Monday, 6 September 2010

It Must Be Global Warming

This weekend in our town it rained more heavily than it had in years - certainly more heavily than it had since we built our smart brick letterbox. Which is why it came as a revelation to discover that, when it rains very heavily, the stuff the postman puts into the letterbox ends up lying in a four-inch puddle of rainwater marinade.

So I was kneeling in front of the letterbox with a cloth, plunging my hand, plus cloth, into the dark cavity, removing hand, plus cloth, from dark cavity, wringing out cloth and repeating the process over and over again. Meanwhile, on the other side of the hedge, a snazzy looking young woman appeared round the corner. She was talking into her mobile telephone.

'What, before William?' she said, 'I don't believe it. No, that can't be true. Oh my god, are you really sure? That is SO amazing.' She was talking loudly, her voice filled with breathy excitement. 'You're kidding me,' she squealed, 'I was sure it was only after William. Are you certain? Are you absolutely certain? Do you promise it was before? That's incredible. Before? That is just completely unreal.'

My mind was dancing with sordid scenarios, boys dumped and boys duped and boys doublecrossed. I wrung out the cloth again and plunged it into the post box, just as she drew level.

'That's why they called him the Conqueror then, I guess,' she said.

11 comments:

  1. I once knew an ABC correspondent who wrote a story in which, having heard of something called the Norman Conquest, he referred to "King Norman the Conqueror".
    He was gently corrected and told to rewrite.
    He did so, but in the process replaced all references to "The Norman Conquest" with "The William Conquest".

    He is now a big wheel in British commercial TV.

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  2. I don't suppose he got muddled because of the Ayckbourn play? No, thought not.

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  3. I hope he's not someone I'm very fond of, who may be returning to our shores shortly?

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  4. more to the point, what kind of lunatic puts their hand repeatedly into a dark Australian letterbox? There could be 50 different horrible fanged creatures in there all waiting to kill you: even your woodlice are probably trained assassins

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  5. Checking myself straight into the loony bin, on Dr Worm's orders

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  6. Because we Aussies are made of stern stuff. We face countless scary, life threatening creatures every minute of every day - at least that's how Bill Bryson made it sound in his Downunder (or A sunburnt country, depending on where you read it).

    Oh, and I LOVE the mobile story. We Canberrans are oh so erudite.

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  7. Get thee to Bedlam posthaste zmkc! next you'll be telling us you sit on park benches and toilets without having first checked under them with a mirror on a pole for any redbacks.

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  8. Bedlam is too far away... come to the Gimcrack zmkc, I'll make you feel right at home

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  9. I'm scared of your butter cures, nurse

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  10. I'd prefer a large gin, ideally

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