Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lying To Get In

Lying to get in


What am I doing on this giant moving stairway? This must be a dream I’ll wake up in a minute. Funny thing is I can’t remember going to bed. Last thing I remember is crossing the road, I answered a text on my cell phone, heard some yelling, you know things-like.

‘“Lookout you stupid bastard, there’s a bus coming.”’

‘“Oooh did you see that?”’

‘”I feel sick, look at all the blood.”’

‘“Fancy texting while you are crossing a busy road, what a bloody moron.”’

‘“I think he is dead.”’

‘“Of course he’s dead; he was just hit by a bus for Christ’s sakes.”’

“It’s not nice to talk of the dead like that, what about his family?”’

 ‘“I think his head has come off.”’

Wait a minute, my head has come off? No it’s not, its fine but still doesn’t explain this bloody great elevator heading up into the clouds? Oh-uh since when are elevators made out of white granite? Why are so many other people looking about like they are as confused as I am? Unless- oh shit. Right standard procedure for checking if it’s a dream, pinch yourself.

Oow,” Bugger, one more time, this time a slap in the face like that fat guy did ahead of me. 

Ooooow, now that did hurt.” There is a distinct possibility I am dead.

Tap that guy in front of you on the shoulder see if he speaks. “Excuse me mate, is this a dream?”

“I bloody hope so my flight was due in ages ago.”

“Your flight?”

“Yep the pilot said we are experiencing turbulence and we are going to try and climb over it. What the hell is this place?”

“Look I don’t want to worry you mate, but there is a distinct possibility that we are both dead. I think 
I was hit by a bus?”

The man’s face went a whiter shade of pale, he started to sob. He looked away.

This looks bad, at least there is a heaven perhaps, at least this elevator is going up. Or maybe up is down, not a good time to be an atheist.

I was either on the stairway to heaven or hell. Mist surrounded me I was in a total whiteout. When the fog disappeared I found myself standing in the biggest, whitest lobby you could ever imagine.
The large sign saying welcome to the newly dead kind of clinched it for me. I was dead and this was the lobby of some enormous celestial resting place. There were thousands of anxious looking people of all ages milling about. I wandered amongst the marble columns with the rest of the boisterous crowd.

I began to get nervous; the religious were right and the atheists wrong. People were forming into lines. Children were ushered straight through a set of massive doors. They were laughing and skipping. White coated angels both male and female whispered and smiled. The line began to shuffle forward.

Eventually I reached a desk. Behind the desk sat a man with a long beard. He smiled at me and I smiled back. There was an enormous leather bound book open on the desk. He turned the page and ran a finger down it.

“Are you A J Burton?” The man smiled, his voice was kindly.

“Yes God, I am. I came as soon as I got your message.”

“I am not God, I am an angel and don’t be flippant. I was an accountant for Pontius Pilot and I am 
doing penance for my sins. I am here to welcome all the new arrivals.”

“Bad luck you being the accountant for Pontius Pilot, so God was angry at you for working for the man that killed Jesus?”

“No not at all. I was fiddling the books and I had sex with Pilots first and second wives.”

“Well they were obviously really hard times in those days.”

“Are you taking a liberty with me?”

“No just trying to lighten the situation a little. So it’s true, God really is a forgiving man. Can I ask you Mr. Angel, am I really dead?”

“I’m afraid so A J.”

“No chance of a reprieve or miraculous recovery then?”

“According to my records you were decapitated by a bus. An old woman who witnessed the accident was so horrified she had a heart attack and died. Would you like to speak to her?”

“Um, no thanks, I think I have ruined her day enough as it is. So what happens now?”

“Well you need to answer few questions regarding your eligibly to get into heaven.”

“Oh, I see. I suppose if there is a heaven there is also a hell then?”

“Well of course, you should already know that.”

“Oh, well I did of course. But you can’t believe everything you are told.”

“Why not it’s God’s law; have you not read the bible?”

“The bible? Well it was a long time ago.”

“Here in heaven we have a policy of totally believing the information told to us by the recently dead. Sorting out who’s lying and whose not is just too much trouble.”

“You do? Oh well that’s a refreshing policy. You believe everything?”

“Yes, I just said that. Look A J it’s a very long line and we need to move along. Now how often did you go to church?”

“Church, oh yes church. Um let me see, I went every Sunday if my memory serves me right.”
“That’s all?”

“No, agh - sometimes I would go at night on my own for some simple private prayers.”

“That’s good A J well done. You get extra spirit points for that.”

“Spirit points, could you possibly elaborate a little?”

“Alright but I am pushed for time. The more spirit points you get the better class of dwelling you get.”

“Oh, sounds a fair scheme. I was nearly a priest once.”

“Well done, that’s more spirit points.”

That’s when the little voice inside my head woke up. A J this guy believes everything you have just said even though you haven’t been in a church for years. This is your chance to - you know, get some more spirit points. I looked at the kindly looking man who was writing furiously in his book.

