fatman Find the clues!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Cherchez la Femme

Kittie informed me that Cousin Jesse had been gripped by an unshakable bout of insomnia. His arteries had been clogged with guilt, he was sweating from self-loathing and his eyelids refused to shut at all. It's because he's destined to go to the dankest pits of Hell for going out with my ex-girlfriend, I wanted to say, below cells reserved for murderers, shady Real Estate agents, debt collectors and people who think they can are better than other people just because they own an Art Gallery. Instead I said, 'Yeah, OK. He and I need to talk this through.'
'Are you going to be mature about this?' asked Kittie worriedly.
She eyed me dubiously. 'You better not tell him strange, sordid tales about us.'
'I won't.'
'Don't scare him away with your...ways. You know this situation is really eating him up. I don't need you to make it worse. Just act like a normal human being.'
'I promise it will be fine.'

'...and you know that morning voice that she has? How shrill and utterly unbearable that is? Well, get used to that. She's annoyingly chirpy upon waking. Every goddamn morning.'
'Really?' asks Cousin Jesse.

We are sitting around and drinking beer in the abandoned portion of the Mount View Hotel. After the initial awkwardness (about 12 seconds) we have gone back to the way things used to be. I figured we would. It would not be a woman that would break up this band.

'Oh yeah. Also expect your phone bill to increase by threefold. Seriously. She texts you messages at all times of the day for no apparent reason.'
'I can handle the odd-', his phone beeps. We stare at it. 'I see,' he mutters.
'Ooh! Ooh! And Kittie can't say "Hot Apple Pie"!'
'What do you mean?'
'She can say the words "Hot" and "Apple" and "Pie" but not all at once. Her brain can't handle it for some reason.'

We laugh.

'Look, if you want me to end this relationship with Kittie before it really starts...'
'Meh. Jesse, I don't know how you were expecting me to behave throughout this-' Vats of acid, Blowtorch to the gonads,'- but I love you man. We're kin. We're not going to face each other over this, pistols at dawn.'
'I know, I know.'
'So chill out. Enjoy. Get some sleep my brother.'
'You know that if I were given a choice between you and her-'
'Stop it.'
'Nah, seriously. If they had the both of you on platforms above a lava pit and I had to choose between the two of you-'
'Shut up.'
'-I'd absolutely choose your life over hers. Hands down.'

Cousin Jesse and I get up to leave. 'Hey Fatty,' he says in a quiet way.
'If you were ever going to write about this make sure I don't end up sounding like a cheap, two-dimensional character with absolutely no soul who is relegated to saying dumb stuff.'
'I promise,' I say and flash him a serpentine smile.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Worst Case Scenario Handbook

There is a creature that resides in the dark recesses of my heart. It is a hideous, sightless thing that is a 1,000 years old. Usually it is chained to the basement of my soul with rusty hooks, its flesh grey like the dust on coffin lids. When it speaks, its voice is like eels that seek to tear apart everything I hold dear. It is my anger. It is Hate.

Kill him, it says, drop his body into a vat of acid. Smash his head in with a cricket bat and leave his carcass for carrion.

This morning I wake up early to head to work only to find Kittie's bed unoccupied. Well, well, well. How interesting. She went out the night before with my cousin, Jesse, and now her bed is empty.

Blood, whisperers the sightless thing, drench the world in blood. Connect electrodes to the genitals of criminals.Tear out the fingernails of strangers walking their pets. Shoot innocent people in cafeterias.

OK. So that "ancient creature of pain and misery" phase lasted only for a few minutes. Maybe hours. But by the time I got the inevitable WE NEED TO TALK text message I was pretty cool about the whole situation.

The situation being: someone I no longer go out with has decided to seek out a relationship with my cousin. Preventable? Sure. But what would be the point? Its clearly obvious that the ex and I were not working as a couple. We were just bad at being together, it brought out the worst in us. And when you break up with someone you break up with 'em. If the relationship is on shoddy foundations, rotten somewhere in the core, then its going to topple no matter how much you try. Don't I want my loved ones to be happy? And if they happen to find joy in each others' company then....well...

By the time Kittie came home I was busy watching a penguin documentary, seeing the momentous journey that these birds were undertaking and saying 'Wow.' every once in a while. This was the BBC version and not the Morgan Freeman one. I couldn't help but think that it would be a better show if someone like Will Ferrell did the voice over.


