Kate Expectations

I guess I first noticed her as I shuffled my way to the front of the queue. If truth be told, it wasn't so much a shuffle to the front of the queue as an exodus through the door by those who were ahead of me. Actually, if truth be told, it wasn't the first time that I had noticed her either, for I had returned to the place specifically to see her again. It was a part of my inner workings I couldn't quite pinpoint; why was I immediately emotionally tied to someone I didn't know? The fried noodles at that place had all the trimmings of anything that I consider legendary, like S&M nights you only hear about through people in the innermost circle of selective knowledge, like those dwarves on stilts who suddenly appear in alleys.

If truth be told, I guess I always had an excuse to fall back on if things ever got ugly; if, for whatever ungodly reason, she suddenly fell out of love with me. If the real truth be told, I mean really told in a truthful way, the fantasies that kept bringing me back involved both her and the noodles in equal and often intermingled proportions. She was the perspective reality to the internet porn I so copiously devoured; the noodles were the money shot. In this devious head were acres of sexual promiscuity I had devoted entirely to her. My sexual repertoire was ready to be unleashed. And only failure stood in my way.

She was a vision made manifest, a protest song in denim, and just the antichrist my movement had been seeking. And yet, for all my dimestore training, I lacked the salesman savvy to close the deal. Truth be told and since I'm so afraid of those strange metallic devices hovering over me: I didn't even have the guts to say hell-o. But the noodles were as good as when served by memory.

The rampantly diminishing line threw my mental timing out so I sat myself on a swivel chair to avoid a scene. Next to me was a dark-haired guy with beady eyes throwing his entire weight at a dip of unknown content. Some type of flat bread I had never seen before acted as the conduit for his intake of carbohydrates. If truth be told, I couldn't distinguish carbohydrates from protein. This guy had the physical qualities of a terrorist. That in itself was nothing short of typical for the current state of this deranged city as terrorists congregated with normal people like me much in the manner that grasses and weeds congregated; without questions asked. Apart from the dip and flat incarnation of what I assumed was bread, what struck me as odd about this particular terrorist were the diving tanks and buoyancy vest strapped around his chest. A conversation to clarify was required.

'What're they for?' I asked.

'Diving,' he replied after giving me a once-over scan with his enormous beady eyes.

He had dip residue on the side of his mouth. If truth be told, it was another triumph for poor table manners.

'Why are you here dressed in that?'

'I dress to impress.'

'Who are you trying to impress?'


If truth be told, I was willing to behead and gut this most curious of terrorists before he had finished his single-word response. His hairy masculine index finger had pointed to the very girl I had been basing my infatuation on. He wiped the dip from his mouth with his other hand.

I had to act swiftly, and it was fortunate that I had a stack of Watchtower back issues in my handy red tote bag. 'If the truth be told,' I told him truthfully, 'what I really want to talk to you about is whether or not you have been saved.' I handed him a few flyers. Truth be told, nothing gets rid of a terrorist faster than god-talk. I mean the guy left a trail of steaming rice pudding he took off so fast; my plan had worked!

But maybe too well, or perhaps not fast enough. I was still basking in success's glow when I noticed peripherally the girl of my current fantasies forking a final pea into her veluptuous mouth. She hadn't wasted any time nursing her clamato or scaring off competing alpha predators in scuba gear. And once again, speaking here with raw truth told honesty, I once again had to act swiftly, never my strong point despite recent success with regards to certain terrorists.

I stared gape-mouthed long enough for her to swallow her pea, and I don't think she bothered chewing it, before standing quickly, tripping over the leg of my table, sending Watchtower back issues touting the 'only true religion' fluttering across the room. Of course, in all honest truth-telling, one landed on her gravy-spattered plate. She picked it up, quickly licked it off, opened it, and appeared to swallow the bile that emerged in her throat. She looked at me with utter unbearable contempt. My sheepish grin only served to make me look like an evangelical mormon.

