Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 20

“Walter. Ed Hames. Pleasure to meet you. Look I’m a lawyer - not like some hot shot big leagues lawyer – but I get a decent living. But in my job you gotta lie. You gotta. And I wanted to know if it’s wrong. I mean like I feel bad about it sometimes and- Idunno...Do you lie?”

“No, I don’t think so. But I never really need to lie. Do you need to lie?”

“Like I said I’m not a hot shot lawyer, but I mean...I gotta make a living for my family, don’t I?”

“That’s true. Well do you hurt people with your lies. Do you feel guilty?”

“I-” Ed Hames sighed audibly through the telephone, “I mean...yeah I do, I do.” There was a short pause during which it seemed obvious that Ed was contemplating his existence on a deep scale. “OK thanks buddy.”

“Thank you, Mr Hames. Walter, we have a ‘Bruno’ on the line. No last name here. Go ahead Bruno.” Tony Holdsworth couldn’t help but smile. Well he could help enough not to look like a douche on TV but he couldn’t help his inner smile. This was great television. Whoever this Walter Wallace was and whether or not the silly machine worked, people were engaged by the whole scenario and Tony was perched overlooking TV history.

“Yeah so what I wanna ask you is this: Walter Wallace. You ever had sex pal?” The studio audience laughed and Walter smiled, blushing a little. “And don’t you lie to me, I heard what you said to that other poor bastard so you can’t lie.”

Walter looked a little childish as he spoke, “Yeah I have.” A few hoots and a wolf whistle came from the audience.


“It was pretty good.” Tony could tell Walter was nervous but he wasn’t lying. Sex makes everybody giddy to talk about and guessing by Walter’s social life he hadn’t had much sex and had talked about it even less.

“Hahah you cheeky bastard. So what’d you do, have a lady or just go fuck a hooker Bruno Style.” The audience, who felt like they were sharing an inside joke over the fun back and forth dialogue, laughed and whispered excitedly but live F-bombs were a piece of cake. Tony hammed it up, freezing on the spot and then mopping his brow while giving exaggerated nervous glances backstage. By now it would have been censored on the slight delay and all he had to do now was cut the call while they were ahead.

“Alright Bruno, I have to say I wouldn’t mind hearing more of what you feel are the important questions for happiness but we’ll have to leave it at that for now.”

“No harm; no foul, Tony. Least I know them celebrate monks ain’t got all the secrets.”

Walter Wallace - Chapter 19

Whisky sat in the van halfway down the block and across the street from Channel 8 studios. He had followed Walter, undetected, into the large building and tracked his every step. He saw him being introduced to different figures within the network by Brian Smithwaite, he saw him enter the conference room and eventually saw him pushed onto the stage by a young stagehand. All the while he had kept out of sight, following the orders of Boss Citadel. Or so he thought.

“You don’t need to be here, Mr Whisker. And if you are going to tail someone, try be a little more subtle.” It was a mocking, sarcastic voice and it almost made Whisky jump. He turned and saw Brian Smithwaite with a slimy grin on his face.

“It’s Whisky, and Boss told me to trail the mark so that’s what I am doing.”

“Ooh, have a nickname now do you? But Whisker was so cute. Just like a fluffy little kitten.” He pinched Whisky’s cheek as he said it. Whisky didn’t flinch. “So they teach you how to be a robot at the academy but not how to track a mark without being sighted.” Whisky’s jaw tightened for a split second. Brian gave victorious smirk. “Listen, I run the show down here at Channel 8. This is my home court and I have everything quite under control. I don’t need some lumbering security guard raising any suspicions. What you can do is go back out and wait in the car with Mr Chips and call the Boss and tell him that Walter hasn’t signed the contract...yet.”

“That was your job,” Whisky replied matter-of-factly, “shouldn’t you make the call?”

