Danny was eccentric. Usually did things without a second
thought, took chances, and often succeeded. He was a successful small businessman in his late thirties, married and
divorced, now living with his live in girlfriend.
He was walking down Devon Street in New Plymouth on a Friday
night, the usual hubbub of daily life in a rural city. A warm nor'west gale screaming off the Tasman Sea making life a little
less comfortable for shoppers and workmen alike.
There were shops open, doing their daily fare, and as he walked
he admired articles of clothing and the likes and wondered what to spend his paycheck for the week on.
Then it happened, the piece of paper whipped along by the
wind, hit him square in the face, and was held there by the gust. He was temporarily blinded. In fact his forward motion
caused him to walk blindly into a young women with a child, and he uttered a hurried apology, and cursed under his breath.
Taking the paper from his face, and perusing the unwanted
intrusion, he discovered it to be a shopping list someone had made up and obviously lost or discarded in the vicinity.
A silk negligee for Maree
One BMX Bike for Jason
Two new Barbie Dolls for Sarene
A New Tie for me
Rotating head Vibrator for the Mistress.
Danny thought, what the hell, and decided to shop according
to the list, even though he had no children. A mistress was a pipedream. But he could do with a new tie, and his girlfriend,
Mandy, would love a new negligee. He managed to buy all except the vibrator, and eventually, as is with usual with
any challenge to be met, he asked a passing policeman for directions to the local sex toy shop.
Once there, he asked the attendant for the subject item, and
was pointed to a rack at the back of the shop. Standing there was a man he recognised, also with a bike and parcels
under his care. Danny sidled up to him, and looked at the items and then both looked at each other. The other
man was bemused, seeing Danny with the same items he bore, and the same wrapping.
"Um, you seem to be shopping for the same things I am," he
"Yes," said Danny, pulling the list from his pocket and showing
"Oh, you found my list," he beamed "was wondering where it
got to," laughing to himself in embarassment.
The mayor then walked to the counter, paid for his goods,
and headed off to who knows where.
Danny decided he didn't need the vibrator, gave the store
clerk his gifts, with the exception of the tie and negligee, and went home with a satisfied smile on his face.
He chucked the shopping list in the gutter, where it was picked
up by a breeze and blown back into town.
What's in a
'What's in a name?' This very thought ran through Harry's
brain right now. As he sat in his suburban bungalow, reading the Times and perusing his internet sites.
He'd just seen Trevor Mallard's name in the paper, and it
struck him as odd how people get their names. With Mallard, it was a thought of a politician ducking and weaving the
flack, and making a quack out of himself. He did this often, yet was still a high ranking member of parliament.
Then he thought, as he did, of others he knew. There
was Jimmy Stone, his mate who worked at the Wainuiomata Stone Masons, making headstones for the dearly departed. Then
his sisters boyfriend, Grant Flower, who worked in the Lower Hutt Nursery.
By this stage, Harry was smiling. And of course Amanda
Mann, his occassional acquaitance from the brothel down the road. She did make him smile.
Harry drank his coffee, musing. Who else? Oh yeah,
his Uncle George Redwood, who worked for the parks and reserves in Naenae. Ok he was a bit off the required mark, as
there were no redwoods in New Zealand, but still a tree working in the forrest was kinda funny. Then there was his old
boss at MacDonalds, Jason Freyes and yes it was pronounced fries. Poor bugger, he took a real ribbing from employees.
Then he thought about himself. Harold Longhorn.
And he chortled. Fancy taking after your name. For years he wondered why he was disposed to it. People made
fun of it, sure, but he could handle it.
Harry then took his Oboe from the case and played it, smiling
Jasmin was depressed. Thoughts of ending it flashing
through her mind.
The emergency services tried. Oh they tried for hours.
Tried to talk down a determined teenage girl.
A camera never left her face. No terror, just peaceful
serenity. An audience was transfixed.
The whole nation wept. Just for a second mind you, then
went back to their lives. The reporter said her name was Jasmine, but noone remembered. Well noone but those that said
they had cared. But had they, really? She had tried to tell them all, her note said as much.
Her wish was for her ashes to spread under her favourite tree.
Her mother and father spread them under the apple tree instead, well they didn't know her favourite tree, never really noticed.
By weeks end, they had sold all her 14 year old girl stuff.
Wellington, mid winter, is not the best place in the world,
especially in the midst of a southerly storm. Horizontal rain on gale force winds intent on knocking over anything in
it's path. Not the best place to be, on one of these days, outside and suffering.
But today, a man stood lonely, outside the steps to parliament,
a placardr in his hand. His dreadlocked hair was dishevelled from the rain battering, andf his meagre clothes soaked
through to the skin. Yet there he stood, steadfast in his resolute vigil, protesting.