In a flash she was on me, inflicting the greatest pain and pleasure I've experienced, clutching my testicles in a less than friendly vice-grip she stared into my baby blues and I noticed her eyes were red like flash photo. She growled at me and the gravel in her guts entered her words. 'Fools like you will bring nothing but armegeddon!' she snarled, and I couldn't help but sneak a peak cleavage-ward. 'Kate,' said a sparkling nametag over her left breast.

'It's not what you think, Kate,' I said meekly. 'To tell you the truth, I was just scaring away a terrorist.'

She slapped me hard, pushed my face into the mashed potatoes of a nearby professor of English literature, who gleefully poured gravy over my hair. Kate proceded to lick it off slavenly. When she was finished she told me, 'If you really want to scare some terrorists, meet me in the back alley at midnight, sharp. Don't be late, or truth be told I will eat your soul.'

I watched the clock tick by relentlessly.

Noodles fell from mouths, teriyaki dripped to the floor like lava and chopsticks click-clacked in undulating chatter as the minutes slowly clunked away.

Sharp, she said. Or they'll be hell to pay.

Finally, the big hand hammered against the bar and Eternity passed. I slid gratefully from my seat, careful not to disrupt the oxygen valve on the barfly's tanks. But not too careful. A satisfying hiss drifted away behind me as I slithered away from the scene and made for the back exit.

Steam from the vents oozed across the wet stone flags of the alley. Flickers of light punctured the darkness casting flash-frame outlines on the walls. My mouth ran dry as she strode out from behind the bins and sent her dark shadow creeping along the brickwork.

'You're late'.

This work of pure fiction, that has no resemblence to persons alive or formerly alive, has been a Kaufman and BenjiBopper production. Others may have been involved but the payroll clerk was out during the time of pre-publication uncertainty.


The Crux of the Matter in lieu of Hard Evidence

Loincloth wasn't exactly thrilled with the treatment he had received from the female schoolies at R'Daria's flat. Being the seasoned twenty-year-old former track and field champion specialising in the high jump that he was, he felt certain that he had matured beyond caring about what "puerile skank clams", a term coined by his close friend and fellow ragamuffin roughrider Dafidd, thought of him. It was evident to even him as he crunched his way into fourth gear that even the most seasoned of all seasoned twenty-year-olds was susceptible to be sorely mistaken.

Loincloth was ropable: the way calf muscles were ropable following exposure to several hundred kilometres on a bicycle; the way bees were ropable when their pollen sacks exceeded maximum density and the word according to reality was read to them like the riot act following the stark realisation that they had somehow transgressed to the other hemisphere and were seconds away from succumbing to gravity.

Something was causing Loincloth's body to react abnormally. Perhaps it was the shot of adrenalin. Perhaps it was the tainted ganga he had purchased from Wycliffe Funk, a hardened garden landscaper with friends in "the biz".

Loincloth had been a responsible driver since the third occasion in which he had lost consciousness from the effects of recreational drugs. He had accidentally driven into the front of a parked car in a neighbourhood he had never previously been to, and lived to recount events that he couldn't remember to the local and national media representatives. By the third of the three separate yet brutal occasions in which he had come across imaginary yet real gangs, wolves and runaway heavy machinery, the number of parties interested in covering the groundbreaking story had shrunk to two; a man, forming a strategic part of the city's dedicated ten-thousand homeless who had been plucked from the street by a surly sub-editor, and his insatiable dog.

Loincloth's innate ability to deflect danger and fault simultaneously ebbed like sweat inside an overweight actor's hat.

'F*#k you I won't do what you tell me!' Loincloth screamed time and time again as his biscuit coloured Datsun Sunny negated inner city street corners like a shabbily constructed death missile built by inebriated vagrants in a park downstream of a hazardous waste dump; controlling its direction was as reliable as stacking your chips on red, but the metallic beast's power-to-weight thrust was off the radar thanks to some minor modifications that Loincloth's older brother Bentfeather had made following a month of mechanics classes at the local YMCA as a compulsory service to his local community.

And then everything changed in an instant.