“Do I look like I have time? I am running this operation here. Do you know how many strings I am pulling to keep this show going? And now you come in here playing spy and I am forced to untangle you before you ruin it all. Now follow your orders like you were trained to do and go back outside and call Boss and tell him the contract is yet to be signed.” The two men stared at each other a moment before Whisky turned and headed back to the side entrance he had found when he originally entered the building.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 18

It wasn’t hot at Channel 8 studios. Sure under the immediate attention of some of the lighting the temperature jumped, but this seemed to be offset by a very prominent air conditioning system. Its prominence such that most those in the audience had goose bumps, though this in turn could be attributed to the anticipation that Walter Wallace was generating. What he did know was that despite any lighting/a/c produced artificial ambience, he was sweating like he had never sweat before.

A rushed looking girl with an awkward contraption wrapped around her head came up and stood in front of Walter. She smoothed out Walter’s suit while speaking rapidly, “You look great. Remember not to look directly at the camera. Speak with a strong but not too loud voice, OK? You’ll be fine!” Walter nodded vaguely and she furrowed her brow as she tried to mop up his leaking forehead. “A sweater are you? Don’t tell me that’s the secret to happiness. I just had laser surgery on my armpits.”

Walter furrowed his own brow, trying not to think what that might mean. Instead he paused for a moment and closed his eyes and settled himself naturally. He was as deep as he had ever been but didn’t feel out of his depth. He felt a natural calm begin to trickle through his body and realised there was no need to worry he would just make sure he-

“You’re On!” The rushed girl had pushed Walter out in front of the cameras and he stumbled slightly before checking himself and walking timidly over to the chair next to Tony Holdsworth. He had met Manny’s father only an hour ago. He was seated at a long table with four other important figures including Brian Smithwaite. The men took turns as they talked of how they would approach the situation. They spoke of respecting Walter’s predicament and ensuring he was safe and comfortable at all times. They spoke of the expectations of Channel 8 and the media in general. They spoke of the public’s expectations. And in the end they came round to Walter’s response to all this. The senior most of them leaned forward, “Obviously you are not bound to any duties, Walter. You are a free man just as this great nation promises us all. You are here only on invitation to which you have so graciously accepted. We are not suggesting that you have any obligation to us, or that we the people have any right to you; we only further extend our invitation that you chat with us and share with the world your...expertise in the field of happiness.” The men all chuckled while Walter smiled politely. It was not clear where it came from or for how long it had been there but Walter could have sworn there wasn’t piece of paper in front of him a moment ago. “We will make it well worth your while, Walter.” Tony Holdsworth was standing at Walter’s right shoulder, offering him a pen. Walter glanced at it and then at Tony. He had no idea what was going on, only that he was extremely uncomfortable. He took the pen from Tony and-

“Are you still with us Walter?” Walter started, as if he had just been dozing off. Had he been dozing off? “It’s OK to get a little camera shy Walter. Even the happiest man in the World would be a little intimidated by all this equipment at first. The audience laughed and Walter again smiled politely.

“Sorry, I was-”

“No don’t be, that’s perfectly fine. What I was saying was welcome to your new home at Channel 8 studios. And might I add that you look to be making it your own rather quickly.” Another laugh; this time Tony smiled broadly, he truly enjoyed himself. “Now let’s get to the nitty gritty. Everyone wants to hear it; I want to hear it, so tell us. What’s your secret? Is there a secret? Can it be wrapped up in 25 words or less? Do you need to draw it? Are you going to tease us with it? Are you going to hide it? What I’m trying to say is: Tell us the secret!” three in a row! The audience cheered and followed it up with a round of applause.

Walter had no idea, so that’s what he said, “Well I’m just not really sure. I mean, it’s not an easy question to answer. I’ve never really asked myself. It seems...pointless.”

“Mmm, OK. We saw a little bit of this last night with Manny. You had never heard of the machine before last night had you?”


“And you say that you don’t consider yourself happy or unhappy?”

“Well,” Walter spoke slowly, returning to his natural calm again, “like I said, I never thought to.”

“Well it is quite remarkable I must say. We racked our brains here at the studio last night trying to work out how we can unlock this secret that even you yourself seem unable to articulate. Perhaps we ought get to know you a little better first. How about a little questionnaire? What do you say folks?” The crowd cheered and Walter shrugged obligingly. “OK first question: How old are you?”


“What do you do?”

“Like a job?”


“I clean the toilets in the South West Zone train system.” There was a murmur in the crowd and Tony nodded, feigning appreciation; hiding disgust.

