Carry a Big Stick: A funny, fearless life of friendship, laughter and MS

Carry a Big Stick: A funny, fearless life of friendship, laughter and MS

Tim Ferguson

Language: English

Pages: 368


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A funny, poignant and inspirational story of widely acclaimed comedian, writer and producer, Tim Ferguson.

Tim Ferguson was a star of the international comedy circuit. Along with Paul McDermott and Richard Fidler he was part of the edgy, provocative and very funny Doug Anthony Allstars (DAAS). In 1994 they were at the height of their powers, performing in a season at the Criterion Theatre on Piccadilly Circus. The three mates, who began busking on the streets of Canberra a decade earlier, had achieved their ambition to become the self-styled rock stars of comedy.

Then, all of a sudden, Tim woke up one morning and his whole left side wouldn't work. He'd had a lurking suspicion that something was wrong and after more episodes he went to a doctor thinking he'd be told to change his diet and get more sleep. It wasn't so simple. An eventual diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) meant an end to the frenetic, high-energy life he was living.

Carry a Big Stick is a chance for Tim to tell his story. He wants to make people laugh but also give inspiration to all the people doing it hard. A lot of people keep MS to themselves because it's invisible. In Tim's case, he has the stick. 'It's such a visible sign that something's happened; it's just easier if people know.'

Carry a Big Stick meanders through Tim's life, and explains how the boy who went to nine schools in 13 years got used to saying, 'Hi, I'm the new kid'. It will detail his ambitions to become an actor and how the Doug Anthony Allstars were born and went on to become what Rolling Stone called 'The 3 amigos from hell'. Diagnosis changed a lot of things but Tim's quick wit and sense of humour weren't affected. This inspiring memoir shows us that you can laugh in the face of adversity.

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worked out for us – The Cougar & the Flutterbird. Of course, that duo sounds less practical now than it seemed at the time. All of a sudden, or so it felt to me, the Fergusons moved again, so at age nine I landed at St Ives Central Public School. Here I made my first tactical error in friend-choice. I mistook a guffawing hulk of a kid named Peter Henderson (not his real name) for a person worth knowing, a conduit to a smooth transition into the social life of this new school. Henderson seemed to

genetically superior oafs. He gallops towards a white line at the end of the field with the speed of a startled gazelle. And well he may, as having possession of the ball instantly makes the wing a target for the fifteen members of the opposing team. Rugby Union teams have been known to stop galloping wings with every tactic they can muster, including (but not limited to) crushing, crippling and murder. Having crossed the line, the wing (who is surely weeping in terror by now) must touch the

gas was as ‘totally, totally intense’ as Andy promised but it was accompanied by the sensation of having a panicked cat’s claws tearing at one’s eyeballs (which Andy had forgotten to mention). Still, anything to get high… I’d been toying with the kaleidoscopic and miasmic illusions brought on by various hallucinogens so I guessed this cross-eyed effect was a residual hallucination, known as an ‘acid flashback’. This cerebral indigestion, if that’s what it was, didn’t alarm me. But it was very

be independent so regarded these physical anomalies as my own business. There seemed little point in complaining. ‘You’re on top of it,’ I told myself, ‘living the life, doing it all. Runaway trains don’t stop for servicing.’ On the rare occasions when I became concerned about unwelcome surprises, I dealt with myself harshly. Early one morning, I was walking to the group’s office near Carnaby Street where our heavenly friend Dale Langley would have coffee brewing. (Dale had toured regularly with

serious, Timothy, very serious.’ I felt I was being scolded. He knew I was a comedian, so perhaps these words were a preemptive strike should my sense of humour surface again. But I wasn’t smiling. I frowned. ‘How serious?’ ‘It’s hard to say.’ This was the first ‘It’s hard to say’ I was to receive in a long line of people finding things hard to say, a line that continues today. How much further the line goes is hard to say. ‘I can’t be sure at this stage, but you need to undergo a lot more

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