Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bill's Birthday

There is rather a large amount of doom gloom financial manipulation government spying corporate abuse environmental destruction going on, isn't there. What was it Edmund Burke said  - All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Yes, in fact last month's torrential rainstorm of ten inches in a day that washed out the West Bank Road and the Mot Vly Hghwy, as they're respectively called in the phone book, was a pleasant relief by contrast.

Today was Bill's birthday so I got John to make some fairy cakes along with the chocolate cake he was baking for maths (enlightened maths teacher. The pupils are considerably more keen when they discover a 6th-form tradition whereby each pupil takes a turn at baking a cake for the entire class) and I took an ice-cream carton full and wedged it into his letterbox. - An actual letterbox, that is, standing on a post by the road, not a slot in a door. - Bill is a farmer and had been waving a friendly wave every day for five years and one day I stopped and introduced myself and learnt his name, and sometimes I stop for a chat like last month when the rain came down and washed the hillside away and I could get through on a bike and he couldn't in a car, and once I happened to mention that I was in the bike shop and there was a cake and I declared "Wow, Jim, a birthday cake for me!" and Jim said "It isn't your birthday is it Richard?" and I said "Actually, yes it is," and one of the mechanics went off with the cake and came back with a slice on a plate for me, and Jim explained that a burglar had nicked some scooters from a verandah so he, Jim, had phoned up the kids' mother and offered to give her a pair of brand new scooters, and she'd made the cake as a thank-you to the shop. So Bill told me that wurh, I could bloody well bring him a slice of cake for his birthday, and I asked when it was, and he said 15th August, and so I did. Or John sort-of did for me. And having filled his letterbox with fairy cakes I continued my ride and a mile up the road found Bill fiddling with the fence that had been washed away. I said "Happy birthday, Bill, there's something in your letter box."  Bill looked startled but then he always looks startled, and said "How did you know it's my birthday? They knew it was in the supermarket too, blow me down."  Then a cyclist stopped and Bill said "Hullo Brian, d'you know Richard?" and I said "How d'you do, Brian" and Brian said "G'day" and I said "D'you know what today is?" and Brian said "?" and I said "It's Bill's birthday" and Brian said "Ooh, you old bugger you," and Bill said "It's the big 0" and Brian said "You're not seventy are you?" and Bill said "No, thirty-nine" but he was lying. He's 66. And then a ute drove up and out got Woody and I said "Hullo, Woody, you don't know what today is do you?" and Woody said "It's 'is bloody birthday, that's what it is," and opened the passenger door and got out a large see-through plastic box filled with cakes.

All of which is not very newsworthy, but better than gloom and doom etc.