Oh no!

30 11 2007

My blog stats have been dismal lately and, though I profess to be the only blogger in the world who doesn’t care, I do. I am trying to decide if it’s my stingy posts, my lack of creativity or just being hidden in a corner of the matrix.

Unfortunately, stingy posts are sometimes neccesary when one has had too much sun and not enough sleep, so I can’t do anything about that. Nor can I change the fact that I have little exposure compared to I Can Has Cheezburger.

So let’s blame my lack of creativity. THAT is something we can work on. Because I know that you all thrive on the brilliant adventures of Ms. M. A. Smith, I shall fill you in on the latest chapter of the saga. (A publishing deal is in the works for my three-volume novel.)


It all started with the Pukeko (doesn’t it always?). New Zealand abounds with these feathered throw-backs to those spitty things in Jurassic Park. I was on a walk, just minding my own business when a Pukeko, carrying a hat and cane, wandered out in front of me.

“Excuse me,” he said with a perfect British accent, “do you have the time.”

Startled and confused I replied, “I believe time is an invention of humanity to help govern and make sense of the manifold changes they endure. It is an idea and, as such, can belong to no-one.”

He cocked his head at me, took a pocket watch out of his vest pocket and threw it forcefully towards my head. Before I could react he was gone.

I continued on my walk, leaving the pocket watch to sink in the bay. I remember being glad that no dead bovines were floating nearby, and that the sun was still shining.

There is a part of the path where bushes overgrow everything. Just as I entered this woody hollow, I heard a blood-curdling cry. I jumped up and backwards, attempting (in vain) to climb a nearby fern tree. That’s how they found me; one leg wrapped around the tree, a fern frond firmly clenched between my teeth. They didn’t waste any time either. There must have been five or six of them and they smelled awful; like grease-paint and fresnels.

Before I knew it they’d wrapped a rope tightly around my ankles, lifted me above their heads, and begun carting me back towards the bay. I realized that I was in the grips of the fearsome Welcome-Bay-Pirate-Players. They’re a street performance group who, due to long histories of figuring out ways to make sure the rum is gone, tend to forget the ‘player’ part of their title.

Sure enough, there in the bay was their ship, the “Dodgy Dingy of Doom”. The outboard motor puffed and wheezed as I was wedged into the bow of the glass-bottom boat. One of the players stood, one foot on the seat and one foot on my shoulder, and began to recite Shakespearian tragic monologues at the top of his lungs. I made it until Hamlet before everything inside of me rose up and rebelled.

“STOP!” I screamed (they had forgotten to gag me). “It’s STRESSED unstressed, STRESSED, unstressed, STRESSED, unstressed, STRESSED, unstressed, STRESSED, unstressed.  Iambic pentameter you idiot!”

He bent down to stare into my face. “Aye then, you think you can do better?” he asked, smelling rather too strongly of profanity for my taste.

“I do.”

He cut the rope from my legs. “Well then missy, have at it!”

It was hard to get my balance in the boat as it puttered over the bay, avoiding kayakers and children paddling with difficulty. I took a deep breath, imagined the fat hairy pirate to be a distinguished countess and addressed him. “I confess, here on my knee before high heaven and you, that before you, and next unto high heaven, I love your son.”

The hairy one turned to the leader. “Cap’n! She’s good! I could a’most imagin that I had a son.”

A skinny one in the back grabbed a passing duck by the neck and hit the hairy one over the head. “Ya do have a son, fool!”

“Aye, I guess I do. Do you love him missy, really?!” He looked sincerely confused and I felt a little bad.

“No. That was Helena’s monologue from All’s Well That Ends Well. I’ve never met YOUR son.”

The captain grabbed me by the arm with a triumphant look on his face. “Mateys! What say she join us and marry Tubby the Terrible’s son just as soon as we put into port?”

“I’d really rather not,” I protested.

“Aye but ya will!”

I thought about it briefly. “Ok.” It was a slow day and I didn’t have any other proposals. Besides, I liked the look of Tubby- he reminded me of a pet gerbil I once had.

We spent the rest of the journey running through the sonnets; each one taking a turn to profess love for whatever plant, animal or natural phenomena happened to be close. The best was when “Gaffer the Git” recited sonnet 122 to a sliver that “Shiner” has gotten in his big toe.

We reached port eventually and tied up next to the Tauranga Tourist Park. There, waiting on the dock, was the most handsome man I had ever seen. He was dressed in a dark suit with his curly hair arranged just-so.

“Dad!” He exclaimed as he helped Tubby out of the boat. “I told you not to abduct strangers any more. It’s such a bother finding where they belong and returning them!” He took another look at me and smiled.

I smiled back.

“Nay, son. This ‘uns for you!” Tubby smiled a gap-toothed grin at both of us. The captain smacked Tubby’s son on the shoulder and laughed.

“Well, if that is the case…” He shrugged, grinned at me and got down on one knee. “Excuse me, miss, but it appears that I shan’t be able to return you to wherever you belong. If you are at your leisure, would you perhaps marry me this evening?”

I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye and saw the Pukeko from earlier. He cackled and nodded, “Sure, then. You’ve got plenty of time,” he said.

I considered briefly, “Do you perchance know any Shakespeare?”


“Then why not?!”

And that is how I came to be married on a dock in Welcome Bay, to a dark-haired man with a Pukeko as my man-of-honor and a fat pirate as the best man. All the pirates cried, then lent us the dingy for our honeymoon yachting trip.

And the man’s name? Come to find out it was Dominic Brian Sibley Masterson. I finally have a cool last name!

The sun set as we steered our way towards Mt Manganui and the open sea.

There. Is that an interesting enough day for you all?




7 responses

30 11 2007
Jennifer James

Wow. That is so spectacular, it almost appaears to be true. I shall be posting a link to this post post haste, so that others can enjoy your postings.

I love it, “Ode to a Sliver”

oh and I am the only person who’s going to get the greasepaint AND FRESNELS.
Those things stink to high heaven when gels start to burn….

30 11 2007
Pirates, Shakespeare and How My Sister Got Married. « Just East of West

[…] to NZ temporarily, who has too much imagination for her own good. And, that girl is her. Go read it right now. And comment…. Because I said […]

30 11 2007
David Gray

So way cool. I have been reading Jennifer’s stories, and now she demands her readers come and read yours. Well worth the cybertrip halfway around the world. So this writing is a family thing. Works for me. Great stuff. Thanks!

30 11 2007
Jenn S. (a.k.a. Ducky)

I followed your sister’s link and must say I loved that story. I’m a sucker for whimsicality (especially when it is well-written). I think your blog has gained a new reader.

30 11 2007
Jennifer James

For a second there, I couldn’t tell if it was true or not, for I can easily imagine you hanging in a tree, clutching a fern in your teeth.

Yay for people transversing the globe to read your posts!

30 11 2007
Donna James

I read it and liked it too!!

30 11 2007

Hooray! I only wish it WERE true. I’ve been needing an audience to practice my Shakespeare on. Thanks for visiting, everyone!

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