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The fable of the Under Down Land

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(Image by Dan Jensen)

Founder Dave Donovan tells the story of a strange and backwards land, led by sheep-lovers, excavation enthusiasts and a terrifying king called Scrupert McCrock.

LET ME tell you a little fable.

It is about a land so ridiculous, it isn’t true.

So untrue, indeed, it’s really quite ridiculous.

Ruled by the ridiculously untrue.

And over all the lands, ridiculed overall by all the truthful, truly.

What a place!

A confusing place, indeed. Right at the end of the world, it lied. So far away, indeed, one of its slightly less contemptible rulers called it “the arse end of the world”. Mind you, he also said, “If you don’t live in Sydney, you’re camping out", and so he was, veritably, a bit of a jerk. But still one of the better leaders in the history of this backwards place.

It was described by some, due to its remoteness, as the Land Down Under. But its true name was the Under Down Land. This was because its wealth came mostly from the wool of sheep, although they were also very fond of fowl — as one might expect, as their wealthy were paltry indeed.

Over time, as their rich folk began to tire of bothering sheep and other unsuspecting farm animals, they began to direct their rapacious gaze towards the things that lay under the soil, and started making large holes everywhere to see what it was and whether they could somehow take advantage of it also.

Yes, reader, despite them becoming somewhat less sheepish, their highest orders were still grubbers of the lowest order. But they enjoyed this new pursuit, as they were accustomed, all their lives, to loudly exclaiming, “Mine!” and expecting it. But the more these diggers dug, the harder they found it to get out of their holes. So low did they go, indeed, many wondered if they trying to dig their way to China. Which, in a way, they were.

Large amongst these ardent excavation enthusiasts was a lady. Well, a female at any rate. Her name was Genuinely Noheart. Amongst her finer features was her corpulence, as it made her seem somewhat more jolly. Alack, this was a ruse, as she was, in truth, a haughty, vain, talentless, arrogant, daughter of a bigot. In fact, so poor were her characteristics, a famous artist was once violently ill on a canvas after seeing her pose grotesquely in front of him. The result was first prize in the National Poor Traits Awards.

Amongst her ill-adroit henchpersons was a particularly oafish and rubicund fellow called Barnyard Juicy-Goosey. So lecherous, lubricious and drunken was he, and so much the epitome of sloth, surpassing bad taste and insular insignificance, the slimy reptiles truly running this overlarge petting zoo and mining operation made him their deputy leader, briefly (although far from briefly enough). It was a truly intoxicating time, even for the Under Down Land, which had known more than its fair share of such sessions, as was known all round.

Barnyard’s exploits were legion, including falling off a large public garden instalment. Something evidently so unremarkable to this florid-faced dipsomaniac, he barely paused in his important task at the time of slurringly shouting vile obscenities down the phone to his heavily pregnant wife and former party helper. He was photographed doing so by a passer-by, for which the churlish lout was roundly castigated. The passer-by, that is. Barnyard was, as is proper, widely lauded and duly bestowed the Pisshead of the Year award — a significant national honour.

Other towering figures included Tiny Abner, or the Mad Monkey, as he was widely known and derided. A certified clown and idealogue with so few ideas he was heralded over all the Under Down Land, and beyond, as the most incomprehensible idiot of them all. Allegedly a man, of such astoundingly poor manners and flagrant dishonesty, even hideously disfigured cane toads from poor families were known to distance themselves from him. With this sort of pedigree, the Under Down Land made him chief belcher and toady for a short and interesting period.

These were the golden days of this tipsy-turpsy place and, forsooth, it showered down upon all the people — or at least those without prosperous mining enterprises and their enterprising lackeys.

Also besmelling and routinely befouling himself was an habitual leerer, Skidmark McDonalds, who was Lord of Engadine — or the Porcelain Throne, as it was known. As little as possible should be said about Lord Skidmark – or his pants – except that he was instantly detested by all the peasants he looked down upon and with whom he usually tried to energetically clasp hands, even while he was burning their houses to the ground.

It's true, he did once enjoy a brief period of public approbation when he went to a luxurious foreign seaside destination during an unprecedented national emergency. However, unfortunately, this evaporated immediately when he ill-advisedly chose to return to the Under Down. And there was much woe and vexation throughout this wide, brown land.

But it was slimy reptiles who truly ruled over them and the most vicious of all was an ancient, leathery crocodilian called Scrupert McCrock.

The beginning of his reign terrorising the fearful populace is so shrouded in antiquity, his true origins are difficult to properly ascertain. One popular legend has it that he was the only child of a petty noble who gained prominence due to his talent for mythmaking and war, and especially for mythmaking about a particular war. Once largely human, McCrock was said to have voraciously gobbled up all his competitors until, at last, he was king of them all — or the Sun King, as he enjoyed being known.

Though not himself a major player in the whole hole creation business, he was a strong supporter of the practice and made grubby pamphlets – many stained with the blood of his prey – to help the other grubbers. Hence, he became known as the “Dirty Digger”, one of his many epithets. Of course, he also dabbled in sheep from time to time.

Over the ages, his dark soul so fully permeated his being, it began to take over his physical nature. Towards the end, his countenance became so repellent, even just laying eyes upon his ghastly form caused many to instantly expire from shock and fear. Once, after disrobing at a crowded beach, the carnage was so colossal, the International Criminal Court launched a prosecution for crimes against humanity.

There is more that could be said about this horrifying snaggle-toothed monster, but perhaps just one anecdote more might suffice. 

His heart was so dark, he once raised the spirit of a murdered teenager by issuing necromantic incantations over her personal phone. This was so shocking, the Devil himself issued a cease and desist notice and filed a complaint with the ACCC.

Thus ends the strange and unsettling story of the Under Down Land.

But now we come to the moral of this immoral tale:

You should always be kind to defenceless animals, but will dig yourself into a vast pit if you show the same courtesy to ghoulish predators who want nothing more than to devour you and take all your sheep.

You can follow founder and director Dave Donovan on Twitter/X @davrosz. Follow Independent Australia on Twitter/X @independentaus and Facebook HERE.

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