“Can I ask a question - um sorry I don’t know your name?”

“Call me Peter, but I am rushed for time. There’s a bus going over a cliff in Guatemala in an hour and I am going to be rushed off my feet shortly.”

“Peter, when did the accepting everything as gospel policy first come into force?”

“Right after the Second World War we were just so swamped with people, our leader Saint Peter decided we the clerks of heaven must be totally trustful of everything disclosed at this first meeting.”

“Yes I can see how that would be a problem. So did a certain Adolf Hitler get into heaven?”

“Wait a minute, I’ll check. Adolf Hitler, when did he die?”

“1945, April, in Berlin, Germany.”

“Yes here he is Adolf Hitler, Arch Bishop of Dusseldorf, former soldier, painter, aged 56. Why did you ask?”

“No reason, I have to admit on telling a small lie just before, I want to apologize.”

“Lying is bad you will lose points for that.”

“I just didn’t want to sound too boastful.”

“You must just tell the truth, please hurry I am very busy.”

“Alright I was a priest and later on a Cardinal.”

“Why didn’t you say that before? You will get a small bungalow near the seaside for that.”

Just a small bungalow?”

“Yes it’s not like you were Pope or anything.”

“Well I was considered for Pope but I turned it down.”

“You did, why was that?”

“I didn’t think I was good enough, so I donated the rest of my life looking after homeless children.”

“Your Spirit Points are going berserk. You have earned a large apartment at the Holy Sea beach resort, now.”

“I prayed a lot more than I admitted before. I was even praying when that Bus hit me.”

“Well done A J, when a man is killed while praying he gets the maximum points. You get to live as a personal guest of Saint Pious at his most holy castle. No need to say anymore. You will end up with all the great people, Arch Bishop Hitler, Saint Stalin, Pol Pot the pure, all the top people live there now.”

“Oh they do? Tell me Peter what does everyone do all day.”

“Well they do what they have done all their lives, they pray all day and even at night. Life is just one big Church meeting.”

“What forever?”

“Of course heaven is eternal. But you already knew that right? Here all religions are represented you get to talk with Jews, gentiles, Muslims, Buddhists all day every day. Religion is the only topic discussed at the Holy Castle.”

“Peter, I haven’t been quite honest with you.”

“Not again, remember if you have been caught telling too many lives you are sent to hell.”

“What do people do in hell?”

“A man like you wouldn’t like hell, A J. The place is full of atheists, lustful women, fornicators, people trying to have sex is rampant there. Not a virgin to be found. It’s just one big party after another. Men go hunting, fishing they watch sport all day and drink beer. Golf seems to be the main religion in hell. Wanton women are everywhere; sex is more common than conversation.”

“That’s enough Peter. I can’t stand the deceit any longer. I’m an arsehole.”

“No swearing please this is heaven.”

“Sorry peter but all I have told you is a big fat lie.”

“You could go to hell for that.”

“How far into hell.”

“Well you lost all your spirit points and now you are a lower level gutter snipe living in a one room apartment just down the road from a brothel.”

“I used to blaspheme all the time.”

“You will now have to live in a one room apartment over the brothel.”

“I have only ever prayed in my life to win lotto and get laid.”

“You will have to live in the brothel.”

“I cheated and lied.”

“You will own the brothel.”

“I always fiddled my taxes, and I looked at porn.”

“You own the brothel and live in a penthouse at Bright Sands Hotel for fornicators.”

“What do I need to live near the sea and own a boat?”

“Admit you slept with more than one woman at once.”

“I slept with three, no make that four.”

“You will be sent to the salacious sea resort for drunken, fornicating fisherman, actors and golfers. Your crew for your 60 foot fishing boat will be made up of sexually depraved women. My God man, don’t say anymore. You don’t want to end up in purgatory.”

“Why not, is it any worse than hell?”

“A lot worse, we send all the lawyers and Politicians there.”

“All of them?”

“Yes everyone.”

“Ok that’s it, I’ll stop there then.”

“Are you sure that’s everything.”

“Yep I’m ready for hell, I will just have to suck it up.”

“Alright A J here’s your get into hell for free card. Now go to room fifty four for your operation and good luck.”

“What happens in room fifty four?”

“You have your testicles removed, that’s why the place you’re going to is called hell. The lawyers added that clause in in 1927 they are such a pernicious bunch.”

“Bloody lawyers.  Can you give me a few more minutes Peter, I haven’t been entirely truthful with you this time either.”

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Writing is like learning a trade

Writing is like learning a trade 

Over the years I have found writing is like learning a trade. When I was an apprentice mechanic I remember staring into the workings of a stripped down gearbox and thinking, how am I ever going to learn how that works?

Writing as it turns out is very similar to fixing cars. It is so much more about repetition and by doing the work learning the tricks of the trade. You can read as many car manuals as you can but there is no better experience than getting your hands dirty and doing the practical work.

