fatman Find the clues!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Slow Day At The Bookstore

(Comment overheard at "Kill City" Secondhand bookstore which is currently holding 25% off books about Hitler)

Man: Why do you guys have so many books on sale about Adolf Hitler?

Secondhand Bookstore Steve: (not even looking up from what he's reading) Well....everyone needs a leader.

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Computer Is Speaking In Tongues

Last Tuesday...

'Kai Shi Li Yin,' says the computer suddenly, making me almost spill my "coffee" everywhere. What the Heck was that all about? At around the same time the printer starts to print something. 'Li Yin Wam Bi,' it proclaims a few moments later before falling silent. I inform "Bernie" about the situation.

'Possessed by demons? I don't think so,' he reassures me.
'It was saying weird things to me just a moment ago.'
'Were you printing something?'
'Just some jpegs of women inserting various fruits in themselves.'
'Well that's it then,' he says, exhaling some nicotine smoke,' some smartass set the computer language on Korean or something years ago. Haven't been able to remove it since. Everyone who has worked in the office for sometime ends up learning a bit of Korean.'

It's amusing to know that there have been a succession of admin girls that have passed through the Gambit Bar who have inadvertently learnt some almost useless phrases in an Asian tongue. Perhaps one day they'll find themselves in Korea and be able to amaze the natives with how fluently they can utter the phrases 'Printing in progress', 'Paper is jammed' and 'Need more ink'.

Its origin and purpose still a total mystery,

Note: Due to extreme laziness I haven't checked to see if I've spelled the Korean words right or even if the language IS Korean. If anyone actually knows give me an email.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

His Coffee Shall Taste Of Wormwood

Last Monday...

9:00am. The only way I can cope with the agony of hauling my bloated carcass out of the hammock this early in the morning is by guzzling an inordinate amount of black coffee. Real strong coffee. Coffee with a liberal splash of La Fee Verte -absinthe- and drank out of the skull of Alfredo Garcia (or an ashtray will suffice if said head is unavailable). The amount of absinthe poured in tends to vary from morning to morning and I've found that the older I get the more of that foul, anise-flavoured green liquor I need to kick start my brain. Sometimes I even forget to put the coffee in.

I stagger in to the office after several mugs of "coffee" and hand "Bernie", the other manager-type guy, a cup of my home brew. 'I boucht you shome latte,' I slur. He takes a sip and recoils as if he just sustained a left hook.
'What the hell did you put in this?' he asks, shaken.
'Jus....jus....jusabbit of coffee. Thass goodforyew. Goodforyew.'
'Fatty. Are you drunk?'
'YOU'D be drunk too ifyew haddasmuch coffee as I have this morning!' I quip as my body goes crashing over the table, disconnecting the fax machine.

It has been said that there seems to be an unhealthy amount of thujone in my morning cups o'Joe, and that by the third cup most people who imbibe this concoction have long hallucinogenic episodes and suffer renal failure. Most countries have banned this substance altogether. Yet even the harshest critics agree that the liquid is a good anti-malarial substance. So as I pick my body up off the floor to start the first of my horror 14-hour day sentence I can take comfort that malaria will be one thing that I can be safe from.

Awake the slumbering giant,

A New Reign Of Terror

The Story So Far....

Last Sunday

The Owner of the Amethyst (the bar I work at) and Gambit (our sister bar) has gone on a three week holiday to various parts of Italy thereby handing over the reins of both bars temporarily to "Bernie" (Gambit manager, handyman, janitor, enforcer) and Yours Truly. This basically means my workload has doubled as I have to be the office bitch secretary during the day and a surly bar guy at night. I'm looking forward to being a secretary. It means I get to do all things secretarial- like paint my fingernails for hours on end, answer the phones, shred incriminating documents and get whistled at by construction workers on my way to work.


