fatman Find the clues!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Peek-a-Boo! I.C.U.

Back when we were children, physically children at any rate, our bodies were very durable things...so cockroach-like in so many ways. Which is great news since our growing bodies tend to be fairly uncoordinated things, forever falling down, slipping on banana peels, climbing-related injuries where a-plenty and we tended to do dangerous activities such as shoving as many crayons as possible up our noses or being flung out of catapults by equally mentally challenged friends. Many kids can even overcome a mild case of beheading given enough aspirin and glasses of water.

However, as we grow older we become susceptible to all manners and patters of age related illnesses and whatnot. Our skin becomes wrinklier, our bones don't heal as quickly and our joints snap crackle and pop with increasingly horrible noises. Which is what my Dad has been going through more and more of late.

When I was growing up Fatman senior was a big, hefty slab of a man. His face always obscured with a cloud of Dr.Pat's tobacco smoke, Hefner-eque, as he'd read a copious amount of newspapers commenting on world events in his almost British way of speaking. He had been a Management Consultant for a bunch of companies and spent most of his time being poached and head hunted for bigger and bigger companies.

His jet setting lifestyle ( which had taken Clan Fatman around the world- Saudi Arabia, Europe, Japan) came to an abrupt halt in the crash of 1988 and he has been deteriorating- physically, mentally, financially, spiritually- ever since. These days I get an almost monthly phone call telling me that he is in hospital.

It's a scary experience. Every time the phone rings and it's from the Nursing home (a.k.a. Museum of Prunes) I expect the worst. By the time I get to the hospital he has adjusted well enough to try to introduce me to some of the nurses ( whose names he'll not remember. A Heazlewood tradition) or demand tobacco and in some circumstances, pants. 'My dear boy,' he'll begin ' I'll need you to contact some people to make ( another get-rich-quick scheme) happen. Also I'm going to need a stenographer.'
' A stenographer?'
'Just do it. We'll be writing letters until dawn.'
...and then he'll proceed to work on a project until he gets bored.

I went to visit him today. A frail old man greeted me. This guy who is flawed and beautiful and on his last legs. Most of the time we argue about trivial things but today we had to sit around waiting for an ambulance to take us to a Radiology clinic to have a suspected pelvis fracture checked out. We don't really talk much. I wish I had something to say.


Friday, July 22, 2005

This Certainly is a Big Ad

Community Announcement from Mr.Clark Randerson:

dear all,
this is not an adventure. just a quick note to tell everyone in australia to watch the best show of all time on wednesday night. 9:00pm on abc called we can be heroes. the guy that mixed it is a top nice bloke, but the show is also pissfart funny.

speaking of funny, watch this: the best ad ever: http://www.bigad.com.au/
that's it from me. the funniest tv show and funniest ad so far this year.
enjoy. don't say i don't entertain you. just let me entertain you.

clark "i'm standing outside my embassy with a backpack full of c4 and fertilizer playing rock, paper, scissors with some guy who claims he got here first" randerson

A true, 'Bravehart'-like epic from the dudes at C.U.B. featuring no bikini babes and yet a masterpiece in beer advertising.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Snake Plisken....I thought you were Dead!

Back in the 1981 John Carpenter flick 'Escape from New York' the anti-hero Snake Plisken (Kurt Russel), he of the pre-Billy Ray Cyrus mullet and snazzy eye patch, would constantly be confronted by characters who seem surprised to see him alive. 'Snake Plisken! Aren't you supposed to be dead?' they'd ask, to which he'd typically snarl- a Snake Pliskeney way of saying; 'The report of my death was an exaggeration'*. ( There then followed a sequel some years later, 'Escape from L.A.', which was made with a bigger budget but was, for all intents and purposes, the same film albeit a little more wimpy. For example the '...I thought you were dead' line was replaced by the pissier '...I thought you'd be taller'. A lesson to us all: Don't mess with brilliance.)

I love the 'I thought you were dead' line. Yes, it has come up in films/ plays/ books before and it surely will in the future but for me it has always been a Snake Plisken line. The lines I get are ;

'Fatman...are you still working at the Amethyst?'
-from people I haven't seen in a few years and have since graduated/ got married/ own houses/ have kids...who now drink at the Amethyst.


'Fatman...have you got more grey hairs?'
-I get this from practically everyone.


'Fatman...are you still single?'
-usually at those uncomfortable family gatherings.

Maybe if I change jobs, dye my hair and get a girlfriend people would have the decency to think that I was dead,

*a famous Mark Twain (a.k.a. Samuel Clemmens) quote, New York Journal, June 2, 1897

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Liv and Let Die

Hmmmmmm. The whole 'Liv thing' didn't work out too well in the end. The truth is I don't know where I stand. I sent three messages thus far;


No reply.

