Monday, December 21, 2009

Pleasing Yasmina Part 4

Laura’s face burned hot as she scuttled after Yasmina. The thin, blonde ballet-dancer was already giggling at Simon and asking him questions as he helped her into a sumo suit.
‘Is this hard? Is it fun?’
‘I sure have a good time!’ he recited. ‘I just have to make sure everyone else doesn’t have too much of a good time, if you know what I mean.’
Yasmina laughed as though they were sharing a sophisticated joke. Laura looked at the floor.
‘My friend Laura thinks you look like Matt from Neighbours!’
Laura yipped with surprise. ‘Yasmina! I do not!’
Simon held out the suit. ‘Okay, Laura. Left leg first, keep your toes pointed.’
She raised her foot and tried to put it in to the leg hole, but Simon stopped her. ‘Try the other left.’
She realised that she had instinctively gone to put her right leg in. A loud giggle leap-frogged her tongue to cover her embarrassment while Yasmina cackled beside her. ‘Don’t you know left and right?’
Laura tried to stop laughing her stupid isn't-being-silly-fun laugh, but it kept vomiting out. Everything was suddenly so ridiculous that the laughter was being sucked from her: Yasmina wobbling in the other sumo suit, Simon tickling her chin as he fastened the helmet, Terry telling them sternly to calm down, everything was making her insides convulse and shudder.
‘Hey Yasmina!’ called the girl who had tried to touch her phone. ‘You’re like a sumo Barbie doll!’
Yasmina loved every microsecond. She danced around tossing her hair, bumping Laura and saying loudly, ‘So this is what it’s like to be fat!’
Simon guided them onto the mat and Laura kept ha-ha-haing her protective laugh - the same disgusting, open-mouthed gulping noise that sounded just like her mum on a Saturday night. The boys who had crushes on Yasmina and the little girls who looked up to her began chanting her name and more hysterical giggles gushed from Laura’s stomach.
‘Yasmeeena! Yasmeeena! Yasmeeena!’
‘Hey Laura!’ called out one of the boys. ‘Where’s your suit?’
Laura stopped laughing.
‘Oi!’ yelled Terry. ‘That’s enough of that, whoever that was.’
Simon blew the whistle and suddenly Yasmina was bounding across the ring, all flying blonde hair and rolls of skin-coloured foam. She crashed into Laura, making her stumble backwards, twisting and flailing to keep her balance. The gym echoed with laughter and the chant of Yasmina’s fan club. Simon blew his whistle and guided Laura back to the mat.
‘You okay?’
Laura gulped and nodded and he patted her on the helmet. ‘Atta girl!’

Yasmina guffawed louder than ever as she rubbed her fat sumo stomach for the crowd.
Once again, they were stood on either side of the ring and again Simon blew the whistle. Again
Laura stayed rooted to the spot and again Yasmina toppled her over backwards. She landed on her bottom with a jarring thud and had to hold her breath to stop her bottle from tipping over while Yasmina sprawled on top of her, gibbering with laughter.
Simon blew his whistle and lifted Yasmina away. Yasmina tried to perform a bowing dance for her audience, but tripped on the hem of the suit and fell across the mat, howling with laughter.
Simon shook his head as he pulled Laura to her feet. ‘You’ve got to push back, mate. Otherwise what’s the point?’
He left Laura standing there and tried to pull Yasmina up, but she was beyond standing. The more she laughed, the more helpless she became as she rolled around, cheeks flushed and glossy with tears. Laura almost didn’t recognise her as she flailed about, howling with laughter every time Simon tried to pull her up by her floppy arms. Eventually Simon knelt down and Laura heard him giving the ‘you’re-wasting-other-people’s-time’ talk before hauling her to her feet.
The whistle blew and this time Laura leant into Yasmina’s charge. She wrapped her arms around Yasmina’s shoulders and clenched her jaw against Yasmina’s screams. Each time she pushed against her, Yasmina would whoop louder and harder. They twirled around the mat, shaking each other in a violent waltz, Laura grunting and Yasmina wailing hysterically.
Suddenly they tripped, and Laura fell flat on her back. The wind coughed from her lungs as Yasmina landed on top of her with a loud, mirthful yelp. Laura pulled for air, but none came. All she could do was close her eyes tight to stop the hot tears from squeezing down her cheeks. The cheering vibrated around the gym and she felt Yasmina suddenly fall silent and leap away. Simon helped her to sit up.
‘You okay mate?’
‘Uh-huh,’ she wheezed, concentrating on getting her tear-bottle up straight.
‘Got a bit winded eh?’ he was saying. ‘It’ll be okay. Just relax, take big slow breaths and I’ll unzip you.’
Laura sniffed a wet sniff into the thick sleeve of the suit. Yasmina was already out of her costume and scurrying to the back of the audience again. Laura trudged after her, but Yasmina wasn’t sitting down. She was hugging her jumper and sidling towards the gym door, grimacing and beckoning furiously for to Laura to follow. Laura groaned and looked at her inviting chair. Yasmina stamped her foot.
‘Laura!’ she snarled.
Laura flinched and hurried outside.

To be continued ...


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32