One of my favorite dishes when I go beach fishing of an evening is freshly shuffled and shucked pipi meat stewed in a thermos flask of lemon grass, garlic, and green chili broth. I can’t recall how long ago the last time was that I made this particular dish; only that I only made it once as an experiment sometime after I got the idea in my head from a short story I wrote for what was, at the time, the TAFE equivalent of a year 10 English class final exam.
You see, I started my short story by introducing this character just as he buried a Peter Stuyvesant cigarette butt on a sand hill and emerged from a hidey-hole in the scrub with some fishing gear. I didn’t know what I was going to do with him once he was down on the beach but I was under a time limit and was thinking on my feet so the next thing I thought was that he’d stolen the smoke from his Aunt and littered as well so somehow I’d have to make it turn out that he was caught.
Once he was down on the beach he started shuffling in the wash for pipis to use for bait. That’s what I used to do for bait, so it wasn’t hard to describe how he’d stop shuffling as soon as he felt a pipi and reach between his feet to grab it before the backwash could drag it away. I made him chase a really big one that was getting away and almost fall over attempting to snatch it as I was all too aware of the minimum word count required.
He had collected a nice pile of pipis into a bucket after a while and was reaching under his foot for the last one when it slipped and grabbed hold of his big toe and wouldn’t let go. I made him panic for a couple of minutes while I described the stocky body of the bully – who’d made me run away from home and school a few years earlier – in detail, from bottom to top, as he was slowly slurped up and had his oily, black hair spat out on the beach by a pipi.
The pipi put its foot down with the next wave and buried itself in the sand. I took the first name of the bully to use in the title, decided the story was finished, and moved on to the comprehension activity.
… especially in the sense that while certain things can remain unsaid between friends, that needn’t stop certain themes from developing; to which I feel should be added for the sake of clarity that there are traditional expectations among friends and Winston Churchill is said to have said
Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd.
One wonders… is that a premise for defending tradition? Or proof that a flock of sheep are one shepherd away from freedom?
Churchill is said to have continued
Without innovation, it [art] is a corpse.
Where did the sheep go?
[A response to Tristan Foster]
“One of the photos is a portrait of my grandmother’s grandparents on their wedding day.
“They wear serious expressions and gaze at something to the side of the camera.”
I know when you wrote that, Tristan, it wasn’t meant to be a question, at least it doesn’t look like any of the kinds of question that I would’ve thought of as being such, that is until I gave some thought to your suggestion that my last question wasn’t directed at you, or anybody else, and I had to agree, which bothered me, so I started making a list of typical question types in an effort to figure out what the point of asking was if I didn’t direct the question at anybody.
The first thing I thought was maybe it was a rhetorical question which would make it of the type that no answer is expected for. It’s certainly true that I didn’t expect an answer. In fact I did go on to answer the question “how cool would it be if you clicked on an image and it gracefully flipped to reveal the history behind it?” with a rejoinder of sorts which would seem to indicate it was rhetorical but then when I asked myself if I was being honest with myself, insofar as I wasn’t expecting an answer, it backfired on me and my original position didn’t seem certainly true anymore.
I’m thinking I should go back, edit my change of position out, or even better rehprase it by putting my original position in the mind of a counter-arguer and come clean (so to speak) in such a way that I can be lauded for taking other people’s arguments into account and giving them all due and charitable consideration; but I’ve still got the directed, undirected, and targeted question types that I’ve scribbled into my notes in the meantime to explain and explicate each of their imports for in my own words, and all I really wanted to do was find an entertaining way to say that I found a couple of ways to connect with your grandmother’s grandparents on their wedding day through what I reckon, upon asking myself the question, they must have been gazing at to the side of the camera. So here they are:
image source: http://imagesdegradingforever.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/holy-onomatopoeia-gnat-man.html
Hey! Anyone can join in here. Questions? Ask away!