It’s the same with writing. You can read as many books as you like on how to write but until you sit down in a quiet room and record your ideas in words you will never progress. Failure in writing is just learning. A first draft will never ever be as good as the final rewritten and polished manuscript. And you will never get a final polished manuscript until you have started your novel and finished your first draft.
The saying, ‘Your worst work will always be better than the best work you never did.’ is applicable to writing. The book you have written in your head is a waste of space in your brain if you don’t write it.

My publisher Christine edits my work and she can be quite critical. Taking criticism is how you learn to write. This works for me because readers of books are in my opinion more intelligent than your average non-reader. A reader will find your mistakes, your bad grammar, holes in your plot, the weakness of your characters. 
No book is perfect; almost every novel will have the odd typo or a ‘the’ instead of ‘there’ but I try to have the finished manuscript as near to correct as humanly possible.
I had only two years in high school, so writing has been a long and difficult road. Fortunately I have received support from my wife Jackie and my family who are not afraid to critique my work. 
Christine has also inspired me to keep writing when sometimes I doubted I could do it.
My books may never be bestsellers but that is not why I write. I enjoy the challenge: from starting from a clean sheet of paper to holding a published book in my hand. It is the same sort of thrill I enjoyed from breaking in a wild colt and turning him into a well-mannered racehorse.

I hope you enjoy reading Seeking Angel my NYC serial murder mystery in Kiwi Liaison.

Here are links to Comedy Candy  and The Secret Empire on Amazon.
Here is a link to my books on Google Play Comedy Candy  and The Secret Empire.

NZ Paranormal Comedy The Hoodle will be published very soon
A J Burton.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book bundle Kiwi Liaison

I proudly announce my book Seeking Angel is included in this awesome collection of three novels and a selection of racy poems from New Zealand authors.

The bundle is only 99c so you are getting GREAT Reading bang for your buck from this collection.
The great news is I have a terrific idea for where the sequel to Seeking Angel is going so check out part one in Kiwi Liaison and part two is now finally being written.. Subscribe to my blog updates by email and then you will be first out of the blocks once the sequel is published. 
If you like your murder/mystery with spice and humor Seeking Angel could be your cup of tea.

Below are the details of each book in the compilation.

Mistress Z - A compilation new work and poems from published collections Restraint and Absence.
Restraint sends wave after wave of unrushed, sensual ideas and images over the reader, who is transported into a realm of deep sensuality, passion and desire.” Jess C Scott, Author
A breathtakingly eloquent collection of verses and prose. They take the mind and the body to magical and vulnerable places that only few can get to on their own. A truly seductive read for one, but best shared with two.” -Ms. Quote, author and blogger

Seeking Angel - Detective Bull Protettore seeks Angel, missing; believed to be in the company of a secretive bi-sexual Dominatrix. Discover how Angel is the clue which leads Bull and his partner Tommy to the serial killer who is terrorizing NYC. Bull and Tommy are in a race against time to unravel the twisted ropes of the truth to exact justice and revenge.

“I truly enjoyed reading this book mainly because the characters weren't perfect. They all had their own little quirks and issues that made them seem so real. It actually felt like they could walk off the page and shake your hand. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends.” Amazon 5* Review

Dawn and Stuart, each running away from the past meet in the Bay of Islands, a NZ tropical beach paradise. They flirt but the past keeps them apart until Stuart uses his shaman skills to bring them together. Or was it the way Dawn uses the avocados from the tree growing beside the house which broke the ice?

“This book contains some of the most well written, sexy smut I've ever read, the characters and the story can stand on their own. I absolutely love this book, and whilst I rarely openly profess to enjoy such saucy literature, I regularly find myself recommending this book to friends. It's moving, emotionally and sexually. Enjoy!” Amazon 5* review
“So many genres collide here to extreme effect. Romance, erotica, family, culture, place and more. It makes for an intensely human book. The characters don't arrive, they feel like they have been there forever. If you don't know your cultures, Kiwi, Aussie, Indian, Rastafarian, this will encourage you too read about them. The sex scenes are tender & endearing,and no I'm not going to tell you about the avocado. I admire the way the author gets into the skin of her characters, really making them flesh with a combination of reality and myth. This is educated erotica, superb.” Amazon 5* review

The Finest Line
When potential Olympic gymnast, Mairead Kavanagh wakes up in an Australian hospital after a drug and alcohol binge, her ordeal has only begun. The police are waiting to interview her over the death of her friend Joshua Mason who has plunged to his death from the balcony on which she was found.
Frightened and a long way from her home in New Zealand, she has no one to turn to until the arrival of the one man who has intimidated and infatuated her more than any other.
James Vaughn has been her chauffeur and body guard for five years and the only person who has been able to subdue her. An ex soldier of the British Army, James is composed and disciplined, unlike his boss’s daughter who seeks constant excitement which sometimes can prove dangerous.
Forced together until he can get her home, the barriers of their relationship begin to break down. Mairead fears her attraction to him stems from the strange desires that she has fought to suppress. s their relationship blooms, her happiness is short lived because of another man who knows a terrible secret about Mairead. Now she must choose between the two men, one whom she loves and the other who can destroy her life.

