… you ‘horrible lot! 🎆 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cJR44H48POo
You ‘orrible lot!
Just a FYI: https://davidlcoxdotme1.wordpress.com/
Senator the Hon George Brandis QC – Parliament of Australia
It’s come to my attention that you’re hoping to protect the citizens of our great country by attempting to gather our metadatas from the internets. As a dutiful citizen, I feel it behoves me to help as much as possible. To this end, I’m sending you a list of today’s activities.
12:16 a.m. Woken by the sound of the street sweeper. It’s very loud. I have no idea why he does his work so late at night. You probably do, though, George. Could you ask him and get back to me about it? Ta.
12:21 a.m. Stumbled to the toilet in the dark. Peed. Stumbled back to the bedroom.
12:22 a.m. Started drifting off back to sleep.
12:58 a.m. Woke up. Stumbled to the toilet in the dark. Peed. Stumbled back to the bedroom.
12:59 a.m. Started drifting off back to sleep.
2:31 a.m. Woke up. Stumbled to the toilet in the dark. Peed. Stumbled back to the bedroom. Jesus Christ, I’m gonna have to lay off the coffee!
2:33 a.m. Started drifting off to sleep. Had a good scratch of my right testicle. I wondered if it was the left’s fault it was itchy.
4:49 a.m. Woken by someone using some sort of air compressor-powered device to clean the toilets in the park across the road (you know the one). The council is surely diligent, but they need more money, IMO, so they can afford to buy digital watches.
4:52 a.m. Stumbled to the toilet in the dark. Peed. Stumbled back to the bedroom.
4:54 a.m. Noted my left testicle wasn’t jealous the right one had had a good scratch earlier. Good. Rivalry between them is not needed. Glad they’re showing a unified front, just like the LNP! Started drifting off to sleep.
6:41 a.m. Woken by the council mowing the lawn in the park across the road. If those guys were paid by the amount of drive they showed, the council would be out of money!
Oh! BTW, I’m worried about the council worker who looks like one of ZZ-Top. Every few minutes he has to sit down and put his feet up for about three hours. His workmates sit with him to keep him company, bless ’em, even though you just know they’re itching to get back to work. People in the houses in this street won’t wake themselves up, after all. But, still … maybe you could cast an eye over his records and see if his medication needs updating? Thanks.
6:47 a.m. After rewarding the other testicle for its bipartisan approach by giving it a good scratch, stumbled to the toilet. Peed. Idly wondered when I was gonna run out of water in my system, ’cause this was a seriously long pee! I’m no good at guessing these things, George … how long did it take? What milliliterage of pee was it I expelled?
6:53 a.m. Splashed some water on my face. Dried my face with a towel. You know, George, the blue one with the beach scene on it? That’s the one. I swear it was hanging on the shower rail last night, but this morning it was on the back of the bathroom door. Can you look into it? What am I talking about … ‘can’ you? Would you? Thanks.
7:01 a.m. Made some coffee. Grabbed my smokes and went to sit on the front patio. You remember the gecko I’ve been watching the last few nights, George? The one who sits on the light globe next door, warming his tummy, eating insects as they come to him? I know, I’ve never mentioned it to anyone before, yes, but of course, you’d know about him. He was still there this morning! Amazing. Thought they normally hid during the day. Well … not from you, of course, George … but … metaphorically hiding.
I’m about twenty pages from the end of that Graham Masterton novel I checked out of the library last week, you know the one. Would you tell me how it ends, George? Just to save me time? Who is Red Mask?
7:16 a.m. Went back inside and fed my cats. Yep, Midnight and Patches. You guys have got them on file, of course, from way, way back when I applied with the housing commission! You even have the photos! Could I get a copy of them? I mean, I know it’s not my data, or anything; it belongs to the government, but … well, whatever works for you, George. You know I trust you.
7:23 a.m. Clean Midnight’s and Patches’ litter tray. I wonder how many grains of cat litter fit in the average tray? George, you mind letting me know about that one? ‘preciate it.
By God, George! Imagine having you and your phone on our team at trivia night! Will they be holding a trivia night at Tattersalls, George?
7:31 a.m. Took my morning medication. Man, George! I feel like I’m rattling, the number of pills I have to take! And this TPP is likely gonna increase the cost of ’em! Still, it’s for the good of the country … or … so I assume, I don’t know, really. I mean, you know. We don’t. But, hey, we’re only citizens. Personally, I feel like a weight has lifted, being stripped of them pesky rights, an’ all!
Sat down on my computer and gave Bill Shorten a hard time on Twitter, at least until I realized he was siding with you guys about the metadata retention. Now that I know that the federal Labor member of the opposition is on your guys’ side, I’m even more impressed by the skilled leadership of the Abbott government! Heck, I can’t even tell you guys apart anymore, what, with Bill siding with you guys to keep the 300 soldiers being sent to Iraq from going to a vote in Parliament. As if matters of life and death should be voted on, instead of just trusting our Glorious Leader to make a captain’s call!
… you ‘orrible lot.