Saturday, May 27, 2006

Left For Dead By Snowblind Sherpas

Well it's nice to know that some people (count 'em. Two) care enough about the lack of posting to complain about it. Writing is akin to climbing a gigantic mountain. You sometimes encounter mountain goats, may suffer from altitude sickness (or hypoxia) and can fall to your death. So as you can clearly see it's a pretty frickin' stupid analogy but I'm trying to work in a "climbing Everest" simile. Basically my point being that it takes a lot of time and serves no purpose. Yes- this blog has been neglected and is suffering from hypothermia like that poor bastard on the recent Everest descent. But it has not succumbed to cerebral edema. Yet. It's.....resting. I have three weeks of 14-hour days so writing is going to be limited to Sundays where I'll hopefully be able to write about the week's events. There are other Everest climbers out there (by that I mean bloggers) who can climb (or write or whatever the f-ck I was trying to say but dammit even I'm confused by my own metaphors) despite their obvious handicaps (ie, being a double amputee, blind, gay, just a head in a jar, a fan of Carry On... films, etc.) manage to be prolific climbers/ writers. I am not one of these people. Know this.

Part-Time Scheherazade,

Friday, May 26, 2006

My Pact With The Devil

'I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.'
Groucho Marx

I dislike talking about money. I'd rather be attacked by a horde of bats than talk about it. Whenever my friends start talking about how my savings for the Russian trip is coming I try to change the topic ('Hey, I got attacked by a horde of bats the other day. Weird huh?'). If they persist I start looking for an oncoming semi-trailer that I can hurl myself in front of. This one time a friend of mine started talking about superannuation and I jumped out of a third-storey window. If it wasn't for a stenographer passing by and breaking my fall (she died instantly) I may have badly fractured my wrists, forcing me to type with my nose.

See, my father has never been good with money. Although he made a large sum of money beating up and robbing Amish people he was very bad at budgeting. He'd spend a lot of cash on useless items, so much so that in certain parts of the South Pacific his name is still synonymous with "bad investments". So although I had a very colourful upbringing surrounded by all sorts of cool things (a jukebox, a personal butler, an African elephant) we'd have to move constantly for fear of having all our belongings repossessed. One day, after my father crashed his third Ferrari, mum collected all the credit cards we had in our house and cut them up, one by one. 'Never,' she said with a sigh, 'get yourself a credit card.'

Now I find myself in the awkward situation of having to get myself a credit card. And once I have my dirty mitts on one of those babies you better believe my first port of call will definitely be to eBay. They've got all sorts of crap there. From broken laser pointers to an 18-year old girl's virginity, everything seems to be for sale. This is where cannibals can buy human body parts. You can get a grilled cheese sandwich with the face of the Virgin Mary. I heard you can even buy New Zealand on that site.

As my mind grapples with the concept of having access to crazy amounts of dough in exchange for your immortal soul I feel a sense of dread descend upon me like a horde of bats. But how can I fight something so encoded in my DNA? And why?

Performs his own stunts,

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Punch First, Ask Questions Never

Last night was the Mundine v. Green fight. I know this because several of the regulars at the bar left suddenly, mid-drink and halfway through a sentence, to find other venues with large television screens so they could watch the bout and hurl colourful language at. Who knows? Maybe if I didn't have to spend seven hours in a dank jazz bar I also might have joined them to watch two slabs of meat duke it out. Scores of men around Australia stopped beating their wives long enough to enjoy watching a fight where a couple of grown men punched the snot out of one another and made their opponent's brain slosh around the fluid in their heads.

Which seems to beg the question: Is boxing technically a sport? The Ancient Greeks definitely thought so. It unarguably requires a great deal of physical fitness and training. And you can also bet on it, which is a plus. Sure, repeatedly getting punched in the noggin can cause mild subclinical dysfunction which may or may not result in tremors, slowed motor performances, cognitive deficits, personality changes or even death,but golly, that certainly won't stop you from attaching your name to a Teflon-coated commercial grill which may actually make you more money than your entire boxing career. I say it's a great way for illiterate thugs to make a substantial amount of money. And the losers can take solace in the fact that, should they happen to die in the ring, their corpses will be welcomed by hospital staff who will be more than eager to remove their healthy organs when the hearse stops via the morgue en route to the cemetery.

