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Keith Is Not A Sex Pest

21st December 2015

Readers, a question: is it a good or a bad turn of events that Keith is immortalised this week on with the caption’ Keith: not a sex pest’?

Obviously ‘Keith: a sex pest’ may hinder any possible future career in politics or child-care, but ‘Not a sex pest’ is OK, right? Only a crazy, hyper-fueled sex-pest would read a newspaper so fast as to inadvertently skip the ‘not’, right? Also, I can’t stop saying  ‘sex pest’.

The piece I wrote is about taking children on a 2000 kilometre road trip with no devices or screens. Also, no anaesthetic.

Here’s a bit of it.


At the cheap end of the spectrum, a family-room in a regional motel always has some quirky character, sometimes involving bloodstains at no extra cost. A motel party involves pizza, long-life milk and little packets of biscuits from the kitchenette.

Nights are spent lying around five-in-a-bed and watching regional TV ads, or playing weird motel room games. They are possibly the best parties ever.


‘Back seat land’ has its own language and culture, and it gets weirder with every hour that passes. Your big kids, might, for instance, stop playing Flesh Eating Zombies only to teach your youngest a poem that begins ‘Little Johnny took a match and set fire to his bum’.

Of course, you’ll be glad she’s learning poetry, and yet …

At about day three, ours start playing a game they called ‘Sleepy Byes’. One child would start a backbeat, like this: ‘Sleepy Byes, don’t go to sleep, Sleepy Byes, don’t go to sleep’ and then another would drop a rap on top, freestyling along these lines: ‘Don’t go to sleep! Never wake up! You are a zombie! Eating brains! You will die! Blood blood blood!’ and so on.

‘Bless their creative hearts,’ you will say to your husband. ‘We need to talk about Kevin,’ he’ll reply.


At some point Keith buys a hat and a pair of sunnies with a creepy, Disco-Stu-in-the-desert vibe from an outback servo. I’m filling water bottles and daydreaming when he suddenly appears at my elbow. My brain doesn’t register who he is for a moment, and in that brief second, his scruffy beard, bare feet, creepy sunglasses and dirty jeans ring an internal alarm. ‘Danger!’ it says. ‘Wolf Creek alert!’

A second later I realise he’s the man I married. Road trips: they can keep that dangerous spark in your marriage alive. 

Keith: not a sex pest!

Read the full story here, if you’re interested.

Also, this week a story I wrote about our Adelaide house-swap was in the Sunday Life Magazine. Less gags in that one.  My editor told me to resist my urge towards cheap comedy. This made me laugh, but not as much as ‘Keith: not a sex pest.’ I think he should put this on his gravestone, or at least his business cards.

We start the Christmas season travelling this week, from family party to family party. Should be a blast, especially the part where I park myself on my mother-in-laws couch and she makes me lots of cups of tea.

Joyeaux Noel, all!

ps - Sex pest. 

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