“For how long?”

“12 years.”

“Do you have a tertiary education?”

“No. High school was enough for me.”

“Are you single? Remember if you feel uncomfortable about any of this it is fine not to answer.”

“No that’s fine. Yes I’m single.”



“Any family?”

“My parents passed away around 10 years ago. I don’t have any siblings.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

“No that’s OK. They had a good life. They loved me and I loved them.” Walter was starting to feel confident. He had never had anyone this interested in his life before.

“Do you have many friends?”

“Well, not really, no.” The crowd was murmuring a little louder now. Tony made to summarise.

“So what we have here, if I may be so crass, is a man, 32 with little or no possessions; a man with no friends and family, no relationships at all it seems; and finally a man who cleans toilets for a living. Tell me, Walter, what do you do for fun?”

“I like crosswords. I read; listen to music occasionally, though I don’t have many books and I only catch the radio playing in my boss’s office occasionally. I like to walk around the neighbourhood, sit in the park and get some fresh air.” He shrugged and smiled honestly. He had stopped sweating and felt rather at ease. He looked at Tony who was giving an exaggerated shrug of the shoulders to the camera as if summing up the collective reactions of everyone around the world. He had a playful look on his face which was much different to the expression Walter saw back in the dark office when he had returned Tony’s pen after politely refusing to sign the document that had been placed before him. He knew something felt wrong and decided at the last moment to trust his gut. “You’re making a mistake, Walter! A big mistake!” Tony had lost his cool. All the men did; All except Brian Smithwaite. By now Tony was all smiles and cheer for the camera, but earlier, while he and the rest were standing and yelling and insisting and pleading, Brian had simply remained in his leaned back position smiling his horrible, slimy grin.

The thought of that moment brought Walter back down a notch from his primetime high just in time for Tony to send them to commercial. “And when we come back, ladies and gentlemen, we will throw the microphone over to the studio audience and have them ask Walter a few questions to see if we can piece together a little more of this intriguing puzzle.”

Notes on the Text

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

UFC Eulogy - 128: Shogun v Bones Jones

Well what can I say?I'll just get this out of the way: Bones Jones is a freak.

OK,I'll come back to this point in a second. First I will write the review of the rest of the PPV similar to how I watched. Impatient and anxious about the main event.

It wasn't a terrible PPV. The main event was a spectacle and there was some good action beforehand, but I did find myself a little disengaged with the earlier fights. It may have just been an off day for me - tired, beers, footy on the adjacent screen - but I can barely remember the specifics of the other fights.

Cro Cop v Brendan Schaub was an entertaining fight. He did what he does best. He brought the fight to his opponent and threatened with an all round solid game but he still couldn't do what he used to do best...knock guys outSchaub landed a right hook that seemed to catch Mirko behind the ear and he dropped awkwardly and it was followed by a series of cringe-inducing replays

Marquardt v Dan Miller was a snooze fest. Sucked momentum out of the PPV and in the end Marquardt won but who cares. He is slipping down PPV ladder and might be headlining fight nights in the future.

Jim Miller v Kamal Shalorus was an entertaining fight. I haven't seen these two much if at all and Jim proved he is one to watch. I really can't get over the depth and variety of the Lightweight division. Good luck to whoever runs the ranking system for it.

My first Bantamweight bout. This would be interesting, more so because apart from the more committed MMA fans there will be plenty of UFC fans who don't recognise or buy PPVs based on the new WEC guys. So that means these guys are at a pivotal point of their careers in the octagon and how they market themselves outside of it. Faber came with plenty of hype but struggled through the first round. He did adjust and fought with plenty of flair that the little guys offer and in the end it was a decent decision bout. So I'm gonna stick to the fence before I commit to my maiden favourite Bantamweight.

So now to the big one. I was tipping and hoping for a Shogun victory beforehand but just the visual size difference alone would have been warning enough for most fans, but for me it was the first takedown that filled me with a sense of dread. Jones manhandled Shogun and then imposed himself on top and did some damage while draining Shogun of significant energy - by the first round bell he looked gassed. The stand up was a similar story. Jones' reach nullified anything Shogun could throw at him and on the not so rare occasion when Jones made a mistake, Shogun looked powerless to capitalise. At one point he had his back and dropped down to try take a leg but seemed to slide off weakly. Another was an attempted sweep or reversal that barely made Jones budge. Eventually an exhausted Rua was felled by a piercing body blow and a knee on the way down, tapping the mat as Bones Jones strode away to take in his victory.

