TEXT prose


Dean Kerrison


Boots and Beats:
Musical Time-travel through Car Boots




Billy, an adventurous young boy Jenny, a single mother
George, an elderly vendor Jessica, a middle-class young woman
Frank, George’s younger brother Gazza, a bogan
Janet, a hippieJay, a wanna-be gangster
Richard, Janet’s friend Alicia, an idealist
Johnny, a wealthy investorSophia, an eighteen-year-old
Kathy, Johnny’s partnerNathan, Sophia’s boyfriend


SCENE—A car boot sale in a field. About two thousand people.


SCENE I—A strip of well-kept old cars: FX and FJ Holdens, Volkswagen Beetles and Ford Prefects, among others. George, wearing a plain polo shirt, leans proudly on his sky blue and white FJ Holden with Venetian blinds—boot packed with vinyl records. Blues music plays through the transistor radio. Billy wanders among the cars.

George. Here, boy! Unless you’re buying a record, you ought’a learn how we did things in the ‘50s.

Billy. I don’t have much time.

Enter Frank, sporting a Beatles t-shirt and round glasses.

Frank. That makes two of us.

George chuckles and clears his throat.

George. Down at an English fair, one evening I was there. When I heard a showman shouting underneath the flare: I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head. Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa? Or is this your way to hide a broken heart? There’s a line between love and fascination. For they both give the very same sensation when you’re lost in the magic of a kiss. Must I forever be a beggar, whose golden dreams will not come true? For love may come and tap you on the shoulder some starless night. But April love can slip right through your fingers. So if she’s the one don’t let her run away. This love will last, though years may go. Last Saturday night I got married. Now me and my wife are parted. We have to learn to live with the good and bad. Together we were happy, apart we’re sad. This loneliness is driving me mad.

Frank. You’re boring the poor boy! The ‘60s was the real golden decade. You’d rather hear about that, wouldn’t you?

Billy. I really should go.

Frank. A long time ago, when the earth was still green. There were more kinds of animals than you’ve ever seen. We all live in a yellow submarine. Pretty woman, walking down the street. Pretty woman, the kind I like to meet. I’m a travelin’ man. Made a lot of stops all over the world. And in every port I own the heart of at least one lovely girl. Hitch hiker. No special place to be going. I just go whichever way the wind’s blowing. Can’t buy me love. ‘Cause I don’t care too much for money. Giving all your clothes to charity. Last night the wife said, ‘Oh boy, when you’re dead. You don’t take nothing with you. But your soul, think!’ All you need is love. Just let me hear some of that rock and roll music. Ob-la-di ob-la-da life goes on, bra.

George. Enough-a-yer flamin’ hippie nonsense. The boy don’t care about it.

Frank. Hippie? I’m no hippie. There’s some real ones around here—the ones who never grew out-a-vit by the ‘70s. What’s your name, lad?

Billy. Billy.

Frank. All right, Billy. Let’s go. First, I’ll take you to my sale.

George. Bing Crosby—Quicksilver—limited edition—ten bucks!

Exit Billy and Frank.


SCENE II—Frank walks Billy to his car. Aboriginal flags erected. Groups of women together—mostly wearing mini-skirts—with one sign reading:

Old Ford Falcons, Holden EKs, EJs and EHs. Artistically painted Volkswagen vans also line the strip. Bob Dylan plays through someone’s portable stereo.

Billy. Who’s that way over there?

Frank. Oh, they’re the hippies I said before—late onto the scene. Never mind them.

Billy. But what—

Frank. Say, what’s your favourite Beatles album? I’ll put it on my record player.

Billy. I—

Frank. Sorry, impossible question. I know. A Hard Day’s Night or Revolver?

Billy. I don’t really like the Beatles.

Frank. Sure, but I bet your parents love ‘em. I’ll grab ‘em both from the back and give ya a special ten-dollar deal for the two.

Exit Billy.


SCENE III—Adjacent strip parallel to Frank’s avenue. Numerous Falcons, Holden Monaros and Chrysler Chargers. More colourful Volkswagen vans, with signs such as

and a gazebo between some hippie vans. Richard, Janet and others sit in the shade listening to psychedelic rock through an audio cassette. Long wavy hair, rolled bandanas, tie-dyed t-shirts, harem pants, and the men boast dense beards. Sandals. Bare feet. An aroma of cannabis dances through the air. Some people meditating. Billy stares. Janet invites Billy to join them. He sits. Janet and Richard’s friends offer Billy assorted hippie jewellery and clothing.

Richard. Billy, don’t be a hero, don’t be a fool with your life. Come sing a song of joy, for peace shall come, my brother. Bring a song and a smile for the banjo. Hitch a ride to the end of the highway where the neons turn to wood. Why are you in so such hurry? Look around, then slow down.

Janet. Far have I travelled and much have I seen. Dark distant mountains with valleys of green. We were born to be alive. A suitcase and an old guitar. Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me. When the weather’s fine we go fishin’ or go swimmin’ in the sea.

Richard. Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for. And no religion too. Living life in peace. We shouldn’t care about the length of his hair. Or the colour of his skin. Imagine no possessions. No need for greed or hunger.

Janet. With a friend to call my own, I’ll never be alone. You’ve got a friend in me. We must not close our minds. We must let our thoughts be free. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will be as one. Bye, bye, Miss American Pie.

Exit Billy.


