fatman Find the clues!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gracie Under Pressure

"Ei! Fat-a man! Is-a me- Christopher."
"Ah! Christopher ma frien'! Its-a been-a long time without the speaking!"

Whenever Irish Chris and I speak on the telephone we both adopt bad Italian accents. Why do we do this? I honestly don't think either of us remember the genesis of this peculiar phone habit. Do we think it's funny, to speak in a cringe-worthy caricature Italian way?

"You-a horrible fat slob of a man! You no call me anymore. Why is-a this? Is your fingers broken in 18 different-a places? Have I done sumethin' to offend you in-a some-a way?"
"It is-a disgraceful on-a my part-a Christopher. I apologise for my insolence, my-a bad, my-a bad."

It doesn't even sound vaguely Italian. Not really. But we have been talking like this for such a long time neither of us can stop doing so. It is our ritual. Cliche-ridden mock Italian conversations that inevitably contain phrases like "'atsa nice meat-a ball!" will forever be part of our rapport.

Our accents were as convincing as Stefano's...who is an...Italian man

My friendship with Irish Chris basically revolves around drinking beer, playing pool and insulting each others' mothers...like all good friendships I guess. But lately he's been trying to get me involved in his latest hobby: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

'Look. Look at my 'guns' baby,' he'll say when we eventually catch up, casting away his Luigi persona, 'Feel my arms. They are like steel. Like weapons to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. This is what perfection looks like.'

Although Chris is prone to exaggeration he is noticeably more muscular. Prior to his martial arts training he has stick-thin chicken arms that looked like they would snap in an arm wrestle.

Arm inspection done, he will then ask me to attack him so he can show me a submission hold he learnt that week. Two seconds after I lunge at his neck I'll be on the floor of a pub while onlookers glance our way wearily.

'Now this chokehold...'
'...is pretty hard to break. It IS possible. For maybe a blue belt. But for the run of the mill mugger, played in this instance by you...'
'..Ugh...grugh...disrupting the...guh...blood supply to my...ugh...brain...'
'Huh? Oh, sorry Fatman.'

As I lay wheezing and plotting revenge I get the uneasy feeling that I may need to take up Jiu-Jitsu soon in order to be able to counter his chokeholds and joint-locks. I still feel that, push come to shove, I could take Irish Chris in a fight. Not a fair fight. I'd hit him over the head with a crowbar when he wasn't looking. But who knows how strong he'd be in a years' time? Could I take him then?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pirates Get More Booty

"Avast belay, yo ho, heave to,
A-pirating we go
And if we're parted by a shot
We're sure to meet below!"

J.M.Barrie, Peter Pan(1904)

Pirates certainly are a musical bunch. While they spend most of their time at sea avoiding the Spanish Armada and gigantic, radioactive squids they do have a lot of down time where they get to prance around in colourful garb and belch out their favourite Gilbert & Sullivan medley, swigging rum and throwing up. Sure, there's a bit of raping and pillaging along the way but no more than your average Brisbane Lions football player on a Saturday night. Of course, back in the 17th Century, instead of buying the girls' silence the pirates tended to just kill them and any potential witnesses. Times were simpler back then.

"Bloodthirsty" Mick and his "2 Live Crew" sing their version of Booty-licious

Singing buccaneers are a lot rarer to find these days. Technically one need not be a Barbary Corsair in 1815 to be a pirate as they still exist today (the latest reported incident -Danish bulk carrier Danica White- being in June of this year somewhere near the coast of Somalia) often armed with sub-machine guns and trained dolphins. Let's ignore them for now and instead celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

How Can I Help Celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day?

Simple. Although it helps if you haven't bathed for a while to truly get in the mood all you need to do is don an eye-patch and say 'Arrrr' a lot. Oh, and when you ask your friends if they want to join you, you ask them if they want to be part of your lethal seamen.

Won't I Get Fired If I Do This?

It...helps if you take the day off. It is a bit difficult to type wearing an eye-patch and if you work as a diplomat or a switchboard operator for emergency services or an orderly at an asylum you may indeed get fired.

Are There Any Other Dangers Associated With This Day I Should Be Aware Of?

Aside from the gigantic radioactive squids you mean?


You'll find it really hard to order pizza. Or hail a cab. You have to watch out for those pesky Goonies who are trying to steal your gold. Your pet parrot may attack your eye. If you walk into a bank you will find a deathly silence fall all around you and one of the tellers will probably call the cops and the cops will shoot you down dead.

It Seems Like A Pretty Stupid Day To Celebrate Then

...and you'll have to be on alert for the traditional enemies of pirates: the ninjas.