A sea lion grabs one of the young penguins and drags him down the icy depths.

'So....you wanted to talk?'

Vats of acid.

Intestines as skipping rope.

'Alright. Let's talk.'
'He...er...wants to do it himself.'
'He can call me. I don't hate him. Or you. What is he worried about? That I'd chop him up and feed his remains to carnivores? Ha ha. As if.'

Blowtorch to the gonads.

'I thought you were going to be...you know...weird about it.'
'I am weird about it. He's my cousin.'
'You guys aren't actually related,' Kittie reminds me.
'That's besides the point. Look, you and me, we're through...'
'Shut up. The point is Jesse's a fantastic guy. Even though he is shorter than me. And got that Bruce Campbell chin. And I'm funnier than he is. And better at Galaga than him. But I'd much rather you be with someone I care about and who'd treat you well than some dipshit goofball. With syphilis.'

It's a strange situation. For me, its a nice way to finish my relationship with Kittie. No. Not relationship. Love life? Something like that. Something tacky and shit and dumb that you'd read in women's magazines (that YOU'D read. Not me. I'm too macho). I can't help but feel like Gene Hackman in the Royal Tennenbaums about the whole situation. Remember that film? Wes Anderson directed it. Gene plays a guy called Royle who was the patriarch of this genius family. One of his finest performances, which is funny considering Hackman didn't actually get the film. He just read the lines and got paid. Anyway, Royle, who fakes a terminal illness and takes up residence with his family that have long since kicked him out for generally shoddy behaviour (constantly reminding his adopted daughter that she's adopted, stealing money from his son's business etc.) tries for most of the film to win back his long estranged wife (played by Angelica Houston). But by the end of the film he slowly realises that he is actually an asshole and that his wife would be better off with a divorce that he had neglected to give her years ago. He talks of his rival, Danny Glover who plays Angelica Houston's accountant/ fiancee by saying, 'I didn't think much of him at first. But now I get it. He's not me.'

And that's how I feel right about now.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Objects Thrown at the Head of Yours Truly

Kittie goes through a drawer, finds several lighters, feels their weight individually then throws the orange one at my head. She's in a throwing mood today.
'Is this about the washing?' I ask.
She doesn't respond.
'This is because I forgot to bring in your washing for two days right?'
She responds by hurling the house keys at me.
'I already said I was sorry.'
She paces the room to find something heavier to throw at me.
'C'mon Kittie. I bought you a card to say I was sorry.'

I had. I'd bought her a card that had a woman drawn in the style of a 50's dime novel cover on it with the words "How can I miss him when he won't go away?" printed on it and scribbled a few words of apology for the washing-thing on the inside thinking she might find it vaguely amusing. She had not. The tattered remains of the card lay somewhere in the bin.

'Do you even know what this is about?' she finally says.
'It's not about the washing?' I ask feebly.
'It's not about the...well..no it's about the washing as well. That was just careless. How did you...why did you forget for....I asked you for ONE simple thing and you....'
I had been drunk for two days.
'I'm sorry.'
'This is about Jesse.'
'Jesse? Cousin Jesse?'
'YES! JESSE! What exactly did you say to him?'

We had gone out for a few drinks earlier this week with my cousin and she had a long and exciting conversation with him about snow boarding. Later, when she and I had returned to our house she said that she thought that he was cute and wanted his number. I said no. Yelling ensured. Fine, I said, have his damn number! And didn't think much of it until the next day when she asked him out for some drinks.

Did she really think he was cute? He's shorter than me for starters. And he's got a chin like Bruce Campbell's. He has Bruce Campbell chin. And he smells funny. An object of ridicule. He and I have a Conversation at the Great Britain, over a couple of games of Galaga (I win both times. Kick his ass. Really shame him in fact)

'Well, what's the deal between you and Kittie my brother? If you want me to back off I will.'
'Pffft. She's so history its not funny.'
'That's not to say we didn't have a deep and passionate relationship.'
'Now, you're my cousin and I love you (we are not related at all in fact but since I lived with his cousins in a share accommodation for a few years I'd gotten into the habit of calling him my cousin)...'
'...and I'm totally over her. So you can go ahead and do whatever the hell you want with her.'
'Which is not to say that it wouldn't be sooooo totally wrong and evil and not a decent thing to do to me, your distant relative, to even think about asking her out.'
'Now, you see what I'm saying here?'
'Actually I have no idea wh...'
'Good. Good. I'm glad we talked. Watch out for that incoming alien ship!'