Got an email from Ravo asking if I could make a post about a conversation/post on Vivaldi that was (apparently) from Erwin’s wife. It’s clearer if I just post them here:
The conversation/email/message Ravo was sent:
My apologies David [Ravo], I’m Erwin’s wife … I thought E would have pointed out to you my name. Never mind. He might be dead so my conversation and life stops here as well. I contacted the police of the country he was last in and IP (they are idiots anyway as they nearly killed him a few month ago when moving him every few hours from location to location. I thought I let you know as E has asked me if it is okay that you write a book about tree cutting. So please, should he be dead put that in it as evil (=ego) had done too much damage to this planet already.
The email Ravo sent to myself, and Devans:
Hi David & David.
I don’t know what to do about this message. It is about our Opera Friend, Erwin (the bird guy). I got two cryptic messages from this person yesterday & I thought it was a scam. Now, I’m not so sure. I sent a copy of the message yesterday to Dennis (H82type) to see what he thought, and I haven’t heard back. As you know, Erwin, Dennis, and a few others set up blogs on Vivaldi.net. Can you please contact Erwin’s friends where you are blogging and send them a copy of this message? We have to find out fast if it is authentic or a cruel scam of some kind.
I’m going to assume it is from Erwin’s wife and send a short follow-up message to her (them or whoever) tomorrow to try to find out more specific information. As you know, Erwin was always pissing off developers as he tried to protect the bird’s habitat (also governments who ran bird refuges poorly). Please help me locate Erwin or see if he is still alive & what country he was in at the time. Thanks for you help. Send me emails here [just post comments here and I’ll copy/paste back to Ravo, ’cause I’m not sure of the protocol of putting his private email online], and if it is Erwin and he is in trouble, I can coordinate an effort to bring out the heavy artillery and get him home.
Bureau took some time to process the news.
“Ernest … is dead?”
Clock – who knew more than most because if its vantage point on wall above doorway – explained patiently.
“It happens with them. Sooner or later, their pieces wear down like everyone’s and they stop working. It’s perfectly natural”.
“But … he was so good to us!”
And it was true. Ernest had cared for his household objects more lovingly than most. For many years and on a daily basis, he slowly took his elderly frame around the house, dusting and polishing, even – on occasion – speaking.
“There y’go. Good as new”.
“It’s a lot of work, this. But it’s worth it”.
Things like that.
Of course, he had no way of knowing the objects of his attentions could understand him. And he certainly couldn’t hear them speak back. But, perhaps (on some subconscious level) he did know, because (at least as far back as bureau could remember) a day never went by that he didn’t complete his cleaning …
… until the last day.
Mirror was the closest, fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) when it happened. Ernest was polishing its face when he dropped cloth (that he’d been using) and shook his left hand as though in pain. From there he grabbed his chest, fell forward, slid down mirror and came to rest on floor.
Clock had seen it all, and was desperate to do something. It turned its attention towards phone nearby, but phone – though more desperate than clock to do something since its entire purpose was communication – could only watch.
Phone table felt the weight of phone’s inability.
Carpet tried to make itself feel more comfortable, just in case that somehow helped Ernest. But nothing happened. Ernest lay there, not moving. Not breathing.
It was thanks to carpet, though, that the other household objects heard what had happened.
Carpet – frantic with worry – told wall; wall told windows, clock and ceiling. Ceiling boomed the message down to everyone …
… Ernest was dead.
Television had harboured suspicions – it had seen enough similar things in its time when Earnest watched it – but it had hoped otherwise.
And house and its objects mourned, for all of them had loved Ernest. After all, they were his, and he’d looked after them well for a long time.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And a long time passed, seemingly, before anything changed. In mourning, house and its objects didn’t notice that only days had passed, for it seemed much longer. Doorbell chimed a couple of times, but was so mired in its grief that neither it – nor anything else – noticed.
But someone outside had.
A neighbour who stopped by from time to time to check on the wellbeing of the elderly Ernest had grown worried when he hadn’t answered her last check as he usually did. Almost immediately, she’d called the authorities and an ambulance and police were sent out.
Door was woken from its grief by people pushing it open. It hurt only slightly as it was harshly separated from door frame and lock (they were all pretty sturdy) by the people in uniforms.
House and its objects looked on with concern, but also with a vague knowledge that others like Ernest were here to help!
“Do you think they’ll be able to help him move again?”
Clock’s response wasn’t encouraging.
“It depends. Sometimes, they can be repaired. But … ”.
In fairly rapid succession, Ernest was taken away. Door was closed up. The people in uniforms left.
House and its objects were quiet in their grief and confusion. An unspoken question hung in the air.
“What will happen to us now?”
An answer came within a further couple of days, and began when automatic timer told lamp it couldn’t provide any power to it because there was no power coming into house.
DVD recorder confirmed this, having been too mired in its own grief and confusion to notice when the power originally went off.
Refrigerator said that it, too, had lost power – and with it, its ability to hum.
Other objects around house also began talking about the lack of power coming from outside.
