Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brutus The Croc Gets A Proper Lunch

Three pieces of business to tend to before I get things started today. First, over at our group blog Writers of Mass Distraction, a few days ago I wrote a blog about characters changing priorities and taking things seriously during the course of a book or film. Have a look, and by all means, tell me what you think! 

Second, take a look over at Lyn Fuchs' Sacred Ground Travel Magazine blog, where today I'm writing about the Niagara Falls region. And leave a comment!

Finally, if you're not already following The Desert Rocks blog (and why aren't you?), go have a look there today for Norma's guest blog on technology and writing. You'll pick up a few things and have fun!

And with that, I return to several characters without a book who have appeared in these blogs from time to time. And they've been joined by another of their kind, poor wretches doomed to wander cyberspace forever without a book to call their own. They're all together, Down Under, taking a river cruise, out to see one of the local critters....

Australia; the Adelaide River. A riverboat works its way down the river in the early summer heat, the passengers aboard screened from the sun by a roof over their heads. The pilot is a local, an Aussie by the unusual name of Jake Chemiserouge. He's dressed casually- shorts and a ballcap- with a rather bright red t-shirt. His passengers are four in total today, here to come see a crocodile named Brutus, a three legged eighteen foot long brute of a croc who's become something of a tourist attraction. They're all dressed for the conditions, as casual as possible- though at least one of them seems uncomfortable. She'd much rather be doing something else, as it turns out. She's Mary Ducky, the financial guru and con artist who's wanted by Interpol for numerous scams and thefts of millions of dollars. These days she's lying low, trying to evade the authorities. With her is the demolitions expert Contessa Evangelista Francesca Nicolette Viola Divinna, all too often given to destroying things that she wasn't cleared to destroy. Also present is the perennial blowhard Keith Jarrett, the man who thinks he's the wisest of all human beings. The author of such dubious works such as I Know Everything So Bask In My Eternal Wisdom, Duck And Cover The Buddhists Are Coming To Kill Us All, Gosh I'm So Smart, How To Cure Ebola, Mother Teresa: Tyrannical Despot of India, Bonaparte: A Man Of Humility and the forthcoming Keith Jarrett: Last Best Hope Of Earth seems to be full of himself, as usual. These three passengers know each other well. The fourth is known to Jarrett. Jerry Wallace, aka Jerry The Miser, is the author of Bargain Hunting And Other Pointless Pursuits. Chemiserouge turns to his passengers.

Chemiserouge: Isn't it lovely? Just the best stretch of river in the Territory, by crikey!

Mary: Must you speak with that accent?

Chemiserouge: What accent, Sheila?

Contessa: Now, Mary, be nice to the local man. I don't mind it myself. You know, when I was last here in Australia, my company was hired to do some work in Sydney. I thought at the time that we ought to get that unsightly Opera House out of the way, so I had my people set the charges, but as it turns out, the locals weren't all that enthusiastic about having it blown up. Oh, well, even if they have horrible tastes in architecture, there's nothing wrong with the accent.

Keith: So, Jake, tell us... that's a bit of an odd name.

Chemiserouge: My family name? By crikey, mate, it might be, but the Chemiserouge family come by it honestly. Not like we went and flogged it off some other family. No, my dad came in from France, mate. All the Chemiserouges come from there. By crikey, we've got some history, let me tell you. A Chemiserouge was the very first man to die back in the First World War. That was my great-great-great-great uncle Louis. And it was the same in the second one. First soldier to die in the French army in 1939 was my great-great-great uncle Pierre Chemiserouge. He was wearing his lucky red shirt, he was. Just like me. Oh, these things happen. Did you know there was a Chemiserouge in the crew on the Titanic? And the Lusitania? Come to think of it, one met his end on the Empress of Ireland too. And the Edmund Fitzgerald. And Pierre Chemiserouge did have a cousin, Fritz Chemiserouge, who was a crew member on the Hindenburg when it had that unfortunate accident. Just like the family tradition, he wore a lucky red shirt too.

Mary: Did it ever occur to any of them that those red shirts might not be so lucky? Maybe you should be wearing gold shirts. Or blue shirts.

Keith: You know, in chapter 743 of my epic tome I Know Everything, So Bask In My Eternal Wisdom, I write what I think, in my usual humble way, is the definitive treatise on the subject of luck.

Jerry: Do you have to keep doing that?

Keith: Doing what?

Contessa: Passing yourself off as a guru.