As much as some of us claim we loathe it, it is hard to look away from a punch on. Many an evening has been lost watching two winos fight over a half-eaten kebab in the car park next door. These bouts tend to be a lot truer in the sense that there never needs to be an army of PR people who have to come up with a better excuse than, "Mr.Tyson was just feeling peckish today" when someone bites their rival's ear off. The added bonus being that since it's not an image bouncing down from the ionosphere you get to feel the warm, morphine-tainted blood on your face and even get to keep souvenirs of teeth at the fight's end.

Even back when I was but a lad in an Upperclass Boarding School, a group of crumbling buildings situated right next door to an oil refinery, fights were fairly commonplace. These future media barons, criminal defence attorneys, surgeons and princes of Industry would take offence from time to time (when some lout would spill a school chum's snuff par example) and soon be engaged in a scuffle. The rest of us would put down our tobacco pipes and our Financial Reviews and race off to watch the pugilists in action. Here we could see humans for what they truly are: savages waiting to be freed.

Knock out the Fat

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Non-Adventures Of Casanova

Though some of my friends can't seem to board a plane without being dragged into a toilet cubicle by females to exchange bodily fluids at high-subsonic speeds thousands of miles up in the air (to the horror and revulsion of the cabin crew) I have been enjoying the misery of celibacy for months. I'd like to say that this is because I'm picky but seriously, if they can remember my name and don't keep disembodied door-to-door salesmen parts in the freezer, then they're OK by me.

A while ago, around the same time I was shovelling dirt on the coffin lid marked "Fatman Having A Relationship", Kire the security guard at the bar tells me that a young blonde girl was asking about me. 'Yeah, she's been coming around every few weeks now.'
What the Hell? What have I been doing while young blonde girls have been lining up at the bar just to see me? Experimenting with intoxicated monkeys that's what.

I ask Amy the day bartender if she knows who this mystery woman is. 'I know who you're talking about. She had her 21st here a few months ago. The one wearing the green dress. She's not the only one you know. There are a few others who drop in to see where you are.'
'What are they like? Lobotomy scars? Police hot on their tails?'
'Not all of them.'

Hm. It seems that while I spend my lonely nights at home masturbating to Veronica Mars episodes a succession of girls have been chasing me. 'You are soooooo oblivious,' continues Amy,' I've seen girls throw themselves at you but you never notice them[1].'

I guess I'm a bit like the coyote in the Road Runner cartoons. It's the chase that interests me. Armed with all sorts of crazy devices (that will ultimately malfunction when I need 'em the most) I chase this elusive pray across the country. But what happens when the bird suddenly stops running? How do I react then?

The guy with a girth defect,

Horny Female Patron: I shaved my pussy for you.
Me: You gave your cat a haircut?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Joe Skeletor....This Is Your Life!

Several weeks ago my housemate Darren asked me what I thought would've happened to Skeletor later in life. 'Skeletor? From He-Man? That Skeletor.'
'Yeah. Him.'

We'd been sitting at a cafe in North Melbourne at the time and I could see that he was working up....maybe not the courage so much as a coherent way to ask this question. A lot of people, on hearing this question, would have finished taking a sip of their coffee, placed the cup down on the table and backed off quietly into the distance. Then they'd break off into a panicked sprint. As far as their legs could carry them. Maybe change their phone numbers as an added precaution.

But I'm the kind of guy who also asks stupid questions (i.e. the cloning of Jesus) and likes to take them to their logical conclusions. Darren thought that Skeletor, having been robbed of his powers in the very last episode of He-Man, would've settled down and taken a blue-collar job. 'Maybe he's got a really normal first name. Like Joe or something. And we find out that Skeletor is his surname.'
'Would he have kids?' I asked, getting into the spirit of the thing. By the end of our three hour coffee sesh we had quite a lot of backstory for Joe Skeletor, divorcee and father to Christina-Sue and Dwight Skeletor.

