Apparently I am not all that good looking.

I saw something from supernaturalsnark suggesting that you don’t have to look like someone you find very attractive to be incredibly attractive yourself. I may be slightly overstating what she said, in fact. But that’s not the point.

I am wondering how much you need to look like someone your lover finds incredibly attractive to look very attractive yourself. Not very much, I am hoping.

Because it was only last night, as I was watching the cricket, that the current Mrs Richmond leaned over my shoulder and said, “you know …. I could really do that guy”. She wasn’t talking about one of the players. She was talking about the commentator.

His name is Brendon Julian. He’s seems a nice enough sort of chap.

He used to be a cricketer, but he’s not anymore. I used to be a cricketer. I’m not anymore, either. He really wasn’t all that good. Neither was I.

So far, then … there’s nothing in it. He and I are virtually identical.

All right. I admit it. Statistically speaking he was better than me. Quite a bit better, perhaps.

But I don’t think Mrs Richmond cares much about cricket. I think she was thinking of something else.

Should I be concerned?

Girls like girls

This topic popped into my feed from braveandreckless so I jotted a few heartfelt thoughts down in response.

As always, there is a risk that my contribution may come across as trite, but may I assure you all that it is, in no way, intended as disrespectful.

I will stop short of suggesting my effort is suitable for serious publication other than right here …. but I would encourage others to shoot something off to Christine at the Cafe in order to properly celebrate the reality of liberation and joy.

Girls like girls

just look at them talk

Girls like girls

just look at them walk

Girls like girls

so, Girl … go and get her

Girls like girls

‘cause they smell so much better

Girls are prettier

don’t you know?

Girls are superior

from head to toe

Girls are cleverer

just like your mother

So it’s no surprise

that girls like each other

Girls like girls

It’s a matter of taste

Girls like girls

and they’ve no time to waste

Girls are good company

Boys are such bores

Girls sometimes argue

But girls don’t start wars

Girls like girls

as someone to wed

Girls like girls

‘cause they’re better in bed

Girls like girls

I don’t want to be rude

But girls like girls

‘cause they look better nude

Fifty Shades of Dull

I have no issue with erotica. I am all for it, in fact. But the success of E.L. James I find to be inexplicable. So I thought I should have a go, from a slightly different angle – in the hope of becoming an overnight millionaire.

Actually I may have posted this silly poem before, in a slightly different form. I doubt that anyone would remember it but I would be awfully impressed by anyone who did …

Heads you win

Tails I lose

That’s the outcome

That we choose

Please tell me, Madam

Of your plans

Now that my life

Is in your hands

This slave to love

Can you not see?

Is your

Responsibility

My hands are tied

I will not move

So what do I

Have left to prove?

The light is fading

Shades of grey

What do I

Have left to say?

I’m suffocating

Out of breath

So give to you

This little death.

Ten (not utterly repugnant) things about me

Over at Bipolar Whispers there is a challenge to name 10 good things about yourself. I was reluctant to take part – it is a very unAustralian thing to do. Boasting is a magnet for abuse and ridicule in this country.

Fortunately there are no things about me that I could consistently claim as being ‘good’ But I found some that might be described as ‘not utterly repugnant’, instead.

Here’s my blushing list ….

This was always going to be hard. Ten is quite a big number.

1. I don’t anger easily. Or should I say that there’s not much out there that gets me angry. This may be the manifestation of apathy. We just had a national election here. Every body got very excited and worked up about the potential and then the actual results. A lot of them got angry. I didn’t. I didn’t really care. This made other people even angrier.

2. I am physically unattractive. This is a community service. It helps other people feel good about themselves.

3. I am a chronic underachiever. Through life there have been quite a few things that I’ve been sort of good at but always fallen just short of getting anywhere with.This is another community service of mine – making others feel good about themselves. I can hear the joy in other’s voices when they tell their friends, “Hey! You see that guy over there. The fat one? That’s Brutus Richmond. He used to be pretty good at {insert former talent here} …. But look at him now!!!”

4. I can keep a secret. This is absolutely true. If a complete stranger confides in me and swears me to secrecy then I won’t even tell the police …… even when I discover that the person just robbed a bank. It’s a weird personal code of mine. If my confidante turned out to be a rapist or child molester then maybe I’d have to rethink things.

5. I can cook, a bit. And I really enjoy it. I will never be a professional chef but I do like preparing special meals for small groups. Ideally a group of two. The whole ‘candlelit dinner’ thing is a bit cliched but low lighting, soft unobtrusive music, really good wine and interesting food all makes for wonderful times. Right at this minute I’m thinking Italian.

Half way there!

6. I honestly don’t hold a grudge. People who have it in for me probably have a good reason to feel that way ….. and who am I to deny them the pleasure of letting all the negative vibes fester? But it doesn’t work the other way around. Several times in life people have been amazed when I have engaged them in conversation after something of a gap. “Oh,” they have said, “I never expected you to talk to me again in your life.” Most times I have no idea what they are on about (my memory is not good, to be fair).

That said – the whole notion of ‘not talking to somebody’ strikes me as utterly ridiculous and childish.

7. I have the heart of a boy. I am curious about things and I like to play as I did when I was in school. There are little games that I invented as a child to amuse myself that I still play today (when no-one is looking). The sight of beautiful women (and ALL women are beautiful) still increases my heart rate. I think the heart rate thing might even be getting worse, to be honest.

8. I am nostalgic. Is that a good thing? I see it as a sort of ‘arty’ thing, anyway. And if I say that I tend to see the past through rose coloured glasses then it’s because I believe it to be the most appropriate eyewear to use. You can look forward with them too.

