Cowboys don’t cry

The Fatuus brothers rode like men possessed. Their silhouettes dancing on and darkening the ridge above the town. Three of the brothers led the charge the other running fast behind, trying to keep up. The townsfolk laughed. Poor ole Claytus they thought, always the last.

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‘C’m’on boys,’ Eli encouraged. ‘we’re catching him!’

Gil and Arlo didn’t respond, panting hard they kept their eyes on the trail hoping Eli would soon see sense and give up the chase. Claytus didn’t hear, but yelled all the same. “Wait for me! C’m’on guys, wait for me.”

Word got around. Townsfolk now exited the saloon, general store and barbers, all gathering in the main street. They started cheering the boys on, many in hysterics rolling on the ground holding their sides. ” You can catch him boys – go for it.”

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The Fatuus brothers were famous in these parts. Famous for being stupid. They had a hankering to become famous criminals. And famous they had become. But not as the gang of evil villains they aspired to be, but as complete imbeciles.

At first, they couldn’t afford guns so they got jobs in the towns only factory. The Union Pickle Company, figuring they would save their wages and buy guns afterward. Eli, the eldest telling his brothers, “nothing will stop us then.”

But working on the onion line proved too much for them. After just half a day they resigned telling the boss they were hard men and cowboys shouldn’t cry. The boss didn’t want to lose ’em so he offered them googles. So for the next two years the boys wandered about town with deep strap impressions on their faces making them look like wrinkly beavers.

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Then there was the tragedy involving Old Man Fatuus! Cody Fatuus was famous in these parts too. Famous for the manner of his death. He fell into the town well after losing his spectacles. Thinking they may have dropped into the well he peered into it,  he over balanced and fell in. Drowned. Then, when they finally pulled him out, the arms of his glasses were securely resting on his ears and the frames and lens’ sitting on-top of his head!

Outta decency the townsfolk attended his funeral but it ended in a right shemozzle when the boys dropped and broke the casket. Poor ole Cody Fatuus starting rolling down Cemetery Hill! That was a few years back and since then, the Fatuus boys have continued to be complete morons.

Looking up at the ridge the townsfolk noticed Claytus stop, clearly exhausted. Not long after that Gil and Arlo also stopped peddling as they approached the steepest part of the ridge. Only Eli kept going. His legs pumping as quickly as they could. All the while his cocky stallion jaunted silkily 100 yards ahead of him.

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It had all started earlier in the day. The Fatuus brothers coming to town for their Saturday drink. Eli riding his horse in, his brothers following behind on their bicycles. The boys had a few drinks, played a few rounds of poker and chatted up the local whore D’arcy. But when it comes time to leave Eli finds his horse missing. He steps back into the saloon and starts shooting up the bar. The piano player stops, the drinkers hush, the poker players drop their hands and D’arcy, well she just scratched herself and adjusted her corset.

d'arcy

Eli looks around for a minute and says. “I’m gonna have one more whisky and if my horse ain’t returned by the time I’ve finished my drink, I’ll do what I had to do in Skeleton Corral.” Everyone gasped!

Luckily when Eli finished his drink his horse was standing untethered outside the saloon. But when Eli went to saddle up, his horse bolts. Then the chase was on!

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After twenty more minutes Arlo, Gil and Claytus amble back into town, dusty and dry. The Undertaker keen for business approaches them.

“Boys, what exactly did Eli do in Skeleton Corral?”

The brothers narrow their eyes and hiss, “he had to walk home.”

 

Kia Ora Roly

Pic Credits – Unsplashed  

 

 

 

Watching paint dry

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Ever heard the expression, watching paint dry?

I have, and I did it.

The verdict.

It’s pretty damn boring.

Pretty in the sense there is a subtle but beautiful change in a pigments hue between the time when the paint is first applied and when it is finally dry. Boring in that it takes the paint a long time to dry, and when you only have a few days to live, well it seems a bit of a waste of time.

Hello, my name is Musca; and I’m one of those guys who like to hang around. You’ll know me, although I’m sure you won’t remember. I’m one of those guys no one bothers to get to know. I’m always here and there and you love to cuss and curse me; but apart from that you never pay me any real attention. You’ll probably be surprised I even have a name. Yep, I’m an adjunct to most peoples lives, just flying through.

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While you can’t be bothered to get to know me, let me assure you, I know I like to bother you! And because of this, I think it would be fair to say most people hate me; hate me with a ferocity usually only reserved for enemies of the state and frocked peado’s!

Yes Sir, people hate me that much!

Can’t blame them I suppose. I know I wouldn’t want someone shitting and spitting all over my food and skin either. So I guess it’s fair enough.

‘I want to paint the wall a sepia tone,’ I heard the woman say, ‘it reminds me of Nelson in the autumn.’

Sepia might well remind her of Nelson in May but for the last two days I feel as though I’ve been trapped of in horrific never ending Vaudeville tragedy (less the strongmen and dancing girls of course). And it’s about to close with an all mighty bang. The bang being me. Trapped; I’ve been the proverbial fly on the wall,

So why am telling you this?

Well, I’ve been stuck here on this wall for two whole days now. I’d already been alive for two days, so by my reckoning I only have about about two days left on this god forsaken planet. But not if that Daddy Long Legs with her graceful poetic limbs on the wall opposite spies me. She’s been on the prowl for a while now and if she gets a whiff of me, I’ll liquidised spider fodder before you can say ‘Sylvia Gerrish.

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Image: NYPL Digital Gallery

So either way at least half my life will have been stuck here on this wall. I’d only landed to take a comfort stop. All six legs instantly becoming stuck in the wet paint.  That’s when everything turned to shit – literally. Having to go; but head facing down, the rule of gravity reigned supreme and I ended up with my own fly spot all over me. Nice.

And just yesterday my cousin Shane flew by. He spotted my frantic flailing and failing attempts to escape. My butt twerking as my knees and hips buckled and twisted in desperation. Rather than try and help, rather than stop and reassure me with kind words and hope, he mounted me. Yes my own cousin, taking advantage. The physical pain only being outweighed by the indignity of it all. He’s not even homosexual – the bastard!

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Anyway, the point of why I a

m telling you this is that no matter how bad your life is, things could always be worse. There’s always someone worse off than you and even if you can’t abide them, or hate them with a passion, you should always find sympathy in your heart for others, especially if they have a shitty face, a sore arse and are about to be turned into spider food.

Argh, Sylvia Gerr…

spider woman

Kia Ora

Roly

Baikonur Bitch

‘No, you can’t see the Big Dipper from Dunsandle,’ I told her again. ‘But you can see the Southern Cross!’

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Aperture Vintage – Image Credit 

Although she didn’t acknowledge me I knew she’d heard and could understand. But still no response; her fuscous eyes staring, fixating on the galaxies above, a look of amazement on her face.

I’d only just met her.

I’d just popped out of the Hall to have a durry and take a piss. I’d walked around the side of the building toward the domain behind, peering into the windows as I went by. In the Hall Office I briefly watched Athol Simmons trying his hardest to become familiar with Glenys Hollis’s topography. While Athol struggled unhinging Glenys’s bra; in the hall proper the Kirwee Cooee’s were playing their interpretation of Lonnie Donegan’s ‘Cumberland Gap’; which seemed all too appropriate.

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I kept walking, nearly tripping over young Jimmy Karsten who was heaving up copious quantities of beer and Mrs Stott’s coronation chicken. Too much beer with too much fancy food on-top, I reckoned. Dance hall suppers were an institution invented only for women folk, teetotalers and the young who had far more beer on-board than they should. I’d always taken the view that Dance Hall Suppers were a danger to ones health, best bring your own food.

‘Better get home boy,’ I growled. ‘Get some water into you and some sleep. You don’t want your old man seeing you like this. Besides, I can’t see your old man doing the milking in the morning, he’s almost as drunk as you.’

I walked on; behind me Jimmy groaned then heaved again.

After my leak I decided to continue my short walk, my ears were ringing and the batting away of Jenny Anderson’s continual affections and intentions were becoming irritating and tiring.

Come dance with me Archie,…promise me at least one dance Archie, please…Archie, would you like to sit with me at supper? I made your favourite curried eggs…Oh Archie you do look so handsome tonight! 

For fucks sake woman!

Leave me be.

Hadn’t I told her so, so many times before?

I knew Jenny was lonely. Ever since Ted Cooper rolled his tractor she’d been like a bitch on heat. I also knew 400 acres were way too much for one woman to manage on her own. Her farm backed onto mine so I helped her out when I could.

I knew she cried herself to sleep, I could hear her sometimes through the still nights. I also knew she kept her backdoor unlocked in the hope that a knight in shining armour would stroll through. And very occasionally I did just that.

But I was no knight in shining armour, I was not there to save her. I had no interest in absolving her pain. I was just knocking her off; it didn’t mean I wanted her, and it certainly didn’t mean I wanted to get hitched. She was pretty enough, but I like being single.

Tonight she had taken things way too far.

‘Imagine,‘ she said, ‘2,000 acres and some sons to look after them; and then us when we get old!’

Since when did an occasional romp in the sack evolve into a lifetime of toil and complaisance? There was a big difference between taking her and taking her away. I didn’t want a bar of it, and I didn’t want a bar of all her fussing and incessant need to be taken care of.

For fucks sake woman!

I stopped twenty yards short of the bench seat overlooking the pond. There I saw a silhouette I didn’t recognise. Sitting by the bench was one of the most attractive things I had seen in a long time.

‘Hello there,’ I whispered trying not to frighten her. ‘Aren’t you lovely,’ I said in my softest voice.

My new friend sat aloof. The way she held herself; her head tilted high toward the stars, her tight athletic form, told me she was strong, independent and not to be trifled with. I liked that. I walked toward her, gently sitting down beside her, slowly putting my arms around her. I felt her relax, felt her body weight shift against mine. She was warm and clearly unworried by my attention. I stroked her face. She exposed her graceful neck. I tickled under her chin.

‘You really are a beautiful girl,’ I cooed.

‘You want something to eat?’

‘Got some dressed pies in the back of my truck,’ I said proudly, ‘picked ’em up this afternoon. Dunsandle store makes the best dressed pies in the universe.’

