Skip to main content
15 April, 2009

by The Wandering Wastrel


So there I was … a young man,

Filled with an ever-present dread that feels as if one is running up an ever collapsing stairway, the type of dread that fills anyone who knows they should be being good and yet is not heeding the voice that tells them to get this train back on the rails.

Filled with the type of dread that comes when one heeds the voice that makes up silly sayings like “Reality is a symptom of not enough drugs” and “Go on take it, no one really owns anything anyway”.

I had been heeding that voice for so long now that I was trapped.
Trapped because I was addicted. Addicted to many things, one of them being the whacked out zany hijink and tomfoolery filled adventures that heeding the voice took me on.

My comrade in debauchery and I were at that moment watching a less than savory Eddie Murphy comedy video, eating food taken from the fridge, drinking tequila and smoking dope with our feet up on the glass coffee table.

Nothing seems overly wrong with that scene.
Yet it was horribly wrong. We were jittery Goldylocksesque interloping naughty fellows.

The house belonged to an upper-lower-class Maori family who were on holiday in Fiji. Their long awaited, hard worked for and first ever, family holiday. Happy photos of them beamed accusingly down at us from the walls, their dark eyes following me at all times. More dope and booze was needed to block out the guilt of the act of trespass we were committing.

We were there because once again my silver tongue had won over the weak of will. We had picked up a young hitch hiker who was on his way to feed a cat belonging to some friends of his; A Maori family who were having their first family holiday together in Fiji.

Plying him with dope and stories he let us in, on the promise that we would feed the cat for the next two days and then leave the place as we found it. Promises were swiftly made and we had a free hotel complete with as many long distance calls as one wanted to make.

We stayed the night in unfamiliar smelling beds and the next day were helping our selves to everything there (Why not? It will probably just go rotten anyway…), not forgetting to feed the cat, as was the arrangement.

We were men of our twisted word.

So while in a peacefully paranoid state we watched the video.

Until… Suddenly the sliding door burst open! Screeching in flew a skinny wiry Maori woman of about 50 years, brandishing a long thick dangerous looking Whacky Stick! She pointed at our stunned and terrified faces and proclaimed in a high shriek “How dare you come into someone else’s home and do drugs and watch their T.V!!” She was red faced and livid.
I scrambled up, the silver tongue kicking in on impulse, immediately firing all the blame at the young man who had let us in and orating a story that was being made up as rapidly as it was being told: that the young man had told us this was his uncles house and he had asked said uncle if we could stay a few nights, and that aforementioned uncle had said it was fine and we were but unwitting dupes tricked into feeding a cat but if all is not well we will be leaving.

The whole time I was gathering up the dope and the booze and ramming it into my bag while edging towards the door.
My friend was not so wise and tried to make a break for the bedroom where his stuff was, not being possessed of the kind of future sight that the perpetually paranoid are darkly gifted with.
Rule number one of the perpetually paranoid: Always be ready to run.

She cut him off with a vicious swing of the thick muddy Whacky Stick and he caught it crackingly across the side of the head, he caught another one across the back as he ran into the master bedroom. I was out side by then, cowering in the shotgun seat of the car, praying that my friend would prevail and beginning to formulate a plan if he did not and was killed. About 30 seconds and whole lot of swearing and crashing later my bloody faced companion leaped out of the house and in to the car, roaring it into life. The lady was directly after him, ineffectually smacking the Whacky Stick once across the bonnet she went to work on the left headlight, destroying it utterly with two well-placed blows. (It was to remain unfixed for over a year, a cyclopean reminder of that crazy day.)

We roared backwards out of the narrow fenced-in driveway so fast that the right wing mirror was ripped away and exploded into fragments.
Spinning the car about we whizzed off into the day.

One more substantial sector of that town a no go zone.