The Finest Line by Catherine Taylor is the first in a truly excellent and authentic trilogy exploring myriad facets of domination, discipline and masochism while never departing from a heart-warming and deepening love story.”- Kindle Book Review

I really enjoyed this book. It was very interesting and kept drawing me back to it every time I put it down. The writer does a wonderful job with the characters, you fall in love with them and hate them too. Very well written. Highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a romance with a little spanking twist!!” Kindle Book Review
About the Authors
PJ Bayliss has been writing poetry within his personal memoirs for many years, but has only recently turned his attention towards creative writing. Following the success of his Kindle poetry books he plans to publish two poetry books in print editions before he releases a series of romance novels under series title "Chemical Romance" in early 2015. @PJBaylissAuthor on Twitter
Catherine Taylor has a passion for the art of telling a good story, whether it be in film or book. Her life has revolved around theatre and movies, through acting, production and scripting for both. Much of her life has been devoted to social work, but she has pursued other ventures, including a business in Gothic merchandise. These days she prefers to spend her days writing and spending time with her husband of thirty years, their four children and two grandchildren. @NZEroticAuthor on Twitter.
A J Burton is a retired policeman, harness horse trainer, gibstopper and small block farmer. "I have loved reading since I can remember. I have owned horses, dogs, and cats since I was twelve years old. I enjoyed the bush, surfing, snorkeling, rugby, and judo and now in my retirement I enjoy fishing on the family boat. I am married with four boys and one gorgeous grand-daughter." Follow @bullburton on Twitter
Christine Leov Lealand is a keen 'prepper' and ‘burner’ (Burning Man) loves the outdoors, is a blue water sailor, historian, belly dancer, adventurer and lifelong reader. At five years old she decided she had to be a writer. Christine is CEO of Quintessence Publications and finds it takes up all of her time. Too frequently she has to stop editing, writing and book cover buying to hurriedly feed her husband, Zulu the cat and three fat chickens. @loveleov on Twitter

Monday, June 30, 2014

Gymn Bunnies
Pic courtesy of Gymn Memb Fees
Gym Bunnies
Six weeks ago I and the voice in my head finally decided to do something about my weight. The first thing I did was change my diet. I decided to have the occasional treat so I wouldn’t have to be totally depressed. Previously if I wandered into a bakery without lawful excuse I would buy a meat pie and a doughnut. Now, I only get the doughnut.
I have cut down on my butter intake by only buttering one of the slices of bread when I make a sandwich. I have cut down on my bread consumption from eight slices a day to four, except for the weekends which are my diet amnesia days.
So how is this life change working? Well not exceptionally well or even moderately well but it is enough to stop my belly from further expansion. My ace in the hole was to join a gym.
Yes I know, there is no sight more depressing or forlorn than a middle aged fat man in a gym but that is the price of gluttony a fat man must pay. I must do my penance. People say as an excuse ‘I am big boned or - I have a lower metabolic rate than normal.’ But it is a lie.
I have grown from 90kg to 118kg over the last 25 years and now I am fat, unpleasantly obese, overweight. I'm a rotund, glutinous balloon of a person.
Doctors and nutritionists say in relation to men, that if you stand naked and look down you should be able to see your general parts or at least parts of your parts in general. Not only had all my general parts vanished from sight, even my size eleven and a half feet had all but disappeared. My doctor warned me I was on the brink of taking blood pressure pills permanently.
So the voice in my head and I joined the gym. While this voice is helpful to me as a writer it is a total pain in the arse in a gymnasium. The voice in my head is an annoying, smart arse, macho bastard! He is the bastard that makes me pose naked in the bathroom mirror and then taunts me pointing out the eyesore my body has become.
The owner of the gym is an attractive middle aged woman with the physique of an athlete twenty years her junior. She wears leotards with athletic singlets that show every detail of her lithe, fat free muscular body. That is fine, as she is a great advertisement for her gym. Her gym is full of similar leotard encased muscular athletic woman. Some are instructors and personal trainers while others are woman of all ages who are heavily into rigorous sporting endeavors.
And they are all so nice to me! They smile at me when I enter and say good morning or afternoon. But the real problem is they are all so damn fit! 
If there is one thing my macho inner voice hates it is women who are athletically stronger and fitter than the lazy blob he lives inside.
Right from the get go he made trouble for me. Everyone joining the gym is assessed by the staff who design a personal fitness program plan of recommended, graduated exercises. I watched as the gym members referred to their plan cards like they were the athletic bible.
My macho inner voice immediately said: “A program plan is not for you sunshine. Whilst you are an embarrassment to the entire male race you do not need some smiling Amazonian, leotard clad, former kitchen dweller to tell you what to do.
A gym is a male domain. It should be full of grunting, sweaty men wearing hoodies with the arms torn out. There should be swearing, poor light and the pong of years of perspiration coated unwashed floors and grimy wall decor.”
“So you want me to do my own exercise regime then?” I asked.
“And why not, look how pleasant the woman instructors are? Where are the tough no-nonsense male instructors eh? You are not here for pleasant talk with attractive women, you fat bastard. You are here to reclaim your maleness. Your job is to show these women that a gym is a place of pain, profuse sweating, suffering and inappropriate farting. You should be instructed in exercise by sadistic retired commandos who believe death by exhaustion is a healthy way to get fit.”
“So where do I start?”
“Let’s start with the rowing machines. I can see two women chatting as they row like girls. I bet they are talking about flower arranging. Go on, strap yourself into the machine next to one of them - now look at the screen on her machine. Don’t let her see you looking, stupid! Out of the corner of your eye, that’s it.
Check her strokes per minute, and how many calories she is burning per hour with each stroke. Whatever she is rowing for her plan you must double it. She is a mere woman.”
I began to row and had to stop gasping with exhaustion and fear of death by the time I had rowed 1000m. 
“Put more effort in you sissy! Get into it fatso.” the macho idiot ordered me.
Eleven minutes later I slumped forward on the rowing machine. My breath came in ragged gasps. Sweat poured down my forehead blinding my eyes.
“Why did you pick the rowing machine you bastard? I am having a stroke.”
“Don’t let the ladies see you like that. Have you no shame? Stand up. Look nonchalant, like it was nothing. Gawd you are a pathetic excuse for a man. Drink some water. Don’t dribble, honestly you look like you are melting. Right, Mr. Blobby, now for some real exercises for your arms and chest. Those man titties and love handles have to go.” I staggered to the weight lifting machines.
“Remember the golden rule, always check what the women are lifting and then double it. If she is one of those cross training, multi sport, or body building freaks at least lift the next weight up.”
I have attended the gym for six weeks now and I still don’t have a plan. Even the men have plans designed by the women. I am plan-less and my wife says brainless as well. The average time a women exercises there is 45 minutes so I exercise an hour and a half.
Below is a breakdown of my current exercise regime.
Row two thousand meters in under 9 min 40secs.
Use six arm, shoulder and chest exercise machines with weights from 80 lbs. to 150 lbs. Do multiple repetitions in lots of ten or twenty depending on the weight.

