How does your garden grow? With muck, muck and more muck! I spent much of today finishing the final muck box and then shifting muck from one box to the next. The first box, which the Big Lad is enthusiastically pointing out, has been rotting down for two years now and once we’d removed the top quarter of unrotted material, we found we’d hit the pay dirt.
But who will win the war? This is a suitably protracted, convoluted and drawn out commemorative post for our very own Jeff, who won the most recent Movie Said What competition. I am well aware that Jeff googled it, but he was very nice about my clues, and I doubt that anyone would've got it without ol' papa google.
Anywho, here we go. This is adapted from a very long joke I've had the courage to tell twice. Both times people got angry. If you have to go anywhere in the next 3 hours, or are in a bad mood and would kick your monitor if it offended you in anyway, leave this post till later, or just forget about it altogether...you've been warned.
A story for Jeff:
Once upon a time, there lived a young man named Jeff. Aged 21, he had just finished college and was ready to take on and engulf all the wonder and joy of the world as if it were a splendid milkshake. Everything he did, he did with passion and verve for he felt to do it any other way would be akin to a butterfly deciding not to unfurl it's wonderfully coloured wings to the world, and deciding just to walk everywhere.
Jeff felt that he needed a project, a higher calling, a mission if you will. He wanted to serve others, he wanted to leave a legacy, and he wanted make a difference. His biggest passion was film; maybe he should make a film, a sweeping epic weaving together a vivid tapestry of life with the various colourful threads of humanity.
No he thought, that would not be enough.
He wanted more than one film, more than one language, more than one cast, more than one ending, he wanted to give the world a cinema, a home for film that would showcase the most poignant, humorous, witty, heart wrenching, achingly beautiful films from all over the world. It would be a meeting of the minds, a place where those who had suffered and those who had prospered could meet and begin to talk about starting again; black and white film would engulf the world in colour, and there'd be kettlecorn. Lots of kettlecorn.
Jeff started work diligently. Every morning he would get up at to work on the film house. From working on the blue prints, talking with town planners, community leaders, people on the streets, in offices, working in fields, the rich, the poor, black white red and brown, about what the cinema should be, where it should stand, and what it should stand for. He poured himself into his work, so much so that he was unable to travel, unable to go off on other adventures he may have done otherwise, but it didn't matter. This would be worth it, and when it was done, he would have the world for the rest of his life, and it would be a better place for him to be in.
Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and months inevitably grew up into years. Jeff's friends eventually left town to embark on their own adventures. He got postcards from them sometimes, and he kept them in a room where the original blueprints were sprawled across a table. He didn't keep them for inspiration, he didn't have to. Everyday he went to bed (usually around ) and the fact that his cinema was not complete burned him like the fires of hell.
Some 10 years after he had first sat down with his pencil to design his masterpiece, the cinema was complete. As he hammered in the final nail, a warm breeze ruffled the back of his neck. He stood back and surveyed his work; yes, it was grand, it was a showcase for cinema after all, but it was humble in its simplicity. It was the perfect venue for holding a spectacle but it could not be accused of trying to steal the thunder from film; it's large interior were simple in their grandeur, hinting at the greatness that was to be witnessed without interfering with it.
The sun shone, birds sung, crowds thronged outside and the smell of kettlecorn cooking filled the air. Jeff smiled to himself. He knew he had done well and that the best was yet to come.
Just as he was making his way to the back of the queue, Jeff heard a noise. A low, rasping mechanical sounding noise...at first Jeff was scared one of the projectors had broken and he broke out into a little jog. Then he realised the sound was coming from outside, his heart skipped a beat, was someone in the crowd out to sabotage his creation?
No. Jeff looked to the horizon and saw a bizarre sight indeed. A Harley Davidson was rapidly advancing towards the cinema, piloted by a green rabbit wearing a helmet with a picture of a skull on it. Jeff was bemused; in all the films he had seen in preparation (which had been a lot) he had NEVER witnessed anything like this. He knew somehow that there was nothing he could do but wait and see what the green rabbit on the enormous motorbike did.
The rabbit grew closer and closer to the cinema "jesus, thought Jeff, he'd better slow down or he's going to crash into the cinema". Just as his mind said, or thought, the word crash, lo and behold, the rabbit turned into a skid so that the bike was parallel to the building and with a mighty BOOOOM!!! crashed into its side.
The entire East side crumbled without protest.
The rabbit and bike emerged, unscathed, and drove away till it was almost a speck on the horizon. Then it turned tail, and began another assault, bearing down on the West side this time; BOOOM!!!
Jeff sank to his knees, but was beaten by the West wall.
Again and again the rabbit did this until all that remained of the cinema was a cloud of dust. There wasn't even any more kettlecorn.
Jeff lay face down on the grass and listened to the hum of the bike disappear into the distance. He didn't have to look up to know that everyone had survived. He didn't know why, but he knew that the rabbit had come for his cinema alone, and that he needed to learn from this. For now though, he needed somewhere to sleep; for the last 4 years he had been living in a broom cupboard in the cinema.
The one thing that had survived was a picture of Jeff when he had just graduated, aged 21 he beamed back at the camera and the world. Jeff caught his reflection in the frame; his face was more hallowed, more tightly stretched across his face. It somehow hurt to smile, but he would find time to sort that out, he had told himself. Now all he could think about was how to make another cinema, and how he could make it right this time. He was convinced the rabbit had come because he had failed in the planning process somehow.
