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If you were locked up in prison would you be dominant or submissive?

I’d love to say neither, but a man has to earn cigarettes somehow…

Do you think a period of forced solitary confinement in jail would be sort of interesting?

Jeez, what is it with you guys and prison?

I assume that you mean the isolation. I actually have spent periods where the only people I saw were on television (when I bothered to switch it on), and solitude never irked me that much; it gives me a lot of time to think.

So, whilst I don’t know about it being interesting per se, it wouldn’t necessarily be as bad a thing for me than for most.

(Incidentally, my first ever school excursion was to Belconnen Remand Centre, which was the closest thing that Canberra had to a prison. I guess my primary-school principal guessed that a significant number of us would end up there sometime during our lives, and the experience would be instructive for us.)

What’s your most shocking example of substance abuse? and/or have you participated in this practise?

A lot of this is pretty subjective to the reader. What is "abuse" and what is "shocking"?

I had, in my youth, occasionally used substances that were less than legal, but they were never a really significant part of my lifestyle. About the only thing I could be said to have abused (and still continue to) is tobacco.

What is your favourite drinking spot in Sydney, and why?

At the moment, Kelly’s-on-King in Newtown, although Surry Hills’ Porterhouse and Hippo Lounge are also good. Unique décor is a big plus in my books, but I also like an establishment that’s not too loud, is comfortable and has friendly staff. Having Bulmer’s cider (my current drink of choice) on tap is a big consideration, too.

On the other hand, I met my girlfriend at Kelly’s so it wins hands-down on sentimental value alone.

Have you ever danced?

Little-known Dave fact: I used to dance every year with the ACT Australia-Japan Society at their Bon Odori (tower dance) for the Canberra Festival. I not only danced, but did so with spectators.

I don’t dance at the moment for several reasons. Firstly, nowhere plays music that I’ll dance to. Secondly, it’s a lot of effort for too little gain; even if I weren’t so rusty, and caught some young thing’s eye, I’d be too tired afterward to do much. Thirdly, if a woman wants to gauge my physical prowess, I’m more than happy to wrestle a bull to the ground with my bare hands or something; at least that way, we’d have steak on hand for dinner.

Who is the last person you know that you would have sex with?

Easy. That would be the 800lb gorilla-woman at the Abercrombie Hotel who told everyone I was her fiancé. I won’t mention her name here; she evolved opposable thumbs (and I think the marks are still incised into my butt), so it’s possible that she could somehow develop enough brain capacity to use the Internet, stumble across my blog, then track me down and force me to mate with her. <shudder>

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

That would be hard to narrow down.

My favourite crazy act involved delivering a present to my then-girlfriend, Kathryn. She lives in Adelaide and has a thing for Baskin & Robbins ice cream; unfortunately, they had no shops in Adelaide at the time. So, for her birthday, I bought an ice cream cake, several packs of freezer gel and an esky. And then, through gentle persuasion and outright lies, convinced Virgin Blue to ignore their otherwise strict security policies and let me fly it down to her, about 1000km away. When I arrived at my hotel (Kathryn lived with her mother), I arranged to store it in the hotel freezer until I could lure her back up to my room.

Then there was the time I had a high temperature and drank a whole bottle of cough syrup…

Everybody else’s favourite crazy act revolves around my axe. It’s a double-bladed Saxon war-axe, about four feet long. It’s not for chopping wood; it’s for chopping people.

During the 2001 Federal election, I was on what’s known as the Flying Squad, travelling from electorate to electorate to provide additional labour where needed. I spent about a third of that election in the seat of Parramatta, in Sydney’s west.

The day before polling day, we had to come into the electorate to do a streetwalk, wandering down Church St Mall handing out balloons emblazoned with Liberal logos and the incumbent candidate’s name. And then we had the rest of the day off to rest before the election itself.

Matt W and I decided to do a bit of window shopping in Church St, and we stopped by an army disposal store to stock up on supplies for the following day. Now, I used to be in a mediaeval combat group when I lived in Canberra, but never owned my own weapon. I had a bit of spare cash, so I took a look at some of the weapons on display. None of the swords appealed to me, so I ended up buying an axe instead.

As we walked out of the store, we both received messages to return to the campaign office immediately; the Maritime Union of Australia had picketed the office, and the campaign team needed extra personnel to hold the unionists off. So Matt and I returned, managed to slip the blockade and while Matt jeered at the MUA, I carefully hid the axe.

By the time this whole debacle was over, we had to prepare the booth kits and get ready to go and set up the booths. The booth guards’ briefing began and was proceeding nicely, until we reached the tactical section of the lecture.

"If you have any problems," the campaign manager said, "call Adam—he’s an Australian karate champion. And Dave Jacobs has an axe."

The other workers chuckled nervously. I froze; I’d been spotted.

"No, seriously," the manager said. My blood turned to icewater. "C’mon, Dave, show us the axe."

I rushed to its hiding place, grabbed it and carried it back into the room. "There," I said. "Axe."