He knew what was happening (he'd seen it before in his work experience at Seven Deals School for the Extra Special) but was powerless to help it, stop it, understand it - he was ticking, but not like a bomb, though he knew there was potential for explosion. His jaw was locked into a prime-time-comedy rictus of the Saturday Night Variety, his shoulders were beginning to rotate into a late-Saturday-night masturbatory scrunch. His eyes were being drawn left with the inevitability of an electromagnet dragging itself towards a hard disk.

Like a WAG through a bank account, the Datsun accounted for the barrier on the banking. As he twisted and soared over the playground in his Japanese biscuit-coloured message of death, Loincloth examined the climbing frame he was certain would be his final resting place. "Kids nowadays," he grunted through locked teeth, "have everything." A construction of rope and steel, the fractal plaything pointed an accusatory member to the heavens. In the remaining second before he hit, when he was almost certain he was going to end on the central spire, he allowed himself a smile, points for style. Locked out of his body as he was, all that manifested was a manic gleam of the eye. Daffid always said I'd look better on a spike.

Held into his bucket seat by a web of nylon rope, he was now doubly unable to move, imprisoned within his body within his car. For the first time he knew what it was to be a company man. The reflection in the window showed him two things to further exacerbate his sketchiness. There was foam on his chin, reminiscent of his insignificant other just that forenoon, post-copulation. The car was impaled on the triangular peak of the climbing frame, entering through the roof and terminating in the transmission shaft. "Shafted," he though with half of his brain. The other half rebelled.

Looking inward, things were as he had feared. His brain had polarised, like a bear. The one side, the word "left" floated by, was ugly, bloated, rancid with caffeine. That was normal. The ursine side was a snarling mess. It had claws, fur, a musty smell, a desire to piss in the woods. Where the two met, the battle was done. Synapses flared, roared, died and were digested while Loincloth, pinned into his inverted automobile, watched his hockey stick gently sway in the breeze. It had ended there after tumbling from the boot on impact. As it swung back and forth it mirrored the battle within.

It was a critical stage. The war on drugs was the war on nature was the war on nerve matter. As the two hemispheres separated, Loincloth felt a searing in the middle of his head. The bear and the drug fiend had gone their separate ways, cutting all diplomatic and physical ties. The war on drugs could not be won, nature could not be held back. Ambassadors were sent via the spinal cord, home of the reflexive jerk. Overtures were made, tentative steps towards a plan of action. For the two to survive, they must master the body. Common ground was found both internally and below the car. Agreement was reached and for a brief second control was gained.

A primordial scream erupted from the bloodless lips of the highjumper, half psychotic, half animal, all fear. As the first rubber neck toting mass arrived, a geyser of urine trickled down his chest, along his neck and down his face. As the concerned face looked up, stupid question beckoning, the first drops pattered from mo to gawping nonsense-hole.

Once more, concordance: Loincloth snarled.

- This has been another Kaufman & Under The Radar experience.


The Retirement Speech

The following creative work has been in the planning since mid-October. Was it time spent carefully crafting a work of art or time spent unwell molding under a faulty chair made of sausage in the back of the shed? You be the judge in this
Under The Radar and Kaufman joint.

Dave Baxter tinged his glass in the time-honoured manner. “Order, order! If we could just have a little quiet? Thanks a lot!” He paused while the talk died down around the room. When he was satisfied with the noise levels he started speaking. “First of all I would like to thank you all for coming today. I hope you are all enjoying the wonderful food and copious drink.” A few drunken roars and wey-heys greeted this.