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I slapped her rump, ‘come on, follow me.’

I walked toward my old Nash parked in a sea of gravel and potholes. Under the starlight, standing lonely but proud, she looked like an ugly metallic shark. I yanked open it’s stiff back door, reached in and pulled out two cold dressed pies. I held one out – my new friend took a look and stole a sniff.  She greedily took the pie from my hand, woofing it down instantly.

‘They’re good aren’t they? Especially the beetroot aye – even cold!

She was ravenous so I gave her my mine. Again she inhaled it.

While she was eating I studied her form. Petite but muscular, alert and smart. Young. Pretty as a picture, obedient  and calm. A perfect specimen.

‘I’m going to have some fun with you,’ I muttered under my breath.

‘Come,’ I said –  now walking back toward the hall.

She followed without question or hesitation.

‘Good girl!’

As I approached the Hall The Kirwee Cooee’s were murdering Buddy Holly.

Well, that’ll be the day when you say goodbye
Yes, that’ll be the day when you make me cry
You say you gonna leave, you know it’s a lie
‘Cause that’ll be the day when I die

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Not many people know this but Buddy Holly and all of the Crickets died a gruesome death in Dunsandle on November the 4th 1957, artistry and craft crashing to earth in great balls of fire (yes I know that was Jerry Lee Lewis), massacred, ashes scattered by the musical abilities of Kirwee’s best.

As I approached the front of the Hall Jenny Anderson was sitting languidly on the front steps bawling her eyes out.

Fuck me, I thought.

She was surrounded by a semi circle of women, her tears seemingly draining her strength and form but fortifying her companions. Jenny being comforted and mollycoddled by the Coleman sisters in law, Mrs Stott, who would sooner fart in church than miss out on any gossip or drama. Even Glenys Hollis was there, coo cooing  and rubbing Jenny’s back. I hoped she had had the time to stuff herself back into her under garments.

The women were clearly holding a sacred pow wow and I had no reason think I wasn’t the subject of their distemper.

‘You bastard,’ Glenys spat when I caught her eye. ‘You lousy bastard, I don’t know what Jenny see’s in you.’ The Coleman women nodded their heads in agreement. Mrs Stott just stood there, hands on her ample hips.

Five hostile women is five too many for me so I turned and proceeded to go back from whence I came.

‘Archie Cleary, stop right there!’ Ordered Mrs Stott.

I froze, the only thing bigger and more scary than Mrs Stott was her temper.

‘Who’s that bitch belong too?’ Mrs Stott demanded, one hand now outreached, index finger pointing and waving.

‘Don’t know,’ I answered. ‘Found her, gonna take her home. Gonna train her up – trial her. I reckon she’d make a mighty fine sheep dog.’

‘You cant go around picking up random strays and taking them home Archie Cleary. She doesn’t belong to you.’

‘She doesn’t belong to anyone,’ I shot back, ‘she’s not from these parts, never seen the like of her before. She’s a beauty though, smart too!’

You leave that dog be, how do you know she wants to go with you? Come here sweetie,’ Mrs Stott called, slapping her pudding like hands on her jellied thighs.

Without hesitation my new found friend trotted off. She sniffed Mrs Stott’s hands, no doubt the scent of coronation chicken still lingering deep within their pores. Then she sat next to Jenny Anderson and started licking the tears from her ruddy face. Jenny wrapped her arm around the dog.

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‘Jesus,’ I exclaimed, walking toward the steps to grab the dog by its scruff. As I approached, the dog bared it’s teeth, it snarled and growled, her body language telling me – come any closer mate and I’ll have your guts for garters.

I stepped back – six sets of eyes drilling into me. No one spoke. It was a Selwyn stand-off. There could only be one loser. Eventually I retreated, there was nothing to be gained in staying.

As I pulled the Nash out of the car park I looked back into the rear vision mirror. Jenny Anderson wasn’t crying anymore, she was rubbing the belly of her new found companion who was lolling around, tongue hanging out. I smiled a half smile.

Four hundred yards further down the road, I came across Jimmy Karsten stumbling home. He had seven miles to go and one step forward and two to the side were never gonna help the cows get milked in the morning. I pulled over, ‘jump in,’ I said, ‘I’ll take you home.’

After dropping him off, I turned on the radio. NZBC news at midnight came on. The major story was about the Russians launching another satellite into space. And even more incredibly than that, they had put a dog inside the satellite! One of the first living creatures in space.

Well fancy that I thought, fancy that.

Note:

A week ago I started to re-read Sputnik Sweetheart by Murakami. I remember reading it nearly twenty years ago. As I was the first time, I was totally blown away by the lightness of the writing, how clean it was, and the infinite possibilities presented by the perverse. It inspired me to write this micro fiction. While this story is written in the first person – I have tried to make it feel Murakami-esque. I’m not sure I have succeeded at all –  but I did have fun writing it. And it was a good way to re-launch (pun intended) my blog. 

Wiki

Laika was a Soviet Space dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth. Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on 3 November 1957.

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Laika died within hours from overheating. The true cause and time of her death were not made public until 2002; instead, it was widely reported that she died when her oxygen ran out on day six or, as the Soviet government initially claimed, she was euthanised prior to oxygen depletion.

On 11 April 2008, Russian officials unveiled a monument to Laika. A small monument in her honour was built near the military research facility in Moscow that prepared Laika’s flight to space. It portrayed a dog standing on top of a rocket. She also appears on the Monument to the Conquerors of Space in Moscow.

The Premise

Imagine if Sputnik 2 lost its orbit, returned to earth breaking up over Mid Canterbury. And somehow beyond any scientific reality or possibility Laika survived! Dunsandle would have had another reason to be famous throughout the Universe.

Kia Ora

 

Roly

When men were men

In New Zealand, before 1970 men were men and women were grateful.

Pakeha New Zealand was barely 100 years old,  the blood of the pioneers persisting, pumping thick and strong. The land was still being tamed;  work needed sinew and muscle not fingers and pens. Apron strings were still heavily tied to the Mother Land but ultimately swiftly cast aside upon Mothers entrance into the Common Market.

It was a mans world.

Rugby, racing and beer. Sweat and toil. Men hunted, they provided, and so did women, either in the kitchen or in the bedroom.

New Zealand was and still is a land of contradictions. She was the first country in the world to give women the vote, but the first also to throw them the dish cloth and tea towel.  There was genuine affection toward Maori, but this manifested itself in condescension. New Zealanders were generous, yet unthinkingly stole land they had no right to steal. At will they bastardized and and mis-pronounced the beautiful local tongue.

Within all this hubbub though, a national identity slowly started to emerge. A strong independent stand alone culture. A rugged, ‘sort it out, she’ll be right’ attitude toward life.

Peter Cape was a  first generation Kiwi born to an English family and was the most unlikely minstrel of our early cultural emergence. Although through his music and cleverly crafted lyric he captured the essence of what it was like to be a kiwi man.

But what about the women you ask?

Well no need to worry about them, the sheila’s will be in the kitchen cutting the supper.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like Peter Cape’s folk music. I believe his life’s work  is seriously underrated; while musically simple, lyrically it’s clever, and historically accurate – painfully so. His body of work is of significant importance to NZ – so on that count give me Peter Cape over Lorde any day.

It’s nostalgic to  look back. But to appreciate it best you need to look back in with corrective lens of context not romance.

As for the man himself, Peter Cape was the perfect kiwi man. A complete and utter contradiction. Unusually for a singer he had a speech impediment which you can quite clearly hear in his vocals. He was Kiwi born to an English family. A man new to NZ but one who captured the essence of being a kiwi man perfectly. He was an ordained Anglican Priest, yet thought nothing of leaving his wife and children to follow the arts and crafts movement evolving in Nelson.

So what do I think of Peter Cape?

As a Musician I believe he was a talented man and I enjoy his music.

As  a recorder of history – he was absolutely brilliant with perfect insight into the psyche of the Kiwi Male.

As a bloke, well I think  he was probably a bit of a bastard.

But then again I think most men were back then.

It was all part of being a kiwi.

Kia Ora

PS: When I hear Peter’s music – I hear the song of my father’s life.

Roly

The Crip and Olivia de Havilland

Acceptance

He was only 15, maybe 16,  but he looked older.  He could easily pass for an 18 year old.

He wore a pencil thin Errol Flynn moustache. It suited him, sitting proudly on top of well formed lips and beneath a shapely nose. His complexion pure and unblemished. This guy was handsome. His skin appeared soft, full of stretch and fresh. He was the perfect specimen.

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This guy had attitude. He had it in spades. Set perfectly within his beautifully formed face were brown eyes of steel.

His head didn’t lift when  he saw me coming, just his eyes. They looked at me with total disdain. Pure arrogance and attitude. I looked at him, I looked into his eyes and immediately thought to myself,

‘I’m going run  you over you little shit!’

But please, first let me give you some context before you judge me too quickly.

The teenage turd was immaculately dressed in a shade of blue someone between petrol and royal. He stepped onto the road in front of me, that’s when he lifted his eyes. With nonchalant grace he sauntered right in front of me, silently telling me, silently challenging me;

‘Man I’m a Crip, I own this road, and I don’t give a shit. You wont have the guts to honk your horn, abuse me from a wound down window, or run me over.’

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But he was wrong!

Here’s a tip!

Never ever get in between me and a meal. I was on the way home for lunch, I hadn’t had breakfast that morning, I was hungry and I wanted  to run the bastard over. I wanted the next words he uttered to be ‘hello God.’ I wanted him to die with his boots on. I wanted to send him to uncertain glory on the roadside dead opposite Pizza Hut.

But I didn’t.

He can thank his lucky stars my mind is a very random and strange thing. Instead of giving myself the green light, putting my foot down and starring in my own version of the charge of the light brigade; I started thinking about Errol Flynn and Captain Blood. I’m weird, we all know that. So it will come as no real surprise that I started to imagine Errol Flynn as a Crip and being asked to play Captain Blood. Wow, what a mind flip!

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Errol Flynn – what a man, what a story.

But what’s he got to do with this particular story anyway?

Well everything and nothing really.

