Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Left Left Behind by Terry Bisson (PM Press 2009)


“No TV news!” said Cap. “How are we going to figure out what is going on?”

“Alternative radio!” said Gotha. “Pacifica is still on!” She spun the dial again:

“…without the heads of state. The new Secretary General of the United Nations, Vlad, has declared a new World Government. And now for ten hours of uninterrupted harmonica music played by chimpanzees …”

“World Government,” said Gotha. “That’s got to be a good thing!”

That Beatles song . . . not that one, the other one . . .

First time I've hit a 180 whilst doing the 100 darts at the 20s challenge. I think I'll switch over to 1001 challenge now for a bit.


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Beating the Fascists: The Untold Story of Anti-fascist Action by Sean Birchall (Freedom Press 2010)

Blows were exchanged. I took this tremendous punch in the forehead. Eamonn decked one of them; everyone was hacking away, A large bald fascist right in front of me took an iron bar straight over the nut. His whole face just went grey. Fractured skull for sure, I thought. Another one on his hands and knees on the floor dropped his iron bar - a great big silver thing with a screw through the top of it - and began shouting, ‘Enough! Enoughl’You’lI be lucky, I thought, as blows rained down.

“People started chasing the others over walls and through gardens. I think the van pulled away with only about half of them in it. Three were left in the middle of the road. A taxi stopped, and a woman got out, screaming hysterically. Someone pulled her back in. Everyone else ignored her.

“Without much discussion it was decided to carry on with the meeting. Though it was unlikely they would come back, I volunteered for sentry duty outside, more to calm myself down than anything else. One of the women who worked in the kitchen was carted off in an ambulance with a suspected heart attack. So I’m standing there when Labour M P Jeremy Corbyn opens the door of the centre and peeps out. ‘Have they gone?’ he says. ‘Yeah,’ I say. ‘Were they here for you or me?’ he says. ‘It was us,’ I reply. You could see the relief visible on his face. ‘Oh, good!’ he remarked cheerfully. Then, with a quick look in both directions, he skipped off down the road. I remember laughing at the time. How ironic, I thought. Here we have a Member of Parliament, no less, having to skulk around his own constituency for fear of rampaging fascists everyone else seems determined to deny exist.”

Sore head . . .



Just pissing about and I hit a 180 with my second throw of the day. Naturally, my next throws were 26, 30 and 26. Such is my darting life.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Legs gone . . .



Who Goes There? by John Wood Campbell Jr. (Jerry eBooks 1938)


The place stank.

A queer, mingled stench that only the ice-buried cabins of an Antarctic camp know, compounded of reeking human sweat, and the heavy, fish-oil stench of melted seal blubber. An overtone of liniment combated the musty smell of sweat-and-snow-drenched furs.

The acrid odor of burnt cooking fat, and the animal, not-unpleasant smell of dogs, diluted by time, hung in the air.

Lingering odors of machine oil contrasted sharply with the taint of harness dressing and leather. Yet somehow, through all that reek of human beings and their associates—dogs, machines and cooking—came another taint. It was a queer, neck-ruffling thing, a faintest suggestion of an odor alien among the smells of industry and life. And it was a life-smell. But it came from the thing that lay bound with cord and tarpaulin on the table, dripping slowly, methodically onto the heavy planks, dank and gaunt under the unshielded glare of the electric light.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Wild Pork and Watercress by Barry Crump (Penguin 1986)


I got lost one day and nearly spent the night in the bush. I had no idea where I was, but just on dark I dropped down off a ridge and came out on the creek bed just where I’d lit a fire a few days earlier to have a brew. I reached camp an hour after dark, but I didn’t say anything to Uncle Hec about getting bushed. I was supposed to be able to remember exactly where I was at all times.

Uncle Hec’s foot was improving, especially after we changed the shirtsleeves for a proper bandage. He could take a bit of weight on it and get around more easily, but he still couldn’t get his boot on. It made him real crotchety, that foot. I was reading Don Quixote again and he used to say it was turning my head. But he was only looking for something to grumble about. It’s a good book, that.
(Pages 167-168.)

They appeared suddenly from among the rocks, from where they must have been watching me, and it was all I could do to keep the shock off my face. They were both dressed in rags tied around them with strips of torn cloth and flax. Where a button was missing they’d poked the cloth through the button-hole and inserted a piece of stick through it. One of the boy’s trouser-legs had frayed off above the knee and the leg was covered with old bruises and scratches and he had a large scab on his knee that didn’t look at all healthy.

Similarly one of the old man’s shirtsleeves was torn off at the shoulder; his arm was scratched and scarred and there was a filthy piece of rag tied around a deep graze on his wrist. Their boots were falling to pieces and by all rights should have crippled them.

The old man, Hec, was gaunt and stringy, with a straggly grey hacked-off beard and sunken piercing eyes. He had a pronounced limp, which I learned later was the result of an accident to his foot that had never healed properly.

The boy, Ricky, was a good-looking Maori chap. His hair stuck out in tufts from his head and his hands and face were streaked with inground dirt. There was something almost primitive-looking about him.
And they stank. Badly. Both of them.

The old man carried a battered old pea-rifle and they had two very thin dogs with them. They were both very nervous, especially the boy.
(Pages 309-310.)

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall by Spike Milligan (Penguin 1971)



September 3rd, 1939. The last minutes of peace ticking away. Father and I were watching Mother digging our air-raid shelter. “She’s a great little woman,” said Father. “And getting smaller all the time,” I added. Two minutes later, a man called Chamberlain who did Prime Minister impressions spoke on the wireless; he said, “As from eleven o’clock we are at war with Germany.” (I loved the WE.) “War?” said Mother. “It must have been something we said,” said Father. The people next door panicked, burnt their post office books and took in the washing.

Thursday, January 07, 2021

"It takes two . . ."



"It's only just begun . . ."

First 180 of 2021. 

Two days later than my first 180 in 2020.

I'm not sure I can top the 133 180s I hit last year but I think I might have finally corrected my flailing throw. 

We'll see in the coming months. 


Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Dancing in the Dark by Stuart M. Kaminsky (Mysterious Press 1996)


Would you like to know about Preston? It might make it easier if you knew what a …”

“No,” I said, holding up a hand. “I don’t want to know how kind, loving, rich, and funny he is. Call me a sore loser. Call me childish, which you’ve been known to do. My guess is I’ll avoid Preston Stewart movies for a year and then I’ll start going to all of them, looking for signs of decay or melting, wondering how you two hit it off in bed and if he’s still keeping you laughing down on the beach in your tans.”

“I didn’t think you’d be this bitter,” Anne said.

“You caught me by surprise. I didn’t have time to fake it or tell a bad joke or two. The truth just came out.”

Friday, January 01, 2021