“Soon we will be relaxing over our Christmas holidays and spending time with our loved ones. I would like to encourage a few of you to do something embarrassing to liven the conversation at work in the new year.” Silence greeted this. “Anyway, there is another reason that we are all here today. One of us will not be returning in the new year. Bill, from IT support, will be leaving us after fifteen years. He will be taking early retirement this year and moving to the countryside cottage he has been doing up for years.”
Around the room a murmur spread and a few people looked over at Bill, who nodded a few times slowly. Dave waited a few seconds before carrying on. “Dave is a quiet guy, as I am sure you all know. However, I am sure he will break his silence just this once and tell us what he is going to do with all this free time he has earned.”
A few people in the crowd shouted “Speech!” and one particularly drunk person shouted, “Evolution!” but no-one ever got his jokes and this one was met with silence too.
Dave looked in mock enquiry at Bill and stepped from behind the microphone. “Would you like to say a few words?”
Bill put down his napkin, straightened his tie and pushed his chair back as he stood. There was a polite round of applause as he walked to the front, glass of wine in one hand, speech in the other. He stepped behind the microphone and paused for a few seconds to look around the room. He saw the beery-crowd in the back corner, the young lads at the bottom of the ladder who scrawled lewd messages on the wall. The upper managers looking bored but quiet. In the middle of the room were the secretaries and clerical workers who, judging by some of the faces around their table, were mid-bicker as usual. Off to the left were the operations and IT support group, including his friend Marcus, who was grinning. Off to the right were the financial types looking uncomfortable in their causal clothes and killing the atmosphere on their side of the room. Dotted randomly around the room were the odd few people who didn’t really belong to any department, including the cleaner who was still drinking with grim determination even at this stage.
The seconds stretched on. Bill stood up straight, put one foot slightly forward, then scratched his head. He relaxed, threw his speech onto the table and said, “I did have something prepared but it isn't really what I want to say, so screw that.” He took another slug of wine.

The floodlights, which had lit the room like rabbits fleeing the scene of coitus following a rare directional success with the hand-held spotty by a half-tanked and self-taught scholar of the shotgun genus, buzzed to a halt; their purpose had been quashed, like a gin quashes a tonic, as the throng gasped in unison at the indecision suddenly made available to them by the 100% decrease in visibility. Bill's words had made quite the impact as well.

Questions were asked by anyone with an inkling for the dramatic. How would the alcoholics negate the treacherous journey to the bar? Who would leap from the rafters to offer emasculated fire to the damsels in the throng who were incapable of fingering their lighters at the bottom of their purses to incinerate their Winfield Reds? Chips, dips, chocolate eclairs and confectionery of all manner was at the mercy of the overfed fat-fucks, thought Bill, whose predisposition with mind games was second only to his predisposition with skanks. What would the upper managerial types think and, perhaps even more realistically to those trained to handle situations as absurd as this, what would be expected of the second tiered upper managerial types to quell the storm as the inferno raged?

Bloated men and women of considerably sized neck girth headed to the buffet like dung beetles with masks and fins to a diarrhoea convention; they were white-collared SEALS trained for food reconnaissance missions of this very nature, and they were elbow deep in their element.
The house speakers, which were gift wrapped in gold-encrusted paper hand crafted by workers with disease of the metacarpus in a third-world country maligned by local media for its proximity to Arab states' political views, were donated by the Duke of Edinburgh following the inaugural and only indoor hunting exercise that resulted in the death of four members of the orchestra and two hares in this very same auditorium in 1984, erupted in a cacophony of extremes as, firstly, Aerosmith's Dude Looks Like A Lady blared from somewhere amidst the vast blackness, followed, as nobody would deny, regrettably, by The Sweet's Ballroom Blitz.
The chandeliers shook. The rafters rattled. The steel insertions in the Chairman of the Board's hips vibrated, this time, unlike those in the back end of his limousine, much to his displeasure; the old war veteran had paid many a Vietnamese lass/lad to perform similar acts of joy with various bony extremities and more fleshy parts of their anatomy at a time in his past, when his corrective eye lenses were less than five centimetres thick and when his definition of multitasking included juggling in his mouth a long-neck bottle of Tiger and the tongue of whomever wasn't hoovering his groin region. He yelped repeatedly like a canine during a routine debollocking when the steel insertions in the only remaining erogenous zone of his ageing frame which was still in working order slipped internally to his pelvis bottom.

