book preview of DICKLOOSE





In 1975 young ex-Aussie
Rules footballer ‘Blue’ Mooney sets out to jet, sail, and hitch-hike across the
planet and into the knickers of every willing foreign female findable –
especially if she’s French! Meanwhile the author, as he reminisces, sporadically
returns to the present where he is dad to sassy pre-adolescent Lily. 

Leading booksellers affirm
that ‘Sex sells, humor sells and travel adventure sells’.

therefore sell-out because this story is one with the lot!!! 


“Jim Ewing belongs to that
earthy, robust tradition of Henry Lawson, C.J. Dennis, Lennie Lower, and Frank
Hardy. He has a great ear for dialogue and revels in wordplay and Aussie
vernacular. At a time when Australian writing is noted for its blandness and
correctness, Jim’s work is a breath of fresh air. It is strong and gutsy, and
often very funny – another quality which is sadly missing in much contemporary
Australian literature.”…
Hooker, former  publisher (Penguin, William Collins), awarded writer emeritus by
the Australia Council in 2000. 

“The book’s a bloody ball-tearer!”
Les Patterson.

‘Jim Ewing writes with a spring
in his step. The narrative takes you out of the everyday into lives that are
funny, sometimes sad, and   revealing. Characterized by wit, energy and sharp
perception, his writing is wise and always entertaining.’…..
BIRD, award-winning novelist, literary editor.

In Store Price: $30.00 

Online Price:   $29.00






Number of pages:

Genre: Non Fiction/Autobiography






H.B. (Blue) Mooney

Imprint: Poseidon

Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published:  2009

Language: English



H. B. ‘Blue’ Mooney
is actually Jim Ewing. ‘Invited’ at fifteen to leave Warrnambool Technical
College, Jim began playing senior Australian Rules football, and thus entered
the school of hard knocks, from which he has yet to graduate.

Of far too many
vocations engaged in, his most interesting include professional footballer and
boxer, merchant seaman, diver (legal and slightly

illegal), journalist, psychiatric nurse, playwright and

actor, and bulldozer operator in Papua, New Guinea.

now farms in south-west Victoria, continues
to write,
and pays the bills by working part-time on a Southern Ocean
crayboat. DICKLOOSE is his first published novel, although excerpts from
others have appeared in the literary quarterly Meanjin as well as Australian
Playboy and Penthouse.



is intended to be the first volume
of a trilogy. Essentially it is a book for blokes. Bookshelves sag with accounts
by menopausal women who’ve run off to Tuscany

or Toulouse
and shagged the
gorgeous swarthy gardener or some other live-wire Latin swordsman.

I thought, “Why not a
middle-aged male reminiscing about his sexual adventures and misadventures?”
is the result. Fascist feminists will hate it. Yet world-wise
women possessing a sense of humour may well enjoy a read. It does, after all,
give access into the mind of the testosterone overdosed young Aussie male. And
the text is layered
ordplay and vernacular
through the funny, the exciting, the salacious.

That situations depicted took place over thirty years ago, with many of the
protagonists exhibiting attitudes prevalent at that time, maybe also qualifies
this as a kind of historical document.


The original manuscript of what
became Dickloose was written in the third-person. Although about my own
travels and copulative encounters, I called the central character BLUE MOONEY. I
found it easier to write about

the redheaded Blue
than myself directly. Now, despite Dickloose becoming a first-person
account, I’ve retained

I grew up in an era where  self-promoting skites were considered up themselves.
I therefore

far prefer modest
champions such as Alan Border to those motor-mouthed self-inseminators most

spawn. Does this
clarify why I have continued to write through Blue’s eyes? No. But then I often
have difficulty explaining the specifics of my motivations.

Anyhow, the fact is that Henry
Banjo ‘Blue’ Mooney is me. To protect both the innocent and the indecent, many
other names in the pages which follow are not those of the actual protagionists.
A few place-names too have been changed. But the characters themselves were, and
are, real. And all that you are about to read actually happened.  

