‘Go on, read us a story,’ said the lady. The lady sat at our long table in the farm’s tea room. ‘I bet your writing is character-based,’ she said, ‘observation and the like, and I bet you are always watching and then you are always writing.’
‘Oh yes, I am always watching,’ I said like a great writer. Character based, character-based. I mean is it, ever? I suppose it should be, and I will strive from here on in to capture the essential traits of every individual I pass.
‘Read something,’ she said.
Farm hands surrounded my frame, and there was some pressure to perform, and here was I amidst a personal writing drought crisis. I could think of nothing, then I remembered the blog entry about school and bloody teachers and that friend of mine said she liked that one.
So I read that piece – ‘Great Enemy’ from my telephone. All the long words, all the clever-arse crap, It was a terrible experience. The crew yawned, heads dribbled saliva to the concrete floor. The main lady left the room, disgusted and she smoked a cigarette outside . Finally I found the right piece for my audience , and read them ‘A Wriggle for Arthur.’ They chuckled, but the main lady had gone. I let the lady down. I let her down, a disappointed woman.
I thought about this for two hours as I weighed 447 pullets in the hundred metre long shed.
Also I was electrocuted again on the wire fence. This time I screamed, but quite manly, ‘Arggghhh.’
It was The best electrocution I have had to date. I Found four dead chickens down the back end of the shed, reckoned they might have had the same experience. I said this to the boss but he dismissed my theory out of hand. I tell you if I weighed a kilo point five I too might give up the will to live after a sparking of that voltage.
The boss only said ‘Turn the electricity off – when you go in the shed.’
I said ‘okay. I will do that, although nobody does. It’s not manly to turn off the electric. Anyway, moving on…