A few years ago I was at a dinner party in Adelaide full of married friends with kids.  I am not married and have no children that I know of or will admit to.  One of my friends has a wife who I must say is…what’s the Latin term for it?  A fucking pain in the arse?  Yep, that’s it.  She is convinced that because I am not married I am going to take her husband to a land where beer and boobs grow on trees and therefore he will never return to her.  That is complete rubbish because as all my close friends know, I don’t drink beer.

Anyway, we’re at this dinner party and my friend’s wife has a go at me for not conforming and being like them.  Why don’t I have kids?  Why aren’t I married?  When am I going to grow up?  I tried my best to answer with good humour and grace.  What I wanted to say was, “I don’t have any of those things because I don’t want to be stuck in the suburbs of mediocrity with people like you” and then slap on a “rank moll” for good effect.  This would have been unfair for two reasons.  One:  the rest of my friends do live that life and I like them so therefore didn’t want to inadvertently have a go at them.  Two:  I think “rank moll” is a funny term when used with your close mates in an “I’m not the type of bogan who would say that” kind of way and not something you should just use willy nilly like, for example, in a blog which can be read by strangers or God forbid the rank moll’s lovely husband.   Oh dear…

Anyway I kept copping it from this lady and finally she hits me with, “Isn’t it your dream to settle down and have kids?” This is the only time I have ever been in an argument and felt like I responded in a true way to who I really am.  I replied very calmly, at the dinner table, surrounded by people who were feeling very awkward, that no, that was not my dream. 

I said, “I’ll tell you my dream.”

“Have you ever seen the movie Dukes of Hazard?”  

A few had seen it but not many.

I said, “I saw this movie with fellow comedian, bon vivant and sheep wrangler Tom Gleeson in a hotel in Tasmania.  We had the TV on in the background and were chatting away when this scene appears that has Tom very excited.”

“Wait a second and watch this.  It is the funniest cameo I’ve seen in a movie.”

So we watched. 

Now about two thirds of the way through the movie there is a scene of exposition, explaining what is going to happen in the last half an hour of the movie.  How hard is it to work out? It’s Dukes of Hazard, there will be a car chase.

Anyway, the Duke boys are in gaol and Burt Reynolds; who plays Boss Hog, comes in for a conversation.  Suddenly in the background, a cool looking black dude turns up and delivers a line.  I won’t tell you what the line is, I’ll attach the scene for you to look at in a second but let me explain a little bit more.
He turns up and delivers a line and finishes the line with a noise.  “Zzzzzzz!”  It is awesome.  It is like he is using noise as an explanation mark.  I looked at Tom.  “He’s fucking hilarious.”

Tom nods. 

“Wait.  He has two more lines.”

Each line this dude uses has a noise on the end and the final one is this:  “Zah!”

I turned to Tom:  “This is the greatest actor I have ever seen!”  I was very excited.

Tom and I loved it so much we added it to our speech patterns.  Everything at the end of sentences was “Zzz!” this and “Zah!” that.  You should try it too. Just at the end of sentences give it a “Zah!”  See, it feels good doesn’t it? Best time to do it is when you’re making fun of somebody. Next time one of your friends says something dumb just look at him and say “Yo, you gotta save your breath to blow up your girlfriend when you get home.  Zah!”

Tom and I loved it so much we were at the Adelaide Fringe Festival performing with a whole gang of people.  Our friends hooked onto it and loved it so much they soon they too were “Zah!” converts.  We had so much fun with these people at the end of the festival I bought 30 copies of the DVD and I gave out the copies to all the people I’d been working with at the Rhino Room.

My friends and I have been going the “Zah!” for nearly four years now and it never seems to go out of style.  Tom and I still do it to this day.

So when I was at this party and my friend’s wife hit me with “Isn’t it my dream to have kids?” I replied very simply “No, my dream is to have my closest mates over at a party at my house.  At the end of the night when everyone is quite drunk I wheel out a massive cake, one that is big enough to house a person.  Everyone will be thinking not only is a stripper about to bounce out but when did Hammo become so tacky?  Then at that moment of complete confusion my main man from Dukes of Hazard leaps out of the cake and says, “You were expecting a big blonde busty lady but instead Hammo flew me out so I could give you the ultimate Zah!”

Not only did I win the moment by making all my friends laugh; my friend’s wife didn’t have a comeback to that.  That is what I call “Vintage Zah!”

So why am I telling you this now?  Because I just recently became friends on Facebook with the actor, Thomas “TAH!” Hyde.  He’s saying “Tah!” not “Zah!”  It doesn’t matter, I feel like we’ve “Aussied” it up.  He’s a pretty cool cat and has dealt with good grace a comedian from a far away land getting very excited about befriending him via the World Wide Web.  Crazy stuff.

So I just wanted to share that with you.  If you have never seen the scene check it out here.  Remember to keep in mind this comes at the 58-minute mark of the movie.  You’re not expecting him to turn up but he saves the movie.  These three lines have had a lasting effect on Tom and I for a long time.  And if you enjoy the scene, let Thomas know on his site that you’re giving him big props from a land “Down Under”.

And remember if you get into an argument; never be afraid to just give someone the ultimate “Zah!” 

Justin Hamilton

Fitzroy North

Tuesday 9th, 2010