I'm talking the rending of flesh, the tearing of limbs asunder from their neighbours. I'm considering the wielding of blades. Large ones, preferably not too sharp, and with a nice degree of flaky rust. Just to increase the pain factor. I want no boiling in oil - I want a nice slow poaching, in diluted suphuric acid. I want pain, and gibbering victims.
And who is that so annoys me? Well, tv commercials will do as a starter for five. That fellow from the Tower Insurance commercials deserves to die a death of a million paper cuts. Mind you, that could be personal: I am convinced that the chap or chapette who wrote the thrice-damned scripts must know my ex-wife, and certainly saw us in action. Me crawling, her condescending. Which ex, I'm not saying... just in case the right one reads this. I'm no fool.
Tony, the screaming banshee from the tyre shop deserves the chop. No, not the lamb chop with a nice dribble of mint sauce. The chop from the headsman's axe. Starting at the soles of the feet, slicing off a centimetre at a time as he works his way up. Chop. chop, axeman! If there was ever a commercial designed to send people potential customers ruishing in droves to Beaurepaires, it's the Tony's Tyre Service ones.
Then there's the dozey ones for some European heater. It says I can install these heaters. Well, whoop-te-do. It does not give me a reason for doing so. It says I can fit these heaters in my living room. Yippee! What a novel thought. It tells me they were designed. I nearly fell off my sofa at that. Fancy - a product that's been designed. It tells me that these European heaters (I still haven't actually remembered what the product name is..) will - wait for it - yes, heat my home. Actually, it says they can heat my home. There's a potential, but no promise.
What utter morons.
Then there's the hopeless hacks who write the tv "news". The quote marks are unfortunate, but apt. I believe that the words television and journalist, when put together, constitute this generation's oxy-moronic answer to the 20th Century's "military intelligence". There is now bugger-all news on either TV1 or TV3's week-night commercial offerings. What there is, is pandering nonsense. And badly written scripts for the pretty actors to read, and never consider what they're saying. We were shown shots of the annual money-fest that's Wimbledon tennis. the VO guy blithered that Roger Federererer had handily won his sixth Wimbledon opening match against China's Shan Li Tuck... or whoever. Actually, this was the first time RF had played against the hapless Chinese gentleman. His previous five opening Wimbledon matches had been against other people. Perhaps if the comments person had been Keith Quinn, who vilely told us while commentating the Beijing Olympics opening that he couldn't tell one Chinese person from another, I would have understood the oafish statement. Unfortunately, sports journalists in particular make this error. The sentence should have read "Roger Federerererer easily beat Shan Li Tuck in his opening match at Wimbledon. This is Federerererer's sixth Wimbledon tournament."
Then there's the hapless and hopeless people who write the real estate ads for their "marketing" magazines: Harcourt's blue book, etc. These people are, at best, semi-literate. And we entrust them with our properties, worth a decade or more of the average wage. What the?
And we put up with it. Commercials written by dickheads. Commercials that present us with half-facts, opinions, and cliched characters. News written by drooling English-as-a-second-language simpletons. Fools like me who turn over their hard-earned homes to venal belly-crawlers to sell at ridiculously deflated prices....
Ah well. At least tonight's news didn't feature a "something happened on a passenger aircraft today, and no-one was hurt" story. What's with that? I didn't break my legs today, but that didn't make it to the news...
WORD OF THE DAY: SCLERA.
The sclera is the white of the eye. There's only one animal that shows the sclera at all times - yep, humans. OK, OK, it's not on display when the eyes are shut, but you know what I mean.
Raising Sand. little Bobby Plant and wotsername. Led Zep it ain't. Really nice, it is.
OK, just finished the del Toro book, "The Strain". It's the first of as projected trilogy.. and is seriously scary. Wonder if they're going to make it into a movie?
Speaking of which, I mentioned Gaiman's "Coraline" yesterday, and suggested it would make a good movie. Ten minutes after posting, I was looking through the NZ Fillum Festival booklet.. and there it is. Not directed by Jackson, obviously... but it looks good.
Here's the next installment of "For the Love of Henry". Look - we made it to Chapter Two.
The Ties That Bind.
At six feet and three inches in his rugby socks, Henry’s brother John towers over his older sibling by a quarter of an inch.
