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  • "He sways in the doorway, large, hairy, fiery of eye, his nylon jacket disarranged, around his neck a flier's loose scarf. His face is very red and he points spikes of gladioli at us, thrusting this way and that:

    'En garde! For your aunt! Flowers for the good lady! Over the manpowered mile, Ackerman is first!'

    He duels the evening paper from Mr O'Meara, wakes Dunphy from his doze, then climbs onto a chair holding his offering, high, tall as the Statue of Liberty.

    'What the devil man! Take heed!'

    'Out of his senses! These new Australians!'

    'Tonight, home movies! You'll see it all! I flew, like this!'

    Extending his arms sideways, he flaps them, and clambers across onto aunt's sideboard, scattering tinted family groups.

    'Thirty, forty, fifty feet up! Young McCarthy he came, he saw, he make film!'

    A tall oil of a sunset over the pyramids slips, then crashes from its nail, and in the doorway there is aunt.


    'Mr Ackermann!'

    'Miss McCarthy!! These flowers for you! Gladioli, the finest, a dollar a bunch!'

    'Get down from there! At once!'

    'I would prefer to eat up here, if I may.'

    'You're in liquor, I won't have drink in the house! OU, d'you hear, out! I've seen it ruin too many lives! Pack your bags!'

    Ackerman descending, a clumsy one-point landing, amidst an avalanche of photos. Mr O'Meara looking up from his paper, aghast."

    - 'A Salute To The Great McCarthy', Barry Oakley.

    February 28, 2008