I remember her slumped in her chair, passing away peacefully in the afternoon sun; then Shane Withington running across the paddock screaming: “Mollllyyyy!” All of Australia went in to mourning; Wandin Valley’s beloved country housewife had succumbed to leukaemia and was gone. The tough boys at my school pretended they were unaffected, but we knew each of us was secretly grieving, except one friend who courageously wore a black armband to school.
The loss obviously still weighs heavily on the Australian heart. On Channel Seven’s recent special, TV Turns 50, which counted down the top 20 TV moments of the last half century, Molly’s death came in at a staggering number 12, squeezed in between the Ash Wednesday bushfires and the dismissal of Gough Whitlam.
Reliving the tragic event, however, it suddenly occurred to me: How do we know Molly really died? Who saw the body? Where is the autopsy report? Where were Sergeant Gilroy and Matron Sloan that day? And why was Fatso the wombat acting so strangely? And why was an ad break “conveniently” placed immediately after her supposed demise? How do we know Molly didn’t just fake the whole thing to escape to a new life in Burrigan with her secret lover, Cookie?
But the clincher – the reason I’m convinced Molly is still alive – is that her death was about the only event on the list around which there is no conspiracy theory. It’s the perfect conspiracy: no one is even questioning the circumstances of her death.
Let’s take a look at just a few of her rivals in television’s most memorable moments.
No. 1: The moon landing. Well, we all know that was faked, shot in an abandoned military shed in the Nevada desert.
No. 2: 9/11 Terror Strikes. If it happened at all, it was a CIA job, but I don’t believe any planes hit the World Trade Centres. It looks to me like it was filmed in miniature with a couple of modified milk crates, and aeroplanes made from toilet rolls.
No. 3: John F. Kennedy Assassination. As The Onion newspaper reported, he was shot 129 times from 43 different angles by the CIA, the Mafia, Castro, LBJ, the Teamsters and the Freemasons.
No. 4: The Death of Princess Diana. Murder most foul! I know a high-speed car crash in a French tunnel is how I’d go about killing a troublesome missus.
No. 5: Elvis Dead. No, Elvis lives.
No. 9: Lindy Chamberlain. She planted that matinee jacket in the desert, knowing full well that someday someone would happen across it. Dingo schmingo!
No. 10: Port Arthur Massacre. How could one madman kill so many people with such cold efficiency? Martin Bryant had to be a professional marksman hired by John Howard to help push through his radical new gun laws and steal the next election.
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