The booth guards gasped. "Show us some tricks, Dave," the manager leered. So I did a pretty stock-standard axe drill. Everyone looked on in shock and awe.

When the campaign manager could be convinced to continue the briefing, I put the axe by my side, blade down and edge-on to the crowd, trying (even at this late stage) not to draw attention to it.

Two girls who were late for the briefing came in and sat down; five minutes later, one could be heard whispering frantically to those around her: "Is that an axe? Does David Jacobs have an axe?"

We finally broke up, and I left the room, passing the second girl. She looked down as I passed by, saw the axe for the first time and started screaming at the top of her lungs.

Matt and I were assigned to set up and guard a booth at Dundas. Unfortunately, the site was surrounded by a low brick retaining wall, and we’d been given metre upon metre of plastic wrap and Blu-Tac to stick it up with. Blu-Tac and brick don’t work well together.

I knew we could get them to stick if we pounded the Blu-Tac into the wall, but we didn’t have a hammer in the car. Bright idea: use the butt of the axe.

As I joyously pounded the assembly together, congratulating myself at my ingenuity, a ute pulled past, slowing down dramatically, its driver trying hard to conceal the fact he was staring at the weapon in my hands. I’m not going to make any accusations here, but booth materials were stolen from all the booths around us that night—but not ours.

Word got around about the axe, and so many people called and SMS’d that by morning, my mobile phone’s battery was nearly flat. I received a call at 5am, to ask if I wouldn’t mind standing on a booth in another electorate, where they were short of manpower.

At 6am, a car pulled up and I jumped inside. Then I learnt that I would be going to the seat of Dobell, to man a booth at Wyong. I shrugged, thinking I could leave the axe in the car (ignoring my cardinal rule to carry everything on me whilst on campaign), only to find out that the car had to be returned twenty minutes after I was dropped off.

I cleverly managed to conceal the axe behind a chair and all was good. I spent the day handing out how-to-vote cards and chatting with various other campaign workers. One woman, from the ALP, turned out to be extremely arachnophobic, having triple seals on all her doors and windows in her home and car to keep them out.

Just as she told me this, around 4pm, a car pulled up. Four people literally jumped out, followed by a huntsman about two inches across. (Where I grew up in Canberra, incidentally, they grow to at least three times this size.)

The poor ALP woman freaked out. The car’s occupants hurried inside to vote as her eyes glazed over and she began to babble, foaming at the mouth. I tried to calm her, to no avail.

As the voters returned and the car pulled away, she was still in a state of hysteria. I stepped down into the gutter to see no sign of the spider. Still, she worried that it would get into her car, well over 100 feet away.

Despite my assurances that the spider had left the way it came, she remained unconvinced, panicking at the thought that it might crawl up over the gutter, across the footpath and onto her. I offered to kill it if it did, but she still babbled and screamed.

Finally, with no other recourse, I pulled the axe from its hiding place: "If I see it, I’ll kill it with this."

Half a dozen voters were walking through our gate and saw the axe. "We’re voting for you!" they cried as they hurried inside.

Night fell, polling closed and I scrutineered the count. By the time that this was all over, I realised that I was stuck in Wyong. Desperate phone calls (with a now-recharged battery) yielded no aid in getting me out of there and back to Sydney. Finally, I managed to get a number for the guy who drove me up; he had no plan to get back either, but he agreed to meet me at an after-party in Gosford.

Given that this was my first time ever in Wyong, I had only the vaguest idea of how to get to the train station. Some time later, I finally found it. With the axe handle protruding from my bag, and me wearing an Akubra, a bunch of very drunk teenagers mistook the axe for a banjo, and decided to give me hell about it.

Exhausted and short of temper, I growled, "It’s not a banjo, okay?" and pulled the axe out.

They froze. A full thirty seconds went by in silence. Finally, one of them ventured, "That is so cool!"

I eventually arrived at Gosford, crashed the after-party and waited for my contact. When he finally made an appearance, we walked outside to consider our options. The train would take too long (as I wanted to be back in Sydney for the big after-party at the Wentworth Hotel), and a taxi would cost about $250; my fellow traveller, however, had no money.

I knew that his wife had grown up in the area, and still had family there, so I suggested that we could try to borrow a car from them. We jumped in a cab and managed to secure his wife’s younger brother’s pride and joy: an ancient, barely roadworthy Mazda sedan.

Along the expressway back to Sydney, he and I both started nodding off. We tore along through the night at over 130km/h—both suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

When we finally reached the Wentworth, I jumped out and strode into the lobby. I stopped at the concierge’s desk and (exhaustion long having thrown caution to the wind) proudly declared: "I’d like to check in my bag—and my axe."

The concierge didn’t even blink.

What’s the most outrageous "food" you have consumed?

Nothing too outrageous, I don’t think. I love beef sushi, however, and various bits of offal, such as lamb tongue or ox cheek. Yearling goat is quite nice. I’ve eaten kangaroo, emu, crocodile and buffalo. Paté fois gras—which I also love— is pretty out there when you think about it.

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