I do have something of a yearning for the past (when those beautiful women mentioned above actually looked back) but I try to cut it short of melancholy.

9. I have been very lucky. I tend to find myself in the right place at the right time (when the right person is mysteriously unavailable) and so, professionally the world has been very kind to me and happy to overlook my glaring inadequacies.

Sometimes I find myself in the wrong place at the wrong time too, of course. But that normally leads to some sort of adventure. I’ve reached a stage when my time on this planet (looking forward) is not all that vital to me. So I am willing to take a few risks.

10. I am inconsistent. I am capable of enormous philosophical shifts in the blinking of an eye. I may well deny everything I have written above within a week. Is that a ‘good thing about me’? I think so. Otherwise I’d seem even more boring than I really am.

NYC Midnight – a return to form

Some of you may remember that I have developed a (somewhat self-destructive) habit of entering this competition. You may also recall that, until recently, I have had an unblemished record of being eliminated during the first round and being placed overall, therefore, about three thousand three hundredth. During the current competition, however, there was a slip up in the judging process which saw me slip into round 2 with a story concerning (allegedly) the Vietnam War. You can read it, should you be very bored, Here

In response to this surprising turn of events I produced a silly story about a old man living on old dreams (a short autobiography, in other words) and that can be read here.

It bombed. So the world order has been restored. So, in this competition, I suppose I came in about nine hundred and fiftieth.

I always find the judges feedback a bit confusing and highly inconsistent. I don’t think I’m alone in this regard. Here is what they had to say.

 

”Miss Queensland Country 1954” by Brutus Richmond –   WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY

– {1955}  Nice introductory paragraph. It makes me want to read more to find out about their conversation. 

The early descriptions of Janet, both in the exposition and dialogue, give me a clear image of her. I especially like the old man’s comment about her having “one hell of a bark.”

Mr. Johnstone is a solid character. The way he acts out his football play is interesting and vivid.

{1777}  I enjoyed the walk down memory lane with the old man in his garden, planning yet another trip. It was fascinating to see all the different possible adventures and to learn the eccentricities of Janet. I got a feel for the old man’s devotion and love for his wife and her passion and devotion for him. The story about the football game was great, and the light shining on Janet was lovely. I liked the faded photo of her he kept with him, the memories of them in the various trees, and the story of the strike was poignant and powerful. 

{1943}  This is an exceptional story, written with a beautiful tone of sweetness and sadness. You writing is exquisite, for example, “That he had been invited into a sacred space” when he is shown the newspaper cutting about Janet. The old man’s reminiscences are heart rendering, and your story brought tears to my eyes as it made me remember old friends and grandparents. 

 

WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK

{1955}  At the section that started, “There were many stories. Not all of them were about football,” I suspected Janet was dead. Intentional? If your intent is to withhold that information from the reader until the end, consider revising this section. 

The line, “He had seen her only once,” made me wonder if he ever had a relationship with Janet or it was all in his head. Intentional? 

By the end of the story, I’m still not certain whether he was ever really married to her or it was something only in his mind. The photo of her in the wedding dress could have been from her marriage to someone else. Even though it says, “Before she was Mrs. Johnstone,” that again could have been something only in his mind. 

{1777}  I wanted a first name for the old man and an identity for the jogger. Right now he’s a nameless, shapeless person. Since he’s the narrator, I wanted a name, some physical description, some background. How long has he been hanging out with the old man? Does he stop at the beginning or end of his run? Does he have anything in common with the old man? Why does he hang out? Does he ever bring the old man anything? Does he ever help with the garden?

At the very end the POV changes from the narrator to the old man. Why? Could you bring the jogger into the cottage and write it from that perspective? 

{1943}  With a story  that is this beautifully written, it is difficult to find much to recommend. The odd comma might help the reader, for example, after “self-contradictory” in the first paragraph, and after “examined” in the seventh paragraph. I reread your story three times to see if there was anything else I could recommend, but honestly, it was perfect just as it was. Many congratulations!

So …..

Judge 1943 is clearly an individual of astute tastes, and an impassioned proposal of marriage has already been sent (I know, I know …. there is no clear indication as to whether or not this is a male or a female judge, but I don’t care. I’m in love.)

1955, on the other hand is, unquestionably, an imbecile. He seems to be insisting on the presentation of a official documentation to prove that the old man and Janet were actually married – apparently the wedding photo hanging above his fireplace might have been of her marrying some other guy …..

1777 is not much better. He needs to know what the jogger had for breakfast and what colour socks he was wearing, apparently.

So those two have been removed from my Christmas list.

AM I BITTER AND TWISTED????

DOES IT SHOW???

No? Good. Because sometimes my emotions can get a little out of check.

Authors note: Lest anyone think otherwise I don’t really think judge 1955 is an imbecile. And I am sure that, not only 1777 knows a hell of a lot more about the craft than do I but also that there were, sadly, about 300 stories better than mine. It was all tongue in cheek and I will be back next year to have another crack.

My desire to sleep with judge 1943, on the other hand, is entirely genuine.

I’m just looking. I promise I won’t touch.

I was (somewhat mysteriously) reminded of a response I made quite some time ago to a post of Stella’s within which she confessed to a lifelong habit of staring at other people’s backsides. It seemed like the right opportunity to say something highly inappropriate and sexist by repeating it (and blaming someone else).

So here goes ….

A glance at a bottom
A peek at a breast
A life’s dedication
A personal quest
It’s no competition
It’s no sort of test
I treat them all equally
But I like yours the best

I read somewhere, by the way, that the average man will spend one year of his life staring at women. That sounds like quite a short life, to me.