I took two of my mates to the vet the other day.
The Jack Russel came too.
Three of us were on valium.
All except me. I was the designated driver.
Do you mind taking the dog for a walk, I asked, in case he pees in the car?
They shuffled along the street like zombies, Les had taken three, Dave four with a few beers, but the dog’s eyes lit up when he came to a bush on the verge and he lifted his leg the way dogs too —- I tried it once and made a mess — but he was too doped to pee,
He managed in the car though but Les had a pee blanket under him so that was alright.
As we drove Eddie, the Jack Russell, put his head out the window, his ears flapping in the breeze.
That’s so cool, I said. I did that once but the cop who pulled me over told me to pull my head in, it was dangerous.
Dogs have all the fun, Les said, but he was slurring his words.
It was only five minutes into the trip.
It was going to be a doozie.
You okay, mate? You look forlorn.
Like the knight in ‘La Belle Dame’? I say.
‘Alone and palely loitering.’
‘On the cold hill side’. Keats, I say. “La belle Dame Sans Merci’
John Keats. Romantic poet. You must have done him at school.
This is a butcher’s shop, mate. Not an English classroom. What can I get you?
It all began a few years ago while waiting in a long queue at the ANZ Bank.
A well-dressed employee would come up to us randomly and thank us for our patience.
I’d say, at the flick of a switch, “I’m a patient man. Just ask my three ex-wives”.
I don’t know where that came from but he chuckled and I chuckled. It was a good line.
Then one day there was a bit of a queue at the library — a glitch in the system or something — and I thought as a spot of entertainment I’d add to the line. I had it all worked out.
I ended up with a relatively new staff member, a sour-faced woman who I’d only met once before, but I wasn’t going to be put off. It was my time.
“Thanks for your patience,” she said blankly’
“That’s okay,” I said. I think she knew what was coming. “I’m a patient man. Just ask my three ex-wives” then I added the new bit, “But you don’t want to listen to them, They’re biased.”
Then she looked me in the face. “Don’t you think, “ she said, “if all three said it independently, there may be some truth in it? You should go away and have a ponder”.
She saw to my request and I went off to have a ponder, unsure who was having who on.”
It is time to bring out the woman in the glove box again.
There are no gloves in there.
But there is Olive,
Quirky , off-kilter as this blog which is perhaps why I like her.
I like her feistiness too,
How she tells her husband,
“Stop shouting! Do you think that makes you a man?”
“All men need to be told this,” my partner tells me
Who likes Olive too.
She is getting the new book, the sequel, when it comes out.
But she is not like Olive.
Olive has a big personality and is not backward in coming forward,
As my mother used to say.
She is curious but curiously vulnerable.
She is the engine of the novel, the fuel, the vehicle
That takes you there.
She waits in the glove box like a car in a garage.
* have you a favourite fictional character?
* what do you admire in them?
I’m staying in with a friend today.
Like me he doesn’t look for other company.
We’ll probably lounge around, watch Netflix, maybe go out the back for a spot of sun if it’s shining then back inside.
Telly, sleep, periodic caffeine hits.
Don’t answer the door if someone knocks.
Maybe check out this post to see if it’s got any likes or comments.
Think about food a little later.
More caffeine so we can stay awake long enough to eat it.
Not enough to bust any moves. No, No, No dancing today.
Oh and more meds to fight off this fucking cold — sorry, buddy —
which as the Kinks say, ‘has really got a hold on me.’
Cue Dave Davies. And The Two Ronnies.
So it’s goodnight from me, and goodnight from him.
Whenever my mother got in a state, she’d declare, “I feel like the wreck of the Hesperus, the Titanic and the Lusitania all rolled into one,” careful to keep things chronological. The old people they sure knew how to lay things on thick. But least they taught us the art of melodrama and not a little history.
* do you recall any sayings your parents or grandparents had?
Tight-fisted , they are hard
as knuckles and spoiling
for a fight
as they tumble like marbles
on to the floor , little green foot-
balls begging me
to sink the boot in ;
even under the knife
they are tough
as nails covering themselves
in layers like Chinese
boxes or onions ;
they leap around
in the saucepan like
boxers’ fists ;
ten minutes later
I swallow them ; anything