This morning Darren asked me if I'd checked Boing Boing recently.
'Nah, not for a while.'
'There's a "Skeletor Show". Someone has actually come up with a Skeletor show using re-edited bits from old tv episodes.'

What I find fascinating about this world is that no matter how apparently wacky an idea is, there is a possibility that someone somewhere else on the planet is thinking along the same lines.

People are strange,

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Danger: White Trash!

It happens gradually. One day the globe blows in the living room and you forget to replace it. No big deal. Then you fall behind in paying your phone bill and it gets disconnected. A few months pass. But by then it's too late. You have officially crossed into the category of white trash.

The tell-tale signs being:

You eat nothing but weevil-ridden pasta, past-the-expiry-date beef jerky and rancid meat in the dark.

Repo men regularly visit your domicile.

You can't fall asleep because of all the fornicating vermin in the ceiling.

You frequently find wild boars rummaging through the garbage.

You and your friends derive enjoyment from harassing "dem fancy cidee folk" in hardware stores.

...It's this last point that I'd like to expand on. So I find myself in Blue Bar today after crashing out at Matt's place the night before[1]. We are drinking spicy Bloody Marys and discussing what we should write on our respective blackboards[2]. After spending half an hour on possible quotes Matt suggests, 'I peed blood last night.'
'That's quite good. That'll make an excellent blackboard quote.'
'...er...yes. Blackboard quote.'

Anyway, Matt has to go to the hardware store to get some supplies for the bars that he runs. Now, when most people go to the hardware store to get chicken wire, say, you just go and do it. No problem. But some people seem incapable of doing such a simple task. Matt and I spend roughly ten minutes getting our supplies of nails and such- ample time for an average human being to purchase chicken wire for their (chortle) jewellery display. But not for Scooter Guy who was in a deep argument with the hardware store worker.
'I thought you said it's $3 a metre,' whines Scooter Guy.
'It's $3.75 a metre.'
'$3.75 a metre?'
'$3.75 a metre.'

Arguably these men were not engaging in conversation so much as echoing the same words back and forth. The bottom line being: when Scooter Guy eventually succumbed to the concept that the chicken wire was $3.75 a metre the total cost for all things bought was $8.20 Australian pesos.
'I'll use my bankcard if I could.'
'It's a $10 minimum.'
'$10 dollars minimum. Your purchase comes to $8.20.'
'What are you trying to say?'
(more silence)
'Th...the that, that. The..'

I believe the hardware store guy was having mild seizures trying to come up with a simpler way of saying "$10 dollars minimum." I'm not sure that I can.

'What if I go to my scooter and bring $10 dollars in cash?' offers Scooter Guy.
'That...would work fine,' replies the hardware store guy leaping at the unexpected lifeline thrown to him. 'Or,' he continues, a sucker for punishment, 'you can just get money out here.'
'I can?'

(20 excruciating minutes later....)

The flustered Scooter Guy eventually decides once again to go to his scooter to retrieve the ten dollars. 'Well,' I say glibly, 'at least that was easy.'
'He makes buying things fun,' agrees Matt. We laugh.

Unbeknownst to us Scooter Guy had super-hearing. He marches back into the store enraged. 'I just heard you guys laughing at me!' he yells.
'How can we not?'
'Well,' he snarls, 'you guys can get f-cked! I'm taking my business to Mitre 10,' and he exits stage left.

As he scooted off out of our lives on his orange, piece-of-shit,circa 60's scooter I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Here is a grown man, obviously struggling with his own sexuality[3], who can't even buy something as simple as chicken wire without the whole shop laughing him out the door. The choices that we make define us and sometimes not being able to make choices...well...I guess that defines us too. He was doomed from the moment he bought that scooter. For he will always be labelled a doofus.


