Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pleasing Yasmina Part 5

Yasmina scurried towards the toilets in a strange, knees-together waddle which carried her quicker than Laura could run. Laura pushed open the door and squeaked with surprise. Spreading down the front of Yasmina’s hundred-dollar surf-label jeans was a dark, damp patch the shape of a heart. The hot smell of accidental urine, fresh and sharp like a grater, cut through the other dull, chemical fragrances of the toilets. The navy-blue blotch crept obscenely over the pre-worn, pre-torn, broken in, faded out colours.
It'll probably be the next big thing, Laura found herself thinking.
‘Oh my god oh my god oh my god yuuuuck!’ Yasmina hissed. ‘Laura! What am I gonna do?’
‘What …? What happened?’ asked Laura quietly. The big, wet wee patch on her friend’s jeans was making the hairs on her neck stand up.
‘That stupid sumo guy was making me laugh too much and when I landed on you really hard it just happened.’ She squirmed and plucked at her waistband. ‘Oh, it’s so disgusting! I’m so embarrassed!’
‘Um, do you have any other pants?’
No.’ Yasmina glumly tried to pull the wet denim away from her skin.
‘Do you want me to go get one of the teachers?’
‘No!’ Yasmina’s face filled with shock, and then calmed. ‘Hey … I can wear your pants!’ she beamed.
‘What?’ Laura touched the tight thighs of her Kmart yellow-labels.
‘Let me wear yours! They'll fit me easy!’
‘But …’
Come on,’ she keened. ‘Your t-shirt’s heaps long. No one will be able to see anything, it looks like a dress anyway!’
‘Come on Laura, You’re not even getting a phone! It’s the least you could do as my friend.’
Laura bit her lip and rolled her bracelets up and down.
‘I’d do the same for you!’
Laura looked at Yasmina’s caramel coloured mid-riff and shook her head.
Yasmina swore and it echoed like an angry ghost around the basins and cubicles. ‘Some friend you turned out to be. You won’t lend me your clothes, you’re not getting a phone and now you’re just leaving me like this!’ She turned away dramatically. 'I don't know how we're even going to stay friends when term starts.'
‘I am getting a phone!’ trembled Laura. ‘I promise I will!’
Yasmina whipped her head back to face Laura, her hair swirling glamorously across her face. ‘All right, but you owe me. You have to think of something or I won’t let you be in the phone club, even if you do get one.’
Laura gasped and Yasmina peered into the mirror, scowling at her stain and shifting from foot to foot.
‘I know­,’ chirped Laura excitedly. ‘I’ll go and say that you tore your pants really badly and you need some more. They’ll get you some from lost property or something.’
Yasmina sneered. ‘Mmm ... all right. But don’t get me anything gross.’
‘Okay!’ Laura hurried out of the toilet.
‘And get me a couple of pairs so I can choose!’ called Yasmina after her.

Terry rolled his eyes when Laura told him about Yasmina ripping her jeans.
‘Yes, well. I'm not surprised with pants that tight. Come on.’ He marched off to the vacation care centre with Laura in tow.
The lost-property box had the same lonely mustiness as Laura’s grandpa’s cupboards. Terry took out a pair of pants and handed them to Laura. A light smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. They were faded yellow tracksuit bottoms, the same colour as Laura’s first friendship bracelet.
‘These should be about the right size if she does up the drawstring. And hurry up, please. I want both of you back to the gym in five minutes.’
Laura paused. Yasmina would kill her if she brought back custard yellow trackies. Then she imagined Yasmina walking around in her own Kmart yellow labels, bragging about how cool she looked in such baggy jeans. She tucked the pants under her arm.
‘Thank you.’

Yasmina was not impressed.
‘Are these seriously the only ones there?’ She jammed an indignant hand on her hip. She still smelled strongly of salty wee.
Laura nodded quickly. ‘Terry said there weren’t any others.’
Yasmina snatched the pants and flounced into one of the cubicles. The sound of metres of toilet paper being un-rolled was accompanied by moans of ‘So disgusting …’
Yasmina flung the door open. Laura stifled a smile. The pants were too loose to be cool and too short to be pants. She looked as though she were wearing an enormous, used teabag. She held the jeans at arm’s length in a tight little ball.
‘What are you laughing about?’ she growled.
‘Nothing! They look fine.’
‘Yeah right, Laura. Thanks a lot. See if I ever waste any phone credit on you.’
‘Oh, but Yasmina, I can still …’
Yasmina marched out of the toilets. ‘Whatever. I look like a retard.’
Laura tripped along sadly behind her, wondering how she could get Yasmina better pants and herself a mobile phone. She could still get Yasmina’s number and call her from her home phone, that would …
‘Yasmina! What happened to your phone?’
Yasmina looked down at the ball of denim in her hand and swore again. She unrolled her pants on the sunny ground and reached delicately inside the damp pocket. She pulled out a shard of pink plastic, then another. Then came the rubbery key pad. Then the metal body and the naked circuit boards, clinging to each other by thin, colourful wires.
‘Oh my god,’ whispered Yasmina.
Laura could only stare, open-mouthed at Yasmina cradling the pieces of her new phone. Suddenly Yasmina was up and screeching at her.
‘This is all your fault! You pulled me down! You made me land on you! You made it break in my pocket! You owe me a new phone!’
Laura looked at Yasmina’s red face and her teabag pants. With her skinny legs and her baggy trousers and her broken phone, she was just like a toddler throwing a tantrum. Laura tried to cover her smile with her hand.
Don't laugh at me!’ hissed Yasmina.
‘You’re just a baby, Yasmina. You wet your pants and you broke your new toy and now you’re crying about it.’
Yasmina’s howls followed Laura all the way back to the gym.



  1. I'm betting that Yasmina goes through her entire life blaming everyone else for any problems she encounters along the way. It's a good thing she's fictional. I know one or two Real Life people like that.

  2. Inspired by real life little princesses encountered in my travels as the sumo suit guy.

  3. I've caught up on the last three parts today and just as I was getting increasingly uncomfortable for poor Laura, I see a glimmer of hope for her.....

  4. Nice dispatch and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you seeking your information.


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