Over the next few days I thought more and more about the young man and I actually started to like his attitude. He was a cocky little git unquestionably. But I actually liked that. Not only did this young man look like Errol Flynn, he acted like him too. It’s great to be young, it’s great to feel invincible and not give a stuff. These are things I remember about my youth and miss. Responsibility and sensibility are things that will come later and therefore can wait.

Now, Errol Flyn was no angel. He treated women terribly, he treated his body terribly. He trashed his body with women, wine, and song and tobacco so badly that he died at the tender age of 50. But by God was he handsome though, and in my view, considering the type of roles he played, and the times in which he acted, he wasn’t a bad actor either.

But he was also a bit of a shit too, I remember holidaying in the pristine Whitsundays on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and being shown Errol Flynn graffiti.  It was at Nara Inlet and there in amongst the tranquil beauty Errol Flynn had the audacity and nerve to vandalize the environment! Bastard!

My mind leaped.

I focused on the young man’s motivation in stepping out in front of me. I imagined him on dawn patrol searching for his own Olivia de Havilland. I imagined his thoughts being a million miles away’; ‘thinking, ‘I adore you, please never say goodbye.’

Being in love; well it’s a great feeling isn’t it? And if your partner is as stunning as Errol Flynn or Olivia de Havilland, then, well its worth stopping traffic for isn’t it?

Kia Ora

Roly

Man Bait

A story in 10 parts

Part One:  Abigail

Abigail Sweet laid the petite fours on her Gran’s Burano lace doily. The graceful sweep of her arm only surpassed by the stunning offerings she had prepared.

‘Oh my!’ Scarlet gasped. ‘You really have surpassed yourself this time, must have taken you an age to prepare.’

‘Well, you know what I’m like,’ Abigail replied, looking over her shoulder while turning back toward the Kitchen with a wag of her hips and swish of her skirt.

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Abigail loved food, she loved opulence, she loved her friends company and she loved men. With her cherub shaped face, her full lips and twinkling eyes she looked like  and was dressed like a 1950’s suburban siren. She carried the weight of one and a half women and the curves on her curves were homely and soft.

(writers comment – yum!)

Abigail returned from the kitchen with a pot of percolated coffee. ‘Coffee, everyone?’ She asked.

Her friends all chiming back merrily with different forms and styles of affirmation.

These savories are delish Abi, is that cottage cheese I can taste?

Abigail looked up and smiled at her best friend Jane. ‘Sure is Jane, its infused with cream corn.’

Abigail loved her monthly gathering of friends. The last Sunday of the month was special and this Sunday’s gathering just happened to be at her house. She had designed, trialed and prepared her menu since the first Sunday of the month. Last week she had bought a new skirt and yesterday had her hair set.

She had known all of her girl friends since school and they had met once a month for the last three years. Despite their differences, their careers and families, their scholastic bond remained strong and alive.

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Strictly no men were allowed at their gatherings! They had their golf, their football, cars, bars and sheds and the girls had their monthly afternoon teas. Abi was always amazed though how quickly their discussions turned to men.

The girls sharing stories of the their mens activities during the preceding month.Their triumphs, their failures, their bad manners and indiscretions. It was all laid bare, naked and raw. And the general consensus was that all men were bastards. But definitely worthy of conversation.

‘This food is so good,’ Jane added, ‘its absolutely positively man bait! So anyway, how did your date with JP go?

‘Yes, tell us,’ the other girls added, ‘tell us everything, the whole sordid story.’

‘What was he like in bed?’ Scarlet asked eagerly, ‘was he well packaged… I’m sure you know what I mean doll?

‘Scarlet!’ Paige interjected sharply, slapping Scarlet’s forearm gently, ‘we all know that that’s all you are interested in, but give Abi a chance.’

‘Well as you know Abi,’ started tentatively, ‘I’ve been chatting with JP online for some time. He was the one that stood out from all the other dick pickers and the drunk married guys wanting friends with benefits, or instant gratification.

Dick pickers? Asked Leonie.

The other girls laughed at Leonie’s innocence.

Yep, Dick Pickers, you know, the guys who send you pics of their dicks Leonie, Scarlet beamed.

‘Oh how gross,’ Leonie replied, nearly choking on her coffee.

‘Well moving right along ladies,’ Abi continued; ‘JP seemed the nicest of them all, so we went out on a date.’

‘So what was he like in real life? Was he what you expected?’ Jo asked raising her eye brows.

Abi smiled, ‘well girls why don’t you come and meet him yourself – I have him chained up in the basement.’

 

Stay tuned for the next exciting installment 

Kia Ora Roly

When the feeling is gone

For me; when the feeling is gone I will no longer be breathing. For there isn’t a day on earth that I can’t imagine not being in love with Betty-Anne Monga.

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I was in my late teens when Betty-Anne and Ardijah burst onto the NZ music scene.

‘Who is that ‘Atua Wahine?’ I asked myself after seeing her for the first time on Ready to Roll. Not only was she stunning, she sounded like an angel – a siren singing straight to my heart. I would have gladly drowned enveloped in her supple brown arms, be tangled and strangled within her long dark hair. God, her beauty hit me right between the eyes and the ears, and to be honest I’ve never fully recovered.

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Of course Ardijah didn’t really just hit the scenes. They had been working the pub scene in Auckland for many years – but for all of those early years they were a covers band. Not a bad thing to be, because they honed their skills, they learnt their craft. So when the big time came they were ready. By god they were ready. It was only after a wag called out during one of their gigs, ‘play something original’  did they feel empowered, did they feel brave enough to unleash their brand of music upon Aotearoa, and I’m so glad they did. Time makes a wine indeed.

Now, I’m no great fan of RnB. But when it is fused with a Polynesian back beat, reggae, funk and ska roots I’m a convert. To me Ardijah is a seminal band for NZ in the way they achieved the finest quality and subtle blend of these elements.  They coined the term Polyfonk – it stuck and it is now the name of their recording label.


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Ask any Kiwi worth their salt who were their musicians of the eighties, the answers will invariably be:

Split Enz, The Exponents, Dave Dobbyn (and bands), Herbs, Dragon, Mi-Sex, the chills and Hello Sailor, The Clean and more. But where’s Ardijah? Where the hell is Ardijah?

To me they were the sound of the eighties and the nineties. Hot summer days at the beach, picnics, long drives with the window down, arm out the window and my ardijah cassettes on auto rewind. Balmy nights spent wondering where Betty-Anne was playing and wishing I could be there too. Wishing I could drown…yes, yes, heard it already Roly.

Time has flown by, I am now a 50 something overweight pakeha male, but Betty-Anne is still an Atua Wahine. She is still my imaginery 80’s girlfriend.

Ardijah still gig and make music; now they are master craftsmen who have dug even deeper into their polynesian roots. They have immersed themselves into music of the land, of the islands, of the people and themselves. They are also doing covers again, and their version of Prince Tui Teka’s E-Ipo is a beautifully sculptured piece of immense gravitias and mana – easily equal to Herb’s ‘Sensitive to a smile,’ to which it gives a well deserved nod. Bravo!

So Betty-Anne for me the feeling will never be gone. We have never met (damn-it)  but I look back at the eighties and am very grateful that you played such a major part of those years. It was a journey I loved sharing with you. And as you sang so many years ago – time does indeed makes a very fine wine.

Here’s to many more glasses on our journey’s.

Image result for betty anne ardijah

Kia Ora Roly

The last Vampire

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/mythical/”>Mythical</a&gt;

‘Here it is,’ he said.

I took the VCR tape from his grey shaking hands, his nails clipped but chipped; yellow. Veins protruding standing proud beneath the saggy skin of his hands, lower arms and neck. Visually working my way up, I studied his face, the sockets of his eyes sunken and dark. His eyes themselves, red, not bloodshot red, more a dull crimson. They looked dry and painful.

‘How long have you got?’ I asked more out of interest than concern; years of war reporting and hard nosed journalism dulling and hardening my sensitivities toward death.

‘Not long,’ he answered without emotion, ‘maybe a couple of days, a week max.’

‘That’s a shame, I said, ‘I’m sorry.’

Aldric nodded slightly, Sailor Vee, he said, immediately  selling me a beaming smile transforming him from a dying old man into a charming charismatic dandy.

He really would have been something in his day I thought, somewhat alarmed and uncomfortable he still had the ability to turn on the charm and draw people toward him.

bella-la-gosi

‘You mean, ce la vie?‘ I corrected.

‘Oh no,’ Aldric answered with a thin smile, lisp and twinkle. ‘Sailor Vee, always asked how long I had? But he knew the answer well enough. He was such a lovely lovely man, a Chief Warrant Officer at the Naval Base on Treasure Island. But I used to call him my own personal Rear Admiral (lower half). He’s gone now, like all the others, all gone!’

His eyes still looked parched and sore, but above his wounded smile I could see a tear welling in the corner of his right eye. The tear was yellow, his liver playing one last indignity on the old man.

‘This tape, this cassette,’ I asked, it tells your story?

‘Oh yes, it tells my story. It tells the story of all my friends. It tells of our demise, both here and in New York. I had friends and lovers in both San Francisco and New York. And before the 80’s we had a blast. Lived the high life! The colour, the creativity, the gentle souls and the free love. But then Aids came. It ravaged the community we fed on. Then it ravaged us. It decimated us, one by one we expired, we dried up and turned to dust.’

‘So what do you want me to do with this tape,’ I asked.

Aldric looked at me, his face open and calm. ‘I want you to tell our story. I want you to play this tape on your Television program. I want the world to know that Vampires existed. That we lived, we killed, we loved and we died. That we were not mythical! I have given my Executor instructions you are to be notified upon my death. You are not to permitted to play the tape before then – understand?’

‘Yes of course,’ I re-assured, ‘but Aldric one thing I don’t understand is that HIV, is and was, largely contained within the gay and drug communities, how did you and your friends contract the disease?

‘Oh come on Lester,’ Aldric scorned, ‘you are not that naive. We are, or at least were, creatures  of opportunity, we were creatures of convenience, we targeted those who may not be missed. The addicts, the young gay men who may have of run away from home. And Lester my darling, I may be old and close to death, but only a moment ago, I sensed your loins stir! We are androgynous, we are bi-sexual, we are vampire and very soon we will gone.

christopher-lee-400x411

‘There are very effective treatments these days’, I responded, ‘drugs that suppress the virus. Why don’t they work on you,… didn’t work on your friends?

