The goings-on at Q.H.C. 220-226 Brisbane St. Beaudesert.


The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy – I mean that if you are happy you will be good.”

The car eased into the parking area where Lorna and I were exchanging pleasantries after having checked our respective mail boxes. The driver was an amiable fellow of some forty years, his companion, the demeanor of a chronic hemorrhoid sufferer and a lifetime rehearsing; a pouting, sullen lower lip, fashioned to trip over.

Was he a failed dramatic actor; an embittered artist in the Hitler arch-megalomaniac mould? A studied straight ahead look to avoid eye contact completed the instant character summation. Here is one tubby and very petulant, unhappy drama queen who won’t clear his rear compaction until he finds a new way of shafting an opponent.

And another bombastic bastard; as if this variety wasn’t over represented already. Contrasting vividly with his passenger was his young driver/companion who could have been Pettum’s parole officer, an amiable and polite fellow, he sought the location of the flat they had come to check out.

Laurance Pettums moved in within days and was quickly self-promoted to king of the kids. The accidental or default congregating point back then was the precinct’s picnic shed where Garry the rat had made a habit of swigging stubbies as he read large-type cowboy books, delivered to him by a system that encourages bludgers to sit on their arses while volunteers ran after them.

After some months, I hesitantly joined Garry in disjointed and limited conversations. The ever-present stale nicotine stench surrounding him along with an untreated dandruff-like condition made an up-wind, two metre gap the nearest one could wisely partake in a congress of sorts.

The word cretin didn’t adequately describe Garry, so the gods pooled their thoughts and came up with gomeral. And how apt! Have a close look at the gaping mouth of sideshow alley’s wooden clown and there you see Garry, a rather improved Garry in fact. The animated carnival creation, in its quest to thwart entry of the ping-pong balls is not overwhelmed by untreated and uncontrolled psoriasis and scalp disorders.

Talk sense to a fool and he will call you foolish.

Garry doesn’t win any kudos for his eloquence which is as vacuous as his wit, so irrespective of wind movements, my visits were usually brief. What he is very good at, however, is accepting handouts without any semblance of gratitude lasting beyond the day. One has the impression of him awakening one morning and seeing a new apparatus nearby, its arrival and its purpose as being absolutely lost to him.

A considerate interior painter struck by the scarcity of furnishings in his flat, gave him a disc player but he was having some trouble operating it. I could hear a whirring as I neared it and found a rut worn almost through the disc. Six or so months of unusual noise from a recently introduced object was not enough to arouse his curiosity.

Never the less, he seemed, in time, to have become acquainted with DVDs, so I entrusted him with the first two seasons of The Sopranos. Mint t.v. and mint DVD’s with mint prices. A week or so later, not been offered any comment or thoughts on the programme, said he had already watched it on tv. “Didn’t you find that when it was run on telly you missed a word here and there, a line….passing traffic drowning bits and pieces”? I asked. No problems, he assured me, always caught the dialogue. Well, why should I doubt what I’m told?

Super trusting, naive Lesso handed over the next two seasons of the series before getting the first two back. A few weeks passed and nary a word. I pressed their return and found tobacco in the plastic container, along with ash, greasy finger marks over the entire surfaces, where one would expect the average careless person to leave marks on the rim only. One disc was decorated by a great smear of dried snot which once had very evidently been very wet.

The introductory, or companion booklet filthy and squashed, permanently marked when forcibly placed between the plastic hinges. I rejected a hefty quote for a professional cleaning job, and risked contamination by doing the job myself. The idiot would not accept knowledge of the vandalism.

I began to lose my penchant for helping out those I perceived as doing it tough and saw merit in Wilde’s reproving,“ No good deed should go unpunished.” Adding to this fellows’ dimness was his playing of only the first episode on each disc, having no idea that three more episodes followed.

For the previous year or so, I had fetched his grog and doing small messages. His mate with a lower limb problem and a beat-up bomb would fetch his stubbies and charge him a six pack for the effort, and then help him finish the carton. For the sake of economy and an unjust charge from a best mate, I convinced him to quit buying the expensive glass stubbies and consider the 30 can carton. I wouldn’t sit back and knock off half his grog either

A traveling $2 an item used clothing show was at the show-grounds and I offered Garry a lift with an update of his attire in mind. He felt it necessary to offer directions to a 35 year long Beaudesert resident whose partner had shown horses at these very grounds, was surprised that I knew of the show-ground. Here was yet another controlling zombie and I always thought they were the province of movie script writers.

