Sunday, June 19, 2011

Luis Buñuel is an atheist… and thank God for that.


This interim post is dedicated to all the bearded, rosy-cheeked, Christmas Elves who work fastidiously hard each month of the year - year in, year out - to make sure the toys in Santa’s Workshop are ready by Christmas.

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Pick up a twenty-cent piece. On one side; assign fundamental Christians. The other: atheists.

Toss the coin a couple of times. Now, without cheating, tell me if you can recall which is which.

(Credit where it’s due:
"There is only the slightest movement of the fingers that makes the v-sign different from the Nazi salute. Always watch that."
- Don Van Vliet, Music Echo, 1972.)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

At this time of night, the clocks stop working.

A snapshot of what I did last night. I banged this out over an hour or two, so I'm sure there's errors of syntax and grammar and understanding to be found upon reading. Don't worry, I'll sneak back and fix 'em. Like I do everything else posted. 

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At this time of night, the clocks stop working.

The band was packing up when they arrived at the Herdman’s Lake Tavern. Amber and Sean were amazed when the bouncer asked them for ID.
“Haven’t been asked that for a while!” she told the nervous young Indian.
A drunken tradesman in a fluoro green jacket welcomed Sean to the tavern when they entered. His clothes were stained in stale sweat and he obviously hadn’t showered for the day.
Asian Frank was there playing pool. He knew all the spots in Perth that offered free tables. Frank waved from across the room while they ordered at the bar.

The Irishman was close to five foot tall. He was slightly built, with slumped shoulders, a noticeable beer gut and his head was shaved in a number one to hide his male pattern baldness. Amber towered over him. The man was from Cork and stood close to her, giving the cold shoulder to Sean.
“I’m good at history, like. I love that shite.”
Amber nodded. Sean looked around at the people outside smoking. He had never seen the Tavern so busy late at night.
“What’s going on with the Aboridgines? At the hostel I stay at, with this girl, there was one outside the door. He had a bottle and was sniffing gasoline from it.”
The Irishman touched her on the elbow.
“Yeah, that happens. They’ve had so much to deal with over the years.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know that. Forty years ago, yeah, when they were being put up against the wall, and being executed, like. And their babies were being stolen. That fucking shite.”
“No, it wasn’t forty.”
“What?”
“Try sixty, seventy.”
“Get this!” The man from Cork clicked his fingers in Sean’s face. “Where I come from, that was like what the English tried to do.”
“Right.”
“But we fort `em!” He held out his clenched fists, triumphant.
Sean declined to asked him how that had worked out.
“And, you know, it’s like over here, right,” he went very quiet. “Because, well, youse were brought over here as convicts, like. Australia was a convict colony.”
Amber couldn’t help but look down on the midget, such was the difference in their height.
“But, yeah, like, ninety-nine percent of the Aboridgines over here are like that. Sniffing petrol from water bottles.”
“Nah, they’re not all like that. How can you blame them? All the shit that went on, no wonder so many are lost.”
“It’s terrible like, putting people against a wall. ‘I’m going to take your picture.’ And then, bang!” He held his arms like an imaginary rifle.
“Yeah, it is terrible. For that to happen, when Aborigines were part of our society, fighting as Anzacs, participating – ”
“What, they were soldiers?”
“Yeah, during World War I, World War – ”
“Get this!” He clicked both fingers now, his hands underneath her chin. “Where I come from, Ireland is a small country. The English fort all these big wars, and they have lots of people, like. But they couldn’t beat us when they fort us!”
“Really.”
“Yeah!” He touched her on the shoulder. “I told you I was good at history, like.”

One of the pool tables was out of order. Frank practiced with the black ball and a yellow, playing long cushion shots down the rails. Sean watched the other two tables. A game of singles played on one table. A man he hadn’t seen before, a baseball cap pulled low down over his eyes, took on all comers. There was a long line of coins on the table, challenges from people who wanted to play next. In the other game, a man and a young woman disinterestedly played shots as they very seriously flirted.
The man was obviously fluffing pots to give her a chance.
In the corner, the man in a cap stood with two other men, along with the Irish midget.
Amber was ordering at the bar. From his vantage point, he could see an empty shot glass in front of her on the counter. His waved to get her attention. She looked at him and he pointed at his empty pint glass. She nodded and spoke to the barmaid.
A girl with blonde hair, wearing a grubby blue jacket, the hood turned down, sidled up to Amber. One of her Peruvian slippers had fallen off her foot and was jammed underneath the footrest of the bar.
Sean made his way over to retrieve his beer. The blonde was very drunk. Her eyes were half shut in liquid stupor. Sean waited at Amber’s shoulder.
“Hello, I’m Suze!”
“Hi.”
“What’s your name?”
She extended a hand.
“Sean,” he replied.
They shook.
“It’s good to meet you.”
“Yes, it is very good to meet me.”
Amber stifled a laugh and looked away. Suze recoiled and waved Amber to her.
“Is this guy giving you a hard time?”
“No, he’s my boyfriend.”

