Tuesday, November 07, 2006
INFREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Sometimes I wake to find questions crowding in like cats batting their angry paws at my bedroom door. I usually realise quite quickly that what I have taken to be questions are, in fact, cats batting their angry paws at my bedroom door, but I find the easiest way to ignore this kind of feline spam mail is to imagine that they are questions, rather than hungry and irksome creatures over whom I have some responsibility. And so I retreat to an idyllic corner of my mind (I call it "Christopher Walken's House of Pantaloons") and ponder these queries, which are to me a kind of frog chorus.
DOES EVERYONE YOU EVER KNOW READ THE SUNDAY PAPER?
It would seem so, yes.
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? YOU NEVER FINISHED YOUR ARTS FESTIVAL WRAP UP.
I know. There were a few shows I didn't get to mention (Mantalk, La Clique) but they weren't traffic-stoppers so I don't feel too guilty. Also: Cairns.
WHY WERE YOU IN CAIRNS?
I cannot say. But if it were a James Bond film, it would most decidely have been one of the early 70s ones, since it involved a contraption which looked like this:
It also involved a man explaining to me the finer points of cognac appreciation, an afternoon in an open air spa with cocktails and lovely ladies, fast boats, scuzzy underwater photography and, well, Cairns. So definitely a 70s number.
WHAT ELSE DID YOU DO?
I accidentally licked an old lady's finger while trying to lick an ant. I swam in a watering hole with a turtle. I was introduced to a kind of fruit which weighs about 50 kilos. And I ate more food than I really should have.
WAS IT FUN?
Mostly. Almost entirely. Here's an image-based approximation of my feelings over the whole trip.
IS IT TRUE THAT ONE IS STILL WHAT ONE IS GOING TO CEASE TO BE AND ALREADY WHAT ONE IS GOING TO BECOME? THAT ONE LIVES ONE'S DEATH, AND DIES ONE'S LIFE?
This is a watering hole.
HOW'S THE NEW HOUSE GOING?
Great guns. I now sit of an evening upon my grand balcony, gazing through smug, half-lidded eyes at the glory that is my dominion. Or at least the park opposite. Also they make good coffee on the corner.
CAN WE ALL COME AND SIT ON THE BALCONY?
Of course, it'll be a grand old time and we can toast future happiness and tell tall tales and also just more ordinary stories too (not tall).
TELL US A STORY, OH WISE ONE.
Well, I recently heard a story from someone who, as a child, was quite the enterpreneur. She grew up in Hong Kong and was intrigued by the economies of scale involved in the whole tooth-under-the-pillow thing. At a local feast, she found some pigeon's heads discarded after a cook-up, and figured that a beak was worth at least a few teeth. A week later her parents complained to the housekeeper about the godawful smell coming from her room, and it didn't take long before somebody lifted her pillow to reveal the little row of bird heads festering underneath.
CAN YOU RECOMMEND A GOOD BOOK?
I'm reading Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita right now, and it's very, very good.
HEY WHILE WE'RE HERE, CAN WE BORROW SOME MONEY?
What, so you can blow it all again, like last time? Geez, is that the only reason you came over? I'm not a cash machine.
WE WERE JUST ASKING.
Well if that's all I am, fine. But I don't have time for your stupid panhandling; here I am holding down a full-time gig, fending off the creditors and jetting up and down the coast, while spending the rest of my time with my forehead pressed against the steering wheel of the '78 Falcon I bought thinking it would give my life "vim", listening to Harry Nilsson's Without You on repeat and wondering exactly what would happen if I just closed my eyes and floored it. Basically, I'm really busy.
WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM US?
Nothing! I just want to sit here out on my balcony, reminiscing about tropical Far North Queensland and ignoring your stupid scratching at my door. Is that too much to ask? So quit your mewling and let me get back to getting back. Oh wait.