‘Do you know what is this?’ he asked over coffee one afternoon recently, shoving his phone under my nose showing an Arabic phrase translated into English. I smiled at the words ‘thrill and suspense’ under the Arabic squiggles.
‘How fabulous,’ I thought to myself, ‘I’m so mysterious’.
‘This is how you are when you tell the story’ he went on to accuse laughingly. ‘What is this bird, you know the one with the brain the size of nothing and it goes from way to way and the other side when it walks?’
‘An emu?’ I asked, eyebrows raised.
‘Yeah that one, it dead, remember,’ he reminded me, finishing with ‘how long did the story take when you told me he was one day alive and the next day dead…?’.
Oh poor Footloose,’ I think to myself as I realise where I this is going.
This is a friend who I meet for coffee from time to time where we share stories of life, childhood, and the difference in our cultures as well as the similarities.
My family have always teased me for my apparent ability to exaggerate, and it maddens me. Really, it does. I believe that everything I am saying is absolutely as I remember it, and I also believe I’m completely on point when it comes to ‘getting’ to the point.
Alas. School friends, colleagues, and old friends all join the family chorus of saying ‘you sure, Pin?’ when I begin to weave a tale. A sign of a new friend beginning to really understand me, is when they too say ‘are you sure, Pin?’ or, ‘are you about to get to the point…?’.
‘When you tell a story, you do like this’ I was reminded over coffee with Mr Thrill and Suspense. ‘Like, after two hours you still don’t finish,’ he laughed, ‘you could make a movie the way you tell a story.’
‘ Your story is a Netflix series’.
‘ This dead animal with the little head, this story was so long, all I asked was how did it die, and you told the story for three hours’.
His obsession with the animal who goes from ‘way to way with brain the size of nothing,’ began over coffee one afternoon when I found a movie on instagram filmed by my sister CC, which she posted during my visit back to Australia two years ago.
I began to explain the content of the film and within moments, he was shaking in his chair with laughter.
For the record and maybe a bit of context, it goes a bit like this…
‘Of course you’ve an Emu called Footloose,’ I shrieked as the family pet attacked a bottle opener in my hand over lunch (they love anything that glistens and shimmers I was told, as I flung the opener into a rose bush – albeit a minute too late). I’d driven from Melbourne that morning and was excited to reunite with my sister, her husband and my two little nephews.
Later that evening as we settled in for drinks and dinner, crickets cricketing in the distance as the sun slid behind the Grampians; both little boys were settled into bed and CC’s husband Jack in from a day on the farm, Footloose was let out for his evening run. He appeared from around the corner and began chasing me, conveniently in the moment CC had just pressed record on her phone.
The film goes on to show me running for my life, wheezing with laughter and completely losing my mind. In the moment that I thought I’d out run an emu (if that’s even possible) he reappears for another go. Hysterical laughter can be heard as a champagne cork pops.
The video never loses its appeal and I relish in bringing it out from time to time when people least expect it. When I showed it over coffee that day, my friend wistfully asked where Footloose is now and why didn’t I take photos of him on my last visit to Australia?
‘ Well,’ I began…
I continued to explain that Footloose was found not moving one day and his fate was soon determined. He was dead. I‘m sure I told the story in as many words, but, in his words ‘it took over three hours…’. Hence his reference to ‘thrill and suspense’ as he waits patiently for the punchline, on every story I ever tell when we meet for coffee.
As does everyone it would seem, and maybe you’re all absolutely right.
I began writing this piece as a memo to quickly tell you that this week the blog will be short. It all started when I woke up on Saturday morning and decided, before I’d even flung the curtains open, that I should probably travel to Spain on the first ferry out of Morocco and return later that afternoon, therewith a new stamp in my passport.
With all the hype around Coronavirus, I thought it probably safest to nip out and then back in as quickly as I left; that way I am in one place as the world determines what exactly is going on and what the repercussions may actually be. Sadly, Spain was asleep when I arrived and just yawning her way out of siesta when I left. A disappointing, but important trip ‘out’.
I can just imagine Mr Thrill and Suspense reading this and laughing to himself. ‘She wanted to make a small point and explain the week,’ he’ll laugh into his Netflix, ‘but she made a whole blog’.
That I did, and perhaps everyone is right. One thousand words later, it would seem that I actually am hopeless at ‘getting to the point’.
See you next week, this week has been hijacked with some really exciting and fun projects – the trip to Spain aside – all of which will be revealed.
There you are, I’m apparently quite good at thrill and suspense…
Which I think loosely (or Footloose-ly) in English, translates to ‘never getting to the point’.
Pictured: approaching Morocco from Spain, Saturday.