[1] Matt actually lives like a king. He has a plush apartment that guys like me only see in sitcoms (i.e. populated by annoying New Yorkers who spend entire episodes complaining about bagels) and can actually afford a Lear Jet. I visit him probably once a fortnight and we stay up till five in the morning drinking beer, watching late-night movies that usually has Brian Dennehy in it, eat spoonfuls of mustard/ salsa dips-oh so Fight Club-and complain about bagels.

[2] Note to Self: There are actually a few funny anecdotes involving blackboard quotes and I should expand on this later.

[3] Hardware store guy (as Scooter leaves): (baffled) How can anyone be that confused buying chicken wire?
Matt: I think he's a little confused by a few other aspects of himself as well.
Me: Harsh but fair.
(Matt and I laugh)
Hardware store guy: Huh?
Me (gauging sexuality/ intelligence/ sense of humour of hardware store guy. Noting that Matt and I have already made one sworn enemy today): Nothing.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Fear Him

Well....the site is called 'Monster in a Wheelchair' which is pretty self-explaintory really. It's basically the plight of crippled monsters. In the form of a song.

Three steps up and out of danger,

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Speak Softly And Carry a Muddling Stick

Hospital beds around the world are filled with people who yap off a little bit too frequently. Be it a matter of arguing with someone who has just collided with your car or discussing politics with friends or even asking your neighbours to remove Christmas decorations from their lawn because it's now May and the kids are asking why Santa's head is now a nesting place for crows, one wrong word, a misinterpreted phrase, may lead people to fistfights and thence to the Emergency Room.

I'm proud to say that for most of my life thus far I have managed to dodge trouble like an off-key Asian business man dodges rotten tomatoes hurled at him at rough Karaoke bars. With the suave confidence of a successful riverboat gambler[1] I have extracted myself from many a tense situation. Part Jedi mind trick, part verbal judo, I have been confronted by evil-looking hombres with 'love' and 'hate' tattooed on their knuckles, brandishing switchblades that they use to carve their initials into "meddlers" and end up, ten minutes later, telling jokes and high-fiving these guys. However....

Tuesday Night

( I'm imagining "Roy", the owner of the Amethyst bar, watching this Howard Hughes-like on the surveillance cameras. With Fu Manchu-esque fingernails slowly digging into 350 gallons of Baskin-Robbins banana nut ice cream he stares intently at the screens)

7:20- Fatman arrives slightly intoxicated for his seven o'clock shift. There is no sound but he seems to be singing lewd sea shanties at the top of his lungs. Staff force strong coffee into him.

7:25- Fatman has a few more "quiet drinks" with longtime regular, writer, poet and drunkard (this is one person I'm talking about here) Adam J. Murray.

8:34- Adam leaves the building. Fatman keeps drinking. Alone.

9:20- Chef Steve (who used to work across the road four years ago) enters the bar with two girls and a guy completely startling Fatman who looks as he was asleep at the end of the bar. Lip reading experts would later proclaim with 98% certainty that the first words coming from Fatman's mouth was "poopie trim". Whatever that means.

9:27- Chef Steve's friend [2], an English buffoon, begins to irritate Fatman.

9:32- Fatman's friends Matt and Cammy, from Blue Bar and La La Land respectively, come in for a quiet chat about work.

9:36- Chef Steve's idiot Yorkshire friend interrupts Matt and Cammy's conversation.
Matt (with uncharacteristic restraint) : Sorry pal but we're in the middle of a conversation.
Yorkshire Git (sarcastically) : Oooooooh. It's an important conversation is it? I didn't mean to get in the way of such an important conversation.

9:37- Matt (to Fatman) :I'm going to leave before I hit this guy.
Fatman: I won't stop you.

9:39- Matt and Cammy leave. Fatman cuts off idiot.

9:55- Fatman's other friend Surya comes in after a hard days' work. Just wanting a few beers.

10:12- Yorkshire Git lurches towards the bar. One of the two girls that came in with Chef Steve had ordered too many drinks in the last round and there was an extra bourbon and coke on the bar. The Git snatches it and starts drinking it without asking anyone if it is theirs first.