150lbs? That seems excessive. Well there is a reason for that. You see the teenagers from the local high school also attend the gym. The macho swine inside me insists that I also compete with the males as they are technically still young adults and no self respecting adult macho man should lift less than them either. Back to my list.
I do a hundred and fifty stomach crunches on one machine and a floor mat. I do as many in a row as I can without crying out when the cramps hit. Then complete the rest in sets of twenty.
I get on the bicycle and pedal for 4 and a half kilometers. I must pedal faster than the women on either side of me but not less than 100 rpm and sprint for the last minute.
How I got to the 100 rpm limit was because one day there was one of those Amazonian super fit multi-sport type athletes on a bike next to me forcing me to compete with her. OH I know she never looked at me but she knew I was killing myself to keep up with her, she knew.
We completed ten minutes; she strolled off to chat with one of her friends. She hadn’t even sweated through her makeup. I stood hanging onto the bike because my legs had turned to shuddering dog roll. My forehead had sprung a permanent leak and my heart couldn’t seem to decide whether to explode out through my chest or my spine. 
The macho scumbag inside my head was saying things like, “You’re the man. That was awesome for a fat bastard. I bet she is on steroids.’
After the bike ride I walk to the other end of the gym for another 150 stomach crunches. On that day the walk was very slow as I needed to support myself on several of the large pieces of gym equipment to stop from crumbling to the ground in a quivering mess.
After another 150 stomach crunches I finish with another 2000 meter row, which the macho idiot informs me is the Olympic distance for rowing events but I have to do it twice. This ensures that I am totally exhausted every day.
“You must be mad!” cried my wife when I explained my approach to fitness and losing weight. I must confess she is probably right. 
But what are the results six weeks down the track? I still have muscle soreness and stiffness in my thighs, arms and stomach but it is slowly decreasing. I have lost 5 kilos in weight.
I have frequent unrealistic fantasies about Iron Man events involving climbing mountains, swimming oceans and intercontinental bicycle rides.
Two days ago after I finished my four days a week gym session I realized my recovery from near death elapsed time was getting shorter. It is working!

Oh and when I stand naked with my arms at my side and look down, my general parts have reappeared. Is it possible my stomach has shrunk that much? Or has all that exercise increased the size of…?

