Countdown and World Order

Records, Skyhooks, Leo Sayer, Rod Stewart, ABBA

Aplogies to the neighbours, but I’m stuck in the 70s tonight


Today we had Double J playing, and “Size of a Cow” by The Wonderstuff came on. I was singing along, I guess I know most of the words (or at least my version of them, which may vary from the intended, but that’s not a new thing) and Nath was just looking at me. He said he’d never, ever heard it.

That was weird. We are the same vintage, had lots of the same friends, and came from the same town, so usually we know the same songs. We varied a bit in taste, back in those teenage days- I was more Billy Bragg and Bob Dylan, he was more Rolling Stones and all of the other headachy Blues stuff that makes me doubt my ability to be happy ever again. But usually we kind of cross-over a little.

And a similar thing happened last night- we were doing the random scroll thing on our iPods- you know where you close your eyes and flick and point and then have to listen to whatever comes on? Well, “Death of a Disco Dancer” (The Smiths) came on. Nath didn’t know it at all. I can understand why- Morrissey is painful at the best of times at that is a particularly moan-ey song- but still. Never, ever? That felt a bit wrong.

So if he doesn’t know those two songs- I mean, to not even have heard them- then what else doesn’t he know, that I do? Of course there is all of the professional information that we each carry- I don’t think that either of us knows the intricacies of each other’s work- but what other world stuff?

When we play Trivial Pursuit we are fairly evenly matched- I know a bit more Science and Lit, he knows more History, and don’t even talk to me about the Geography (I’ve been waiting for Google Maps my whole life), but we are fairly similar. I sometimes say, “How did you know THAT?” quickly followed by, “and who wants to know anyway?” Because I don’t like to be wrong.

When we talk about tv shows, movies, places, pubs, people, there is a calming reassurance that is like coming home. We nod our heads at the same bits.

We know the same jokes, the same streets, the same beaches.


And comforting.

This afternoon I did that thing where you twist a wet towel into a whip and then flick someone with it. I was going to show the kids, because: life skill. I said to Nath, “Remember how there was that Collingwood footy player, maybe like Des Tuddenham or someone, who they said got testicular cancer from a towel flick?” Nath was very adamant that it was Peter Crimmens who played for Hawthorn. I don’t know anything much about footy, and I don’t have testicles, so I suspect that Nath is right, but it bugs me that something is off. That something happened in the world, and we have completely different representations in our brains about it. I know it is most probable that I’m wrong, but my neurology has created a very clear picture of a Tuddy and a Collingwood jumper in my head. So I guess I’m muddling up and mooshing together some news item/ Urban Myth, and a scene from The Club.

How often does this happen?

I bet it happens a lot.

I find that disconcerting.

So tonight we watched Countdown together, and, quite frankly, it was a relief. We knew the same songs. We thought the same outfits were ridiculous. We reminisced about cold Sunday nights in Melbourne, huddled around the fire, having Heinz tomato soup (with white bread dunked in it) and watching Countdown with our families. Waiting to see what Molly would do wrong. Hoping to see our favourite band in the Number One spot.

Tonight we sat in our own home. Sweltering in the Queensland Spring, singing along to the songs of our youth. The songs that everyone knew. Back in those days there were no obscure bands, or at least not in our suburbs. Everyone watched Countdown (except Joanne Mifsud, because her Mum said it was too rude), and everyone knew all of the words, all of the music. Countdown made us part of a gang. We could recognise each other in the harmonies. It felt just right.

Tonight I sang along with the Skyhooks in their crazy, theatrical over-the-top, splendour: “Horror movie, Right there on my tv, Horror movie, Right there on my tv, Horror movie, And it’s blown a fuse, Horror movie, It’s the sex they don’t use.”

Nath just looked at me, eyes a little wide, and didn’t say a.single.thing.

I think he knows I’ve had enough shocks for one day. There’s no need to tell me what the words really are, no need at all. I might blow a fuse.



Excuse me whilst I give these old records a spin. How RUDE were the Skyhooks?!!

Did you watch Countdown? Who was your favourite band?


…From The Ashers