John and Henry’s parents, the third Talbot owners of 22 Talbot Terrace, raised four children there. Henry is the oldest, and he carries the burden and occasional embarrassment of that appointment with dignity. The Talbots, with some precision, spaced their children 5 years apart, so the order goes as follows: Henry, 45; Sybil, 40; Charlotte, 35; and John, 30.
John has been a representative rugby player, and once trained with the All Blacks. He claims to be glad not to have made the grade to play with the world’s finest rugby team, but is also cheerfully aware that everyone knows he is lying through his teeth. His rugby career is now over: he broke his right leg and hip while tackling a spectacularly ferocious South African lock two years ago in his first, and only, Super Twelve game, a laughable three minutes after taking the field. His consolation was that he stopped a certain try, and that he got to keep the jersey, which he now wears while tending his motorbike.
Unlike his three siblings, John Talbot is unmarried. Charlotte married her third husband last year. Being a cop, she says, is bloody murder on relationships. It was Detective Sergeant Charlotte Schmidt of the Northridge Police who phoned John to tell him of Henry’s being shot.
The older sister, Sybil, is on her second marriage. The first lasted less that a year, and was already a distant memory when Sybil graduated from Victoria University, a Master’s degree with honours in her hand, and a desire to forget everything she had ever discovered about Etruscan pottery. Sybil lives in Wellington now, with her 50-year old husband, Micah, who has four, yes four, PhDs to his name. John calls him a double paradox, not realising the joke is older than the one about the Englishman who walked into a bar and said “ouch.” It was John who called Sybil to tell her about Henry’s extraordinary afternoon adventure of being a shootee, and it was Sybil, in turn, who called the old lady of the family, Mother Gussy Talbot, to tell her of her older son’s celebrated courage and holey state.
Mother Augustine “call me Gussy, darling, everyone does,” Talbot lives on a small Greek Island, and has been there for 18 years in splendid widow-hood, comforting her grief with a succession of local and exotic lovers. The current one, much to Sybil’s chagrin, is an Etruscan potter. For a woman of 62 years Gussy Talbot is very well preserved, passing for 47 if the sun is on the horizon and she‘s in front of it, and she can drink most men under the table. When Sybil phoned, the old lady said “Well, fuck me!” laughed, and called out to Adam, Henry and Mary’s son, who had been spending the summer with Nana Gus for two adventurous years. Adam, who has the best features of both his parents, poured a glass of grappa, and toasted his perforated parent.
Detective Sergeant Charlotte Schmidt (Charlie to her friends, even the ones behind bars) had been engaged in the very serious business of making a cup of ginseng tea when word of the shooting went through the Northridge Police Station. Initial reports were somewhat garbled, and Charlie was pleased that she was coming off duty when the call came in about a bank robbery and shooting. Charlie had been on duty for over fourteen hours now, and was, to put it bluntly, knackered.
“Let some other simple bugger take it,” she thought. There was the usual clamour, the moments of panic when a serious crime was about to be attended, along with the vague terror which accompanies the thought “Is / are the bad guys still there?”
Charlie was about to take her well-earned first mouthful of ginseng, ah yes, so nice, when the tousled and impossibly cute head of the 19-year old office girl, wossername, Jill, stuck itself around the door frame.
“Um, excuse me, Miss –“
“Marm,” snarls Charlie. It doesn’t hurt to keep the little buggers off guard.
“Marm. Um, the um, victim, the um, well –“
Charlie is in a particularly foul mood right now. Hers hasn’t been the best of days, and it is now in the process of being properly buggered up.
“The victim, Marm. At the bank. It’s your brother, Marm.”
“Oh, Christ. John!”
The cup took a long time to fall to the floor. It turned once, the pale green tea fanning out in an Oriental arc of flavour.
“No, Marm. It’s - ” Quick look at the paper in my hand, quick, quick, where is it oh shit other hand she’s a hell-bitch who’ll kill me if I don’t get this right. “Henry?”
“Henry?” Oh god, let it be right, yes, Henry.
“Henry’s been shot?” The Moon’s just fallen into the Pacific Ocean, yes. Brad Pitt has sent me a Valentine’s card, yes. But Henry? Getting shot? Never.