Monday, 12 February 2018

Peeling Groovy

I forgot to include Gerard Beaumont in yesterday's rogues' gallery. He was a Frenchman who stole an opera cloak and other clothing from the room of a woman he fancied but was acquitted after he argued that he stole the clothes to stop her dating his love rivals and asked the jury to think like a passionate Frenchman:

I have no sympathy, personally, especially as he already had a long "history of 'flashing' women", according to the museum's caption. You can't help admire him for cheek, I suppose, (if there is a double entendre there, it is entirely unintentional).

The two Barry McKenzie lookalikes on the left of this line up were arrested for breaking into a shop and stealing 25 pairs of boots, but acquitted because they were teenagers and first time offenders. Also possibly because they were rather adorable, if thick as two short planks?:

This young woman had the unique advantage of being the only woman in Sydney who managed to look even faintly attractive while wearing the appalling hat and clothing dictated by flapper fashion, (I've spared you the pictures of other less successful flapper cult members that were on display in the exhibition; the horror, Mr Kurz, the horror):
Unfortunately, the wicked creature used her good fortune for evil ends, seducing wealthy married men, who then were blackmailed by the man beneath her, (in the pictures, in the pictures - oh for goodness sake, you and your filthy minds). He had many irons in many fires and was all in all a very rough diamond indeed, nicknamed by the police, "the Grey Shadow", which is pretty poetic, for policemen.

And at last we come to the potato peeling conmen, William Papworth Willia O'Brien and Michael Keith Konz: 

They hatched an elaborate, if slightly ludicrous, plan whereby they set themselves up as something called "The Climax Agency", whose entire business was the flogging of potato peelers. The agency's targets were suburban shopkeepers who were appointed agents for "Climax", (please stop sniggering). Mr Konz effected this part of the business, persuading shopkeepers that it would be a huge boost for their business to sell potato peelers. This was quite a feat, if you think about it.

After he had managed his part of the transaction, O'Brien and Papworth would go into the shops, masquerading as "customers". They would order huge quantities of potato peelers. Konz would then collect money from the shopkeepers and supply the potato peelers. The customers, (O'Brien and Papworth) would, of course, never return, leaving the shopkeepers with a surplus of overpriced peelers.

If only it had been this time of year and the shopkeepers had had a bit of enterprise. Then they could have offloaded all those implements onto customers like me, grown desperate with the over supply of zucchini (courgette to English readers) arriving from their vegetable gardens on an hourly basis.  The shopkeepers could have told their customers about the brilliant way to use up those vegetables that involves a potato peeler, that is:

take zucchini, use potato peeler to slice it into numerous thin strips, scatter the lot with salt and lots of lemon juice. Leave to stand for as long as possible, possibly overnight. Add olive oil, ground pepper, lemon thyme, if you feel like it. Crumble over some Persian feta. Bob's your uncle.

The essential thing from the "Climax" agents point of view is this - you need a potato peeler. And the result is very good.

I think I will call it a Konz salad from now on. Or perhaps a Climax?


  1. The Sunday NY Times carried an article about mug shots from late 19th Century New York: . They don't seem to have been as well turned out as their Sydney counterparts. The pictures are somewhat earlier, and I suppose that the clothing affordable to pickpockets etc. might have improved over those years.

  2. You just have to hand it to us here in Australia - as Sir Les Paterson ably demonstrated, we have always been a stylish bunch