...and so he had decided to not return her calls for fear that I would cut him to bits with an axe and feed his remains to carnivores. Kittie was not happy with that outcome. Not happy one bit.

'You know we've broken up right? That we are never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever going to go out together ever again? Your slow mind can comprehend this, yes?'
'Like I'd want to go out with you again either.'
'Then stop ruining my life. And don't forget the friggin' washing!'

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Living Arrangements

There is a very simple and very logical reason as to why I thought moving in with the ex-girlfriend would be a good idea and that is: I thought it would be funny. Granted, things could go hideously wrong. I could return home one day to find my entire collection of books on fire. She may have switched the contents of the salt shaker with rat poison and waited patiently, oh so patiently, for me to have a Final Supper. Or I'd be walking home one day and get run over by Her who would be driving a jeep or a semi-trailer. Probably a semi-trailer. And this is when we're not fighting.

Most of our relationship consisted of arguments that would erupt suddenly, viciously. Generally over fairly minor things (i.e.

Me: (picking up phone) Hello?
Kittie: Hey, what's the name of that noodle place that cooks things in those over-sized woks on Bridge Road? Was it Noodle Box?
Me: Noodle World.
Kittie: I'm pretty sure it's Noodle Box.
Me: It's Noodle World.
Kittie: Noodle Box!
Me: It's called Noodle World goddamn it!
Kittie: You're an idiot!
Me: YOU'RE the idiot!
Kittie: Grrrr (hangs up phone).
Me: (to no one) Noodle World!*) which would make waiters duck for cover, taxi drivers to head into direct traffic, ushers to raise the fire alarm- depending on where we were at the time.

So why would she even think to invite me to live with her despite the fact that the wounds from our relationship was still fairly fresh and that my very existence annoys her? You bet her friends asked that very same question. They never liked me. Even my friends questioned her sanity at this decision. For her, the fact that I was sleeping on friends' couches or in flea-bitten Backpackers was too much to bear. Even though I can truly be a son-of-a-bitch some times. And she didn't want me to spend months going to house interviews conducted by an endless succession of losers or serial killers or vegetarians.

For me it seemed like the makings of a trite sitcom, the kind of lacklustre show pitched at a lowbrow audience during non-rating season. The sheer monotony of the script (slobbish ex-boyfriend lives with a clean-freak ex-girlfriend. Hilarious! Watch as he spills Coke down her favourite top! Gasp as she reacts by clubbing him to death with a frozen leg of lamb!) would be peppered with a liberal amount ofcanned laughter so the viewers will know how to react.

*Turned out that we were both right. There is a Noodle World and a Noodle Box on Bridge Road.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

They Call Me The Gangster of Love

I have a romanticised version of myself in my head. Whenever I think of myself, which is quite often, the image I conjure up is like a recruitment poster for pilots during the Great War: tall and dashing and having rows of white, white, white teeth that grins in victory. There is an unseen wind that makes my scarf billow in a random direction. Pure libido. Charisma the size of an overly huge pumpkin that wins prizes at country fairs.

I'd like to think that I'm the kind of guy who would travel across town at a moments notice to kill spiders for girlfriends. Since to women spiders are impossibly large and sinister. They are poisonous. They are eight-legged and know karate and can jump across tall buildings. And I will burst into a room and squash these evil things and not ask for thanks. If I am feeling particularly merciful I would grab the spider and throw it out of the window and spare its life. Because I can be a forgiving God when the mood strikes.

Unfortunately this is not me. I'm not the guy who would travel 30 minutes to murder insects. If there is a vaguely interesting show on the TV I may not even walk across the room to get rid of these arachnids. I would turn up the volume and ignore the cries for help from any women in the room, no matter how hot they were.

Perhaps if this was my only crime I'd still be a hit with the ladies. Alas I do not listen to them. At all.

(Walking down the aisle in a supermarket with Kittie the other day. She is in a rush to be somewhere and is already angry at me for making her late.)
Me: (picking up a jar of olives) Yum. Olives (another mildly annoying trait. I point out the obvious)
Kittie: Ugh. You're buying olives?
Me: You don't like olives?
Kittie: You know I don't.
Me: (Did I?)...
Kittie: Remember the other day (about three weeks ago) when we ordered pizza and I specifically asked for no olives?
Me: (I didn't) Uh-huh.

