was for Dennis to be living is such a disorderly place, when even his best mates won’t listen to him! He tried some acquaintances but he only got the same response. He went back to the Super Heroes downcast and he said to them none.

And as the next morning brightened the sky, the two Super Heroes were getting Dennis organised so he can get safely out of Kalgoorlie. They said:”C’mon, quickly get moving and take your two dogs with you. If you do not hurry, you all will be destroyed with the town.”

But Dennis was slow to leave his house with his two dogs, and what little belongings he could carry. And the two Super Heroes took hold of him, and of his dogs, and his possessions and they flew with them out of the town. God was true to Jerry, to get the fair dinkum out of Kalgoorlie before it was destroyed.

And when they had got Dennis and his dogs out of the town, one of the Super Heroes said to him:

“Escape for your life; and do not look behind you; do not stop anywhere in the desert; here take this ute we have set aside for you, and drive quickly away!”

And Dennis begged the Super Heroes not to send him so far away. His whole life revolved around Kalgoorlie and he loved the lifestyle. He said, “I cannot drive all the way to Perth. Have mercy upon me, and let me go to Boulder that lies yonder. It is only a little town, and you’ll spare it, won’t you? Please allow me to be safe there.”

And the Super Hero said, “We will spare Boulder for your sake, though it was also on our hit list; and we will wait until you are safe before we destroy this one.”

So Dennis drove to Boulder with his dogs, and there he found safety. The sun was well into the sky by the time Dennis got there. The sky was clear and forecast for rain was very grim.

Then, as soon as Dennis was safely out of Kalgoorlie, God, who stood on a nearby hill, caused a rain of fire to fall upon Kalgoorlie, like a volcanic eruption. With the fire came great clouds of sulphur smoke and ash, covered the town. Kalgoorlie looked like Pompeii after Vesuvius had erupted, and not one man or woman or child survived.

The Two Super Heroes had only found one fair dinkum person in the whole of Kalgoorlie and that was Dennis, and it appeared that it wasn’t enough. Some would argue that they did not spend enough time in the town, for surely there would have at least ten fair dinkum people, enough to save the town. Surely the innocent children would have counted.

But God was in a wrathful mood, and as is common in the outback, there was a breakdown in communication between he and the other two Super Heroes who went on ahead. God had not said that he would save Kalgoorlie if only one fair dinkum person was found. The two Super Heroes had only found one and not ten and that was obviously not enough.

When Jerry and Sharon found out that it was Dennis, their nephew who was saved, though appalled by the destruction, they thanked the Super Heroes when they passed by their way again. Even though Dennis had done time in jail he was still fair dinkum in the eyes of God. And for that Jerry and Sharon were eternally grateful.



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