10:13- Fatman grabs bourbon from the counter and pours it down the sink.

10:16- The Git realises his drink is missing.

10:17- The Git grabs Surya's beer from the counter and starts drinking it much to the surprise of Surya and Fatman.

10:17 and 30 seconds- Fatman snatches the Git's mobile phone that had been lying on the bar counter with cobra-like speed. Says something like: 'OK champ. Here's how it's going to work. You are going to reach into your wallet right now and buy this man a beer. Then there will be no problem. If you do not, there will be a problem. I will dunk your mobile phone into this glass half filled with beer.'

10:17 and 33 seconds- The Git takes another sip of beer.

10:17 and 34 seconds- Fatman dunks the mobile phone into a glass of beer.

10:17 and 35 seconds- A cockroach stares at all this worriedly.

10:18- Fatman shows the Git a muddling stick-a wooden thing half the size of a baseball bat and used for muddling (crushing) limes and such for cocktails. 'Now, I'm going to give you ten seconds to leave the premises. If you do not I will go around the counter and crack your melon-head with this thing.'

10:18 and 10 seconds- The Git has not moved.

10:18 and 11 seconds- Fatman is on the other side of the bar on the verge of caving the Git's head in but one of the girls that came in with Chef Steve is blocking his way.

10:18 and 12 seconds till 10:19- A lot of yelling. Chef Steve, taking in the increasingly violent scene, offers to cart the Git away. 'It's probably for the best,' says Fatman. But not exactly in those words. Surya is laughing at the whole situation.

...And that was pretty much that. Except it wasn't. Twenty minutes later one of the girls storms off from the bar. The other chick, looking bewildered, says 'I...wasn't expecting that.'
'Expecting what?'
'I've just found out that the girl who just left is a lesbian and held a secret crush on me for months. This may become an ugly situation.'

Her phone starts to ring. The first of many other calls that night.

(End Transmission)

[1] Needless to say that the less successful dudes end up being tossed overboard and swallowed up by the Mississippi, and eventually, end their careers as the stomach contents of an alligator. Ah, the Circle of Life.

[2] Chef Steve: Nah, he's not my friend. He's my brother's friend's brother. He just came knocking on my door saying that he's in Melbourne for a week and needs a couch to crash on. He's an idiot.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Survival of the Fattest

A typical day begins. I re-arrange the jars of animal parts preserved in formaldehyde in my bedroom alphabetically, thumb through my favourite bits in a book about Graham Young and add a small dose of thallium in my housemates' chamomile. Just so I have something to write about later. I then flip through the newspaper while I wait for the kettle to boil. There's an article about a couple of miners trapped a kilometre under the surface. Then another. And another. An interview with one of the miner's sister-in-laws. An interview with an expert on geology.

I turn on the TV. Every channel has something about these two guys who have been stuck underground. I phone a friend to see if the same thing is happening to his television. 'Dude, are you getting an over-saturation of this news report about two miners being trapped in a cage without any food or water for six days in the dark?'
'Two minors being left in a cage? In the dark? For almost a week with nothing to eat or drink save a puddle of rainwater and their own urine? Sounds like boarding school.'
'Miners you dunce. Not minors.'

It seems every media source in our country has dedicated at least 30-pages to this 'tragedy' and quality shows (like re-runs of M*A*S*H) are getting invaded by 'updates' of the rescue which generally consists of two solemn looking guys saying things like; "The only way we can get this chicken sandwich to the men down there is to use a blender until it (the sandwich) becomes liquid then feed it to them in a tube."

Now, I'm interested in stories of survival. Be it someone who managed to hack off their own arm that's been trapped underneath a boulder using nothing more than a toothbrush or how the plane crash survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 fend for themselves on a mysterious island with weird number curses and populated by polar bears, monsters etc. But please...can we leave the fanfare until after they get rescued?

Waiting for the kettle to boil,