part 1 – the somerton movie deal
It happens. Someone says that someone else is writing about the Somerton Man and before you know it the email rings from a movie agent in Sydney, an American, and he wants to come up to cow country and spin a deal with the writer.
He’s a fat little man in a sharp suit and snappy straw hat. His driver waits in the car, windows closed, aircon on full bore, radio playing Uptown Funk. He’s lighting a raggedy looking cigarette.
He looks over at me and waves,
.. then blows the smoke out.
That’s Looseleaf, he’s a local lad.
The fat man is George. We meet at the door, shake hands and go sit out on the deck, the Border Ranges blue in the distance. A dead cow just over the fence, ripped up by the dogs, it’s been there for six days and nobody wants a nor-easter to bring the stink into the house..
‘So who’s the dead guy at the end of the book?’
‘The bloke they were all chasing.’
George takes notes.
‘Who was they?’
George looks at me, ‘you guys are real smartarses, you know that?’
‘FBI, CIS, NKGB, Mi5.’
‘Sure you didn’t forget anyone?’
The kookaburra laughs.
‘Who’s the babe?’
George adds more notes. Mutters to himself.
‘We’ll need cleavage and hair colour, high heels.’
‘This other guy, Boxballs, where does he fit?’
‘Boxhall, in it up to his nose, couldn’t lie straight in bed.’
That gets a laugh. Alf’s nickname was the Wombat.
‘Who else gets top billing?’
‘A Russian, a Yank, couple of poms and a blonde.’
George’s face lights up.
‘Love it,’ says George, writing hard. ‘Her and the Wombat, did they ever ..?’
‘Nah, mate, there’s no sex in this book, it’s a work of literature.’
December 1 on Amazon. Could be a goer.