Jim Ewing, Discovery Bay,
Victoria, May 2009


“September 27, 1975, Hampden
Football League Grand Final, Warrnambool versus Mortlake:

In a bucketing downpour the final siren blared. Joy-mad Cats’ supporters invaded
the Friendly Society’s Park. Friendly? What a hostile bagging we
Warrnambool Blues now copped. And ‘Blues’? Cobber, a narrow grand final defeat
is pure black, black depressive, an eviscerating sensation.

Leaning forward I dug fingernails
of studs-gashed hands into muddied knees, hung my head. Lank red hair and red
goatee beard ran with turd-brown rivulets of sweat. Rolled down socks drooped
like flaccid navy-blue donuts. Adidas boots, with one racy stripe torn off, were
glueing to goal square quagmire. Other sections of the oval my disgusted and
disbelieving team-mates sought solitude. Meanwhile squealing streamer-waving
wives and girlfriends and groupies swamped our opposition: To the victors, the

One mini-skirted spurter, legs
mud-spattered and ‘carnal knowledge charge’ written all over her, sprinted by.
“Serves yer right ya filthy long-haired poofta!” she shrieked.

A bit tough, I thought. I’d dished
out a single backhander, and that only in retaliation for an elbow to my jaw. We
Blues were a slick hand-passing side. The rain hadn’t helped. But ultimately two
things killed us; Mortlake possessed a whippet-quick rover in future Fitzroy
star 16 year-old Bernie Harris, and our ex-Collingwood ruckman ‘Tender’ Terrence
Alexander was out suspended. Big Terry had got rubbed-out

the second semi-final after
Mulligan the Cat’s coach clocked one of our young players. This gave Terry
severe umbrage. Like many massive men big Terry waxed amiable unless stirred.
When that occurred you observed one rule – duck! Mulligan didn’t. A love-pat to
the cheek broke the bloke’s jaw in several places. Thank Huey that Terry didn’t
punch the bastard. We’d all have been accessories to a homicide!…”


Discovery Bay Treefarm, September
2005 (school holidays):


“Well…?!” demands my daughter

I’m wrenched back from an era
before footie became basketball-in-studded boots, when a red-blooded whack
payback saw umpires like Jeff Crouch yell, ‘Okay you’re both even. Now get on
with the bloody game!’

Lily is my sole acknowledged
offspring. She is down from her mum’s abode an hour or so up-road in the log
mill town of Bovineville. A week now on the farm Lily is twelve going on
thirteen going on thirty-seven, and can be relatively sagacious. She is also
very, very pushy. It is at her insistence I am re-reading my account of that
1975 HFL grand final.

Again I think of Jeff Crouch, his
application of common sense, these days a most uncommon attribute
routinely dismissed by academicians. And the Aussie Rules game itself, though
still played by real men, is administered, interpreted, and umpired by poofters.
(The pejorative non-specific ‘poofter’. Dinkum homosexuals ought never to be
maligned by lumping them in with AFL chiefs or gaily attired umpiring maggots.)

“Da-a-a-ad!…?” I cop an
aggressive aggravated impatient gesture for a verbal response.

“Fair go Lil, I’m only down to…”

“You dad, are one freakily slow

“Actually I’m a fast reader. My
brain’s just a bit slow at processing sentences.”

Lily folds her arms, gives me ‘the
look’. After she’d unearthed then scrutinized my twenty year-old novel
manuscript ‘ROOTLESS BOOTS’, her, “Dad, I’d really like you to read this?” was a
request in the vein of Marie Antionette’s executioner inviting, ‘Place your
alabaster neck under my gleaming guillotine, s’ils vous plait madame?’

Nowadays Lily signs her surname
‘P–Mooney’. Prestagiacometizini-Mooney is her full equator-long moniker. I and
my ex-missus ‘Gorgonzola’ (the Mafia side of the hyphen) sure did saddle our kid
with an unpronouncable handicap. I’d bet it contributes to Lily’s cute
cantankerousness. But at least by age three she knew most of the alphabet.

