Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tens of Millions

"It's worth is estimated," shrieked the juvenile TV3 reporter, "in the tens of millions!" Gasp shock amazement. You know the reporter I mean. Looks to be about 15. That Canadian child-popstar, Bieber, looks older than this individual.

The reporter was banging on incoherently about the FIFA World non-Cup / Trophy statuette thing. He was practically foaming at the mouth. What I wanted to know was how much was it worth."In the tens of millions," he swooned.

Yeah. Well. That's a range that goes from 20 million to 90 million. I would think an estimate would get it a little closer than a 70 million gap.

I later learned that it was 20 million. The cub reporter should make the shift to a PR company, now. He makes as much sense.

My experimenting with new age clap-trap has been singularly successful. It has demonstrated to me, in a most efficacious way, that new-age claptrap is just that. Not to worry. I'll just keep on taking more and more Big White Pills.

Rain is interesting stuff. It's kind of nice to see some, at long last. Of course, Auckland's drivers freak out at the first hint of moisture, and immediately slow down to reverse. I continue to be a fan of AKL motorists. In comparison with most small-twon and / or country drivers, Auckland drivers are really good. They could give demonstrations on how to use the indicator switch. Some even know what to do at roundabouts.

BOOZE. Saw a good idea the other day: licence the drinkers. You can only get a drink if you show a photographic licence. If you get pissed and drive, you lose your drinking licence as well as your driving licence - etc etc. If a booze seller flogs a drink to soneone who doesn't have a licence, s/he loses the right to sell it. It you're caught buying booze for someone who's lost their licence, you lose yours, too. You'd be allowed to shout a round, etc, but...

To me, it makes some sense: put the responsibility back on the drinker. People would be incentivised to drink responsibly. Thoughts?

READING: A Val McDermind whodunnit: she writes very well. And Dan Simmons' latest, "Black Hills". That man has a mind that goes into some extraordinary places.

LISTENING TO: Suzanne Vega, "Suzanne Vega". I think it's her first album. Excellent.

WATCHING: Hmm. Eagerly awaiting the new Dr Who.
MORE "Paper Heroes":

He wakens briefly as he coughs a glob of blood onto his chest, and a galaxy bursts behind his eyelids.
This could be it, old man. This could be the day you retire, the day you hang up cape and cowl. More stimulants are pumped into the stricken man’s bloodstream. This is not the way to treat shock, old man.
Less than a mile to go now. The Crusader is barely alive, but he is conscious. He hears Jenson’s voice, dry as a husk. “Master Thomas? Thomas! Pass control of the Battlecar to me, in the cave.”
But it’s too late. It’s all too, too late. The rear looking Infrared detectors have spotted the 1948 Plymouth that buckets along behind the Battlecar, magically matching the Battlecar’s speed, and the monitor blooms white as The Jester mask over the grill is shredded by the Asp missile which leaps from the vehicle.
A titanium-encased warhead containing sixty pounds of tank-killing fury shatters through the Battlecar’s rear armour, splinters the huge turbine engines, and ploughs through the polycarbonate engine-well. The warhead is only 17 inches from The Crusader’s spine when it explodes.
The Jester stops his car and watches in awe as the Battlecar, and Crusader, cease to exist. He giggles, wipes a tear from his cheek, fumbles for a photograph in his pocket, and looks at it.
“R.I.P., Cats: it was nice getting’ to kill you,” he mourns. He rips the photograph into four, then into confetti, which he holds in the palm of his hand. He snaps his fist closed over the scraps, then inverts his hand and opens it. Nothing falls to the ground.
“It’s just like magic, old chap. Hee hee hee! Ha ha! Just like magic! Now, what was next? Oh yes, that insufferable flying idiot. He’ll be here next. So? Come on, you blue, yellow, and red boy scout! Come and try to kill me!”

And so they died. A scarred war-lord lost his life to hypothermia whilst attempting to cross the Cumbrian Alps; a small man died in a gunfight on the streets of Laramie in early 1889. They died. And more died. Heroes all, men and women who had spent time, too much time, living on the outer skirts of society, caring for and protecting those who had dropped through society’s careless hands, to be trampled by society’s careless feet. They were heroes one and all, and they died in ones and in twos; they slept the eternal sleep of the just and righteous. Or they thought they did.

Because, despite their deaths, their violent and lonely deaths, their calm and bitter deaths, one place yet awaited them: the White Room.

Chapter Three.
11.47pm, Pacific Time, Sanfrisco, November 5th, 2386.

The bitter rain whips him as he waits, slung by a small web of ropes from the rusted iron works of the ruins of the bridge. His name is Night, and he is a hunter.
The bridge had fallen a long time ago. Night’s grandfather told of his grandfather watching the fall in a violent earthquake that had lashed The City, and brought down many of the Olders’ great buildings, and killed many hands of folk, and not enough hands of Henrys. That so many buildings still stood was mute testament to the Olders’ great building skills: buildings which soared tens of tens of tens of hands into the sky, with shapes and forms as graceful as gulls’ wings.
The rain that falls on Night this night is the hard, driving rain that will keep all Folk indoors, under cover. It spits and hisses over the flaking metal, and his nostrils are filled with the sharp smell of rusting iron. Only Henrys will be out tonight. Only Henrys, and the hunter named for the time he loves. Tonight, Night has stalked. This night, Night will kill.
He checks his bow again. It is an Older bow, made of Plas-tek, with a syn-tek cord. Night had inherited the bow from his dying father before attaining two hands in age.
Every day since then he had loosed tens of arrows in the underground range as his arms grew thick with muscle, and his back shrieked with pain. Then, at three hands of age he been allowed out to hunt.
Night is now two tens and three years old and, had he been cursed by the Scarab, he would have only two more years of life available to him. As it is, the back of his wrist is clear, and he knows he may even grow to four tens. Even five tens, or ten hands was possible, though unlikely. His grandfather had gone to Manitou at four tens, one hand, and four, and that had been thought miraculous.

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