It's an annual event: the shirt argument. Every year I look at my summer shirts, and then at my waist, and I despair at the fact that shirts shrink over winter. Then I tell the Lovely Redhead that I need to buy a couple of new shirts... and it's on. I want colour and strong patterns. Actually, I want Really Fat And Loud Shirts. The lovely Jen listens to me, and suggests something in a placid plaid, or perhaps a subtle check, in pastels...or something fainter. Or she'll spot a shirt that's all white, with a tiny bit of colour under the collar. And the shirt-makers agree with her. Here in desultory Kiwiland, a man's shirt ain't a man's shirt unless it's predominantly black, charcoal, or turgid taupe. If there's a primary colour, it's been mixed with grey, so it doesn't attract attention. If it really has colour, strong, vibrant colour, it's priced at $400. If I could afford $400 shirts, I would also be buying a bottle of single malt every week, and it's been a long time simce I did that. Oh, that's right: I've never done that. Why the hell have the "fashion"people decided that I should wear black,charcoal, taupe, or greyed-down dull red? I WANT BIG FAT PRIMARY COLOURS, PEOPLE, AND I WANT THEM NOW!
I, don't, understand why, they get people, to, talk like... this. There's more than one TVC on at the moment where the VO guy, or the chap facing the camera talk with some really wierd phrasing. I first noticed it when Cameron Bennet was, doing his, 60 Minutes.... stories. Then Pete thingy started on the Civil Defence TVCs... and now, it.... seems, the infection, has really started to take.... root. It pisses me off.
I'm actually in a great mood for being annoyed today. It's been hot, I slept badly last night, I met some real Effwits on the road, and I'm wearing the most colourful shirt I could find to buy that Jenny would like... sigh. It's kind of... muted stripes.
Saw "Julie and Julia" over the weekend. Merryl Streep is a godette. The movie is more fun than it should be, and is perfectly written and acted. By everyone. And it does inspire one to find a reason for a blog... Julie cooked all Julia Child's recipes in a year. Perhaps I could bonk all Hugh Hefner's Playmates in a year? Jenny might have something to say about that....
LISTENING TO: "Paint It Black", Various Artists. Whole buncha people doing Rolling Stones songs, REALLY LOUD. Aretha Franklin, Linda Ronstadt, Bowie, The Mighty Lemon Drops (?), Rod Stewart, Flying Pickets... it's fun.
READING: Jeffrey Deaver. Broken Window. he writes a compulsive read. Damn, he's good.
WORD OF THE DAY: COLOUR. Gimme Some! Don't Want To Paint it Black No More!
Arthur filled his lungs, and yelled “Grampa!”
Grampa Smith was the first casualty of the 1915 earthquake that hit Northridge. His eyesight dim now, he’d become a little confused as the earthquake started rattling and rolling, and walked – ran, really – into the edge of the door, the jamb catching him on the forehead and cutting it to the bone. He lay unconscious for four hours, and when he recovered his eyesight had been restored to its youthful vigour.
“Bugger me,” said Arthur, when the old man read a verse from Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians. But at the time of the earthquake, Arthur was pretty sure he was buggered.
“Grampa,” he bellowed, as the first cold trickling of fear hit his backbone. He grunted, and pushed upward. The car shifted an eighth of an inch, enough for him to scoot forward by a smidgen, giving his arms the truly vertical stand they needed. His left arm trembled slightly, and a drop of oil landed next to his left eye.
“Christ in His cups,” he muttered. “Help! Please, someone: help me! In the smithy! I’m stuck!”
The front end of a Model T Ford weighed in at a hair over a half-ton. The axle was over Arthur’s throat, and the engine was over the axle. If his arms gave way, the car would fall and crush his larynx. He would die, choking and spitting like and alley-cat.
No-one came. The village wasn’t badly damaged. A couple of chimneys had fallen, and Mrs Strange’s outdoor dunny had collapsed. Mrs Lee, the Chinaman’s wife, had been burned when the copper kettle in their laundry toppled, sending a gush of scalding water down her legs. Her screams of anguish had attracted the first people who’d recovered from the great shake.
“Help! For God’s sake, help!”
Arthur’s elbows were grinding into the packed clay of the workshop floor, and his wrists were burning. He sucked in some air, and shouted again. No-one came. Beads of sweat popped from Arthur’s brow, and trickled down. One crawled its way down his eyebrows, then into his ear. He shook his head, growled, and shouted.
Another drop of oil leaked from the engine, and splattered next to his eye, which burned. The muscles on his forearms were starting to quiver with the strain. Each tremble made his heart beat a little faster, and each beat made his arms tremble. He shouted.
His sight was greying, and he knew he was on the edge of blacking out. The blood roared in his ears, and his breath hissed. He stopped, and tried to relax. Come on, lad. You’ve done harder turns. Just last weekend you humped that deer carcase out of the hills. Five miles you walked, with a hundredweight of meat on your shoulders. For god’s sake, this is nothing.
Like hell it’s nothing. His voice was weakening now, a croak. He groaned. This was going to be such a stupid death.
“Help. Please. Someone, just come. Please.”
He couldn’t hold out much longer. The sweat was pouring from him, and the big muscles on his forearms were shrieking an alarum that he would hear in his grave.
“Well, Arthur. You’re in a right pickle here.”