The Day of the Jackhole

The Day of the Jackhole

Celebrating 40 years on this earth

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1977. Dy-no-mite snowman!

October 30, 2011

I am living in the shearers quarters with my family on my grandparents farm. Outside my window is a Apple Box tree that has a large knot in it. It looks like a monster, and at night I lie in my bed with my rippled bedspread pulled up to my chin and think about that monster and how it wants to come in and eat me. Out of the blue, it snows. It’s unusual and a first time for me. Snow. I am excited, though none of my clothes are up to the task of handling wet snow.

Out the front lawn of the main house, where Nan and Pa live and my Mum grew up, I attempt to make a snowman. It starts out fun. My brother, Michael, has decided we’ll have a competition to see who can make the best snowman. He is three years older than me and just better at rolling the snow to create large balls for each body part. I start whining, resenting the saggy patheticness of my small snowman.

“Yours is better than mine,” I lower-lip growl. He doesn’t give two shits about me whining and is just packing more snow onto his white piece of perfection. Mum tries to encourage me, telling me to find a stick for his nose and other bits for his face. I find a stick and hold it up triumphantly.

“This will make a good one!” I cry.

Then I look over. Michael has found a better one.

“This is stupid,” I say, trying to get the stick to approximate a mouth.

Mum finds a scarf and a hat and helps with mine. The anger at Michael has turned my heart into a lump of high-quality bitter snow.

This is what I think of when I look at this picture. This day, how excited I was for the snow, and how pissy I got about Michael’s bloody snowman. I mean, look at that bloody thing and his gloaty damn face.

And then I notice my beanie. My Nan made me that beanie. On her knitting machine, which were all the rage back then. It had the letter J repeated around and around and around. JJ. JJ. I liked to think I was JJ on Good Times. In my mind, I was always saying, ‘Dy-no-mite!’ and way cooler than I was.


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