Mechanically Separated Chicken.

Sunday, June 22, 2003


So it's true. There was a Time Out. Yes there was. If you were here, or at least within fifty metres of here with an unobstructed view and a pair of binoculars, you would have admired the way I made the sign with my hands: the lazy horizontal hand resting atop the defiant verticality of the other. You would have said to yourself, 'That's a T that could never stand for Tailspin or Topsoil or Truffle Oil or Tap Dancing or Tantric Sex, no no.' And even though the light reflecting off the lens of the binoculars would have given you a headache like the bloody dickens, you would have known instantly what I meant, and that, my darling, is why I love you.

Because that's the kind of astute web-citizen you are. You've learnt not to panic. When you see a straw hat or torn jacket floating like jetsam on the surf, you don't scream for the lifeguard. You're an old hand at this standing-on-the-beach caper, and pal, this ain't nothing you ain't seen a hundred times before. Like last winter you found a stingray on the sand, lying upside down, gasping for breath. Its lips were like the lips of a human baby and the sounds it made, well, you've been trying to forget them. It had nostrils - wet slits in silver rubber - that opened and closed, opened and closed. You poked it with a stick and stared for a half-hour and wondered how to get it back in the water without touching it with your hands and it felt like your life would never be the same if you couldn't and then you heard the others shout your name and you walked back to the carpark and someone gave you a can of Bondi Cola and it tasted really good. Like ginseng and cinnamon. This is nothing like that, of course; it's quite different. But still.

I promise nothing: things get washed ashore all the time, we both know that. We're men of action, us. And sometimes, inaction.

And maybe the T did stand for 'Tailspin' after all.

You know, my love, I think it did.