All I can say is its back to the gym on Monday.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Dumbest Thing I've ever done - so far

The Dumbest Thing I Have Ever Done


Would you volunteer to be water boarded? Or listen to all the works of Shakespeare in Swahili? Probably not, only an idiot would want to do that, right?
Well say hello to an idiot. The man afflicted with the 'mostly' suppressed macho gene.
A few months ago I had an appointment with the medical super clinic in Manukau City. Manukau City is part of Auckland City in the North Island of New Zealand. Yes a city within a city. Don’t ask me why, it’s the bureaucrats’ idea.
I was scheduled to have a gastroscopy to check that my reflux wasn’t caused by anything sinister. In case you don’t know gastroscopy is a procedure where a long tube with a camera at the end (endoscope – image above) is slid down your throat and finally into your stomach.
The clinic told me to arrive early and not to have eaten anything the night before, or that morning. The super clinic performs minor operations where I don’t have to stay overnight after I come out of the operating theatre. I would receive some aftercare to make sure there are no complications from the anesthesia drugs. I also needed a driver as you are not allowed to drive for 12 hours after the gastroscopy.
After giving my appointment letter to the receptionist I sat waiting my turn amongst dozens of other patients. I was struck by the amount of older persons awaiting operations. It was like staring through a looking glass to the future. I tried to tell myself, you are still relatively young but a small voice in my head kept reminding me I was now sixty. Old age and senility is just a few twists and turns away.
By the time my name was called I was somewhat depressed. I took my form to a consulting room where the operation was to take place. There I met the doctor, a middle aged man with expensive shoes and an attractive brunette nurse looking smart in her uniform.
The doctor explained I wouldn’t be completely unconscious but would receive enough drugs to keep me in a semi state of consciousness. Then for a reason I can still to this day never explain, the not very repressed macho gene insisted I ask this question.
So doctor, do you have to be put under to have this procedure?”
His face lit up. In retrospect his mind must have been calculating how much extra time he was going to get on the golf course that afternoon.
Why yes, some people have been known to be able to endure this procedure without any anesthesia at all. Plus they can be released straight after the procedure. You can drive yourself home.” The macho gene which had now morphed into the idiot gene informed me that I was one of those braver than brave heroes who don't need any sedation to have a long tube rammed down their throat.
We can try it if you like. You can always change your mind. Nurse let’s get ready. Sign here Mr. Burton. Sit in the chair. It is a very safe operation, I have done hundreds.” He was probably thinking 'This will make a good story on the 19th hole this afternoon.'
Before you could say Geneva Convention I was in the chair. The smiling nurse or was she laughing? Placed a mouthpiece in my mouth.
This will protect your teeth.” With the other hand she produced a long black tube with a tiny bulb arrangement in the end.
I had this dreadful feeling they were going to hammer the camera tube down my throat. I had some sort of numbing liquid sprayed into my throat. Now was the time the Doctor should have said.
Ha-ha of course we are now going to give you a sedative to help you through this. Only an imbecile would want to endure this without one.” Or even. “Now you are absolutely sure about this Mr. Burton? There is still time to put the drip in your arm.”
But instead the nurse leaned over and whispered. “Here it comes, you will experience a gagging reflex. Try and work your way through it.”
I can’t remember which one of them started stuffing what felt like a garden hose down my throat. I had the mother of all gagging reflexes. I went from hero to zero in a heartbeat. I tried to tell them.
This is a mistake. I am choking to death. Let’s start over again and I'll have a shed full of sedative please.” But all that came out was. “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!” I remember telling whoever would listen “Take this f*&^%king thing out of my throat I want drugs!” But again all that came out was. “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarghhh.”
You are doing well Mr. Burton. Only another meter and we will be there. Look! You can see the camera pictures now. How do you feel?”
How the hell do you think I feel? You stupid woman. I’m choking to death here.” But in reality all she got was another “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh” In fact my entire conversation consisted of “Aaaaaaaaaaarh,” and similar such gagging noises because you cannot talk with a huge tube in your throat.
Nearly there, Mr Burton. Just going into the stomach now. Look at the screen.” The doctor somehow expected me to want a guided tour?
Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhh, uuuuuuuuurgh aaaaaghh.” Translation: You look at the bloody screen you evil bastard. I just want that thing out, right now!”
You are doing marvelously Mr. Burton,” joined in the nurse “You still ok?”
Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrggh.” - “No, I am not you brainless woman. I am choking to death; I can’t seem to breathe and my heart's going like the clappers.”
Good.” she said sweetly, “Hang in there. Not long to go.”
Hello here’s something?” The doctor announced cheerfully. “I'll just rotate the camera a minute. A bit of discomfort coming.”
AUuuuuuuuUUUUUAHOOOuuuuuuurgh.” A bit of discomfort? You have to be joking - it feels like you have a front end loader excavating my interior.
All good, nothing to worry about. Pulling out in a second.” He peered at the screen manipulating the controls. The second seemed to last minutes as I gagged, sweated and gripped the chair, hoping I might faint.
Coming out now.”
Aaaaaaaaagh.” Thank God for that - I thought you were going to want a retake.
There now. You are really brave to do that without a sedative Mr Burton. How do you feel?” The nurse patted me on the shoulder.
I should have said. “I feel like a fool, if I had even the faintest idea how bad that was going to be without a sedative I would have demanded seven of them.” Instead the idiot macho gene kicked in again and in a raspy voice I croaked.
Thanks, can I leave now?” I almost ran out of the building in case they wanted a re-shoot.
The moral of this story if there is one, is that when you are offered a sedative for even what seems like a minor procedure there is probably a very good reason why one is offered.
For men only: If you are having a minor operation and the attending nurse is attractive, she may activate the idiot, macho gene. I suggest closing your eyes and imagining that she has a row of black rotting teeth. Her breath smells like the inside of a bachelor's fridge and she has a mole the size of a horse’s eyeball on her chin with three long black hairs growing out of it.
I drove home with only a sore throat. When my wife arrived home later that day (she is the practice manager for a medical centre) I told her what I had done.
She didn’t think I was brave at all, like the nurse did, but she did say.
You bloody idiot. Next time I’ll send you with a note.”