I’m not a doctor, nor scientist, but the Viral Suppressants kill us quicker than the complications of HIV. Our choice was simple, die almost immediately by taking the drugs, and believe me many chose that option; or linger until we dried out, until our organs stopped working and eventually our hearts stopped completely. After I contracted Aids, I had nothing to live for, except that is to tell our story. And this is where you come in Lester.’

Aldric attempted to stand, his elbows struggling to lock as he pulled himself out of the chair.  His arms shook and he wobbled. I rushed over, bending over to support him. He lent foward, his arms embracing me, pulling me close. I smelt his cologne, I felt his breath on my throat. I wasn’t afraid.

‘You would have been easy,’ Aldric whispered in my ear. ‘Very easy!’

Kia Ora Roly

Ps: The idea of this story has been floating around in my head for some time now. I hope one day to turn it into either a short story or novella.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Flies

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/flames/”>Flames</a&gt;

We all have our own near death experience/s. Here’s mine.

Does your life flash before you eyes before you die?

For me, well yes it did. Five years ago I came within centimeters of being seriously hurt or dying in a single vehicle motor vehicle accident (due to to a mechanical fault). This short story is based upon the ‘what if’ scenario – a scenario where I was not so lucky, where my Van did end up cartwheeling into a ditch at 100km.

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Fly rotated and tilted its bulbous head. It was looking at me.

I was too mangled to shoo or wave it away, in too much pain to really care.

‘Do you want to die?’ Fly asked.

‘Fuck Off,’ I spat.

‘You might linger for hours,…suffer unbearably,’ Fly suggested.

I grimaced, Fly was right, and I was sure too that if he had a mouth he would have been grinning.

‘Fuck Off,’ I spat again in desperation – ‘bastard,’ I screamed at him.

‘I can help,’ Fly proffered.’Tell me you want to end it, and I can make it happen.’

Tears welled. I started to cry, ‘go away leave me be.’

I knew I was done, I knew my  time was close, but I wasn’t ready to give it away just yet. I just wasn’t ready.

‘What would you give for more time?’ Fly asked, as if he could read my mind. ‘What would you give?’

Fly crawled over to the gaping bleeding wound on my lower arm. I tried to move my arm; tried to shake Fly off it. Neither my arm nor Fly moved.  My other arm was trapped under the steering column of the Van. I smelt iron and gasoline. The iron from my blood, the gas from the perforated petrol tank in the back of the Van. Completely uncontrolled I urinated. I prayed.

Fly looked up at me again.

‘I take time,’ Fly said matter of factly. ‘So I can take time now and end it for you so you won’t have to be burnt, go up in flames or bleed out. There’s nothing worse than dying alone, scared and in shock. What about it Big Fella?’

I closed my eyes, crusty blood crackling and cracking in the corners. My mouth gaped and quivered, ‘I don’t want to die,’ I sobbed silently.

‘You make me laugh.’ Fly scorned. You want more time, don’t you? They always do!

‘But you have no idea do you?

‘You just don’t know who I am do you? Fly chided derisively. ‘You see, I have oodles of time. I have acre’s of time, I have absolute bushels of the shit. And it is all time I have stolen from you. You want it back?…well sorry son you can’t have it!’

I’ve lived a bloody good life, picking up and squirreling away all the time you didn’t want. The time you threw away, the time you squandered, wasted and didn’t care about. Think about it Charley Horse, what would you give to get that time back now aye? I haven’t counted the time, but it must be months, even years worth.

All the times you wished time would pass quicker, all the times you wished the weekend or holidays would arrive early. All the times you sat down at your computer, watched porn and masturbated. All the times, you lay in bed too hung over to get up. All the times, ha ha ha, yes all the times!

‘You starting to get it now?’ Fly smirked.

‘You see I was there, I saw it all. I was that pesky fly who always hung around. I was that one! The dumb one who didn’t know it was winter, the persistent Fly that didn’t die despite the cubic litres of noxious gases you sprayed into the air. You used to say, ‘there was always one’ and you were right, there always was, and that was me!’

‘I picked up every small crumb of time, I sucked it all up, I hoovered and devoured every last second of it. And now you are crying you want it back – well fuck you buster!’

Fly then suddenly and unexpectedly flew off. A bright light filled my eyes, it seemed to penetrate every corner of my mind, illuminating the shaken hallways that led into my brain.

This one’s got a head injury but still breathing, I heard someone say.

Carpe Diem,’ I whispered, ‘carpe diem.’

Kia Ora Roly

Carrot Cake

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/cake/”>Cake</a&gt;

Carrot Cake – a 700 word story.

This post is dedicated to a particularly nasty slice of Carrot Cake I had the misfortune to order and try to eat two weeks ago at Springs Junction.

Carrot cake was pissed. Looking around the cabinet he could see that apart from a solitary slice of Doris Plum Cheese cake in the chilled cabinet next door, he was the last cake standing. He looked to the left and noted the Friands and Gluten Free Slices numbered about ten. Poxy Wankers, he thought to himself, always thinking they are better than every other slice, cake or patisserie. Trendy my arse, Carrot Cake scowled, because just like him unless they were sold within the next twenty seven minutes they were all going bin-side, they were heading for the long and mucky journey to the underworld via the municipal refuse station. Being covered in coffee grounds,surrounded by wet tissues and napkins, then having to share the journey to oblivion with those Fuck Knuckle Friands and Gluten Free Slices was too much. Was way too much! C’mon someone had to buy him.

Carrot Cake looked behind him. Tarsh the last staff member on was doing the clean-up before closing the door at 4pm. Then she was heading off  to Hanmer Springs with her boyfriend for a dirty weekend. At least that’s what he heard her say to the other staff earlier in the day. The fat cow was on a diet, the worst and foulest four-letter word you could ever say in a cafe. There was no chance she was going to take him away – bloody bitch. 

 

The week had started off okay. As usual the rancid kraut Black Forest Gateaux took top billing in the cabinet. Sitting defiantly on the top shelf daring people to look at its luscious bulbous cheery’s hanging out it’s side. Shit faced show off thought Carrot Cake.

On the second shelf this week sat a very sedate but arrogant Lemon and White Chocolate Cake who thought it he was just too cool for school and did not say a word all week.

 

By Tuesday afternoon the Gateaux was gone. By Thursday afternoon the sour faced high falutin lemon albino chocolate creation was also gone. Good riddance! As a result Carrot Cake and his remaining cake mates Jono, Trev and Charlie were moved into prominence on the top shelf. Then gradually one by one his mates disappeared until Carrot Cake was the last one standing and as the clock ticked closer and closer to 4pm he became increasingly bitter about it.

What was wrong with him? Did the orange icing carrot hat sitting on top of his cream cheese icing not look cute? Was his size not generous enough? He couldn’t work it out.

At 3.51pm a woman with a baby entered the cafe, ‘sorry are you still open?’ She called out to Tarsh who was placing the chairs on the tables and doing the hoovering.

‘Only for takeaways,’ Tarsh called back smiling and now walking over to the coffee machine. ‘What would you like?’

‘Could I please have a large soy, double chocolate, decaf mocacchino with a vanilla injection served extra hot please.’

‘Coming right up,’ Tarsh smiled again. ‘By the way, Cabinet food is half price if you want something to go with it.’

The lady peered into the cabinet. She looked at the Friands and Slices then slowly shook her head. Carrot Cake smiled with glee – yes, he thought to himself.

The lady then looked at chiller cabinet, poor old Doris looked worse for wear, plum juice stains adorned her white frock like spilt blood. No Chance Doris, Cheese Cake crowed.

As the lady studied studied Carrot Cake, he could see she was licking her lips, he could see a sliver of saliva form in the corner of her mouth. This was it! This was it – yes he had been saved!

Anything else? Tarsh asked, as she handed over the drink she had just concocted.

That Carrot Cake looks divine, the lady  answered, it really does.

Coffee Cake relaxed and instantly fell in love.

But I mustn’t said the lady, I’m on a diet!

No, no, no, no, screamed Carrot Cake, you bitch, you filthy  good for nothing heffalump.

Five minutes later Carrot Cake closed his eyes and plummeted head first into a pile of coffee grounds which is where he belonged..

Kia Ora

 

Roly

 

 

 

 

 

 

An audience with the Pope

Here’s a short story I wrote for a friend earlier this year. It was entered into the Takahae Short Story competition but did not place.

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An audience with the Pope

From Runanga to Rome is a bloody long way.

Especially when you’re a wet behind the ears twenty four year old seminarian, embarking on three years of Theology studies before ordination.

From the moment I arrived jet lagged at Leonardo da Vinci Airport I felt like a fish out of water; just as I had felt in the preceding five and half years of seminary life and study in NZ.

I never set out to become a priest, although in many ways it was preordained that I would eventually be ordained. I was the second son in a line of five growing up in a traditional Catholic mining family.

My eldest brother Patrick was destined to become a lawyer, or a Doctor; he chose Law.

Desmond the middle brother was earmarked for the NZ Police.

Kevin a teacher; followed by Breandan, who regularly fell foul of Des; then having to use the services of Paddy to get off charges of petty theft or affray. That was until youthful exuberance spent, he followed Dad into the mine.

My sisters Colleen and Rosaleen; before becoming mothers, studied dental nursing and teaching. Oonagh joined the Sisters of Mercy Convent and Shonagh worked bars, my parents never knowing she was lesbian.

So there I was, Terrence Seamus Iain O’Guire, living and studying in the heart of Catholicism, Vatican City Rome.

My long journey started in my last year of school.

‘Have you ever considered a career in Christ?’  My stern humourless School Rector asking me at my Sixth Form Retreat.

‘No Father,’ I answered, ‘I want to be a professional musician.’

Father Scanlon with his dreary sun-spotted face peered over his diminutive spectacles, ‘it’s great to have dreams Terry, but a musician’s life is no life for a young man of your talents. For every thousand wanting to become a musician; a Beatle, or an Elvis, only one will ever make it, that’s if they’re lucky! Most will struggle and end up doing some meaningless thankless job for the rest of their days.

