Freud eggs and the condom-vending machine

uni students

I dislike graffiti, but often admire the wit that inspires the funniest examples, and I share some with you today.

Each was spotted about the Salisbury campus of the modest teachers’ college I attended back in the outrageous 1980’s. It’s now the University of South Australia, although having visited several of its sites over the years, I’ve seen nothing as worthy.

In my degree there were a number of compulsory units, and frequently these were forgettable, horrid affairs. Like caged zoo creatures, we had no choice about our environment nor our diet. We did a term of educational psychology in one of the scattered theatrettes and had a stream of prominent thinkers to consider such as Piaget, Dewey and Bloom. I enjoyed learning about these.

Flipping down my personal desk one March afternoon I knew instantly Paul had written it. He was hilarious, and sometimes cruel.

Every Friday at 1pm we’d finish English in one of the large auditoriums and make our way home or to the library or to the bar and as we bounced off, laughing and chatting, Paul would yell out to one of our geeky, socially desperate classmates who so wanted to join us, “Hey Xavier!” Xavier’s eyes would widen with hope. Perhaps today would finally be the day they’d ask me to the bar! Paul would then enthusiastically kill his dream with a single dismissive sentence: “Have a zany weekend!”

But back on that autumnal afternoon in the psychology theatrette I spotted his unique handiwork on the aging laminate-

When I was Jung I used to eat Freud eggs


In another pointless educational moment I signed up for an introductory computing course, thinking it’d equip me for my thrilling future. The lecturer was a ferocious Welshman. He never smiled. I was a bit scared of him, and learnt nothing that helped me beyond that semester.

During this forbidding episode I saw in thick black texta the following character assessment of my computing lecturer, fittingly, on a cubicle door. Please, enjoy with me, the sharp juxtaposition of Biblical language with a, let’s say, rather frank Australian tongue. The fact that I found myself nodding in agreement also helped me to commit this to eternal memory-

And the Lord spake to the shepherd saying, “Fuck that Jim Davies is a wanker.”


It was in my third year at college that I first saw a condom-vending machine. A simple white metal box, it was mounted, as it were, on the wall of the men’s toilet across from the bar. Given the Friday night cover bands hosted in that bar, this made sense. All that youth, all that disposable freedom, all those 50 cent beers during happy hour! It was tremendous fun.

Yes, it was a plain vending machine- not one of those lurid truck-stop equivalents with their hot promises of good vibrations and pleasuremax©. It hung there innocently, quietly performing its role, but within minutes of it being erected, as it were, this appeared on the front, right where Xavier’s trembling fingers weekly inserted hopeful dollar coins-

This is the worst chewing gum I’ve ever tasted.





We met in the Orwellian year of 1984 at the Salisbury SACAE and studied English together. It then turned into UniSA, and is now, perhaps poignantly given tonight’s splendid occasion, a retirement village where on Thursdays, I believe, they do a wicked two fruits and ice cream. But it was tremendous fun when we were there in the ridiculous and pastel 1980’s. Among many, many memories of my friend Jonesy, here’s just a few-

Joneso, do you remember how we’d plod off to fourth year English, heartlessly scheduled on Mondays from 4 – 8pm? Having survived, at 8.01pm I’d point my 1973 HQ Holden Kingswood southward, you’d beg me to crank up the cassette player with some mid-period Bob Dylan, and we’d navigate speedily if not unlawfully to the Botanic Hotel. Safely there, we’d review the lecture’s major themes, or not.

Back in those days pubs had to serve food to stay open late and the Botanic often offered spaghetti bolognaise, which was slopped out of a large steel pot, just like in a prison movie. And indeed the food was criminal. But, on more than one occasion, as uni students, we ate it.

One of my favourite Jonesy moments was on a Friday at uni when she performed a monologue by Barry Humphries’ best character; not Dame Edna or Sir Les Paterson, but the decent man of the suburbs, Sandy Stone. Jonesy’s performance was fantastic. I laughed like a drain. It was funny and poignant. That monologue is called Sandy Claus, and as I share an extract from it, imagine I’m a doddering, lisping old man, which’ll be impossible for I’m not the actor that she is. So, picture Jonesy in a dressing gown and slippers, with her hair gray

On top of the pudding Beryl had made a delicious fruit salad which she’d put in the big cut-crystal bowl she keeps for best. She’s had it for years now but it’s still got the Dunklings sticker on it. However, everyone was full up to dolly’s wax and I was absolutely stonkered, so unfortunately it was hardly touched and Beryl said it was a wicked shame after all the fag she’d gone to. With the exception of the banana which goes brown overnight, she’d preserved every bit of that fruit herself in her Fowlers Vacola and I can vouch for it personally; Beryl’s been bottling all her married life.

Is this the best reference to the Fowlers Vacola you’ve ever heard? Is this the only reference to the Fowlers Vacola you’ve ever heard?

Teaching at leafy and prestigious Marryatville High Kerry suffered or rather I suspect, enjoyed, a wardrobe malfunction. Yes, at school. Yes, in front of her students, like a shameless Kardashian. Many would’ve blushed and ran screaming from the room, but not our Jonesy, who confronted the issue with her students, saying,” Yes, I know it’s funny, have a good look, I’m sure this has happened to some of you too. Yes class, you’re correct, I am wearing odd shoes.”

Like a puppy I’ve followed her around professionally. Decades ago, early in our working lives, she went to Cleve and I went just up the road, to Wudinna (Woo-dina for those of you from Oxford). I then followed her to Marryatville, after she’d wisely left, and recently the exam and assessment authority called the SACE Board, after she’d wisely left, but at which we might work together in a few months.

If you return, we could sneak off early on Mondays, and yet again, regularly journey to the Botanic Hotel. I could hire a Kingswood. You could drive. I’ll bring the Bob Dylan tapes.

Happy birthday, loyal, funny, dear friend.