“Can we get a game?”
“Do you want to play?”
“Yeah.”
“Ok, let’s challenge that cou –”
He pointed over to the far table. The couple had left and three young men had started a game.
“We can play them. There are too many coins on that table in the corner.”
Frank was again unsuccessfully trying to beat the man in the baseball cap.
“Did you drink another tequila shooter?”
“Yeah,” she grinned, not embarrassed in the slightest.

Outside, next to the windows, a fight was taking place. A different  bouncer had tackled the tradesman, in the fluoro green jacket, to the ground. The bouncer was also an Indian, but broad-shouldered and barrel-chested.
He lay on top of the tradesman and clutched the man’s throat. The man tried to pry away his hands but it was of no use. A small crowd gathered to watch.
The man’s eyes closed and his movements became sluggish. His hands stopped prising as he was choked out. The bouncer carefully raised himself off the man.
As he did so, the tradesman leapt to his feet, staggering and uncertain, nearly falling back down. People in the crowd stepped between the men. The tradesman was apoplectic. Some of the girls who worked at the tavern throughout the week – off-duty for the night – obviously knew the man as a regular customer and pushed him away from the bouncer. The man screamed and shouted as the girls tried to persuade him to go home.

“Are you ready to die?”
“What?”
“Are you ready to die for pool?”
“Not in the slightest. Are you ready to die for pool.”
“No.”
The Englishman was annoyingly drunk. His accent was that of a London geezer and he wore a The Mighty Boosh t-shirt.
Sean racked up the balls and Amber introduced them both. The Mighty Boosh boy scrutinised Sean.
“Your hairstyle is from 1973.”
“Excuse me?”
“Your hairstyle is from 1973.”
“Right.”
“You should play in a band!” he slurred.
“I should play in a band.” Sean nodded at Amber.
“I’m really into music!” bragged The Mighty Boosh.
“So what’s your favourite band from 1973?” asked Amber.
 The pissed boy’s demeanour became deadly serious. He clutched his face, deep in thought.
“Hall and Oates!”
One of the bargirls walked around the pub and told every customer the breaking news.
“Last drinks! Last drinks!”
“Last drinks! Do you want a drink?”
Sean looked down at his half-full pint. “Aw yeah.”
“Last drinks!” The bar girl said to them.
A paddy wagon had pulled up outside the front of the public bar. The skinny bouncer was frantic and confronted each customer with the news.
“Last drinks! Drink up, we’re closing!”
Outside, policemen in green vests liased with the staff on duty.
Amber came back with two middy glasses of beer.
“They wouldn’t sell me pints?”
“The police are here.”
There was now a second police vehicle: a cruiser.
“My God, is that guy getting arrested?”
“Not sure.”
She set the middy glasses on the knee high coffee table.
“Are you still playing?” asked The Mighty Boosh.
“Yeah, it’s her shot.”
Sean handed her the cue and when she took it, the butt clipped one of the middies. The glass pitched over the edge and entire contents spilt over the carpet in a white, frothing puddle.
“Shit! No, no!”
Thinking quick before anyone noticed the accident, Amber grabbed a chair and dragged it so that the furniture was over the spill. It didn’t take long for the beer to soak into the floor.
The skinny bouncer rushed to the jukebox and, in one fluid motion, knelt down beside it and pulled the power cable out of its socket. David Guetta’s “Memories” died instantly, replaced with the dull roar of the half dozen people left in the bar.
“My song!” cried Amber.

On the side of the road, a familiar looking girl in a blue hoodie jacket staggered along with two men.
“It’s Suze. She lives around here.”
They drove past. The group appeared to be in high spirits.
“I think she’s a bit of a drinker.”
“Oh yeah,” he agreed. “So, what do you want to do now?”
“I don’t want to go home.”
“Me neither.” 
He turned the car left, away from the apartment and into the night.