Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Rolling back the years...

'Twas back in the Summer of '94: I had returned, invigorated, from my exchange trip to Munich, where I stayed with one Christoph Bender, plus his family of Benders. My Father and I were helping my Uncle, Sean, to do some renovations on the back of his house. By which I mean we were tearing it down. Life was good, the sun was shining, and I was getting paid good money to smash things up.

On one such fine afternoon, I noticed something amiss. "Uncle," I said, leaning on my sledgehammer and indicating the far end of his wonderfully long garden, "what are those cats doing by the pond?"

"Why, they're after the bloody fish," he exclaimed. This pearl of wisdom imparted, rather than chasing the pair of feline buccaneers away himself, he disappeared into the house to rouse the family's ageing dog. My Father and I looked somewhat dubious at this strategy, as the dog, to the best of our knowledge, hadn't budged an inch in the previous three days.

After waiting for a minute or so, my Father made possibly the best decision of his life: expressing his impatience with canine retribution, he scooped up a chunk of wood, which had been sawn off a pickaxe handle, and hurled it towards the distant cats. The pair of would-be fisherman watched, entranced, as this missile of justice described a perfect arc over their heads, before smashing into the greenhouse. Then, alarmed by the cacophony of shattering glass, they buggered off.

My Father and I stood in silence for a moment, then, dissolving into laughter, the slayer of greenhouses ran into my Uncle's garage and hid.

My Uncle stormed back out of the house, frustrated in his attempts to rouse the dog to the call of duty and unaware of what had passed in his absence. "Bloody dog... oh, they've gone." he said.

"Don't thank me." I said.

Happy birthday to my Dad, Fin: 50 years young today. Purveyor of wisdom and bad jokes to the gentry. A fine craftsman and gardener, but not a particularly good aim with ballistic chunks of wood.

This one's for you, you goddamn Aries.

not to take anything away from your pah, I respect my elders when they don't tell me to mind my smoking manners, but only an antisemite would ever go to munich, unless to desecrate a Jerry Yasukuni Shrine.--vmm
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