I’ve spoken with your parents; they’re keen for you to take up the cassock. And after your misadventure with Miss Rita Moffatt earlier this year, some religious study, piety and chastity will do you no harm. After all, you do not want to disappoint your parents, your Parish and your School again, do you?

Besides, if you want to be a musician the Church can offer you the world, all without the need to worry about lodging and food. You have talent Terry, it would be a sin to waste it on unfulfilled dreams. Offer it to the Church, give yourself to a life with Christ, you will be well rewarded both in this life and the next.

Two weeks later NZR, the Catholic Church and my own parents railroaded me straight into my future. Taking the Railcar to lyttelton, embarking on the Rangatira, sailing to Wellington and then catching the train to Hastings. My final destination; the Society of Mary Seminary in Napier. I was about to become a Marist.

Rita  Moffat…Rita…; Rita and I were mates from way back. We had kicked around together for as long as I could remember. Raven hair with eyes the colour of a Karamea Nikau, Rita had the attitude of a brush tail possum. As a young fella I used to  deliberately kick my ‘Ka Mate,’ (rugby ball) over our back fence into her section, just so I could see her.

‘Your shorts are so baggy,’ she used to laugh, ‘I can see your dak’s when you climb over the fence. Don’t get your nuts caught; you might need em’ one day!’

‘…Well,’ I would answer, fumbling for my words, ‘my mum says that one of these days, your mouth is going to get you into a load of trouble.’

But it wasn’t her mouth that got her into trouble; it was me and my nuts.

In the summer of 1972 and 1973 Rita and I, along with her two cousins Ted and John formed a band, The Dilettante’s. I played lead, Ted bass, John on the drums. Rita was our vocalist and man what a vocalist she was! But it wasn’t just her voice that brought people in. Her on-trend geometric hair style, her penchant  for short black shift dresses and knee high leather boots always bringing gasps from older women, adoring jealous stares from younger women, and bawdy lustful grins from the guys. Grizzly older men would stand at the back, hands on hips with funny looks plastered on their faces; perhaps remembering that female flesh need not be as lumpy dumpy and comfortable as their wives overworked scones were.

And when Rita danced the world caught fire, the dance floor sizzled, sweat pouring off anyone even attempting to keep up with her. From the Hollies to the Beatles, from Stevie Wonder to David Bowie we played em’ all.

From Haast to Karamea and everywhere in between, we played every Pub, every Working Mens ‘ Club and RSA, travelling in style in the Runanga Four Square delivery van which Ted was allowed to use on the weekends. In the twelve weeks of the school holidays we must have travelled over 2,000 miles and played at least thirty gigs. Halcyon days which came to an end all too soon with the peeving call of the late January school bell.

‘You’ve knocked me up Terry,’ Rita told me one day six weeks after we had returned to our schools. ‘I’m up the duff.’

‘Fuck, fuck, fuck,’ I cursed. ‘I’m so sorry, I knew we shouldn’t have.’

‘But we did,’ she spat, ‘so shut up you dick.’

‘What are we going to do?’ I asked nervously.

‘It’s already done; tomorrow I’m catching the Rail car over the hill to Christchurch. I’m being sent to live with my Auntie. I’ve been enrolled in the Secretarial College and when the baby comes it will be adopted out. Then, I will have to find a job.’

Without a goodbye she turned and walked away out of my life.

It was many years before I saw Rita again; and during all those dark years the memory of the resigned look of hopelessness on her once carefree face haunted me.

Me, circumstance, parents and Church had all but extinguished Rita’s light, a light which had flickered so brightly but way too briefly.

I sat by the edge of the green rocky pool staring at the Fountain of the Eagle; this was my favourite fountain in the Vatican Gardens. Its size and sound resonating deep within; bringing back memories of dense verdant bush, of waterfalls and Rita. It was September 1978, Rome had just experienced a wonderfully long and hot summer. The Vatican and the Church were buzzing, a new Pope had been elected, Pope John Paul 1. For most, Rome was the place to be, but for me it was torture.

It was 6.30am on a fine Saturday morning; I had thirty minutes free time before morning prayers. I sat day dreaming, my acoustic guitar resting between my legs; so lost in thought I didn’t see a man in white flanked by two Swiss Guards approach.

The man in white stopped in front of me. ‘May I sit with you my son?’

I looked up and gulped, ‘Your Holiness, yes of course.’

‘You play?’ John Paul asked, glancing at my guitar.

‘Yes’, your Holiness.

‘Where are you from young man?’ the Pope asked smiling.

‘New Zealand your Holiness.’

John Paul continued to smile, ‘I see, a Marist I presume.’

I smiled back and nodded.

‘Well play for me Marist man, perhaps something from New Zealand.

I thought for a moment then nervously picked up my guitar, hoping I could remember all the chords to Pokerekere Ana.

My own private audience with the Pope!

I played the best I could; closing my eyes attempting to sing my best vocal ever. As I finished the Pope touched my shoulder, a beaming grin lighting his eyes. It was the smile that could win a million hearts and subsequently did.

‘You play very well, my son, sang so beautifully. You have real talent. Please tell me what it means?’

I played it again, this time singing in English.

They are agitated
the waters of Waiapu,
But when you cross over girl
they will be calm.

Oh girl
return to me,
I could die
of love for you.

I have written my letter
I have sent my ring,
so that your people can see
that I am troubled.

Oh girl
return to me,
I could die
of love for you.

My love will never
be dried by the sun,
It will be forever moistened
by my tears.

This time the Pope clapped loudly ‘belissimo!’ He exclaimed.

‘I do not want to withhold you from your prayers my son, but tell me who is your Confirmation Saint?’

‘St Anthony of Padua,’ I answered.

‘I knew it, I knew it,’ he laughed, his hands slapping his legs, his eyes twinkling, smile infectious. ‘I knew you were playing and singing for something lost! So young Kiwi, as you have played for me, now let me pray for you.’

He bowed his head, I followed his lead.

‘O blessed St. Anthony, the grace of God has made you a powerful advocate in all our needs and the patron for the restoring of things lost or stolen. I turn to you today with childlike love and deep confidence. You have helped countless children of God to find the things they have lost, material things, and, more importantly, the things of the spirit: faith, hope, and love. I come to you with confidence; help me in my present need. I recommend what I have lost to your care, in the hope that God will restore it to me, if it is His holy Will.’

‘My Son,’ he said, as he got up to leave. ‘Our Lord wants you to be happy; he wants you to live your life with all your talents in the way you choose to live it. He has no interest in making you feel sad or unhappy. And, if he feels that way, then who I am to argue with him? Go home Son, find what it is that you have lost. Then, when you have found it, make your choice. The Church will always be here waiting.

Bless you my young New Zealand friend; you have entertained me wonderfully well this beautiful morning. Go in love and go in peace.’

Back in NZ I found Rita easily enough. Although when I did she was already married and had two young children, Lorraine and Beverley. It took another fifteen years before she was free, her husband wanting a divorce after having an affair with his secretary. During my years of waiting I became a Music Teacher at Burnside High School.

Two years after her divorce Rita and I married. We managed to have one child together, Colin, he was born with Downs Syndrome due to our advanced age we presumed. Colin is a lovely loving lump of a lad and still lives with me today; he misses his Mum terribly, as do I.

Two years ago, we received a letter from a middle aged man called Warwick Stephen’s, he was the son we never knew, our son who was ripped from Rita’s arms when she was still a teenager. Rita enjoyed getting to know Warwick in the twelve months she had left, but last year, just after Easter, she passed from the cancer which had been haunting and stalking her for her last three years.

I never went back to the Church. Its doors forever closed for an ex Seminarian who married a divorcee. An Institution which had so much bearing on my life had ultimately turned its back on me. Although John Paul’s prayer to St Anthony came through for me, I often can’t help wondering whether he was actually praying for the Church.

Kia Ora Roly

 

Lost

This is the second story I penned this year. Alas it didn’t place in the Page and Blackmore National short story competition.

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Lost

‘Please  let  me  stay  with  you,’  pleaded  the  strawberry  blonde  with  pounamu  eyes.

I’d  met  her  two  hours  earlier  and  although  she  was  only  eighteen,  of  beautiful  figure and  face,  I  hesitated.

I  wasn’t  single;  although  technically  there  were  only  seven  days  separating  a  love  lost  cohabitation  from  emotional  freedom.  I  was  twenty  eight  and  my  long  term  partner  of  seven  years  and  I  were  splitting.

‘I’m  sorry,’  I  replied,  draping  my  arm  over  her  shoulder,  leaning  in  closer.  ‘I’m staying  in  a  hotel  room  with  three  other  guys.  It  just  wouldn’t  be  right.’

‘Please,’  she  insisted.  ‘I  need  to  be  with  someone,  I  feel  lost.  Sorry,  I  don’t  want  to  have  sex  with  you,  I  just  need  to  be  held.’

I felt  fragility  in  the  wavering  warm  arm  she’d  wrapped  around  my  waist.  I  saw  the  brittleness  of  her  gaze,  the  pain  behind  her  eyes.  When  she  spoke  I  heard  the  emptiness  of  her  heart.

‘Please?’

‘But  this  is  a  rugby  trip,  the  guys  are  going  to  assume  the  worst.  Tomorrow  morning,  at  breakfast,   girls  taken  back  to  the  hotel  tonight  will  have  to  be  introduced  and  presented  to  the  rest  of  the  team.  It’s  pretty  degrading.’

She  looked  up  defiantly,  ‘I  don’t  care.’

Just  as  she  finished  someone  grabbed  my  right  shoulder.

The  hand  on  my  shoulder  guiding  me  to  the  right,  toward  the  bar,  away  from  my  bemused  new  acquaintance.

‘Roly,  you  sly  dog,  have  a  beer.  C’mon,  come  and  have  a  beer  with  the  boys,   c’mon  get  it  down  ya!’

A  shaky  hand  passed  me  a  spilling  pint.

‘Jesus  Pat,  you  bastard,  I  was  in  the  middle  of  something  over  there!’

