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hilly and pete


Hilly’s got a new neighbour, a young bloke, and the young bloke had a heap of other young blokes and their girls over for NYE. Trouble was, Hilly was telling Pete, was that they started the day before and finished the day after.

‘You know what their racket was like?’ Hilly asked, ‘the New Guinea fucken highlands.’



Hilly is about ninety something. Saw the war up there. Knows a few things.

‘You’d have some tribe somewhere, settled into their valley way up in the hills, been there for generations and everything sweet. But then one night a mob from some other part of the country rolls up and starts playing their big drums up on the ridges at night.
Then again the next night, all night. Same drums, but now the blokes up there are howling’

‘War drums, ‘sez Pete, ‘fuckers want their women.’

Pete is ex-Vietnam, and his eyes hold a sorrow.

‘So the next day, after the bastards had turned off their doof after twenty four non-stop fucken hours, I rode me mower over to the fenceline just as all these droopy looking deadshits were looking for a piece of ground to lay on, and I mowed that fucken fenceline, up and back, thirty seven times!’


‘I counted them.’

‘I reckon that for five they thought I was an idiot, for ten, maybe a bigger idiot. At about twenty they started to move away and when I got to thirty seven they got the picture.’

‘Which was what?’ asked Pete.

‘I was pissed off.’

Hannah arrives just in time. Two more schooners.

‘I always had trouble dealing with fools.’

Hilly asked Hannah what a Kinesiologist is, because this bloke next door is one. Masseurs basically, she says, they usually work from home up and don’t clean their fingernails or sheets. Plus they always have a couple of dogs off the chain around the place, a few loose chooks  in the house and boom boxes on the verandah the size of dog kennels.

Hannah left. Hilly and Pete took a swallow, put their glasses down.

Hilly looks at Pete.

‘That’s him.’

pic is of kurulu war chief

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