The contingent of obese opportunists continued their penguin like march to the trestle-tables, having deprived the buffet of all but the prawns' trails; bowls and dishes of all sizes were raided and/or pillaged as glimpses of jiggling arses unearthed minimal light into the theatre. An opportunistic builder's labourer, who wasn't on the guest list and who had army issued night vision goggles from one lucky day at eBay, absconded with an entire roasted pig beneath the pit of his arm, citing concern so grave among the rotund and the chunky, whose senses centred on their ability to smell bad shit going down from a proverbial mile away, that they followed him to the exit with the intention of rolling the living fuck out of him the second they were in the car park.

Bill had remained calm and collected throughout the ordeal. Having the power to harness light sat well with him. The mystery woman under the desk, whose eagerness had caused her to perform one of several sexual acts she was well versed in before acceptances (her award winning fellatio was supposed to occur after Bill's speech, on the member of the Head of International Distribution as a personal joke concocted by and collectively paid for by the IT Help staff), also ensured that Bill wasn't about to vacate his post prematurely.
Several seconds later, as he exhaled satisfactorily, Bill pulled up his zipper and tapped into the microphone three times; tell me why I like Mondays, thought he.
"Ladies and gentlemen, please do not panic," he ventured to the blank canvas of deafening chaos that had lived as a multi-dimensional beast of sin for close to ten minutes. "I am able to restore order with the simple push of a button," he continued, threatening to do the opposite should the rabble fail to cease, with a dash of post haste as a chaser, with the infernal racket.

The threat was enough to get the majority of punters, minus those who were still scoffing food, to shut their traps and stand blindly to attention. Most of them didn't understand why.

Bill touched one of several buttons on the underbelly of the desk. With another movement, he depressed it with his index finger until it clicked into the other of its two positions. Floodlights beamed to all corners of the expansive room, making their distinctive buzzing sound, to welcome the prognosis that normality was springing back to life. It was a religious awakening for the contingent of desperados who didn't want to take responsibility for their own actions;
to those who did it was a light switch being flicked by a prankster-cum-insubordinate during his last hurrah in order to restore some semblance of order in the disorder that he had caused.

The room's state could officially be labelled with a sticker marked "in disarray". An SMS to the head of the custodial team later in the evening would result in shock waves filtering through the ranks of the entire mop-up squad and their men-in-waiting back-up team. The people standing stationary and gawk eyed, however, looked like remnants of their former selves on the third day after having attended a Nick Cave and The Birthday Party concert or some other event that had captured their imaginations and will to live.

Bill reached into his pants pocket and withdrew a device with the care usually reserved for handling dodo eggs. He held the tiny gadget aloft in both hands like the holy grail or some other sacred symbol alluded to in a Steven Spielberg motion picture.

"As some of the more astute of you are aware," began Bill in his holier-than-thou pseudo-pisstake-pseudo-echo tone, "I've been working on a portable memory restoring device, or MRD, with a built-in truth assimilator, or TA, so that our defence forces may have a means of working with Prisoners of War, or POWs, who have returned from behind enemy lines, or returned from BEL, and who continue to suffer the effects of brainwashing and other forms of non-torture related shenanigans, or BOFNTRS."

The room gasped as it often does in moments without room for cliche.

"Indeed," Bill continued, lacing the fart-inspired air with an insipid dose of intrigue. "This lil baby is not only the prototype but the only actual type ever likely to see the light of day," he continued nonsensically, now hunched over and cackling into the microphone like a super villain seconds away from a monumental blunder. "And woot's more," he enunciated poorly, "moi aibileetee to drabba wabba dooooo..."

With an astoundingly loud thud for a man of no more than five-feet and six-inches, Bill's body slammed sideways to the hardwood floor. The truthamy-gadget-thingamy slid across to where Dave Baxter's Italian shoes were tapping while the rest of Dave remained seated. All eyes were transfixed on Dave; Dave's shoes tapped and continued to tap.

As it became more and more evident to all present that no-one knew what the fuck ought to be done, Dave Baxter hoicked his collar and saluted the fallen body of his comrade with a pointed index finger, a signature move made famous at one time or another by Elvis, the one and the same Elvis of Graceland and war movies fame.