‘ROOTLESS BOOTS’, all 750 foolscap
pages of the bugger, got bashed out between 1980 and 1984 on an antique
Underwood typewriter. Rejected by every publisher on the planet it has been
silverfish food thereafter, until that is, Lily got interested.

“Da-a-a-a-d, read!!!”

Ever ask yourself, ‘Is my kid a
bit odd?’ Other children Lily’s age obliterate their honey-sweet imaginations
via violent computer games or mind-rot reality TV. But perusing her old man’s
travel scribblings…? Ah well, Lily always has moved to her own tympanic
rhythm. And now that I think about it, I hope she always will. 

“We-eh-eh-eh-el???” enquires Lily
again, even more forcibly, over my shoulder. My ribs get jabbed by a bony
billiard cue elbow.

Kurt Vonnegut reckoned adolescence
is just children’s menopause…?

I resume reading ‘ROOTLESS



… But yeah, on paper both Blues
and Cats had gone into this grand final with one key man missing. However
Mulligan, well past his best, did more shin-kicking than goal-kicking whereas
big Terry was our ace tap ruckman, and more importantly, enforcer. We
Warrnamboolians were fucked before we even ran out. How’d we get close as we did
to those rampaging Cats? Our Chairman of Selectors, Billy ‘The Bagman’ Toleman,
slipping the umpire a fat wad of moolah pre-match, may have helped? Otherwise, I
was buggered if I knew really.       

Beaten we were though, by seven
points. I stood 6’ 1” and

12 stone 12lbs. At that moment
every inch and ounce of me ached. My direct opponent had kicked only a single
goal, but a vital one. I spat, and then slowly jogged off for the sepulchral
sanctuary of the grand final losers’ dressing room.  

When a footballer’s reward for a
season’s bruises is a plastic cup of flat Great Western champagne what can he
do? He might keep gargling and get blind drunk, hoping to erase the memory of
the mistake which gifted that goal (but years on he’ll still wake nights
remembering it.) Me, I made a token appearance at our evening’s club wake, then,
before any boozy vindictive post mortems began, departed with a lovely loving
lady who cared everything about fucking and fuck-all about football.


A fortnight later, shiny new Uluru-heavy
backpack dislocating shoulders, I alighted at Port Melbourne railway station. In
a humpback slouch I made my way bayside to where a decrepit Greek cruise ship,
MV Patris, lay alongside the…      ” 


”Okay stop, stop your finger right
there!” commands Lily.

I appraise my demanding daughter.
She has her late Irish grandmother’s firecracker volatility and scalpel tongue.
Lily did miss out on Connie’s spectacular ruby-red tresses. But though blonde, a
tinge of bushfire singe shows she hasn’t completely escaped her grannie’s
genetic influence. 

“We-e-e-ell…?” Lily asks again
with a perempt poke at my tattered manuscript.

Well? What I feel is
uncomfortable, that my offspring has read all this stuff; those liberal serves
of four-letter words.

“Well, what?” I finally say,
warily shifting in chair, one bum cheek to the other. 

“There is no…” (She spells it.)

I think, “How very true.” Since
Gorgonzola and I split up my dick’s been redundant as a bricklayer in a bakery.

Manner confidential, Lily pulls up
a chair. She says, “From the footy game, next thing you’re off to New Zealand on
a ship…?”

“Which is what happened.” 

“Later, ages later,
you, y’know… full-on made out with your girlfriend, right?”

What the hell’s going on here?
Gorgonzola assures me Lily has as yet never remotely approached the pleasures of
the horizontal hula. But here she is babbling away like Bettina bloody Arndt!

“See dad, what you’ve done…”
Lily index-fingers the brief opening chapter’s end, “is what they call
self-censor. It reads a bit like, y’know, some nineteen-fifty movie?”

Lily’s never even seen a 1950’s
flick. For her Hollywood pre-Tarantino is unexplored territory. Ignorance
however never will stop Lily having an opinion. Although true enough, her school
class has studied film and publishing trends.

“I’m telling you dad, this no
S-E-X stuff makes your story just so uncool and like, b-o-o-o-ring!”