The security guards at the doors to parliament stood in the
foyer, looking through the massive double doors at the man. They joked about the idiocy of the fool, standing there,
rain, hail or snow, with his blank placard. They jostled each other jokingly, betting what he was protesting about,
keeping this up for all the hours they'd been on watch. Yet not once did they move to find out, nor to move him on.
He seemed harmless and was obviously crazy to be where he was on this particular day.
Helen Clark arranged papers on her desk. She got up
to stretch her legs, and wandered over to the window. She surveyed the bleak weather and welcomed the comfort of her
air conditioned office. As she swung her gaze around towards parliament buildings standing marbled over to her left,
she saw the lone figure, and became curious. She picked up the phone and rung security, asking for a report on the protester,
and what his message was.
One of the security guards answered his radio.
"Blue Control to Blue Main, message from PM, find out what
that protester wants."
"Roger, will do."
The behemoth of a man, part samoan, part dutch, left his companion
and wandered out the door, bracing against the cold wind, and turning his collar up to stop the rain going down his neck.
He approached the man in question, noting there definitely wasn't a message on his placard, and cleared his throat.
"Excuse me, Sir, but we need to know what your protest is?"
The protester looked quizzically at the man mountain, without
flinching and said "who wants to know?"
The security guard, looked over his shoulder towards the Beehive,
his gaze shifting up to the ninth floor, and shouted into the wind "the Prime Minister".
The protester then smiled, took down his placard, picked up
his bag, and said "thank you, she does care" and walked off parliament grounds and disappeared into the concrete jungle of
the business district.
The security guard returned to his post, brushing off surface
water, and drying his hair and neck with a towel from behind the kiosk.
"Blue Main, to Blue Control, just some weirdo pleased to be
Tony Blair Rang
"Is that Thane?"
"Yes it is, why?"
"Tony Blair here, want some advice."
"Oh yeah sure and I am my Uncle Charlie's left testicle!"
He did sound like Blair though, I thought.
"Look, I haven't got time for fun and games, you were recommended,
I have a question for you."
"Sure" I replied, "go ahead."
"What do you think of the Iraq situation?"
I knew this would be the question somehow, just knew it.
"Well, starters for ten, it's desert, all brown and bare."
I scratched my head.
And hung up. Who the hell did this guy think I was ,
Tony Blair indeed.
The phone rang again.
"Helen Clark here, what's the fucking idea of hanging up on
I hung up on her too.
Picked up my copy of Mein Kampf and carried on reading.
How wet is the
God it was pissing down. The damned gutters were overflowing
and the puddles swam like ponds on concrete floats.
Birds failed to fly. Yep, that fucking wet. And
the wind, my bloody God, the wind sent the liquid deluge in horizontal sheets east to west, felling anything in it's path
not attached to terra firma.
I took another look at the calendar. February; summer;
sun and warm air; Bullshit!!
The sound of the catdoor flipped my attention that way.
A saturated bundle of joy stood there shaking itself fruitlessly. Grabbed the hand towel from it's kitchen position,
and wandered over slowly, whispering "Oh poor Kitty" and"what the fuck you doing outside on a crappy day?" and all the while
she sat there with that miserable look on her face.
Wiped her down, hard vigorous rubs, tail to snout, and all
areas underneath. Got her as dry as possible without rubbing all her fur off.
She curled up in front of the fire, soaking up the warmth
and heat. Sat there for a few hours and the storm outside just plowed on through.
Then she got up and walked to the cat door, took one look
behind in my direction, then a flick of the tail and out the bloody cat door. I thought 'stupid damn cat' and went on
watching Helen Clark pretend her body language doesn't say what she is actually thinking.
I couldn't sleep. Wind roaring through loose shingles
on the roof, the clatter of debris hitting the side of the house, and that bloody cat. Yep, came inside again, saturated,
meeowing away like a demented banshee, wanting to be dried again. I mumbled a quick 'get fucked' as I snuggled under
the blankets. Meeeow!!
Dare I get up? No dammit, the cat made choices, once
was for good ownership practises, any more and it would be expected. Meeow!!
Well, to keep a long story short, the cat commited suicide.
Decided to jump into bed soaking wet and give me a cold midnight shower. I have to admit, I have never thrown a live
animal that far, or with a protracted mmmmmmmmmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwww as it flew into the lounge and scarpered
for the cat door and security of soemwhere I wasn't prepared to even think about going. And yes, the cat flap was locked,
and yes the cat stayed outside, not just all night, but for days.
I went home today. Geoff and Jill returned from their
trip and resumed residence. I moved back to my flat, devoid of any pets. Got a phonecall from Geoff one day, wanted
to know if anything was wrong with the cat while I was there. I told him apart from the cat coming in wet, nothing out
of the ordinary.