‘Yeah,  getting  far  too  cosy  for  my  liking,  what  would  Megan  think?’

‘Pat,  you  don’t  know  anything  alright,  I’ll  finish  this  drink,  then  I’m  going  back,  okay.’

‘Whatever  you  say  Skip,’  Pat  replied,  a  mischievous  smile  painted  all  over  his  cheeky and  annoying  face.

Two  of  my  team  mates  were  snoring  nearby,  another  was  trying  unsuccessfully  to  make  love  as  quietly  as  possible  from  the  bed  closest  to  the  door.

We  lay  together  on  a  single  bed,  her  curves  and  closeness  welcome  relief  from  the  hard  mattress  and  thin  pillow.  Her  freckled  face  barely  an  inch  from  mine  we  kissed,  her  thin  lips  warm  and  inviting,  her  eyes  now  smiling.

‘You’re  sweet,’  she  murmured.

Under  the  sheet  my  hand  traced  the  contours  of  her  firm  shapely  body.

‘Please,  no,’  she  asked  politely.

I  desisted.

‘Let’s  talk,’  I  whispered  trying  to  distract  my  mind  from  fervent  physical desire.  ‘What’s  your  story  angel;  how  the  hell  did  you  end  up  here  with  me?’

She  paused,  spoke  slowly,  deliberately;  ‘well  two  months  ago  my  boyfriend  killed himself,  hung  himself  from  a  tree.  I  didn’t  see  it  coming  and  I  don’t  know  why  he did  it.  Now  I  don’t  know  who  I  am.  Now  I  don’t  know  anything.  I  can’t  feel  anything  anymore.  I’m  lost.’

Instantly  my  erection  died;  instinctively  I  drew  her  closer.

‘Jesus,’  I  replied. ‘Fuck!  Have  you  spoken  to  anyone  about  this?  About  how  you  feel?’

‘I’ve  tried  but  no  one  understands,’  she  answered. ‘They  try  to,  but  they  don’t  get  it; not  my  family,  not  my  friends,  no  one.  But  honestly,  if  I  don’t  understand  it,  how  the  heck  can  they?’

‘I  get  it,’  I  volunteered  nervously.  ‘I  understand.’

Her  body  stiffened,  she  looked  at  me  sceptically.

‘My  younger  brother  topped  himself  six  years  ago  and  I’ve  been  struggling  ever  since.  Afterwards,  I  didn’t  know  what  to  feel,  I  didn’t  know  what  to  think.  Was  it  my  fault,  was  I  somehow  to  blame?  Did  I  miss  something?’

‘And  you  know  what,  I  still  feel  that  way.  It’s  been  like  I’m  on  a  never-ending  journey.  A  journey  I  never  wanted  to  take  and  a  journey  I  want  to  get  off  but  can’t. So  I  really  do  understand  and  I  do  feel  for  you.  I  am  so  sorry.’

She  hugged  me  tighter  and  kissed  me.  It  wasn’t  a  kiss  of  passion,  it  was  deeper  than that.  It  was  a  heartfelt  kiss  of  empathy  and  tenderness.

We  didn’t  sleep  much.  I  spooned  her  back,  occasionally  she  rolled  over  and  we  kissed.  There  was  no  touching  beyond  this.

Saturday  morning  rays  of  sun  started  peeking  into  the  smelly  room  of  four  boozed  up men  and  two  young  women.  The  concoction  of  stale  beer,  sweaty  bodies,  menthol cigarettes  and  sweet  cheap  perfume  overpowering  everything.  I  jumped  up,  pulled  the curtains  and  opened  the  window.

A  chorus  of  blasphemy  and  cussing  erupted  within  the  room.  I walked  over  to  the  bed  closest  to  the  door.

‘Jimmy…,  Jimmy,’  I  said  louder,  shaking  him. ‘Wake  your  girl  up.  It’s  seven  o’clock. Get  her  up  and  I’ll  take  her  downstairs  with  mine,  get  them  into  taxi’s  before  the other  guys  are  up.  Breakfast  is  at  eight,  she  doesn’t  want  to  be  here  then.’

‘Fuck  off  Roly,’  Jimmy  retorted  curtly.

‘Yeah  fuck  off  mate,’  came  a  raspy  shrill  voice  from  beneath  Jimmy’s  sheets. Swearing  quickly  replaced  by  giggling  as  Jimmy  reached  down,  grabbing  something soft  and  ticklish.

I  led  my  bed  buddy  out  of  the  room  into  the  hallway.  As  we  were  about  to make  our  way  down  the  stairs  an  adjacent  bedroom  door   opened.  Pat  strode  out  wearing  only his  y-fronts.

Standing  in  the  hallway  he  scratched  his  balls,  then  his  head.

‘So  where  are  you  two  going?’  He  asked  sarcastically,  ‘you  know  the  rules  Roly,  any overnight  guests  need  to  be  presented  to  the  team  at  Breakfast.’

‘Not  this  one,’  I  spat,  ‘fuck  off  Pat.’

When  we  reached  the  street  I  handed  her  twenty  dollars,  grasped  her  hand,  kissed  her  cheek  and  said  goodbye.  For  unknown  reasons  last  nights’ intimacy  evaporated  into  clumsy  daytime  awkwardness.  Out  of  courtesy  I  asked,  ‘will  I  see  you  again?’

‘Oh  yes, ‘she  smiled,  ‘sooner  than  you  think.’

I  turned  away  quickly,  walking  back  into  the  hotel  and  making  my  way  to  the  dining  room.  There  were  already  a  few  guys  there  sitting  heads  in  hands,  all  of  them  looking  worse  for  wear.  How  were  we  ever  going  to  play  rugby  today  I  wondered?

Sporadically  small  groups  of  hung-over  men  scuttled  and  shuffled  into  the  dining  room. Jimmy  and  three  others  had  brought  girls  back  to  the  Hotel,  as  each  one  entered  the dining  room  they  were  introduced  to  the  team.  After  every  introduction  howls  of laughter,  hoopla’s  and  whooping  exploded,  the  girls  turning  red  hanging  their  heads  in  sober  and  sombre  humiliation.

At  the  customary  court  session  after  breakfast  I  was  charged  by  Pat  for  failing  to adhere  to  the  Law  of  Respect  by  not  introducing  my  overnight  guest  to  the  team.  Pat insisting  the  judge  make  an  example  of  me;  I  was  fined  $50.

The  game  was  fierce.  Playing  against  country  boys  on  their  home  ground  always bringing  an  extra  edge  and  extra  bruises.  The  experienced  country  boys  wanting  to demonstrate  to  the  city  slickers,  the  ‘townies,’  that  manual  labour  resulted  in  bigger, fitter,  stronger  bodies;  bodies  practiced  in  the  art  of  handling  and  administering  pain.

Hangover’s  aside,  we  won,  barely.  The  ‘townies’  speed  and  agility  eventually  gaining  the  upper  hand.

At  the  after  match  function,  I  unexpectedly  felt  a  tug  on  the  back  of  my  shirt.  I  turned.  To  my  delight  it  was  my  companion  from  the  previous  night.

‘What  are  you  doing  here?’  I  asked  enthusiastically.

She  smiled,  ‘my  father  is  the  captain  of  the  team  you  played  against.’

‘So  you  knew  last  night  but  didn’t  say  anything?’  I  quizzed.

‘Yep,’  she  smiled  again.’  At  first  it  wasn’t  important,  I  hate  rugby,  but  after  you  were  so  nice  to  me  I  thought  I’d  turn  up  today  and  surprise  you.’

‘Well  you’ve  certainly  done  that,’  I  replied,  smiling,  then  nervously  running  my  fingers  through  my  hair.

We  were  interrupted  by  someone  speaking  on  a  microphone,  calling  the  two  captains  to  the  stage.

I  made  my  speech;  thanking  the  opposition,  thanking  the  referee,  the  linesmen  and  the  ladies  in  the  kitchen.  I  nervously  shook  hands  with  the  opposing  Captain, presenting  him  with  our  club  badge.  He  reciprocated.

After  the  formalities  I  shared  a  drink  with  him.  He  was  a  nice  guy.  A  big  guy.  It  was  civil,  it  was  pleasant,  and  it  was  going  well;  then  Pat  came  over.

I  introduced  Pat,   small  talk  following until  Pat  recognized  my  affaire   de coeur  standing  at  the  bar.

‘You  see  that  lovely  piece  of  arse  over  there,’ Pat  motioned,  gesturing  luridly.

No!  I  screamed  silently,  no!

‘Well  Roly  here,’  Pat  started,  ‘our  captain,  well  he  shagged  her  silly  last  night,  then  tried to  sneak  her  out  of  the  hotel  first  thing  this  morning,  but  I  caught  ya  didn’t  I  Roly?’

I  watched  the  big  man  quake.  I  felt  sorry  for  him,  I  felt  for  his  daughter.  I  wanted  to  tell  him  the  truth,  but  knew  he  would  never  believe  me.

I  looked  at  him,  he  looked  at  me,  we  stepped  apart  and  backed  away.

Within  a  crowded  noisy  club  room  suddenly  we  had  both  become  lost.

 

Anyone’s Hero

‘I fly helicopters for the US Army Rangers, I’m a Captain!’

Image result for kris kristofferson

Sounds like a Night Club pick up line doesn’t it?

But this guy didn’t need pick up lines; five foot 10, built like a brick shit house, he had the body and looks to melt a million women’s hearts and they did. His eyes of blue, cutting through inhibitions and natural shyness as easily as a weight watchers weigh-in cake.

Man, this guy had it all! Fit and athletic he made the pages of Sports Illustrated as a young man due to his celebrated efforts in US Collegiate Rugby Union. What a man!

Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he should of had it all – and he did, but not in the way you’d expect. Not only was he born into a privileged life, he was born with the intellect few could compete with. Earning a Rhodes Scholarship he studied at Oxford where he received a Master’s  degree in English Literature. Oh, and while he was there he received his ‘Blue’ for boxing; as well as playing rugby for Oxford University.

Jeez, this guy is unbelievable don’t you think?

He is, but he is real and he is one of my greatest hero’s.

Kris Kristofferson take a bow.