Patience, pater… ”Lil love, it’s
a humorous autobiography on travel.”

“Humorous?!!!” Like she’s
swallowed cat shit.

I feel fractional self-doubt. This
stone-heavy family jewels flattening tome in my lap, is it really a dud? Did
‘ROOTLESS BOOTS’ rebound return post from publishers because it simply ain’t
funny, and is bereft in the bonking department? Might it, I wonder,
indeed simply need restructuring, inclusion of all rude bits I’d excised to
spare wonderful but wowserish parents embarrassment?

Victims of a driving mishap
Lauchie and Connie are now a decade deceased, no longer upsetable. However… do
I have any real desire to blow more years on a literary drudge that will again,
in all likelihood, end in a thousand bloody rejections? Bugger that!

Lily cajoles further, “Hey see
dad, if you’d put in the S-E-X? Well, it’s like Mr Rodgers says, ‘Sex sells!’”

“He does, does he?” I say.

Found, the catalyst for all this –
an influential chalkie! Byron Rodgers, ‘Stiffy’ to his first form all-virgin
Bovineville English class, is also a competitive cyclist notorious for the
oversize salami inside his bike shorts.

“Telling you dad,” presses Lily,
“include all your overseas girlfriends. Mum says you had thousands!”

“Alas, your mother exaggerates…”

Oh for one tenth the tally
Gorgonzola imagines. Sicilian suspicion and jealousy contributed in no small way
to our bust-up.

I take Lily’s innocent face in my
hands. “Lil darling, my novel is dead,” I tell her, “‘ROOTLESS BOOTS’ is

“So? Mr Rodgers reckons historical
sex is just hu-yoooj!”

I’m going to have a quiet word
with Stiffy Rodgers.

“Promise me, dad,” implores Lily,
getting up and crossing to the stairhead, “you will at least think about
changing it, huh?”

Reluctantly I nod, “Okay, I’ll

“Coo-oo-ool!” And Lily’s away

“Where are you off to?” I call
getting up, manuscript tucked under arm.

“Wind’s dropped a bit…” Lily
grabs bridle off its spike hammered into a weight-bearing post, “Gunna grab a
ride before lunch.”

Lunch, to be made solely by me;
spoilt rotten by Gorgonzola’s smothering Italian-ness, our daughter can’t even
prepare a plate of Weeties. But oh mate, can she ride!

From my upstairs bedroom I watch
Lily swing up onto Bonnie her Arab mare. Cost me dough I don’t have that
aristocratic nag. Such is parenthood. Roving rootrats do become caring fathers!

Horse and rider hit instant top
gear, flying by tea-trees and melaleucas proliferant on the farm’s wetland
fringe. Lily’s ponytail and Bonnie’s tail thrash in the wind. Lily sticks like
she’s super-glued. As well as inheriting her grandmum’s Irish temperament, she
has Connie’s long limbs. Her looks and complexion have a delightful Celtic-Latinness.
She and Bonnie are some sight alright. Too soon they’re out of mine. And I’m
left holding this bloody manuscript.

I move to lounge window-wall, open
it, step onto breezy balcony. My scungy bluegum plantation borders reedy
national park lagoon. Beyond are huge dunes and the wild Southern Ocean. Those
wetlands adjacent are a gem, pure waters home to tortoises, eels, yabbies, rare
native fish. The rushes and reeds shelter swans, ducks, coots, spoonbills,
herons, kingfishers, and in season a few brolgas.

I mull over my Lily-seeded
conundrum. Why the fuck subject myself to drudge and disappointment? A full
rewrite? Jesus, the novel was a moribund artform even before I began the

Hmmm but if, if I did
re-work ‘ROOTLESS BOOTS’, best to begin with background info, right, and…?
“Shit, quit this, quit it you fucking drongo!!!”  barks my brain with insane
urgency. Yet almost as soon it’s rationally reminding, “Hey listen, you promised
the kid you’d try.”

Well, I did… didn’t I?

Back indoors I go, to writing
desk, glance out at ocean horizon, switch on laptop, think S-E-X.



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