There needs to be a drastic change in attitude and maybe hairstyles in the next few weeks. Valentine's Day (a.k.a. Sucks to be Single Day) is fast approaching and I think I owe it to myself to do something more constructive than to bitch about couples this year.

I have a firm handshake,

Monday, January 15, 2007

Demise of the Fluffer

Long before Internet porn it was almost customary for every household to have a cardboard box brimming with dirty magazines hidden in the basement or the tool shed. The patriarch of the family would know that one day the eldest male would find this stash of pornography, much like a pig finds truffles, and that for the next few years the only way anyone else in the family could have access to the bathroom would be by breaking down the door with an axe. The joy of knowing that your firstborn will undoubtedly be tugging at their member over glossy images of 16-year old runaways dressed as nurses, flight attendants, librarians, etc. is something I can only imagine.

Last night, during a friendly poker session, we had the unique opportunity to ask all kinds of questions of the porn industry to someone in the trade- Tom, the ex-editor of Penthouse magazine. He had met up with one of the poker crew during the "Casino Royale" issue of Penthouse and had asked if he could come along to one of our games. My croupier friends and I took turns asking him all kinds of questions in between hands.

J.J.Botts asks a four-letter question almost immediately. "DVDA (Double vaginal, double anal)."
"Can't be done," replies Tom. "Sure, the woman's orifices can certainly take that many penises at the one time but the fact is it's physically impossible to make it happen. It would all get in the way. Very messy."
We nod, scribble notes.
"I have a question regarding fluffers." says Dean.
"Fluffers are history now."
"We live in a changing world. No longer do porn stars have to resort to ground-up rhinoceros horns and fluffers to get an erection, they just inject themselves with liquid Viagra."

Behind locked bathroom doors, with the pages of these dirty magazines spread open to a series of pictures where Little Red Riding Hood is getting penetrated by a wolf, too few of us stop mid-ejaculation to think of the demise of fluffers who were so integral in the making of fine pornography in the years gone by. So, wherever you are guys, this post is for you.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Fridge Rage

If I could ever be reincarnated as anything I would like to be reincarnated as a Coca-Cola refrigerator repairman. I don't know what they do for a living. Judging by their job title you would expect these guys to repair the occasional Coke fridge. This is not the case. My guess is that they spend most of their time at a golf course sharing jokes with their illiterate mates about condenser fan motors. The only annoying thing about their job would be the incessant ringing of their phones by the same people constantly complaining about the same old problems, which really puts them off a crucial putt that would be needed to get a Birdie for the hole. Grudgingly these slobs would answer their mobiles, hear three-day old URGENT REQUEST messages, pack away their clubs and turn up to the "emergency".

Upon arriving to the source of distress they would be descended upon by hysterical folk who would wail about how important it is that they fix the fridge NOW and why weren't they here days ago? The fridge repair guy will generally would take this wrathful tirade with an aplomb born of apathy, the knowledge that he is dealing with cretins who have no idea how to repair a simple fridge and with ears so clogged with wax that the customer's whining sounds like the muffled cries of hikers buried under meters of rubble.

"Calm down mate," he'll growl. "Now, what seems to be the problem?"
"The first time I called you guys it was because the fridge was freezing the contents within, like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow but less boring. After a four day wait a repairman came over, hit it a few times with a spanner, and left before we could ask him what he'd done. The very next day the fridge stopped working at completely. We placed another call. Three days later another refrigerator repairman came, adjusted things, and left. The fridge is now a block of ice once again. I feel like Goldilocks here; 'This is too cold. This is too warm'."
"No need to be snide about it. Look. I'm going to have a little looksee at the compressor so do me a favour and run along for now. Don't bother me-"

I turn to leave and hear him end the sentence with "-ya cocksucker." The repairman then turns to the fridge not to repair it so much as to turn his back to me. The beauty of this manouver is that he gets to a) look like he's working, b) show his hairy backside to the world at large and c) to not have to listen to the wailing of the likes of me who tend to carry on a bit, waving arms and stomping feet like an extra in a Chinese riot scene.