So where do we go from here? Every sport has eras of domination; as do the weight divisions within the UFC: Silva, GSP, BJ Penn, Ortiz, Matt Hughes. When someone brings a game that is naturally a cut above the rest. Whether it is natural ability, work ethic, technique, etc. it is usually good enough to require years of training to develop a fighter to overcome it.

But one thing more common than dominant eras is making the call too early. Brock Lesnar wasn't meant to be the man atop the mountain. He was the Mountain. But in his two title defences he was rocked by Carwin and then destroyed by Cain Velasquez. Now people, myself included, are unable to see who could beat Cain but he hasn't made one defence yet either. The Light Heavyweight division for sometime now has been like hot potato with title belt; before Shogun we had Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Forrest Griffin, and Rampage Jackson who were all convincing champs. But the cream of this even playing field seemed to have risen to the top with Shogun. A man of ample potential finally exuding it in a demolition of Machida.

But now we have to ask: Who will beat Bones Jones? Is anyone physically capable? Rashad Evans is next up and good luck to him because I love him but a cynical side of me suggested that his statements about moving to the Middleweight division if Jones became champ had less to do with friendship and more to do with inside info on the next big thing. At the moment Bones Jones is a marketing dream but Dana White may be worried of Anderson Silva syndrome where the competition are so far below that the fights are tougher to market. Admittedly he is American and much more aggressive tactically, and the more I think about it the more I want to see Rashad or Rampage or Shogun rematch or Machida or even the lovable Forrest Griffin have a go. It does seem like it will be 5 easy title defences but with UFC you really never know so in the end, after the devastation, I am pretty excited about Jones' next fight.

- Eden

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 17

Stevie was in a relatively good mood. He hadn’t managed to make any inroads into the undercover job he was doing on Mark Tanenworth, but he always enjoyed chatting with the man. In fact they had become quite good friends. Mark was an oddball – harmless and quick to make a joke at his own expense. Stevie could never quite figure out why he would want to stay working in the grime of his family business when he seemed to have the makings of an artist. His obscure point of view on the world would surely capture the imaginations of a small but significant following. Were he truly performing his duties as a doctor (or even a friend), Stevie would suggest this to Mark but he had to remember why he was helping Mark in the first place – to help himself.

There were no two ways about it, and though Stevie had managed to hide from some inconvenient truths, this one was much too obvious. Stevie had had personal suspicions of the Citadel Inc empire for a long time but it was foolish for a sentry level police officer to try and undertake a case against the biggest corporation in the world – plus he had little idea as to what exactly Citadel Inc may be guilty of and even less evidence. He had decided to bypass the suppressing weight of due process and instead made it a little hobby of his to investigate the multi-national corporation in his free time. It was initially a mammoth task. He had no real foundation to build upon. But one day he got lucky.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 16

Mark Tanenworth woke late that morning. He was having some trouble setting the alarm on his new phone. He was always messing up the AM and PM so he switched it to 24 hour time, however this led to him spending 10 minutes every night working out that 2000 means 8 but it still wouldn’t go off and “It’s pointless to worry about what happened because it is already 10 o’clock,” he said as he rolled out of bed. “Oops,” he said aloud, “caught myself talking again.” He stopped and inhaled and exhaled slowly, wandering if his psychologist would be proud of his diligence – even if it was proving increasingly ineffective. He supposed that he could raise the issue this day as he was about to talk with his psychologist very soon – he had a meeting at...21:30 that very morning, which he was now rushing down the rickety fire escape to get to. He exited Citadel Towers a few minutes later and hopped in the backseat of a black sedan.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Things to Yell While at the Footy

So it is that time of year again: Footy season! And with record numbers in memberships and season tickets the crowds should be bigger and better than ever. Whether you are a first timer or a 300 game veteran from before the war or whether you would simply like to touch up on your vocabulary before performing your duties as grandstand coach/referee/tactician/commentator/motivational speaker/expert opinionist/bogan footy fan – this is a must read!