It’s so hard to be a hero sometimes.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Forecasting weather - 2022 Politically Correct Broadcast from New Zealand

Hello, I am Amanda Dread and this is your 24 hour weather channel, saving you from Biblical Catastrophic Global Warming. It’s 8.30 a.m the 15th October 2022 and this is weather alarm 360.
A well-known climate deny-er Hamish Fisher owner of banned website ‘It’s all Bollocks dot com’ appeared in court yesterday charged with an offence under the Climate Deniers Act. He was remanded in custody for a psychiatric report. His court appointed lawyer asked Judge Judas for leniency as it was obvious his client was quite mad.
A Hastings school was closed at lunchtime yesterday as named cold front 'Drizzly Adams' caused several children to slip over on the wet grass. The Hasting weather trauma intervention squad has been called in to counsel the pupils. Two nearby roads have been closed after it was discovered their condition had deteriorated from damp to slick.
Meanwhile in the Marlborough district this morning named fog, ‘Lorna Doom’ smothered several vineyards. There have been unconfirmed reports of hundreds of grapevines wilting under what may be the fog of the century.
Two busloads of carbon emitting Japanese tourists have been partly blamed for the incident. Neither bus had paid the carbon toll and both had expired carbon emission certificates.
In Auckland city the local council has rescinded a stand down alert status to its entire road sweeping staff after named wind ‘Mariah’ was downgraded from windy to a gentle breeze.
 There have been many named winds already this year. 7 more than last year, a trend which although it cannot be accredited to climate change is almost with a 97% degree of accuracy caused by climate change. 
This catastrophic trend has nothing to do with lowering named winds from 15 knots to 12 knots. The wind research arm of the council says 12 knots of wind causes the same leaf disturbance as 15 knots so should be regarded as just as dangerous.
The Wellington City council has decided to name dangerous winds with numbers as they are already up to wind Zeus and its only October.
On the political front the minister of Carbon Defense the right Honorable C. Hunt announced the retirement of the last carbon emitting vehicle in the armed forces yesterday. The latest addition to the army is an electric armored car from the ethical armament company ‘Green Warfare Systems’. The armored car is part of the new Firm but Fair range and has a range of 15 kilometers. Questioned in parliament about the short operating range of the vehicle the minister replied that the range will be doubled once the armor and the guns are removed.
The minister is also reviewing the new bicycle for the army initiative for an instant response force formerly known as the Be Careful Out There Regiment. The big debate is - Should it have been a tricycle?
Where do your carbon dollars go? New Zealander's have paid 20 billion in carbon taxes and have helped to lower the world’s temperature by a whopping .000003% N.B. this figure has a variation factor of 1-2 degrees. 
The UN has announced that at this rate the world’s temperature may well be normalised by 3075. Well done New Zealand.

Now for today’s weather.
Cold front ‘Armageddon’ has stalled in the Tasman Sea. 
The current high pressure system ‘Apocalypse Now’ will bring sunshine and light breezes over the whole of the country for the next twenty four hours. 
A burn time of 20 minutes has been issued. Remember it is now an offence not to cover your upper torso under the Irresponsible Sunburn Act during an alert.

This message has been brought to you by UV 5000 the complete UV protection. Remember use responsibly, overuse may cause skin cancer. 
Buy those Carbon Bonds, the new way to buy better weather.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Hoodle Coming Soon

The Hoodle

Here is a sneak peek into the paranormal comedy novel AJ Burton has been writing for the past 18 months.

We hope you enjoy reading it half as much as we have enjoyed writing and editing it.

NB this work is sprinkled with malapropisms and is in NZ English. If the body of the text appears in caps it is a glitch in blogger, as it was not posted in caps.