Keith: But I am a guru. A genius. People adore listening to me talk. Besides, you continue to spend your time telling people you're a Contessa, and insisting they first address you by all sorts of names.

Contessa: I am a Contessa, and you will address me properly as Contessa Evangelista Francesca Nicolette Viola Divinna.

Chemiserouge: Look, by crikey, no need to big-note, blue, or burl. No spitting the dummy or giving a gobful.

Jerry: What does that even mean?

Mary: He's using Australian slang.

Chemiserouge: Well, I am Australian, Sheila.

Mary: My name isn't Sheila, so stop saying that. Why did I agree to come on this trip?

Contessa: You're hiding out from the arrest warrants in place against you, that's why.

Mary: Yes, yes. I know. Honestly, you steal a few million dollars here and there from unsuspecting dupes and marks who deserve to get taken for everything you can get, and all of a sudden, you're being called a criminal.

Jerry: I'm just glad that someone else paid. Otherwise, I'd have refused to come. Or I might have hidden myself in one of the wheelwells of the plane. It's only an eighteen hour flight. Surely a human being can survive exposure at thirty five thousand feet for that long? I've done that with my in-laws to save money on a cross country flight. Granted, it wasn't easy to explain that to my wife when her mom and dad were pulled out of the wheel well, frozen to death. Still, saving hundreds of dollars is worth the risk.

Mary: How is it that anyone wanted to marry you?

Jerry: Look, I'll have you know that living cheap is a good thing, from time to time. It saves lots and lots of money, which you can bank away, and continue to live cheaply...

Mary: My point, sir, is that you're living like such a cheapskate that you don't enjoy life. You killed your in-laws by being cheap, and while I suppose I can appreciate the notion of killing in-laws if they're idiots, ending their lives because you're too cheap to buy their air fare is really, really bad form. I'm assuming you gave them a cheap funeral too.

Jerry: Cardboard boxes. No headstone. Those things are just extravagances, after all, and it's not like they care.

Mary: You're an idiot.

Chemiserouge: If we're all done throwing a wobbly?

Contessa: Throwing a what?

Keith: He means getting mad. In chapter 6789 of my epic tome I Know Everything, So...

Mary: Oh, will you shut up?

Chemiserouge: I was just going to say that Brutus ought to be hereabouts. I'm going to put some kangaroo meat out on the line and feed the croc, by crikey! This is what you all paid to come out to see, after all.

Chemiserouge turns off the boat engine and starts to rig a pole with meat from a bucket.

Contessa: That used to be a kangaroo?

Chemiserouge: Yes, until he went walkabout and ran right into the front end of a truck, by crikey!

He holds the pole out over the water.

Chemiserouge: Here, Brutus! Come get your lunch, boy! Here, Brutus!

Suddenly the water beside the boat erupts, and the top half of a two ton three legged croc bursts out of nowhere. Chemiserouge yells in panic, and Brutus drags him under, into the depths of the river. Everyone is silent for a long time. Finally, Mary Ducky speaks.

Mary: I told him red shirts aren't lucky.


  1. He should have eaten the others! They're all a total waste of oxygen! Brutus could have been a hero for the first time....

    And thank you for the nod to my guest post!

  2. I'm sure Brutus is nice and friendly once you get to know him. He'd love to play fetch the stick. Or fetch the severed arm.

  3. TFF...fetcht he severed arm. LOL!

  4. FETCH !
    He is soooo cuddly.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. That croc is hugeeeee! Now following!

  6. Love the characters! The poor guide; it should have been one of the others; agree with Norma. When I lived in Africa there were crocs, but I didn't see any up close, but in Florida they have alligators and there is a place here called "Gatorland". Haven't been yet, but can you imagine a whole zoo just for alligators?? And a small town outside of Orlando, there is acually Reptile Land (a zoo full of different kinds of snakes)!! Wonder what this crew would have done with an anaconda?? Feed it a kangaroo?? Take care, William. I always enjoy your posts!

  7. Ah, yes...Mary Ducky has made a return...I wonder if any more new characters will surface in the future...? I hope so...

  8. You can never have too many chemiserouges. Or red shirts.

    Wait a minute, they're one and the same!

  9. I've never been around crocs in the wild. I would probably pee my pants if I ever ran into one that wasn't caged in a zoo!

  10. William, can I call you when I have nightmares about crocs tonight? Just kidding, but totally scary!

  11. @Parsnip: All they want is a little love and affection. And some food that's preferably still alive when they eat it.


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