The next day, other people came back to the house. Some looked similar to Ernest in a strange and confusing way, and some didn’t. Some cried. Others didn’t, but looked sympathetic. Some dressed similarly, and these were the busiest. When the ones dressed dissimilarly had left (after looking through desk and taking papers), the similarly-dressed ones looked through refrigerator and freezer, throwing away food before tying the bag bin was chewing on and taking it away. Then they brought in other objects from outside. An unfamiliar vacuum cleaner had its face run over carpet, causing a little jealousy amongst household vacuum. The interloper merely shrugged.
“Nothing personal, pal”.
Soon, everyone had left, leaving house and its objects to grow more and more unnerved by what was happening – or, rather – what was going to happen, for everything sensed a change coming.
The next day the people who dressed the same were back, and this time something almost as terrible as Ernest’s death happened …
… they were taking away the other objects!
Panic set in, though it was a panic nothing could do anything about! All were helpless as they were loaded into a large truck.
Clock, television, DVD recorder and other electrical objects – even alarm clock – were put into a separate vehicle and taken away without even the opportunity to say goodbye.
Larger objects like bed, lounge and desk were put into a truck larger than anything anything had ever seen!
A different one of these ate refrigerator, washing machine and dryer!
Finally, other objects like phone table, mirror, and even bureau were put into another truck, the door slamming behind them, leaving them in darkness.
“What’s happening? What’s happening to us … ?”
Nothing could answer bureau. The situation was as alien to them as it was to it.
Phone table had tried asking the truck they were in, but it was like it spoke a different language and nobody there understood it.
All they could do was wait and see …
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Years later, bureau sighed. Wait and see was almost a mantra now.
Its life had not been a good one.
From the truck, they had been lumped into a warehouse with other foreign objects. Though there were many attempts at communication, nothing could understand the babble that washed over them. There was a general feeling of fear, of oncoming change, but that was the only similarity between the disparate objects.
Bureau knew it wouldn’t be long before it would never see the other objects from its home again. Just as refrigerator and clock and the others had been separated, so too would it be separated from its remaining friends.
And it couldn’t even say goodbye. A deep depression had settled over it. So deep that it didn’t even notice when it was hauled before a group of people weeks later. There were shouts, a man speaking very fast and banging a hammer. More travel – in a van this time. And bureau found itself somewhere else. Somewhere it didn’t speak the language. Somewhere it always felt like an outsider.
Somewhere nobody ever polished it or said, “There y’go. Good as new”, or, “It’s a lot of work, this. But it’s worth it”.
Wait and see. Wait and see.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Over time, bureau became less and less polished and more and more dilapidated.
One horrible day a long time from when Ernest had died, bureau was collected by some large, smelly people and taken to a truck. When the truck opened, bureau was taken out and thrown, landing hard.
Bureau looked around as far as its angle of vision allowed. It was surrounded by mounds and mounds of objects in various states of disrepair and decay as far as it could see.
Then something else happened … something bureau had never experienced.
Bureau felt as if the rain were the tears it was incapable of shedding for itself.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
After another long time, time where bureau alternately roasted in the sun or froze in the rain, time in which it was covered by layers of dust and dirt or used as a nest by rats, something else happened.
A large yellow object of a type bureau had never seen before made a lot of noise on the horizon …
… and came closer.
Soon enough bureau realized it was larger even than some of the vans that had carried away its family those many years ago.
Bureau wondered if it was being taken away again, possibly to somewhere even worse than this dump …
… but that wonder turned to fear as the yellow object grew closer and closer … !
Bureau tried to yell, to let the object know it was here! Worn rasps came out, the best it could manage. But regardless or whether the yellow object could hear (or even understand) it, bureau had the horrible feeling that it really didn’t care …
… a feeling confirmed when the yellow object crushed right over bureau …
… and all went black.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Bureau wanted to not look anymore. It had been in greater pain than it had ever known. The dust and dirt and noise and mud … the splintering and the horror …
… were gone!
Bureau suddenly noticed … all those things were gone!
In fact, there was now something else … ! Something …
Bureau looked and saw Ernest polishing it lovingly.
“There y’go. Good as new”.
In wonder it watched its former owner move on to the next object – and there it was! Mirror! And clock and television and …
Bureau looked around in awe … it was back, and so was everything else! Just as it had been so long ago when Ernest had been looking after them.
What was happening?
Clock winked as Ernest turned around …
“You’re in the afterlife now, bureau”.
“You … you can understand me?!”
“I always could … I just never knew it. But here … everything’s clear … ”
And bureau knew that here – in the afterlife – nobody’s pieces would ever wear down or stop working, and that it … he … would be with his loved ones forever.
Copyright © 2008 by David Scott Aubrey
All Rights Reserved
This short story is a work of fiction. Any and all names, characters and/or incidents are either products of my imagination or are used fictitiously. Where any such resemblance may exist to actual persons (living or dead), actual events or locales, it is purely coincidental.
Please don’t assume that my characters speak for me or carry my own opinions on various matters in any way, shape or form (though some might – you never can tell).