The High Country

Psychic investigator Hamilton Coe surrounded by allies and adversaries. Featured characters include Annabella Lwin, Mark E Smith, Donna Tartt, Dashiell Hammett, Robocop, Patricia Highsmith, Cornell Woolrich, Robert Morley, Ming the Merciless, Jean Seberg, Del The Automator

Dateline Drumfeld – Tuesday

As a favour to my sister, I invited Mark Gavigan – one of her clients and, in Christine’s words, ‘a real Western buff’ – to participate in tonight’s show, a tribute to the films of Sam Peckinpah. Arriving ten minutes late and already unsteady on his feet, Gavigan embarked on a long, incoherent explanation – on air – throughout which he made frequent use of the ‘f’ word. At this juncture, at least, he was still affable. As the show continued, he became increasingly rancorous, at one point demanding an explanation as to why I ‘kept banging on about Sam fucking Peckinpah.’

Eventually his behaviour became so obnoxious that I resorted to switching off the microphones and playing George Bassman’s score from Ride the High Country in its entirety. I only reactivated my own mic to bid the listeners ‘good night’ and obliquely apologise for my guest’s behaviour. As I did so, I was distracted by an ominous ‘hissing’ sound and, turning, could only watch helplessly as Gavigan relieved himself into the waste-paper basket.

Spent the next hour disinfecting the studio – a task that should really have been delegated to Christine, the maniac’s sponsor.

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