SCENE IV—Johnny has a studded leather jacket and slicked-back hair. Kathy has permed caramel hair, heavy eye shadow, large diamond earrings, and a fur coat. A CD player plays ‘Beat It’ by Michael Jackson. Singing, strutting, shoulders up, chests out, pointing, twirling, Kathy’s buttocks shaking. Billy pockets a pearl necklace and other gold jewellery from their shiny Mitsubishi Sigma.

Johnny. Hello everybody, that’s out there in radio and television land. Summer’s here and the time is right. Everybody’s doin’ a brand new dance now. 1-2-3-4.

Kathy. I’ve been to Nice. And the Isle of Greece. While I’ve sipped champagne on a yacht. I’ve moved like Harlow in Monte Carlo.

Johnny. Aruba, Jamaica. Bodies in the sand. Tropical drink melting in your hand. Goddess on the mountain top. Her hair is Harlow gold. Her lips a sweet surprise.

Kathy. I’m gonna put this dream in motion. Never let nothing stand in my way. Take your passion. And make it happen. We can’t rewind, we’ve gone too far.

Johnny. Not much between despair and ecstasy. Like a virgin. Touched for the very first time.

Kathy. But girls they want to have fun. Take on me. Let’s get physical. Will you marry for the money, take a lover in the afternoon?

Johnny. Billie Jean is not my lover. I should have known better than to cheat a friend. I’m never gonna dance again. Guilty feet have got no rhythm.

Exit Billy.


SCENE V—A band plays Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Messy hair. Dark t-shirts. Jenny has straight brown hair, black Doc Marten boots, and tattered clothes—jeans and plain blue top. She stands atop a Range Rover, lecturing the crowd in which Billy stands.

Jenny. Old coat for a pillow. And the earth was last night’s bed. I am tired of this business. Protection for gangs, clubs and nations. Causing grief in human relations. Don’t tell me it’s not worth tryin’ for. I have lived for love. But now that’s not enough. For the world I love is dying. What if God was one of us? We must engage and rearrange. And turn this planet back to one. Police-a them-a they come and-a they blow down me door. The bigger they are they think they have more power. With their tanks, and their bombs, and their guns. When the violence causes silence we must be mistaken. Power and the money, money and the power. The dirt still stains me. So wash me until I’m clean. Don’t want your greed. If you wanna be my lover, you have got to give. Taking is too easy, but that’s the way it is.

Exit Billy.


SCENE VI—Pulsars, Camrys, Commodores and Falcons. Alicia, with many small tattoos and facial piercings, wears jeans and a Rise Against t-shirt. Jessica is dressed in a modest short dress. Gazza wears football shorts, a Bonds singlet, rubber thongs and has a mullet. Jay has a shaved head, gold chain necklace, Nike t-shirt and sneakers, and baggy jeans. They’re talking. Billy thieves an original iPod from a Pulsar.

Alicia. Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair. I was born too late into a world that doesn’t care. Minority groups, kids with single mothers. We try to stop terrorism. But we still got terrorists here livin’ in the USA, the big CIA. Malcolm X and Bobby Hutton died for nothing.

Gazza. I hate the new age guys. I’m a chauvinist. I live on beer and pies. I was gonna go to work but then I got high. Chill out, what you yellin’ for? Well if you want Shady, this is what I’ll give ya. A little bit of weed mixed with some hard liquor.

Jessica. Hey Mr DJ, put a record on. I wanna dance with my baby. Music makes the people come together. Freestyler, rock the microphone. Whoa Black Betty. You better lose yourself in the music.

Jay. Hey ya. You can find me in the club. Sipping on coke and rum. I got the X if you into taking drugs. Come give me a hug if you into getting rubbed. Lemme give you that beep-beep. I’m bringing sexy back.

Exit Billy.


SCENE VII—Sophia’s BMW. Billy watches Sophia and Nathan flirt, recalling how they met. Sophia wears a revealing top and short skirt. Nathan has tight jeans, a trimmed beard and combed hair. RnB music through a smart phone. Mazda 6s, Lancers, Getzs, utes. Cars full of clothing, kitchenware and electronics.

Nathan. I fell in love with shawty when I seen her on the dance floor. Honey got a booty like pow-pow-pow. Got some boobies like wow-oh-wow. All that ass hangin’ out. In my head, I see you all over me, you fulfil my fantasy. You the hottest bitch in this place. I know you want it. Talk dirty to me.

Sophia. I got that boom-boom that all the boys chase. And all the right junk in all the right places. Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but here’s my number, so call me, maybe!

Nathan. We’re up all night to get lucky. If I took you home, it’d be a home run. I wanna do some dirty things to you tonight. Can you blow my whistle, baby?

 Sophia. Blindfold, feather bed. Can you get it up? Is you big enough? Chains and whips excite me. G-spot. Oh, you turn me on. Can you make me scream? Make my body say ah-ah-ah.

Nathan. I just wanna make you sweat. Can you drip, drip, drip?





Dean Kerrison’s tales are mostly travel-related, appearing in Global Hobo, ABC Open and Flourish. A Creative Writing & Literature BA (Hons) graduate from Griffith University, he has spoken at Asia Pacific Writers Conference, and read his work at literary events in Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Chengdu (China) where he lives and works as a freelance writer.


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Vol 23 No 1 April 2019
General Editor: Nigel Krauth. Editors: Julienne van Loon & Ross Watkins
Creative works editor: Anthony Lawrence