'I'll let you touch my sack but you have to tell me where those blastard ninjas are.'

Are You Yanking My Chain?

No, no, no. Pirates have been rivals with ninjas for years. There is still a debate as to who will win of the two groups. Personally I think us pirates could beat the snot out of those dorks wearing black pyjamas.


Fatman's Talk Like A Pirate Day where we annoy the band Regurgitator
Fatman's Shitty Talk Like A Pirate Day When No-One Showed Up
There's actually a Pirate Supply Store in San Francisco! And Dave Eggers.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Lame Attempt At Getting My Friend Zoe To Come Out For A Few Drinks The Other Day

Zoe: I really can't.

Me: You really should.

Zoe: I really, really can't.

Me: You're a wuss.

Zoe: Yep.

Me: Why not?

Zoe: Because I have to play netball and finish a 2,500 word essay.

Me: We can find you a substitute for netball. Does it have to be a female netball player?

Zoe: No.

Me: I'll pay a wino to take your place. You may have to give him a back rub later though.

Zoe: Ugh.

Me: I'll write your essay for you.

Zoe: 2,500 words?

Me: Yep.

Zoe: It's about Isadora Duncan. What do you know about Isadora Duncan?

Me: Heaps.

Zoe: You're lying. You don't even know who she is.

Me (defensively) : I do so.

Zoe: Go on.

Me: She...was the founder of Dunkin' Donuts?

Zoe: Not even close.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

John Daly

Golf has never appealed to me. I guess I've been averse to it ever since my father tried to teach me how to play one ordinary day two decades ago (the air was still, the sun was a yellow glob of phlegm lodged in the tired sky, insects had taken a day off, the sprinklers were spinning dutifully) and had gotten himself into an argument with two youths who had narrowly missed his (my father's) head with a golf ball . As he chased the teenagers - who were around the same age I was - around the course with his golf club, yelling obscenities at them, his face eggplant-purple with rage, I had serious doubts that I'd want to return to this sport.

Public conception has changed a lot since the 80s. It is no longer viewed solely as a leisure activity where dentists can meet other dentists on weekends and where golfers would make derogatory remarks about minorities without fear of reprisals. It is now a sport that can be enjoyed by young people and where black guys are allowed to join clubs. And not just as caddies.

Still, the game itself seems dull to me. I don't know how much excitement I can generate where the main objective of the game is to hit a white ball into a little hole far, far away from where you started. Along the way you try to avoid pits of sand, large bodies of water, bodies floating in the water, alligators, trees, my father's head, land mines, lava pits, gophers and lawyers. That's about it. No body tackles, shoving of any kind and most clubs frown upon anyone brandishing firearms in public. You tally your score at the end of the day, lie about it to your friends and spend the night fuming about the putt/s you missed.

There is a golfer that seems larger than life though, in more than one sense. The man in question is John Daly, who is like the town drunk that happens to be a maestro of his craft. He is too good to be true. A thrice divorced golfer with an estimated $50 to $60 million dollar gambling loss weighing on his flabby shoulders? A chain-smoking, chain-drinking slob who'd rather play slots than practice his swing for a tournament? The guy is like an overweight Happy Gilmore.

Daly takes a quiet moment to assess the situation. And have a smoke. And to keep a weary eye on wandering alligators

The John Daly story I'd like to recount is not the one involving a wife attacking him with a steak knife. It is the one that was told to me by Steve Holt about a week ago.

Some years ago John Daly was winning some comp by a few holes. I don't know which tournament or where. As I said I'm not a golf fan. Pebble Beach? Could be Pebble Beach. It doesn't really matter I guess. So, there's John Daly. Winning the game at Pebble Beach at this stage. His ball has rolled into some shitty place where there's a lake in the way. A lake filled with dangerous alligators. The ball has, I think, rolled into the lake. Or something. The mud near the lake perhaps. John Daly is given the (sensible) option of placing the ball in a better place (i.e. not in mud) but he waves this option. 'I can make this shot,' says John Daly. He swings. The ball rolls an inch. He says a few unprintable things. He is again given the option of moving the ball onto solid ground. John Daly shakes his head. He swings again....

...the ball barely moves.

He swings....

...and screws it up.

John Daly has given the game away by now. His fans are aghast. But still he is at it, still he is determined. Finally...SMACK! He hits the ball squarely and onto the green. 'I f-ckin' knew it!' he roars in triumph.

Why didn't you just KICK the ball in you dumb bastard?

In a world where former greenskeepers probably won't become champions, and guys who obsesses about ice hockey won't take up golf, we will probably have to rely on true sportsmen to fight the good fight for the rest of us. People like John Daly who will not budge to pressure no matter what.