The Perils of Possum Point is a work of fiction. Any resemblance between persons, organisations or events described here and actual persons, organisations or events is purely unintentional.

A Little Night Music

Now, Ned had been living in Possum Point for some time. While he enjoyed the quiet, the clean air, the relaxed lifestyle, and all of the etceteras of country life, he still had an occasional hankering for the city. "There isn't much Culture in Possum Point," it was frequently said, and, for the most part this was true. Discounting, of course, the sculptures of overly endowed gnomes in Nigel Feary's front garden, the tie-dyed flags draping from Mavis Larkin's front porch, the curious Indo-something sounds emanating from the cottage of Trevor McGill and the off key wailing of an electric guitar from somewhere just a boot throw from Ned's place.

Going into town was a major undertaking. Christchurch is a forty minute drive from Possum Point and the television drink driving ad saying "country people die on country roads" is largely interpreted as a threat. Nonetheless, upon occasion it must be done. To this end, Ned consulted with his neighbor.

"If you buy me a beer, I'll be the designated driver," said John.

"Fair enough."

"We'll bring glubglub along, and he will just sit in the back like a good boy, and when we get there, we'll maybe chain him to a fence or something, and he'll be a good boy, and…"

"That sounds like a plan," responded Ned, hoping to complete the conversation. It didn't really sound like a good plan, but there you have it.

"…and glubglub, he'll just sit there like a good boy, and we can go wherever we want, and he'll just sit there. And he won't bark or nothing because he's a good boy."

Therefore, they all piled into John's car for the ride into town. The car's upholstery had already been largely consumed by glubglub, and, as soon as he was in the back seat, he set about pulling apart what remained with contented little growling sounds. It was a Saturday night. Late-ish. Well, actually, quite late. As they drove, John sang the doggie song. The lights had been slightly fixed since bringing the BD-5 airplane home. Now they only flickered off occasionally, precipitating in every case a certain amount of tire squealing and horn blowing, which John took in stride, not dropping a beat in his song. Meanwhile, Ned was staring straight ahead, imagining what it would be like to be completely invisible.

"So, where do you reckon you want to go," asked Ned, belatedly.

"Blues Bar," responded John.

"How about a club or something? Different crowd."

"Blues Bar," responded John.

"Well, I dunno"

"Go to the Blues Bar, and we'll maybe even just leave glubglub in the car, and we can go in, and he'll be a good boy."

Thus it was that they set off for the Blues Bar without any further discussion. Upon arrival, glubglub was left in the car, although he looked quite depressed about it and howled. Ned and John entered the bar, after first passing the bouncer who checked for metal tipped boots, knives, guns, crowbars and so forth.

Inside, the bar was packed. There was some motion in front, with dancers in the later stages of intoxication weaving in a close group next to the stage. The group included an octogenarian spinning by himself, two women dancing close with each other, as well as indeterminate groups swaying and weaving in the music.

The band tonight was "Purple Squalor", and a wall of sound emanated from the stage. The lead singer, with very long hair was crooning:

You're so #$%^& *&^%,

I really wanna @#$ %$^,

Won't you $#%^@ me.

And the music went: dah dah dada BUM! The drums were played by a largish Maori fellow looking a bit bored, and the bass was an older fellow with balding hair and a ponytail, very much into the thing. There were two guitarists, but they looked just like anybody else.

Ned and John waded into the crowd. John headed over to the food bar toward the front to chat up the cook. She was married, or had some children, or was with somebody, or something like that. Ned couldn't remember, and John didn't seem much to care.

Ned ordered a beer and slurped it down whilst carefully surveying the floor. "I'm too old for this," he thought. He said hello to a young woman he had spoken to previously.

"How the $#@%# are you?" she responded.

"Fine, I suppose."

"Well, that's @#$%# great," she said. "It's a #$%@ #$% tonight. I feel so #$%^@#"

"One would," said Ned, sympathetically.

Ned had another beer. The band seemed to get louder. Then it stopped for the break. As the sound level dropped, a tremendous howling could be heard from outside. Ned supposed that it might be a werewolf (he sneaked in another few beers during the preceding paragraph). John, quite rightly, assumed it was glubglub, and went rushing toward the door. Ned followed, somewhat less swiftly.

After consuming the remainder of John's upholstery, glubglub had wearied of captivity and kicked the door open. Finding himself in unfamiliar streets, he had located the bouncer and made rather too friendly with his leg. The bouncer was trying to shake him off, aware of being surrounded by a coterie of probable animal rights activists. Hence the howling. Both dog and bouncer.

Ned collected his animal, which, having now expended much of its energy, went along placidly. The bouncer scowled. "@#$%!," he said.

"Sorry about that," said Ned.

"Don't you EVER #$%@# here again, and don't $%$#@ #$%@ that animal, or I'll #$@$@."

"Understood," replied Ned. "But glubglub was just sitting in the car, and he must have found some way out, and I don't know how, but he's just like that, and you can't…."

Ned guided him away before the bouncer, already turning a brilliant red, became more agitated.

They all piled into the car, and headed back to Possum Point.

Later, John said "That was a hell of a night, wasn't it, and I had a good time, and there sure were a lot of people there, and it was really funny with glubglub and all, and we'll have to go back, what do you think?"

"@#$%@," responded Ned.

The moon climbed up in the sky. Ned returned home and fell asleep, dreaming of buxom purple alien women in garters. Another day had passed at Possum Point.

 Copyright (c) 1996, 1997 Brian J. Dooley