Work began that afternoon. He worked twice as hard this time, spoke to more people (mostly over the internet, he could not afford the time or money to travel anymore), and he slept for a mere 2 hours (dreaming of course, of the cinema). A further 20 years went by, friends who had gone off to travel, to work, to drink, had come back and left again, this time mostly to work or have babies, or work to feed babies. Sometimes they would send him xmas cards, photos of their children. Jeff kept them all still, and everytime he looked at them he wanted to smile, but could not.
At the end of the 20 years Jeff got up and looked at what he had achieved. He was 50 years old. Even though he had been working on this for over almost a quarter of a century, he still had to catch his breath when he looked upon what he had built on this glorious day. It stood on the same spot of the old building, but that is where the similarities ended; it was superior in every department. Again, the crowds thronged, in them he noticed people who looked like his friends growing up; they were of course their children, the projectors began to whir, the kettlecorn popped in excitement and a honeybee buzzed in the distance.
Wait a second. That was not a honeybee. It was getting louder. And louder. And louder. Jeff could not look, but invisible hands forced his head in the direction of the approaching sound. The black and silver of the bike mingled with the green of it's rider as it sped towards the cinema. For a second Jeff thought that it may be coming to give its seal of approval. Deep down, however, he knew that the only reason it came was to destroy. Jeff struggled to hold down the feelings of hate pulsating through his body as the bricks flew and the dust settled; "It's just telling me I have to do better". Without so much as even ripping a blade of grass, Jeff got up, and began work in the rubble.
It is impossible to put into words the amount of work Jeff put into the next 25 years. He lived, ate, and worked amongst the rubble, till it was not rubble. The postcards had mostly stopped from his friends, though sometimes their children would drop a line from wherever they were. He kept them as always, but they may as well have been dropped from the moon for all they meant to Jeff; his planet was now the creation forming around him. He knew this was his last chance at creating his cinema, the world's cinema, and he knew that as his body decayed, he must put every ounce of his being into his mission so that people would know he had at least tried.
The building was like nothing the earth had ever seen; Jeff had succeeded in making the building a living breathing monument of every dream, every thought, every plot twist that had every laid foot in his mind. Unlike the other creations, this one did not even begin to attempt to keep within the boundaries of sanity or structure; steeples soared and then seared off, dropping down down down into the pits of despair. Stained glass windows bore images of cinematic icons, but also his friends, of far off lands only glimpsed through celluloid, and of the very first cinema he had made.
On Jeff's 75th birthday, he woke up. He put up the curtains that would frame the screen, and sat down in a seat. It was finished. He reached down for his bag of kettlecorn, and began to eat.
He could hear the crowds outside waiting, there may have been a million, maybe two, he really didn't know. He sat and ate. The film showing on this screen (there were over 1200 screens), was showing Kung Fu Hustle. He laughed.
Jeff moved slowly out of the cinema and squinted into the sun. The day was almost perfect, damn, it WAS perfect. Hot sun with a cool breeze and not a cloud in the sky.
Apart from that small cloud on the horizon. But hey, what are you going to do?
The cloud grew a little bigger, seemed to get closer...hmmm, thought Jeff. He tried to ignore it, think happy thoughts, but the cloud continued to grow, till it engulfed the whole sky; there was no sound anymore because Jeff had taken to wearing earplugs. Suddenly the taste of brick dust filled his mouth and he gagged. He turned and saw past his ruined cinema, the green rabbit racing away on its chariot.
There was only one thing to do now, he could not build, he had too little time, but he could chase the fucking rodent and find out why, WHY, it had destroyed his life’s works.
Jeff knew he had one thing left in the world, and that it, like his dream, would soon would soon be gone; his energy. He began to run, hard and fast in pursuit of the buck toothed hells angel with a fire in his heart.
He ran through magnificent green fields, jumped over babbling brooks, swan through crystal lakes, and climbed up and over mountain ranges that tickled the belly of the heavens. He ran, forged, swam and ran some more for a solid week; fuelled by his passion which was escaping from him like air from a balloon. As he saw the beautiful landscape rushing by, he thought of how he could’ve enjoyed them so much during his lifetime instead of concentrating on his film house. The beauty stung his heart like diamond tears.
Eventually he tracked the rabbit down to a forest. He lost his quarry over a 1000 times as the green rabbit disappeared then reappeared through the foliage. He edged up to a tree upon which the Harley Davidson was resting; he felt it was still warm. He looked down on the seat, and saw light green fur of his nemesis. He spat, forcefully onto the seat. It was the first outward show of anger he had allowed himself since he was 21.
Slowly he climbed the ladder up the rabbit’s tree house. He pushed aside the bush that was used as a door, and there it was, the green rabbit sitting with it’s feet up drinking orange juice and watching tv. When the rabbit saw him, it sat bolt upright, twitched its nose, and wiggled its ears.
So many questions ran through Jeff’s mind; so many, but all he asked was,
“Why did you destroy everything I created? Why did you do it?”
The rabbit played with one of its ears for a second, and then answered:
“I didn’t. Please see yourself out”.
Jeff gasped, searching for breath as if he had been hit in the gut by a sledgehammer. He crawled to the door and almost fell down the ladder. He lay face down on the forest floor and laughed and laughed.
I told you should’ve just skipped this. I’m really very sorry, if you’re left wanting an explanation, that’s the point. It’s a very long story with no point; kind of like what our protagonist experienced.
This is what happens when you combine a promise of a commemorative post and blogger’s block.