the royal avalon literature society
There are ten of them. We met this morning.
Disaster Dave Rundle, Mike Marylin Mitton, Wazzer the bellyboarder, Jamie the gent, Cookie from Rabaul, The Captain, Stumpy, the other Pete, Nick the wealthy and the man everyone forgot.
They all have a copy of the Bookmaker* and have been given a week to read and understand it before handing in their reviews.
This is a big ask. These blokes read a lot of airport novels and always do what their wives ask. In other words, they like it simple. Dave for instance, who’s had the book for three weeks, didn’t follow Otto. Which means he’s buggered from the outset. Otto being the key.
Wazza is up to page three and asked me what a certain word meant. What word? Asks I, always ready to assist. Can’t remember he sez. Wazza has a lot of salt water between his ears.
Stumpy wants to know why there are so many characters. I look around the table, see ten no-hopers all in a row, tell him to pull his head in.
‘This is Australia’s most profound mystery,’ I say, ‘and here it is all figured out for you.’
‘Bullshit,’ says the other Pete, ‘ how can a dill like you figure it out when all you do up there on the coast is sit on your arse, smoke bushy and scratch tick bites?’
Hard man, the other Pete, has three ex-wives to support and isn’t allowed into the Ballina Slipway hotel for six months for being uneccessarily unruly every time South Sydney loses a match, which, by the way, is a bit too bloody often these days.
Nick the wealthy is about to leave for a month in Italy, the betting is he won’t get any further inland than the Naples girlie bars and will leave the book in the aircraft unread and splattered with Emirates first class coffee. Untidy is Nick, drops money everywhere, that’s why the girls like him.
The Captain is new in town and the rumour is he’s had a proper education. This could be a worry until you see him pile four teaspoons of sugar into a short black. He’ll knock the thing off in a day and forget all about it by the next. Gospel.
Jamie just takes notes of the conversation, the eight teeth he had removed last week means he lisps and nobody wants to hear that in a man.
Only one bloke didn’t get a copy, I forgot the man everyone forgot.
*The Bookmaker from Rabaul by yours truly. A mystery novel that is a mystery to read. Ask Stu Nettle about it, then have a word with Sean Doherty, both have bald spots from scratching their heads.
I had it all figured out… right up until the point I didn’t.
knew it ..
Correct displaying, The Royal Avalon Literature Society. There should be a badge, like scouts, sorry.
Sorry Pete, I just love this idea, that you have intiated, four oclock in the morning, I will go to sleep now.
I am going to be a cleaner or a writer , it will be a close thing. Even Phin is telling me to write now.
Good, do it.
Dave rang the other night, he was stuck in a tin shed behind Southport putting together a MG3 … he said all 12 blokes had read the book and each one of them had 7 minutes to talk about it, warts and all. They even had notes. Mine was their 80th book.
‘The coracle for instance,’ sez Dave, ‘they were only used in England, not the bloody Pittwater!’
Dave’s a good soul, but some things need explaining.
‘You mean to say, do you Dave, do you, that two young kids living by the river back in ’45 couldn’t glue together a couple of sheets of tin iron with their old man’s tar to make it waterproof enough to take out fishing?’
He said only 3 of the 12 got it, some didn’t know what was true and what was me, some thought it should have been read the other way around, Afterword first. I have a reputation for being deep you see, that’s what Cooky said after he read out loud the piece about one thousand fish.
Dave said that after Cooky read it, he looked up at everyone, let out his breath and said, ‘That is very deep.’