Image result for kris kristofferson

With a fine a military career ahead of him (he was tutoring at Westpoint when he discharged himself – and thereby excommunicating himself from his family); with the brains to do well in business, he decided instead to turn away and dedicate his life to the Arts. And I am so grateful he did.

Writing, composing, singing and acting, just as you would expect – Kris could do them all, and with style, panache, and an honesty that was quite disarming and sometimes uncomfortable. Kris wore many badges, but his tortured artist badge, his understanding of the fragility  of the human condition is something that I have always admired and has always inspired.

There is understanding in his lyric, there is hope and he sings of life through the eyes of someone who had no right to see such things. There is genuine humility and a lived air of gritty realism which pervades his work and makes it so raw and real. The  juxtaposition between talented rich kid and a down and outer cannot be more stark nor impressive.

Collaborations with Johnny Cash, Janis Joplin, Rita Coolidge, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Shel Silverstein, Dolly Parton, Brenda Lee, Stephen Stills and Bob Dylan cement Kris in the top echelon of American Artists.

Anyone’s hero? He’s certainly mine.

And just because it’s Sunday – here’s one of my favorite K.K.’s songs (and be honest who hasn’t ever felt like this on a Sunday?)

 

Kia Ora  Roly

 

Shelf

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/shelf/”>Shelf</a&gt;

In response to The Daily Post’s  word prompt.

elf

Image credit: naamahvonhell.deviantart.com

You don’t hear about, or see many Transgender Elves. Excuse the cliche, but we tend to get hidden away in closets. By nature Elves are already androgynous but sometimes the DNA goes too far, it gets muddled and confused.

And Elves like me are the result.

I was born in the boughs of a Southern Catalpa Tree in the spring of the year of the Glade Lilly.

My father was delighted, ‘look he’s a strapping Elf,’ he exclaimed as I arrived.

”No no,’my mother quickly corrected, ‘no she is an Elf Maiden, look!’

They both looked then shook and scratched their head’s.

‘It’s both,’ they chimed together, ‘oh dear!’

My father call’s me Moss, my mother calls me Fern, everyone else just calls me Shelf.

Despite commonly held beliefs Transgender Elves are extroverted, life for me is very insular. We tend to keep to ourselves, shunned by other Elves and mistrusted by Elf Maidens we live a lonely existence on the outskirts of the Forest.

I live in Apple Blossom Forest which is very small, so gossip and innuendo travel quick. If I could get a job I would move to the National Forest Park upstate as that is huge and there are many more Elves just like me. I could find friendship, acceptance and understanding.

I went for a job interview the other day, and an old Elf called Diesel Wood looked at me and said.’Well this isn’t going to work is it? Just look at you, you’re a disgrace!

So for the moment I am stuck, and that’s the way it’s been for me for all my life. Neither one nor the other; I am who I am and nothing I can do will ever change that.

When other Elves see me their minds and eyes immediately drill below my belt. They focus on questions of gender, genitalia and sexuality, not me as an Elf. It’s pretty sad, and to be honest I am too.

So the next time you see a Transgender Elf, keep your eyes and minds above the belt and focus on the Elf within. I think you will be incredibly surprised by how lovely, gentle, tolerant and kind we can be.

Thanks Shelf

 

Kia Ora Roly

 

 

 

Waxeye

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Whispering sweet nothings

We sit on the branch

We watch and wait

We spy the tortoiseshell cat

As we knew we would

lying flat as a pancake

her ears pinned back

her neck arched foward

her feet set to spring

She creeps towards us

She seems electric

We momentarily glance the other way

It’s all part of the game

We turn our heads back

Only to see her spring!

Time slows

She is close, and we can see her wide jaws open

Her gleaming sharp teeth

We can almost smell her jellymeat breath

‘Thump!’ We hear, the cat falls, tumbles back

The little girl inside laughs

The man call’s out,’oh Izzy you numpty’

The woman cries out, ‘Izzy, I’ve just cleaned those bloody windows!

Whispering sweet nothings

We sit on the branch

We watch and wait

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The Wax-eye (Zosterops lateralis) is a small and friendly olive green forest bird with white rings around its eyes. Self introduced in the 1800s they now have a wide distribution throughout New Zealand. They have made the forest their home and are now among the most common bird in suburbia too. Waxeye’s mainly eat insects, fruit and nectar. Waxeye were first recorded in New Zealand in 1832 and since there is no evidence that it was artificially introduced, it is classified as a native species. Its Māori name, tauhou, means ‘stranger’ or more literally ‘new arrival’.

Photocredit: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0

Kia Ora Roly

Mind and Body, Body and Soul

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/toot-your-horn/”>Toot Your Horn</a>

In response to the The Daily Post’s prompt – Toot your Horn

Some view their bodies as temples. A vessel steering them toward sanctification. Shrines requiring worship; sacrifices to be paid, suffering, fasting and flagellation to be endured on their journey toward eternity.

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Some view their intelligence as a means toward salvation. With broader deeper knowledge and understanding; questions of faith become a simple matter of fact not belief.

brains

Me, well in the words of the immortal James Brown I’m more of a soul man. I feel things.

Similar in a way to Cole Sear in The Sixth Sense who famously said, ‘I see dead people.’

I don’t see dead people though, but I do sense peoples pain, I understand their motivations and can contextualize their actions and situations they find themselves in. I sound arrogant – I know I do. I sound narcissistic, I sound like some omnipresent wanker with a highly inflated view of himself and his talents.

worried girl

But I’m not – I’m just a writer.

To be honest, looking beneath the skin, beyond the body; understanding the minds and souls of people can be tiresome. In fact, it can be exhausting. And because I can easily see inside other people, I keep a locked box of me – of my essence – hidden away in the deepest part of me. No one can see it – no one is allowed too, I’m way too selfish for that.

A curse it maybe, but it is also treasure that enables me to conjure up the most believable characters and stories.

See told you I was arrogant.

Will my ability to understand people; my ability to empathize get me a pass to heaven? Probably not – but at least I will have spent my time on earth wisely – studying and investing time in the most complex, wonderful and equally awful creatures that have ever evolved.

Mind, bodies and soul.

people

Kia Ora Roly

 

Is love blind?

Act 1 Scene 12,775

Roly Andrews, Attractive woman

Path on Cathedral Hill overlooking the city of Nelson

 

Attractive Woman: Valorous morning to thee sir

love 2

Roly Andrews: Good day, how thou the present day, quite quaint young mistress?

jester 1

Attractive Woman: Lest I am very well this morning, thy words art very kind, within this wall of flesh there is a soul that counts thee its creditor.

Roly Andrews: Ha ha I see thee eyes light up and the pearls of white of thy teeth at which hour thee smileth and maketh this sunny morning coequal more sunny.

Attractive Woman: Cease – thee art making me blush. And I note a wedding ring on thy digit, peradventure thee art forgetting thou has’t a loved one at home?

Roly Andrews: Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. Thither art times at which hour mine ring seemeth to burn or disappear. Hear my soul speak, of the very instant that I saw you, did my heart fly at your service.

Attractive Woman: Mine lief cousin! Love is a smoke and is made with the fume of sighs. I am flattered by thy infaction, but thou has’t a wife who thou has’t committed too for the rest of thee days – I doth not wish to cometh between this holy bond, despite thy kind visage, lovely words and flash shoes. I must wend now or I wilt beest late for worketh. Farewell my friend.

Roly Andrews:  Cease! I heareth what thee sayeth. But fear not, I am no cad, nor sleaze. I doth not jump from sleep chamber to sleep chamber while the sheets art still warm, Everyday since I turned sixteen, I has’t fallen in love. Tis a wearisome  curse, but this doest not mean I don’t love mine wife, for i doth with all mine heart. These instant infatuations, these sweet fleeting attractions doth not cheapen love either. I has’t nev’r acted on these callings as I has’t nev’r wanted too. All I has’t ever wanted wast the feeling one gets at which hour one falleth in love.

The thrill of folly and of opening ones heart and wearing it upon thy sleeve. The act of abandonment to attraction and the addiction of affection. I crave the vulnerability, the power, the sense of uncontrollable control all acquired at loves first instant. To love is to liveth and tis a drug I can’t receiveth enough of.

No, I am no amorous rite addict, I am no pants sire. I am a man addicted to attraction. Forgive, if ‘t be true I seemeth shallow, for most addicts art. I am a fool and thee a passing folly, although a very quite quaint and immaculately presented one. Humour me, so I can obtain mine fix, as I am an eternal harmless jester who needeth to entertain.
jester 2

Attractive Woman: Thee doth has’t lovely eyes and a quite quaint smileth, and thee doth has’t silver bow shoes

love 1

Included in the above passage are quotes from:
  • Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Act 1, Scene 1
  • Shakespeare :The Tempest – Act 3, Scene 1
  • Shakespeare : As You Like It – Act 3, Scene 5
  • Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet – Act 1, Scene 1
Kia Ora Roly

 

 

 

Never Again!

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/never-again/”>Never Again</a>

In response to the Daily Post’s prompt – ‘Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!” Tell us about it.

I was 21.

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Fit, strong, brave and stupid!

It was in the early 1980’s, an age of  excitement and extremes. An age of modernity and change. It was a time (at least in my memory) full of optimism and opportunity.

I had a good job, good income and good mates. We worked for a large Bank in our City’s CDB. To overcome the boredom of Voucher Examining, Proof rooms and Ledger books, we scratched the itch of folly and adventure during our weekends.

Rambo was kicking arse, the A Team had just come out, but as much as we tried; weekend warriors we were not. Sure, there was lots of drinking, sure there was rafting, smashing plates and glasses on our heads, there were a few fights, mountaineering, illegal car racing and the like, but I always felt that I had only just touched my inner dare devil.

That was until my mates Dave Sloan and Tony Novis suggested we go parachuting.

dave and tony

Although I’ve climbed some lovely lofty mountains, I must admit heights have never really been my thing

mt rolleston

Mt Rolleston – Arthurs Pass National Park 

Once I remember hauling my butt up and over Browning Pass and getting stuck 30 metres from the top. I was cast, couldn’t move up, couldn’t move down, not because I had inadvertently boxed my self in – but because I was petrified of the sheer drop below. It was only when two very attractive female trampers from Switzerland threatened to overtake me that I garnered enough courage to manically scramble hand over foot to the top.

