Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hi Class Litraycha

Over the past couple of days, I've been playing a storytelling game on the Vibewire website with some of the other readers. The rules are: 1) Keep it simple 2) Post as many times as you like, but wait for another person to post something before you post again.

Here are the results so far. See if you can guess which additions are mine; I've posted four times. The different posts have been separated out in bold and italics so it's easier to make out, and I'll give the answer later in comments.

Walking down the street last Tuesday, I was stopped dead in my tracks. It was not the fact that I had left the iron on at home - although I certainly had; indeed, I could smell my ironing board burning from here - it was the fact that I had run into my ex-boyfriend, Shaun. Shaun, as blunt as usual, sniffed the air and said, "You've left the bloody iron on the ironing board again, haven't you."
"No I haven't Shaun, you great patronising twat," I said, pretending not to notice the drop-dead-gorgeous hussy holding his hand.
Shaun, however, knew me too well, and could see my eyes flitting (I thought subtly) between him and the blonde. "It's not what you think," he said. "We've accidentally super-glued our hands together."
He was wearing the shirt I bought him for Christmas. It still had that brown crumpled stain next to the arm pit where I'd left the iron too long one morning when he distracted me by dragging me back to bed.
I screamed, "Well why were your hands touching in the first place?"

He opened his mouth, then closed it again, then left it open like a man who had seen a herd of wild elephants stampeding in his direction - and lucky for him, he actually had. Or unlucky for him, as the case may be, since his blonde companion was too busy gazing at her own reflection in a puddle of water to heed Shaun's panicked screams of "Stampede!!"
The hussy flicked the bangs out of her eyes and evened up the lipstick on the left side of her mouth with an ostentatious poke of a gigantic, scarlet little fingernail. Shaun heaved, but the hussy's narcissism knew know bounds and the elephants hit before she even had time to look up. With a spittering and a spattering, a pittering and a pattering, a dithering and a dathering (and other such self-indulgent descriptors), the hussy's limbs went flying through the air to the shock of everybody, not the least of whom was Shaun and myself. By the time the stampede had passed, I calmly surveyed the scene of carnage; legs at one end of the street, head rolling down the other; and her left hand lay languidly at my feet, with Shaun still firmly attached on to it, glaring angrily up at me.
"You're in big trouble now," Shaun said to me. "You've just witnessed the death of somebody extremely important. So important that importance is not sufficient to describe her. That's how important she was. Boy was she important."
"Are you implying that I had something to do with the sudden proliferation of African wildlife in this inner suburban Australian street?" I asked incredulously, putting my hands in my pockets and nervously fingering my elephant whistle.
Shaun glared at me. He was well aware that instigating random stampedes was a passionate hobby of mine. While trekking in Thailand in the summer of '69, Shaun had slipped a crab into my back pocket. I squeaked, startling a herd of elephants nearby who turned and charged at us. It was so exhilarating I can't help but carry a whistle with me everywhere I go just in case the chance arises again.
Shaun grabbed my fidgeting left hand and pressed it frimly against my thigh. "If I find you have that bloody whistle in your pocket, my dear, you know what I'll do.' And I knew all too well what Shaun would do. The same thing he did every time I caused an elephant stampede. The same thing he did all those years ago in Thailand. The same thing he would always do when I incited to riot huge herds of African wild-life. He would burst into a spontaneous rendition of "Hakuna Matata".

In conclusion, there are several morals to be drawn from this story:

1) Communism is so very, very wrong;

I stopped myself. I was using an outmoded literary device. Morals? Who was I trying to be - fucking Aesop? I held my poststructuralist head high. I would let the reader decide what to draw from his/her/its own reading of the work. And so I went right on back to contmeplating Shaun and his unfortunate habit of singing 'Hakuna Matata' after stampedes. It was a supremely unfortunate habit, not only due to the god-awful song itself, but also because rather than pacifying the elephants, Shaun's rendition of "Hakuna Matata" seemed to further inflame their ire. Knowing what was coming, I scaled the closest tree, which, in another stroke of bad luck, was already occupied by a gaggle of National Party politicians holding a conference.
"We didn't descend from these, Goddammit!" said the one in the tuxedo and the gas mask. "Intelligent design for president twenty-ought-seven!."
I shook my head. Where, oh where, had everything gone so wrong today? I looked at Shaun. He looked at me. I could control myself no longer: I threw my arms around him and said the only thing I could. "Communism is so very, very wrong."
He cried. I cried. We laughed! It was so beautiful, in this crazy, whacky modern world to find something we agreed upon.

And then the dam burst.

So ... which are mine?

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