Grinning Bill: The man is making me madder and madder. I seethed at his aristocratic "I was raised there with my 27 siblings, I now own the house, an English has owned the house since 1643, and even though I only see the place three or four times a year, it's my real home and no-one has any right to say otherwise."
Yeah? I have a right, Billy-boy, because it's my money you're claiming with this fantasy. You set out to take advantage of a loop-hole, and now you're trying cheap emotional blackmail. Ain't working, old slime. Dipstick, Otago, is not your primary home. And the fact that you stopped putting your snout in the trough after people like me started bleating doesn't stop you being a pig. And to say that you'd stopped holding your hand out because it was distracting you from your important work... well, up yours. Resign, you patronising, greedy, oaf.
Howard Morrison: Yes, he's dead.He was, for heaven's sake, in his 70s,and ill. Mind you, his family did deserve the big farewell he received. Unfortunately, being dead, he didn't see any of it.
Grlosch. Grolsch. Groloschr.: However you spell it, it you can't pronounce it. Nevertheless, it remains my favourite beer to drink in an electrical storm. Oh look: lightning.
READING: The Good Neighbours, Holly Black and Ted Naifeh. Excellent.
LISTENING TO: Lucinda Williams, "Litttle Honey" Excellenter.
WORD OF THE DAY: Grolosch. Grolsch. Groloshorlshc. Gro... Electric Storm.
His rage was over as quickly as it had appeared. At least – I thought it was.
I poured Chutty a small Scotch, told him to drink up and go and have a shower before dinner. He stunk of cigarette smoke from the club. Treen sat down, and looked at Wendy.
“I told my Dad about what happened, Wendy, but I guess if didn't really prepare him for that black eye, eh.” She said, reaching out to grip Wendy's hand. Tears started tracing a line down Wendy's cheek.
“I never knew,” she said.
“Knew what, dear?” asked Mum.
“What it was like to have a Dad care about you like that.”
“You'll find a nice one, one day,” said Mum. “Not a Dad, but a good mate. Your Johnno'd be a good place to start, love. He reminds me a lot of Colin, my husband.”
“Johnno does?” asked Wendy, surprised. Intrigued, I said nothing, but I readied myself to butt in if need be. Sometimes Mum's little talks can branch off into some really weird areas.
“Yes, dear. I remember when I first saw Colin. He was working at the smithy, for Mr Tomlinson, and I'd taken my Dad's bay mare in to get re-shod. Oh, he was a handsome devil, I can tell you.”
“Mr Tomlinson?” asked Wendy..
“No, you goose! Treen's Grand-dad. Colin.”
“You've never told me about how you met grand-dad, Nan,” said Treen. Mum smiled, and I could see the years rolling back in her mind. I knew the story,of course. And so did Treen. She just wanted to hear it again.
“It was just before the war. Mr Tomlinson ran a service station and blacksmith's shop on Ugglesworth Street, on the square, and Colin worked there after school.”
“Was Tomlinson VC Street named after that Mr Tomlinson, Mum?” I asked. I was humouring her, getting her to stretch out the story. I've worked prompt at the repertory. I know how to get people back on script.
“Why, yes, dear,” Mum said. “He was a war hero, from the First World War. Won the VC, he did. In France. Anyway, I took in Dad's horse, 'cause it had thrown a shoe. And Colin was there, hammering a length of steel, as Mr Tomlinson watched over him. Oh, he was like a Greek god. Colin, I mean. Not Mr Tomlinson. Although he was a good-looker, too. I made sure that I stayed behind while the horse got a new shoe put on, and Colin eventually asked me to the Saturday dance at the school hall. I got to thinking about him before, Wendy, when you were preparing dinner.”
“Did he used to make dinner for you, Mrs -” asked Wendy, interrupting.
“Call me Nan, girl. Everybody does. No, he only ever cooked the odd breakfast. It was the sausages.” Her smile was wicked.
“Mum!” I exclaimed, laughing. I knew where this was going.
“Mum yourself, dear,” she said. “Oh, my Colin had a sausage on him, all right. Mind you, I had to wait until after the war, the second one, to find out about it. We got married after he came back from Italy, and we discovered just how much fun two young and healthy people could have together when the blinds were pulled down.”
Treen and Wendy just sat there, hypnotised. This was such an unexpected turn of conversation. I decided to just let it go: it'd do them good to start to understand that old people know about sex.
“We went at it like bunnies, my Colin and me,” Mum told them. "Once a day, except for Sundays, when we went for the daily double.”