So, when Dave and Tony suggested parachuting, I couldn’t think of a better way to try and overcome my fear of heights. If that sounds crazy logic, then you’re dead right  – it was.

The training provided at Jump School was intense and extensive. Three hours on a Friday night and three hours on a Saturday morning. Even now over thirty years later I can still recall and chant the Jump Mantra:

‘One thousand, two thousand, three thousand, look, grip, pull!’

And hopefully that was the end of it. However, should something go wrong there was an additional bit you had to scream out at the top of your lungs.

‘One thousand, two thousand, three thousand, look, grip, pull, look!’

MALFUNCTION!

Look, grip, pull, look!’

And then you would float gracefully downward to the earth suspended beneath a billowing canopy of love and cotton wool.

roly parachuting

Tandem jumps were not yet in vogue, so for our first jump we were going the old school way; off static line. After our training, after we had donned our jump suits, we were led to a plane way smaller than I imagined it would have been, and way smaller than it should have been. There was only enough room for the pilot, three jumpers and a jump instructor.

I had drawn the short straw to jump first. So I was sitting in the frame of the open door. As the engine started, I instinctively looked for the seat belt and door handle – no such luxuries. As we took off the racing bracing air hit my face, I was pleased. I was hopeful that my companions would mistake the grimace on my face as an involuntarily reaction to the rushing wind.

My fingers hurt, my nails trying to scratch and dig deep into the metal fuselage of the plane. We slowly made our way up to 3,500 feet – climbing in slow concentric rings, the airfield below becoming smaller and smaller. After about 10 minutes the pilot broke the silence, ominously shouting, ‘jump run.’

The jump instructor crawled over to me and attached me to the static line. He got me to check it. ‘Yep’ I stated very affirmatively in the deepest voice I could muster. To be honest I had no idea whether I was connected or not –  but I winked at my companions, my calm demeanor hiding the terror beneath.

‘Ready,’ the jump instructor said, motioning me to shuffle my butt toward the middle of the open door way. I  obliged. ‘Look at me,’ he asked.

I heard him, but didn’t look at him as I was too busy looking at ground, thinking that within a matter of seconds I might be bouncing off it, then after a few more days be planted 6 foot deep beneath it.

‘Look at me,’ he demanded.

I slowly and reluctantly looked up and over my shoulder at the Instructor. Our eyes met briefly, I knew he could see, as well as sense my terror now. He smiled, trying to placate me. Then with one big shove the bastard pushed me out of the plane.

I don’t blame him, he had been around long enough to know I could never have jumped out my self, and if I didn’t jump no one else could have, I was blocking the way. The plane would have had to return to the airfield full. Full of unhappy jumpers, instructor, pilot and me.

roly jumping2

‘One thousand, two thousand,’ my feckin arse!

Counting instantly being substituted by screaming. The Frog prone position instilled in me at training replaced by uncontrolled tumbling.

Look?

You have to be kidding, I had my eyes closed.

Once I felt the canopy open, I breathed, I opened my eyes, I looked.

Jesus Christ – I had a malfunction – true story!

My tumbling meant that when the chute opened lines crossed over and one of the lines sat on top of the chute.

My brain screamed MALFUNCTION, cut away, cut away – my mouth screamed ‘aaagh!’

Through sheer panic my right hand grabbed the offending line and shook it vigorously. Whatever I was trying to do worked and quickly afterward the line and canopy separated themselves. I floated down toward the earth my heart beating a thousand beats a minute and being extremely pleased I was wearing a brown jumpsuit.

At the post jump debrief the Instructor congratulated me on fixing the cross over line, but adding he felt I was not really suited to parachuting, telling me that I was the only jumper he had ever instructed, ever seen, ever heard of in fact,  that had tried to climb back up the static line and back into the plane.

I agreed – never again!

This post is dedicated to the memory of a great mate, Dave Sloan, taken by depression way too young – remembered always.

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Kia Ora Roly

 

 

The Eight Cardinal Sin – Flatulence

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-eighth-sin/”>The Eighth Sin</a>

In response to the Daily Posts prompt – what is the 8th cardinal sin?

Now, I’m not one for toilet humour – if you want to crack a joke then a bathroom is not the place to do it. Equally, if you want or need to shoot a bunny, poof, have a whoopsie or let one slip, then the bathroom is the place to do this.

I accept that flatulence is simply a biological and chemical process. You don’t need to be Darwin or Einstein to work that one out. What goes in, surely must come out, and I accept that everyone needs to relieve themselves of flatus. But do they need to do this in my presence?

It seems everywhere I go I possess an uncanny ability to loosen peoples ability to hold themselves and onto their gas.

Just yesterday, I was in the supermarket – pushing my trolley along an aisle following a larger woman in track pants as we made our way to the pasta section. Then, without warning she let rip. Now this was no ordinary fart – it was a rip snorta! If I ever get caught out, I clench my buttocks tightly together to minimize the sound impact, invariably my flatus is released with a squeak as a opposed to an horrendous thunder clap rasp as this ladies was.

 

How many times have you walked into an elevator and smelt something foul? For the first thirty years of my life I believed all elevators smelt like that – that it must have been some of the materials Schindler used in the manufacturing process.

Look I’m no angel, of course I fart. However, I will always do my best to vacate myself and colon away from other people. I remember once I was on a train. It was a family trip into the mountains with my parents in law. I was sitting alongside my mother in law when the sudden urge to release came upon me. Thankfully the train stopped at a mountain village a few minutes later. As we disembarked the train I spoke to my travelling companions, ‘just need to get some fresh air’.

I walked to the end of the platform. I released, I smiled, I felt relieved. Relief instantly turning to horror and embarrassment when my mother in law spoke in jagged tones from two steps behind me, ‘I wish you told me you were going to do that – before I followed you down the platform.’

 

On another occasion I was working for a big corporate in London. They were shedding staff, and middle management were the first to be culled. All middle management were summonsed to a hotel in the Midlands where we had to give a presentation on the work we were doing to a panel of senior executives. Attendance was compulsory! On the day of the presentations I was ill. I had a one in 20 year head cold! Fluid streaming out of my nose, my eyes. I felt so awful, I wondered whether death would be better than putting up with this. And I knew that if I didn’t deliver a polished presentation I would probably be chopped. I felt I was doomed.

 

When I walked into the presentation room I noted that the panel consisted of the General Manager of Human Resources, the Director of Training and  2 other senior executives. Half way through my presentation I sneezed; but this was no ordinary sneeze, it was an ear splitting, raucous explosion of mucus and phlegm. It was so powerful it doubled me over, and as I doubled over, I lost all control and added to my embarrassment by emitting another type of sneeze, a sneeze which nearly split the seams of my pants. The panel must have taken great pity me – as I was one of the lucky ones who kept their job.

Now, Iv’e been known to occasionally embellish the facts to make a good story. However, crossed fingers and hope to die – this is a true story. It’s so crazy – it has to be true.

I was having having a few problems and was under great stress. So between my Doctor and myself, we decided having a chat with a counselor would be a good idea. I walked into his room, formal introductions and handshakes were made. I was directed to sit on a chair by the window. A Psychologist’s silence followed. We looked at each other, measuring. I smiled. He smiled. Still nothing but silence, he was waiting for me to start, and I was waiting for him to. He moved, I won!

 

He leaned forward, and at the same time lifted his left leg up and over, crossing, and then settling down on his right leg. As he did this he farted – I kid you not – his movement had obviously affected his control and he let out this unpleasing and unpleasant screech.

‘Excuse me’, he said nonchalantly, ‘Roly, how can I help you? He asked so matter of factly. I couldn’t believe it, there was an elephant in the room, and it stunk to high heaven, but he chose to ignore it.

‘You can’t’, I replied, holding my nose, gagging and getting up out of the chair then walking out.

There is a time and place for everything – and to my mind nearly every other bodily function (apart from coughing and sneezing) are done in private. And that’s why flatulence should be too! It’s a sin not to. It would certainly make the world a much less noxious place, but admittedly, probably a little less funny as well.

 

Facia Book

From the annals of a grumpy old and lonely man – I give you:

signF_op_600x600 (2)acia Book

MeJust checked into hotel at Monte Cristo – not a bad room – upgraded to a suite!

MeCheck out my new wheels – sweet ride – man she goes

MeKate and I going to Opera tonight to see Don Giovanni – best seats in house

MeHad dinner last night at Jamie Oliver’s – superb

MeGoing out on the plonk tonight with you know who? Oh yes it is – the Rolster is back in town!

MeCan you believe it? Ran into Mel Gibson at the pub last night and Cate Blanchett at the swimming pool!

MeOmg – Lost 14 kg’s this week – wedding suit still doesn’t suit though – now its too big!

MeMy life is so perfect and I’m so great that I know you all hate my guts – but bet you press like anyway!

How it really is:

ostrichI crashed the work car yesterday – do you think if I don’t tell anyone – I can get away with it?

ostrichI called out Erin’s name last night while making love to Kate – now I’m sleeping on the couch and she’s talking about bringing her mother over.

ostrichMy fungal infection has come back with a vengeance -yuck smelly and itchy – flaky too

ostrichI ate so much last night that when I went to go to the toilet to throw up – I couldn’t get out of the chair and when I did I split my pants. Then when I bent over to inspect the damage – I accidentally farted.

ostrichKate says unless I apologise for my behaviour last Saturday night she’s taking the kids and leaving me.

ostrichFor the 3rd month in a row – I won’t make target and performance management is just around the corner.

ostrichMy hemorrhoids  are killing me,  my backs about to go out and I have to go to the dentist next week (first time in 9 years)

ostrichMy place absolutely reeks  – as I keep forgetting to buy a rubbish bag. Can’t be arsed doing anything today – think I will sit around in my undies and waste time playing computer games.

Summary

My life is not perfect and neither am I – so the life you see on online in no way shape, or form resembles real life. Let’s be honest, it’s just a shallow veneer of all the good bits that I want you to see because I think they will make you jealous.

Look at me!

Sure, these bits are real – but not real life – its just a facia!