Monday, 5 December 2011

Fill in the Dots

Early each morning, I trudge up the small mountain near my house. I do this partly for the pleasure of reaching the top and stopping, (yes, the old head-banging motive), and partly because I've been brainwashed by the health fanatics whose mission in life is to plague us with 'information' about 'heart health' and 'aerobic capacity' and so forth and so on.

And, of course, steeped as I am in the self-punitive pleasures of Protestantism, I do not take an MP3 player or any other kind of listening device to ease my journey. Instead, I stagger along, my face growing progressively redder, contenting myself with any crumbs of entertainment that may come my way.

Sadly, there are usually only slim pickings. I mean I suppose it is mildly thrilling the first time you hear desperate wheezing gasps behind you and then see some poor soul, who has made the - in my view foolish - decision to run rather than plod up the slope, lumber past in a blur of sweaty Lycra. It  is not long though before even this ultra-modern spectacle loses its power to excite*.

All that is left then is the hope of picking up some snatch of conversation and, on this front, today I was lucky. Two women, on their way down, came hurrying past me, and, as they did so, one said to the other: "We have stacks of money but ..."

It was all I needed. I spent the rest of my walk trying to imagine the end of that sentence. Of course, I admit, it may have been a statement complete in itself; that 'but' may have been an example of one of my favourite usages - the Australian redundant 'but'- but I don't think so (but). It wasn't spoken with quite the right intonation, (but). There was more about to be said, just out of my earshot, I think, (but). These are some of the things I think I may have missed (but):

"...we're still not happy."
"...we took it all from the Monopoly set."
"...we stole it all."
"...we think it will give us germs if we touch it."
"...that's only because we haven't paid a bill since 1965."

Any other suggestions will be accepted with interest. But.

*Oh who am I kidding - it's not exciting, even the first time.


  1. "what's the point of going to the gym to walk on the treadmill when we're this close to Mt. Ainslie?"

    "our aerobic capacity hasn't kept up with our finances."

    "the stacks aren't as big as they might be."

  2. "... he's a hideous man, nonetheless."

  3. "....but we still can't keep up the payments on the Lear"

    "...but Godfrey refuses to let me hire a maid"

    " I'm going to take Godfrey to the cleaners when we get divorced"

  4. "... a tiger is standing on it."
    "... it's all in rand."
    "... the wind keeps blowing them over."
    "... the stacks are cursed with an ancient zombie curse and at night they come to life and hunt the living and leave the pieces out the back and on the lawn which is good for the grass and the only thing that stops them is jam and we're running out of jam so I tried honey but honey didn't work and tonight I'm going to try cream and maybe scones but if that doesn't work then I don't know what I'm going to do next because the next step is peanut butter and we don't have any peanut butter; because I'm allergic you know (did I tell you that before?), and it's a really bad allergy I get red bumps here and here and under my tongue, like this: here, here, where I'm pointing: look at that, a bump ah god a bump it's huge it's like a human head inside my mouth."

  5. Absolutely brilliant. Plus 'it doesn't matter how much we save, we still can't find ourselves a beautiful Georgian homestead anywhere in the inner north'