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THE LOWDOWN: Pipe dream come true


Richard Hoad

THE LOWDOWN: Pipe dream come true

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The life of a columnist doesn’t wind down like that of an actual newspaper person. No farewell function, no thank you mention in the paper. It’s a “here this week, gone next week” scenario. A virtual beheading.

Or maybe an actual beheading. Veteran journalist Ridley Greene suggested I might cop one of those for last week’s column. Always a possibility.

The columnist’s week goes from pressure (or often, panic) on his writing day to perdition or paradise when the column comes out. That pressure is like erectile dysfunction, except that with ED you can try again tomorrow. With writing there’s a deadline. If the muses refuse to work, you’re dead.

My usual writing day is Tuesday, deadline Wednesday a.m. This week it’s a day earlier because of Good Friday.

I set aside Monday afternoon for writing. The fates willed otherwise. Tractor suddenly died. While checking that, two of my Nefertari cocks, Red Rackham and the Young Upstart, started fighting to the death. Got them parted, then heard dogs barking. Daughter and I hustled to the hills, trudged miles but found nothing.

Was I weary, was I languid, was I sore distress’d? Yes! Especially as night was falling and I hadn’t yet had lunch. More barking, goat screaming in terror, daughter eventually found her, chased off dogs, lifted her probably half mile through bushes. Long story, we got through milking about 3:30 a.m., bad time to start writing.

So here I am a-scrambling. And the best I can do is a Dear Diary of the past week. You can write your own column from it.

Monday 23: Can’t believe my friend Wild Coot falls for the junk “scientists” put out and would dismiss the Bible on their sayso. Scientists live on grants for coming up with “discoveries”. The latest one: a car-sized salamander “with a head like a toilet seat”.

I figure the grants people were putting pressure on Prof Thistlepooch: “What’ve yuh got for us, Poochie?” And the Prof, just come from puking in the WC: “A big salamander, boss, head like a toilet seat. Next week let’s tell ’em the female resembles a bidet”.

Believe your eyes, Coot. In the throes of scientists’ “global warming”, Canada has just had its two coldest winters ever. And lately on mornings I can’t even find ‘Paling’.

Tuesday 24: Reflected on CLICO. Nice fellow Holly Springer tried ever and anon to sell me a policy. Luckily I study Sherlock, Poirot, the Famous Five. Something didn’t ring true. Then it hit me: Sir Hilary Beckles listed as a director of CLICO, the Colonial Life Insurance Company.

Beckles, Colonial? No way! I suspicioned the real Sir Hilary was probably being held in a smugglers’ tunnel running from the sea to Sam Lord’s Castle. I gave CLICO a miss.

Wednesday 25: Meditated on sargassum. A blessing in disguise? It has made my chive grow like crazy. Why not put on cane fields?

Thursday 26: Former Nation sub-ed Kishmar Shepherd, now of BimRock, did a feature on our goats. Brought down his own drone and flew all around. I thought only “elites” had drones.

Friday 27: Compulsory voting mooted. Only if NOTA (none of the above) is an option. If NOTA wins, wheel and come again.

Saturday 28: a.m. Half asleep. Grandson shouting in panic: “Don’t look, Grannie!” Next thing a blanket swirls over me. Appears I got uncovered and he saw me at full majesty. Later that day he got a gold medal in karate.

P.M. Ridley’s birthday party, Bush Bar. Good food, no banjo. Revelation from Sam Wilkinson: while on Saturday mornings I was into donkeys, my bright classmates were doing lessons with Orville Durant’s father. I wasn’t as “intellectually backward” as some claimed.

Sunday 29: Boss HC concert. My Simon Pipe selfie taken by his wife. Me with a star! Mind you, I don’t think Pipe has ever heard of me. Suspect his wife (she does rings) wants to use me as an example of a father who wouldn’t let his daughters get their ears pierced. Eventually they rebelled and went the whole hog. (Probably have rings there too. I don’t want to know.)

By the way, Carlie Pipe could pierce me anywhere. Even behead me. Her sword would go: “Slice!” My head would go: “Nice!” It’d be all over in a trice.

Richard Hoad is a farmer and social commentator. Email [email protected]

 

The columnist’s week goes from pressure (or often, panic) on his writing day to perdition or paradise when the column comes out. That pressure is like erectile dysfunction, except that with ED you can try again tomorrow. With writing there’s a deadline. If the muses refuse to work, you’re dead.

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