Last night I had the very good fortune to see the best comedy film I’ve seen in a hell of a long time, and it was Australian!
Kenny is a ‘mockumentary’ about a fabulously humble, witty, warm-hearted and all-round good bloke Kenny Smyth, who also just happens to have what’s surely one of the worst jobs in the world – a job running portaloos at public events. Yep, the man spends his life in and around shit. Human effluent. Biological waste. Raw sewage.
Now I know what you’re thinking, and no – the movie isn’t about shit. Well, sort of not about shit. It’s about Kenny.
Kenny is one of the invisible people – those we don’t see unless we’re looking for them. Those who stay in the background, who remain unnoticed by the general populace, but take care of the dirty work (in some cases literally!) and are an essential part of our daily lives. But Kenny shows an amazing insight into the realities of his job and his life. He knows he does a nasty job, he’s got evidence of it every day at work when people won’t shake his hand, or they treat him like an imbecile. He manages though to keep his good humour and grace through everything – from dealing with cranky customers to trying to stop hoons at the annual car races from torching his shitters. He’s got an ex-wife who he hates, a kid he loves, a dad who wants him to get a real job, and a brother who wants to be left alone. He’s also a backyard philosopher, coming out with all sorts of home truths that had me and my flatmate giggling like idiots. And just when it seems that Kenny’s gonna get the rough end of the stick for the rest of his life, he makes a stand the only way he knows how… Brilliant!
Kenny and his team work for Splashdown, a real company run out of Melbourne, Australia – who’s business must have picked up since the film. Splashdown apparently supplied all the equipment and staff free, the ultimate in product placement.
If you haven’t seen Kenny, I strongly, strongly strongly urge you to succumb and check it out. Absolutely the best film I’ve seen for a long long time. And just to give you more of an urge, here are some of Kenny’s more fantastic quotes.
(And you’ve never heard more ways of naming shit in your life!)
“It takes a certain kind of person to do what I do. No-one’s ever impressed; no-one’s ever fascinated. If you’re a fireman, all the kids will want to jump on the back of the truck and follow you to a fire. There’s going to be no kids willing to do that with me. So, I don’t do it to impress people – it’s a job, it’s my trade, and I actually think I’m pretty good at it.”
On his mum: “From the back she looked like a fridge with a head.”
On summer: “This is the busiest time of year, this is a crazy time, it just goes bonkers. It’s as silly as a bum full of smarties.”
On his first ever flight, talking to fellow passenger about the in-flight toilet: “Just watch it in there mate. That machine, once you press that flusher, that thing will probably suck your guts out through your bum.”
“I don’t know what all the fuss is about, it’s 80% water and we’ve got chemicals to take care of the remaining 20.”
On Melbourne Cup Day: “..busier than a one-armed bricklayer in Baghdad.”
On mis-hearing lyrics: “Australians all let us ring Joyce, for she is young and free…”
Attending a festival: “y’know the kids are all here with their wacky tobaccy and their fruity cookies, this place is mad as a clown’s cock.”
On cleanup: “There’s the urinal, and being a male you have a prong on you that points forward, so I don’t understand how they get it on their feet. They must point it down.
On his job: “Funny part is parents look at me and say ‘that’s not much of a job, is it?’. And I say ‘well you had kid. You spent the first two years handling their shit, and you weren’t getting paid for that’. They shit green, the only things that should be green are pears, apples and Martians.”
On his job 2: “Now, I don’t usually snap at people, but I was a bit drunk and this woman asked me what I did. When I told her she said ‘How disgusting! I don’t want to hear about that!’ So I said, well, why not go out in protest and never have a crap again? See how long you’ll last.”
On his job 3: “There’s another classic example of someone having a two inch arsehole and us having installed only one inch piping. ”
On marriage: “Someone once told me, cut out the middle man; find someone you hate and buy them a house.”
And my favourite – which I’ll be sure and use at some point:-
“There’s a smell in here that will outlast religion.”