The Hoodle:- 
Sometime after midnight tonight, I need to grow a pair. I must become a Gladiator, a Jedi Knight and Batman, all rolled into one. The Lycanthrope we face is immortal or even older and he is cunning, immensely strong and so, so deadly.
My name is Jake Fangle and I’m twenty three years old. Somewhere inside me there lurks a hero. Maybe he could cease lurking for just one night. This night!
The only glimmer of hope is that I too am a lycanthrope, of sorts. Sounds like some sort of parasitic tapeworm, doesn’t it? According to folklore, it is the correct terminology for a werewolf.
I swear upon my mother’s gin soaked corpse this story is completely true. Sorry mum, I didn’t really mean that. Guess there are some residual feelings which I haven’t dealt with yet.
This brief account is a confession of my failings, so you will understand what I have gone through and won’t judge me too harshly whatever the outcome. So here we go; I’ll try to be honest. There is no point in lying about where this all took place, except about the country, the town and the people in it. Remember this is the whole truth and nothing but the truth, except for the parts which are a complete and utter fabrication.
I’m no writer, I’ll get things in the wrong order sometimes; say the wrong word, put it in the wrong context. This syndrome is real and is referred to as a malapropism or bushism so it’s not all my fault. If you are a grammar nazi now is the time to put down your marker pen, take off your jackboots and learn that even those of us with the grammar retard gene have a right to tell our stories.
My mother didn’t trust the New Zealand Education Department so she home schooled her only child. No blackboard and chalk for me, instead she put her faith in a bottle of gin and a carpet slipper. Sometimes mum rang the school bell for assembly at three in the morning. Try to remember your fourteen times tables then, I dare you! Many a lesson ended in a thump as mum hit the floor after a few lunch break gins. So I’m afraid my education is somewhat lacking.
Mum left me the house when she died, so I do okay. I’m single so I don’t need to earn much to make ends meet. I never knew my father. According to my mother he was a lazy, thick-headed arsehole; hopeless with money and he didn’t have a romantic bone in his body. I wonder under what circumstances they managed to conceive me.
But to get back to the present, the last 28 days have dictated that tonight my friends and I stand and fight. My survival depends on confronting and vanquishing a beast who intends to devour me. The werewolf will never give up until I am deceased or even dead.
Thank goodness I won’t have to face The Dog No One Ever Speaks About alone. But what chance do two cowardly dogs, a brave but clumsy idiot, the WWWC, and a Hu-oodle have to destroy a real Lycanthrope?
 Unless we can kill this hideous beast there is no hope for us. One by one he will track us down, each of our deaths too horrible to contemplate. My friends are precious to me and I don’t want any of them to die. Sometimes to my shame, I thought if the idiot got it, I could live with that. But even after all his screw-ups and systematic destruction of my home I wouldn’t wish that on him.
Should I fail, I shall be torn apart, ripped to pieces, eaten and once you are dead brother, life ain’t worth living. In the unlikely event I should be the victor I’ll become the local werewolf, so I must keep the real location of where this is all happening a secret. My home town could be a sleepy village in Hertfordshire, England, or an out the way town in the mid-west of the America’s or in the village of Sanyo in Japan. Or maybe it’s a country town called Wekawaka in the Wairarapa district of New Zealand.
Wekawaka is situated off State Highway Two but it also could be off Route 66 in California or the M1 motorway in England, or even the Hitachi yellow brick road in Japan.
It is a sleepy town with street lighting and shady trees lining the sidewalks. Generally everyone knows everyone else and their business. Think of Wekawaka as your everyday imaginary country town.
Wekawaka’s only distinction is that with alarming regularity tourists and trampers disappear in the rugged bush covered hills beyond the town. The rumour was that there was a sort of Bermuda Triangle effect going on and the local constable always seemed to be looking for someone. It didn’t bother us locals much; if the dopey tourists were too stupid to use a local guide that was their problem.
 One out of towner, an Australian no less, once said.
“If New Zealand was a constipated person you would insert the enema hose up the main street of Wekawaka to give him relief.” It’s a pity he never went missing.
We have a post office, a main street with hardware store, supermarket, garages, assorted small shops, cafes and two burger bars, one at either end of the town. There is one police constable, or sheriff, or ninja, or whatever they call cops in Japan but I shall refer to him as Constable Knowsley.
Knowsley considers himself a talented super-cop with a one hundred percent clearance of burglaries. Knowsley’s crime busting abilities must be taken with a grain of salt. We only had two burglaries in town last year, and criminal offender turned out to be the constable’s twelve year old son Sheldon.
Whenever our policeman spoke to you it was usually to ask “Have you seen this person?” and you would be shown a picture of a tourist standing smiling beside a hired camper van. Funny thing was he never seemed to find any of the missing persons, not that we heard about anyway. Once you disappear in the Wekawaka triangle you never return.
Ken Wilson my neighbour across the street was a keen tramper. He was middle aged and owned a miniature poodle. Yancy-boy was his name, I used to tease him and called him Nancy-boy, but he never got the joke. Why Ken would want a tramping companion who was no bigger than an obese albino rat, totally escapes me. He certainly wouldn’t have been much use as a hunting dog and was about as scary as a brightly coloured tea-cosy.

Suppose he was kind of cute, he’d see you coming and yap around your heels like a wind up squeaky toy. Yancy-boy must have done something real bad last month on that fateful full moon night.