Juxtapose.. if You will..

January 31, 2012 § Leave a comment

A statement of note and a question of tote..

Firstly then.. from Twilight of the Idols (Nietzsche) — Wicked men have no songs.. ( Lyrics yes, songs no – John)

From Yours so very truly… Do we live under ceilings or roofs?

Many readers will answer “both” to my question, but as all will see in what follows seldom does that ideal pass muster in life. And, after what happened the other day in the least likely of places, I’ve reason to sense wickedness responsible.

Allow me introduce a fellow whom I’ve always referred to as Decra. Not his real name of course though adequately protecting parentage, family and friends in these days of his more imminent measure.

Decra was the first kiwi I’d ever done a deal with. From Australia I’d called his realty people who did a splendid job of coming up with a just-completed – the summerhill ‘stone’ block spray painted that very morning! – furnished two bedroom flat nicely laid back from a north western highway of suburban Christchurch. Flying in for our pm appointment Decra was present, and replete with top features to secure his notion of top rent. “Decramastic roofing,” he boasted, “latest thing. Nothing like it in Oshstralia. Puts premia on this place o’ mine. You er.. you okay for another five bucks on the weekly?”

Colombo Street farmer, my companion said of Decra at the time. If Queen Street had them in Auckland then kiwi cities had gotten to copy on down. Make money instead of work was their lyric. Very apparent already on Decra’s face, tight pointed features drawn to a conclusion something like under and udders forever is over for this dairy farmer.

“Whaddya say, buddy?”

Counter went something like: I say cold.. concrete floor.. no fire—

“Strength man, strength.. and there’s heaps of power-points.. and.. and that cylinder.. best copper in the business, you couldn’t get hotter water than that.. I mean.. hey this is Christchurch.. aint no hard limey-type water coming outta the ground round here..”

Enough already. I’d take it just to get Decra out of my face, but the agent was walkabout with my companion, whose ready smile had confirmed a small garage out back and similar low maintenance exterior features. Two months, I said, before he was into me again. “Two munce! It’s a monthly minimum y’know and er — yeh you pay weekly but notice is — and there’s no key money.. I mean I can see you’re decent people and—yah?”

“In advance okay with you?”

It was okay, minutes later he was gone with my check. And I was content to savor why we were here and what two months of a frosty and then wet winter might deal us. Future-wise. In finding an island to acquire and hold. Garden, whatever, through retirement. Mebbe even burial, headstone singing, Sinatra-style, how I did it my way. Worldly wealth having resourced such a purchase from so dedicated an ambition and application.


Moi is back around the city. At least three decades older. Thursday. Shopping, looking over the heads as I push my trolley into a wide wine aisle. How come this one so wide, others of essential foodstuff and utensils constrained?

Instore, this old character in a stained dairy-man’s hat shuffling behind a trolley which his sister was to studious fill with different bottles from the shelves. As they approach I see Decra and, surprised, wonder what it was that had me recognise him. Perhaps more to the point, however, was his recognition of me. A stare – neither of us could avoid passing each other – alternating with a somewhat shame-faced look—what had he found occasion to say about me!

Up close and personal Decra said: “I’m eighty-six”.

Me: Has it been that long?

Decra: Yea, eighty-six, not bad huh?

I don’t answer this because taken on the face of his words how would I know whether his time had been good, bad or indifferent. Instead I say: Looking well.. trim and.. from the look of things—

Decra: You aint. Are ya? Know what you need?—I’ll tell ya anyway. Ya gotta get all that belly off playing golf three times a week like me. Play golf?

Me: Not so far, I say, ignoring the insult. Too big I was in front, but guys like Decra would never understand let alone accept that medically-managed CCF is a long way from bad and if bearer’s can do just that then sustainable, oft enjoyable, living is probable.

Decra: Whadz that mean, so far! Ya just agreed ya could use trim—

Did I?, said I sharply, deliberately cutting him off and eying the trolley whose bottom was near-occupied with bottles. His sister’s sweet smile did nothing to dispel her reproving look at his aggression. He had said things, alright, and she knew it. Wine was already the price he would pay for her silence.

Handicap, I asked, is it better for all the playing?

Decra: I tried twice a week, it’s no diffrent.

And the handicap is.?

Decra: Ya don’t play.. so why’d ya wanna know?

I understand, you don’t want to tell me—

Decra: Yessa I do! It’s twenny four. Yeh, three times a week. Been there for years, see!

What do I do here—laugh—cry—tell myself why—NO, I shake my head and press my lips close after saying Enjoy the Party to his sister. Then push on, anything but consider the proposition that I play golf like Decra does.

Oh yes, that something came to me on the way home. My earlier companion had learned from the agent that Decra had fathered only daughters. Adding at the time, “Kinda like speaking soltanto Italiano, si?”

Finally — Decra from decramastic (roofing). This is pressed-metal, resin-coated and colored grits baked on for an attractive roofing tile. But my experience under it that winter was how metal contracted in the cold, resin cracked and when the rain came a lot of grit sluiced into spouting. Leaving bald – naked – metal on top.

Arguably prescient on Decra, wouldn’t YOU say?

Memorable Mentions:
Y’all know Colin Firth took the gong in The Kings Speech. To my knowledge Geoffrey Rush saw nothing for his splendid ‘supporting actor’ role. Though Australia could not ignore the point and relevance of its portrayed therapist to British Royalty’s continuing past, awarding – well done Geoffrey! – actor Rush Australian Man of the Year. And thanks to ‘Essential Listening’ [ EL ] whose announcement added a clip of kookaburras ‘applauding’ their Man of the Year. Nice touch, guys. Yea, very funny.

Travellers always know they’re in good company when fellow listeners request Adrian Boult’s baton mastery over the London Philly playing Elgar’s Nimrod. Hattip: Peter Fry@satnight(RNZ). And if he doesn’t mind my saying.. his rendition of Burns’s Mousie piece was pretty fair.

I’ve yet to catch up with June (Gleeson?) White’s book Double Entry (book-keeping) claims to flaw the Recession—subject her interview with Kim Hill recently. Let’s say, reserving judgement, pending other likely outcomes. Could make a first few hours in the Sounds on Waitangi Day.. worth a listen I’d guess.

Po$itively — To hand, note of Res-Research’s(Alacra) MacKinsey Global Investors latest report. To effect that emerging market investors are out of equities and into other asset types. To the extent this news may impact equity selling – even reasonably profitable utilities whose cashflow merits are already being touted in enzed – look for the probability of higher agency selling costs as well as pricing pressures downward.

Bottom line: Best yet cricket and tennis in a very long time. Well done Australia! for serving game, set, match.

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