At about this time, the aforementioned was lamenting his failure to get a dreadfully unkempt and well matured woman into the cot. He let on to me, while loaded with truth syrup, that a little peccadillo of his indulgence was to implant a tooth-brush handle up the anus and wank to prostrate pleasure and preferred his onanism while standing. My comment at this revelation was of admiration for his physical endurance while I wondered if my supine preference for the missionary position, sans toothbrush, had anything to do with my innate laziness.

This pastime was his harmless pleasure as it were, and was of no concern or consequence to me or to anyone else, and the admission told in drunken confidence, had no impact on my worn-out sensitivities. It didn’t occur to me for a nanosecond, to demean the fellow by blabbing his secret delights to the countryside, nor did I, “recoil in horror.” Of concern though, was his post orgasmic brush extraction movements, where I truly hoped he was fastidious enough to engage hygiene applications. This is why I regard myself as a reasonably lucky and contented chap by never having shared repast from this place.

“Every man is like the company he is wont to keep.”

However unpleasant this fellows company, his physical presence was much preferred to that of the three Machiavellian principals who I must introduce for their pivotal roles.

Larry Pettums wasted little time taking over the podium, and having secured the limited audience with tales of undercover police work in the “States,” quickly segued to his most worked-on subject; his sexual frequency and up-standing potency. This was one unabashed and serious ego-tripper, eventually revealed as an intimidating moron who had lived his life as such and gave no sign of self-doubt, even in spite of a stupid countenance of six decades duration. I walked from this boor when his imagination had the excessive sexual demands of Mexican women depleting his body to the extent of needing blood transfusions to recover.

It wasn’t at all flattering to be included in that target audience, in fact I found that status quite offensive, but that is the way of un-recognised genius. You wouldn’t feed his nonsense talk to an average I.Q. youth, let alone a time-worn septuagenarian. Next day, Larry used Gerry as courier to convey to me a scrap of paper on which was written researched information about his previous days affectations. I discarded it without consideration, appalled at the thought of any type of relationship with this repulsive thug. If a man sends a runner to convey a message to the recipient he lives besides, it is too much like Mum telling son to give Dad a reply when all three are seated at the same table.

“Their are no benefits in the gifts of bad men.”

I carried out a minor repair on my pine kitchen chair on the veranda using an electric drill. Next morning Larry was circulating about the place with his drill, desperately seeking to ingratiate himself with his fellow tenants by declaring he was the newly endorsed maintenance man. Homer Simpson aficionados would remember an emotionally rejected Homer hand-standing in the back-ground commanding, “ Mummy, mummy. Look at me, Mummy. Anyone, please look at me”. A wonderfully apt sketch written for the over-represented inbred Laurance Pettums of this planet.

Rejected egotists refuse to be ignored and will irk a reluctant target with their persistence. Like me, Laurance occupies the westernmost unit; he the third building, and I the middle. Like all other tenants, he parks as close to his entrance steps as possible, and when a rare rain fall makes unofficial tracks too slippery for door-step parking, he parks beside the easternmost flat of his block near the highway, and that becomes his default parking spot where he stays, even in fine weather. This ignorance quite understandably, annoys the affected resident who will not upbraid him, feeling discreetness with bullies the preferred option.

Other residents are the object of this intimidation by dint of Larry’s delight in playing his very audible car burglar system far longer than is needed to open a door. Once only, at the start of the day seems very reasonable which one might expect in a safe non-threatening daytime area, but often throughout the day is calculated stupidity. He gets his jollies, it seems, by going to his locked and alarmed car as often as possible.

Laurance Pettums shares a motor-cycle with a man friend who could be absent for days. When in his care, scarcely a day passes without the petrol tank coming off, tools clanging, irritating grinding and extended revving-up all adding to his Ginger Meggs annoyances.. These noisy ‘modifications’ are done to the south of his flat, near my bedroom. On his north side, there is nothing but unoccupied, shady park land where noisy vehicle repairs would pass largely unnoticed and irritate no-one.

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”

When Pettums had a collapsed garden shed dropped off, I asked the council to have him relocate its erection to his north and away from my bedroom. That task was too big an ask of a corrupt council and they were unable to accommodate my request. I also faxed a list of noise issues relating to Pettums, to Qld Housing, but would you believe it, noise complaints on that day, or specifically, noise complaints from me were not within their area of interest.