Message 2 (about a week later): WHATCHA DOING NEXT FRIDAY? WHATCHA DOING NEXT FRIDAY? ARE YOU BUSY? HUH?HUH?HUH? FRIDAY? BUSY? ( I think I phrased it better. Something posh and Oxford-uni/ Hugh Grant-like. 'I hope you don't find it terribly impertinent of me to....etc,etc)

No reply.


No reply.

Which is probably a good indication that nothing good will ever happen out of this. I've got to say though, I'm actually comfortable with an honest-to-goodness Rejection and the sound of a truck backing up. It's the glacier-like 'no replies' that screw with my mind. Like parents with a missing child I just want some sort of a closure. If the parents eventually find out that their child was mauled to death by a jaguar they can then at least move on with life either by having more kids, adopting or spending the rest of their lives hunting down and exterminating jaguars. They'd rather not have a dead kid but I think it preferable to a missing one.

I think I'll go watch 'Batman',
a.k.a. Fat

Friday, July 01, 2005

Pass the Soap por favor

I'd just finished having a Peking duck crepe and some long blacks with Jenks at a miniature cafe that seats about eight people including staff. It's somewhat of a rarity that I get to hang with Jenks during the afternoon since his job has turned from a cool 'job' (where he would rock up to work three hours late, download some junk from the Internet and tell his aide-de-camp Bippin that he would leave for lunch and never return) to an actual job where he does about thirteen days straight every week. 'Where are ya heading to now champ?' he asks as we paid the bill*.
'This is going to sound a tad strange but Free Beer is shouting me to go to a Japanese Bathhouse.'

Free Beer is one of these guys who stopped ageing physically or mentally since the age of sixteen. To look at him he's this freckly guy who looks out of place in a suit like he's been forced to put on his Sunday best to attend Church and at any moment harpy-like aunties who share one eyeball will descend on him, forever tucking in his shirt and combing his hair. However he's really good at his job (whatever the hell that is- some I.T. crap) and has made his company something like a billion dollars this year already. He comes down from the Telstra office where he was working at (Grrrrrr. Telstra) which is about a tennis ball lob away from my work and says ; 'Let's bathe.'

The Japanese Bathhouse is in Collingwood near the Porsche dealership. We get off the cab and into Ofuroya (Japanese for 'Bathhouse') and being typically Japanese the moment we slide open the door (sign: Japanese Bathhouse-strictly non-sexual) we are encouraged politely, yet firmly to take our goddamn shoes off where you born in a tent?Madre mia! The bathguide Hiro then escorts Free Beer, a complete stranger and Yours Truly upstairs to explain how the whole bath thing works.

Hiro, in halting English and using a handy diagram where a cartoony Japanese girl takes a bath says 'You must...wash self all over with soap....shampoo...wash clean...then bath.' He says this about three times to make sure we get the picture but we can tell he's a bit dubious. For instance not two minutes in he comes and grabs the beer from Freebie's hand mentioning 'Not Traditional, Not Traditional!'
'Free Beer, just give him the bottle.'
'This sucks.'
'You suck.'
'No, you suck!'
....and apart from the fact that I completely made that bit up I'm pretty certain that Hiro knew all kinds of Aikido and Jujitsu to handle any situation associated with a bathhouse (dead hookers floating in the bath, fistfights maybe even some plumbing knowledge).

Inside the bath area we do the typical thing naked men do in Western culture by going into I'm-heterosexual-I-hope-you're-heterosexual-too mode of trying not to look at each others genitals and lowering your voice a coupla octaves and in baritone voice talk about football. The actual bath was frickin' awesome.

After that we don our kimono-esque garb and lounge around for a bit. Free Beer then shouts a Shiatsu massage sesh. Now, I'm not usually one for massages as I creak all over the place like a rusted up Tin Man. My friend Megs, for instance, tries to ambush massage me all the time- when we're waiting in cues, at tramstops
in my sleep. But since Free Beer wants to lash out some pesos I oblige.

Lying there, listening to ambient crashing waves music I really dug the massage which lets your mind wander for a bit before some sensation brings you back to your body. Every once in awhile these demure massage wimmin would do something wrestler-like (a bit of elbow to the groin, a light bitch-slapping, some gentle kicks to the head) but neither Free Beer nor I cried uncle despite our internal bleeding, broken ribs, etc.

Overall verdict: Super. If we didn't get drenched on the walk back to the city it would've been better but...


*I would just like to add here that I strongly resisted making a stupid Peking duck joke.