Here are a few of the basic phrases which will help you enjoy your first game of the season to the fullest.

Drop it – a split second before the opposition player catches the kick off.

Smash him! – When he doesn’t drop it.
*Variation – Hit him

Get off him – when dominant tackles start to get on your nerves.
*Alternate use – when your player acts like a fish out of water under the weight of the defender

Offside – when you are behind the posts with no lateral point of reference at all and are just desperate for a penalty.

Get em onside – when your team’s wingers scoot out of dummy half but only gain 3m
*For extra emphasis: Get em onside, ref!

Six again! – You saw them touch it!
*Remember to wave you fist sideways above your head. Pivot from the elbow for perfect technique

Just call it yourself, you idiot! – When you know the opposition scored but the ref goes to the video ref anyway, in effect giving the opposition fans twice as many chances to celebrate

What? – Confusion over a decision

Tackle him! – when you’re not sure if your team remembers the fundamental forms of defence

Go. Go! GO! – Line break!

What are you even here for? – Always directed at touch jud- I mean sideline official

Shepherd – I mean who actually says obstruction?

What!?- Another terrible decision. Confusion is increasing.

Benefit (of the doubt) – For learned watches of the game who can predict the video refs every decision

Run Forward – When your winger or centre covers 60m sideways

Forward – Usually said in unison with 1000 other people in the stadium (usually not including the ref)

40/20 – when you have that divine premonition of a 40/20 even before it leaves the player’s boot

WHAT! – No confusion here. The ref is a cheat.

Hold it! – The basketball carry 20m out from your own line

Ref’s Call – see: Benefit

Use it! – When an overlap develops but the front rower spots a gap

C’mon…- Deflated after 3 chances at the opposition goal line. Somehow they always seem to know the inside-ball-to-tired-prop play that was worked on all week

Intercept – When things are getting desperate. Usually after 3 consecutive drop outs

Various Expletives – This would require a second article

Would’ve won if the ref wasn’t such a [see next article] idiot – Yes that bad call in the 47th minute sparked the 30 point massacre

So I hope this has helped refresh your memory. Feel free to add a few of your own.

- Eden

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 15

Walter woke early, as he usually does, to get ready for work. It was quiet outside and he had some hope that the mob had gone home for the night. He ran a cold shower in order to wake himself up after a rather sleepless night (plus the stud isn’t exactly equipped with heated water) and by the time he was dressed and eating his breakfast he felt normal again; like it was all a dream (a very exciting one compared to the usual windows that opened out to views of sandstone walls).

As he ate he heard a faint clicking sound. At first he thought it was his jaw but he couldn’t feel it; only hear it. He turned around and saw at the window a large camera with its shutter rapidly opening and closing. “How you going there, Walt?” said the camera, “Get a good sleep then?” A youthful face popped up from behind the camera with a cheeky smile and a wave. Walter waved back uneasily. “Don’t mind me, mate. Enjoy your breakfast.”

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Walter Wallace - Chapter 14

Sam Tank, (or Sammy Tank as Boss liked to call him. “Sounds more like a mob name,” he had said. Tank had wanted to remark that their operation had absolutely no affiliation with any mob but decided to bite his tongue. He often did this in Boss’s company) was biting his tongue. He was on the phone with Boss who had just finished ordering him to do another pointless task. Tank begrudgingly acquiesced. He slowed his car to a stop and performed a neat three-point turn. He was barely two minutes from his home but now he was heading in the opposite direction to Phil Talley General Hospital to explain why a seven foot giant had just carried a nearly lifeless body into the emergency.

At the hospital he first encountered the numbing whine of Ms Citadel, “You wouldn’t believe what he has done! You’ve got to do something Sammy! Oh he is such a horrible man! Who would do such a thing?” Who would marry such a thing? he bit back - a the stinging sensation surging through his tongue. He was unsure if he was directing the muted slur at her or to her husband – marrying either one was a horrid thought – and as she continued to rant and rave he ignored her and strode past.