Once again, it seems, the joke is on me and this patron saint of stupid is in fact, an unabashed fifth columnist paid-up rat of the Queensland State Department of Housing, and certainly on their payroll. How many innocent trusting lives has this low creep shafted and ruined to satisfy an unfounded belief in his own superiority?

Any ignored or rejected little attention seeker will see opportunities to annoy the adults. One of these chances fell into Larry’s lap when an evening down-pour swept recently deposited bark topping along a 15 metre stretch of concrete path. Very early next morning, the suddenly caring Laurance pulled out his civic cap and be seen as a concerned and involved neighbour. Using an abundance of spade scrapes to alert the neighbourhood of his grandiosity, also by pure chance my bedroom was beside his area of activity. The spread was sparse enough to be removed with a few sweeps of a broom, but the attraction of metal against concrete proved too irresistible a mischief for our neighbourly Pettums.

Next door to this self-absorbed creature lives a woman well into her eighth decade. During the neighbour instigated strife I was having shortly after my introduction to this place, she understood my predicament, she told me, but couldn’t possibly come to my defence because the Shwarten’s Housing Department had recently threatened her with eviction if she and her then neighbour kept up their nit-picking. With that rod over her she was quite understandably intimidated. To search for new digs and be relocated at a very old age would have been a daunting task but would satisfy the whims of biased and immature public servants.

IGNORANCE and superstition, mortally afraid etc

The third tenant is a typecast life-long public-housing resident who lives under the auspices and direction of the Housing Dept. Such a dependent and diffident person as she, is won’t say “boo” for fear lurking Housing spies will come down on her for speaking out and so suffer the same intimidation as the octogenarian. She would shaft an outsider and help tar and feather him, than live in fear of losing the approval of the bullying majority, whether fellow tenant or Housing official.

One could expect her feeling justified in believing the worst of someone she didn’t feel comfortable with, and like Gerry and 90% of the population, expressing independent thought would be on par with understanding the extent of the universe.

Her demanding questioning of me of an elderly residents’ welfare who I aid in positive ways rankled me somewhat when I know of her own zero response. I don’t aid people in expectation of winning a good citizens award at Christmas. In short, I don’t feel obliged to explain my deeds to a meddling interloper. She is a rather inglorious and distant woman.

“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

The bible-banger, fourth and last resident of this block, is not without her hang-ups. A grateful resident and disciple of both Jesus and the Department for 24 years she boasts, and gushes adulation for the wonderful altruistic Housing luvvies who care so much for her welfare. Is used mainly by a Bejusus thunder cult, but can be easily manipulated by a purpose-driven exploiter. A snapping, ankle biting little Pekingese, she lets the newly censored know she can retaliate if stirred. Even after seven years, her shrilling still has me glancing out of the window at its start, expecting to see a rolling on the ground, hair-pulling, blood-letting cat fight. But no, it is her demonstrative way of greeting a favoured home-coming tenant.

This woman was observing me and my helper unload on move-in day. By way of introducing her to my droll wit, I invited her to a phantom party that night and was rewarded with a tirade of screams and threats of police and Housing Dept. intervention and hell-fire too, I expect. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Godfather and the divine one also got a mention. She was not amused. She’s not an ogress either and keeps her own counsel, seemingly divorced from the nasty politics of the place. I don’t think there is a truly corrupt bone in her naïve, diminutive body. Her loud shrilling at rare conversation attempts is a sign of other issues. Her trait of averting her head as she walks by my flat intrigues me. I suspect it is a precaution against morphing into salt if accidentally catching sight of an anti-Christ.

She did let her guard down recently when she conceded that doing a daily crossword or two, as recommended by those who do mind games might sharpen and support the brain. I interfered in her routine by photo-copying the next days’ crosswords from the newspaper and explained how I could do this daily and leave them in an easily accessible spot where she could pick them up at her leisure. The puzzles remained untouched in their spot for a fortnight. I asked if there had been some misunderstanding and got bawled out for trying to hurry her, because she had yet to start the hand delivered first puzzle.

I do rather suspect her parson master, from whom she would have most assuredly sought permission to accept such largesse from a non-believer, put the kibosh on my offer by reminding her of the reception I delivered him on his fourth attempt at seeking an audience with me.

He who sups with the devil should use a long spoon.”

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