Bill's flaccid body was in the middle-to-latter stages of metamorphosis.

"Wait for it!" Dave Baxter shouted while his finger and collar remained pointed and raised respectively.

And then it happened; a living, breathing stegosaurus rose from its hind quarters where the vanquished Bill had lay. A splutter from its lungs and a prolific dose of whiparse from a flamethrower guided by the capable hands of the head baker ensued, killing the beast in the most spectacular homicide since the death of four orchestral members some two decades earlier.

With the revolutionary gadget now in his hand, which he flayed demonstratively in the mode of playing a really fucken great big air guitar, Dave Baxter proudly proclaimed: "That's one less dinosaur to contend with."

The strumming gyrations continued as he added, "Don't be surprised next month if Tim Leonard's retirement speech sounds reminiscent of a grog-bog fart. Once more unto the breeches!"



Euphamism 2

"You're back then, are you?"

"Yes, dad."

"Your mum told you what would hapen if you came back after twelve?"

"Yes. dad."

"Well, here it is."

"Fuck me, it's hot!"

"You were told."

"Look inside - people sqirming. And look at the size of that fucker! And what's that dangling off the front of him? It's all the new kids on the block."

"I am your father. I can only give it to you the way I see it. You were the one who had to treat the place like a doss-house..."

"Fucking hell! A cat just appeared and got scragged within half a second!"

"Do we understand each other?"

"Yes dad."



Chad slid the whole length in and breathed a sigh of relief.

It felt so good.

Finally, he knew what it was like and he loved it. At last he had found the courage to risk ostracization from his social circles and his family. No-one else he knew had ever walked this path. They could never understand.

Soon he would have to tell them.

He would have to tell them of the years he spent pretending to be something he was not, looking at pictures he felt he shouldn't have under the cover of darkness. When he finally told his wife, she left him. He couldn't blame her. She was Army through and through, and the Army didn't tolerate his type.

So here he was, sweating and grunting as he forcefully rammed home his payload for a second time. It felt even better than the first and his partner grunted in appreciation at his passionate delivery.

His ecstasy peaked and he cried out:

"Torpedo's ready to launch Sir!"



Up hill and over dale the beast raged, scaly skin and jeweled corset glinting in the lazy sun. An S of smoke trailing from his nobbled and flaring. An eye that burnt a magical trail across the eye of the casual witness.

A heavy stomp of talloned foot, a whimsical flick of leathern wing and the farm is gone, become it's own memorial cairn. Livestock scatter like flies from a nudged corpse. And yet the dragon pounds on without pause for repast.

A ripple and a twinkle on hill grows to stickman in dale and knight amongst rubble. His garb is best burnished French steel, covered with a surcoat of white and red. Straightbacked in a high saddle, he cluches reins and lance, tighter.

After pausing to search for victims, he follows the trail.


On Euphemisms

Language Trix II

It was a case of extremists v. moderates
or extreme radicals v. fence-sitting nosepickers
or fundamentalist divisionaries v. stagnant cancer

Meanwhile the boys at the box-office were manufacturing
a new cool that would chill the root-out-all-adversaries
neighbourhood bullies and hippify
the stodgy peaceniks refusing to take sides

Everyone else either pro-life or pro-choice
never anti anything, nevermind pro-the-right-to-choose-life
or reject pain or oppose the slaughter of innocence by millions
because if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything so
pick your damn sore spot and start bitching would you?
We have a wide selection of causes you have your choice
between Jews for Jesus privatization of the market
liberation of the vegetarians genericization of the war on drugs

Don't get me started on the list of wars you can support we got the:

war on poverty
war on tax fraud
war on large game poaching
war on the remnants of the cold war
war on the left
war on the right
war on terror
war on dictatorship

The list goes on and of course you have the war on war itself
and the boys in the language lab are hard at work sloganeering
for whomsoever can afford their services so if you seek a career
in the public service and you have a knack with subtle put-downs
you can perhaps be the chosen white to solve the age-old adage
of the spectrum-tipping nutters v. the smack dab middle ho-humming wimps.