On the Couch with Lawrence Money

Lawrence Money AAR On the CouchWho is Lawrence Money?
He’s a bloke who is sometimes confused with Lawrence Mooney – a younger and hairier comedian. One-O Money was a newspaper journalist for 50 years and Melbourne columnist for 37 years who jumped off the good ship Fairfax in 2016 holding a float of redundancy money. He wrote a biography (businessman John Knowles), did a sports column for a year for Sportshounds.com then stunned his mates by becoming a stand-up comedian with a debut show called Loose Change in the 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He stunned the venue too, drawing the biggest festival audiences the Speakeasy HQ in Flinders Street has ever had.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I reckon I would grow my hair long and have a fringe sweeping over my forehead – as opposed to polishing the top of my bare cranium each morning as I do now. And I’d learn golf again with more wrist in my swing.

Who inspires you and why?
Seriously, my wife Helen is my greatest inspiration. An outstanding human being who loves and supports me far more than I deserve.

Favorite holiday destination and why?
Our favourite destination is somewhere we haven’t been before. That’s the whole idea of a holiday, isn’t it? We’re doing the land of droughts and flooding rains at the moment – beautiful Australia. Took the Indian Pacific train across from Sydney to Perth. Breath-taking.

When friends come to town what attractions would you take them to and why?
My years as a Melbourne columnist led me to discover some wonderfully quirky stuff. How about the smallest café in Australia?Maybe the world. It is situated in what was ground-floor telephone switchboard in the magnificent Manchester Unity Building on the Collins and Swanston Street corner. You couldn’t swing a cat in there – if you did, you’d hit the other four patrons. And how about the journey up the winding stone steps of St Paul’s cathedral to see the bell-ringers bouncing around on the ropes in the bell tower. They’ll give you a go if you ask.

What are you currently reading?
I always have a pile of partly read books next to my side of the bed. Rarely finish them. My grasshopper mind is easily bored. But let’s see – there’s Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer – about Bill and Hillary’s questionable financial doings. Lives of the Hunted – an antiquarian book printed in 1901 and owned by my late mother Doris. And Ian Plimer’s brilliant expose on the global-warming hoax, Heaven and Earth.

What are you currently listening to?
Right now I’m listening to the tinkle of the bell on the collar of Pablo, our neighbour’s cat. He’s a dear little fellow who comes in for a cuddle every day. Like all cats, he has various favourite locations in which to lie in our garden, depending on time of day. Sometimes I don’t see him and begin watering the garden – on those occasions I am listening to a meow of protest and rustle of bushes as he departs.

Happiness is?
Good health. Good family and friends. Enough dough to pay the bills. Doing something you enjoy with someone you enjoying being with. It’s pretty simple.

What does the future hold for you?
At 50, I was sent a bowel cancer testing kit by the federal government. At 60, I was sent a letter reminding me to ensure my will was up-to-date. Eight months ago, when I turned 70, Canberra sent a pamphlet warning me that, at my age, I was at increased risk of pneumonia and shingles.

However, assuming I have a few more grains of sand in the hourglass, I will be staging a new show in the comedy festival each year, taking it on a regional tour (Wycheproof and Charlton for starters in 2019) and writing a book on the experience titled You’ve Got To Be Joking. I’m planning another career change at 80 – not sure what, just yet!

Lawrence presents his show, Loose Change at SpeakEasy HQ as part of the 2019 Melbourne International Comedy Festival until 23 April. For more information, visit: www.comedyfestival.com.au for details.

Image: Lawrence Money (supplied)