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Wombat Bill

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About Wombat Bill

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  1. That night as Christine lie in bed, memories of Maude flooded through her mind. She remembered the day her father brought home a young stray tabby cat that had tried to move into his medical centre. The practice manager was not a cat person and would not entertain the idea of the staff adopting her as the office cat. By the end of the day almost everyone had refused to give the cat a home, so the practice manager said she would call the RSPCA. When he heard this, Daniel offered to take the cat home, in the hope that it would be a good opportunity for Christine to take on the responsibility of looking after it. When he arrived home, he left the cat in the car, remembering to lower the window for air, while he announced the news and prepared the family for the first addition to the family since Kevin’s arrival eight years earlier. Jenny was uncertain about giving a ten year old that responsibility, but Christine was overjoyed with the idea. Kevin said “What use is a cat, it can’t catch a ball or fetch a stick. It’s only use might be as a snack for the neighbours Great Dane.” “Yeah, a typical boy’s answer; what else would I expect from you.” replied Christine. “Just saying, don’t blame me when she meets a violent death.” Jenny stepped in “Enough you two. Now Chris are you sure you can look after the animal. You’ll have to feed her twice a day and train her to do whoopsies in the right place as well as groom her occasionally?” “Of course Mum, and as Dad says it will teach me responsibility.” “Responsibility!” added Kevin “You can’t even clean your own hair from the shower, or put the top back on the toothpaste and you sometimes use my towel as a floor mat. Is that responsible behaviour?” “Oh well you too have some less than desirable bathroom habits.” “Oh yeah, like what?” “Always leaving the toilet seat up and sometimes you miss the bowel. That’s why I use your towel for a floor mat.” “You disgusting pig.” “You’re the one who has the manners of a pig.” Before the argument could continue Jason arrived home from gymnastics class and said “Look what I found on the front step.” “She’s supposed to be in the car.” replied Daniel. “Looks like it knows how to get out of the car, and why did you have a cat in the car Dad?” “She’s a surprise for Christine. Well the whole family really.” “What a great idea, we haven’t had a pet since poor old Bert chased his last car.” “And that’s another thing Dan, having pets is fine but when they meet their demise it can affect their owners badly.” “I think we’re all old enough to accept that death is part of life Jen; even the kids.” “Yeah Dad, I won’t be too upset when this one goes to cat heaven.” “Kevin, what an unkind thing to say. The poor animal hasn’t even moved in yet and you’re already talking like that.” replied Jenny. “Just being honest; isn’t that what you taught me to be?” “There’s honesty and then there’s spitefulness.” “Ok, let the creature move in, but I won’t be feeding it, or picking up what comes out the other end.” “No one’s asked you to.” retorted Christine. “How do you feel about having a pet around the house Jason?” Kevin asked. “It’s Ok with me, especially if Chris looks after it.” “Now we’ve all had our say, we need to think about a name. What do you think we should call her Chris?” asked Daniel. “How about Puss?” suggested Kevin. “What a lack of imagination.” offered Christine. “Just trying to be helpful; I think it’s quite clever.” “Mum, remember when Great Grandma died last year, we said we would plant a tree or make a memorial garden to remember her?” asked Christine. “Yes Chris, but we didn’t.” “How about we call the cat Maude after Great Grandma?” “Fine with me, I think it’s a nice way to remember her.” “That’s just creepy, the thought of GG Maude wandering the house late at night... Then again, maybe it is a good idea. It’ll be like having our own ghost. Yeah, I like it, but she should be all white.” concluded Kevin. “Trust you to spoil everything.” replied Christine. “What do I have to do around here to impress you? Even when I agree, you still complain.” “Ok, I suppose you’re trying.” Daniel then suggested “So we’re all agreed, the cat shall henceforth be known as Maude.” “Welcome to the family, Maude.” Jason said as he put the cat down to explore her new home.
  2. Oh! now I get it. Had to do a search on Divco as I'd never heard of them in Australia. Did discover there are only two here. One is registered and is currently for sale. The other is in a museum. When I was a kid our milkman had a horse and cart. Then he upgraded to a Bedford or a Commer, not sure which good old British brand. Anyway the upgrade meant the milk now arrived 30 minutes to an hour later. Why? He had to get in the truck and drive it, whereas the horse knew the route and just plodded along the street slowly as the milkman delivered to the house. That's progress.
  3. I think you missed the point of the cartoon. All of these infrastructure items have previously been made in Australia and still can be.. However our local (NSW) politicians have chosen to purchase off shore. probably because they SEEM cheaper. But the lowest price isn't always the most economical. Local companies and workers - Pay taxes locally, Spend locally, Pay the salaries of politicians and circulate their money locally. Of course all economies have suffered because of the pandemic. This cartoon has nothing to do with that. The decisions on these infrastructure items were all made before the pandemic.
  4. Seems like all thumbs up for Kevin. Will he continue to ride this wave of popularity?
  5. “Do you all remember the day Chris found Maude had died?” asked Kevin. “Of course I remember, you were so insensitive that morning. The poor cat died in her basket and you showed no compassion at all. You know how much I loved her. But why are you bringing this up now?” “Well, I have a confession to make.” “You mean you killed Maude?” “No, and don’t be so accusative. But I know how she died.” “So tell us!” demanded Christine. “I can do better than that; I can show you the video.” “Excuse me, you recorded her death?” “Not intentionally, it was an accident.” “What, her death or the recording of it?” “Both.” Jenny intervened “Kevin, I think you had just better tell us and spare Christine the high drama. Then she can decide if she wants to see your film noir.” “Well, you know how I like building miniature ballet stage sets and my favourite ballet is Swan Lake.” They all remained silent, stared at Kevin and wondered where this story was going. “A few months ago, I was going through some old stuff in the garage, looking for materials for set building and I found those old Christmas tree lights that you got from Gramps. I remember you saying, Mum, that you would not use them because you’d heard that the high voltage lights can electrify tinsel on Christmas trees.” “Yes, that’s true and I should have thrown them in the bin.” “Well, I thought they would be safe to use as long as they didn’t come into contact with metal so I used them to light my set and they did give it a great lighting effect.” “Kevin, can you get to the point?” asked Christine. “You mean, the money shot?” “Kevin!” shouted Jenny. “Sorry, but I want you to hear the whole story so you won’t blame me for what happened to Maude. It wasn’t really my fault. It was just a freak accident.” “Kevin....” “All right, I’m getting there. Anyway the lights were on the set and I was demonstrating, for a video, how the set worked and how the lights reflected in the lake. When I turned from the camera to the set I noticed Maude was drinking from the lake and....” “Wait!” interrupted Christine, “You mean there was real water in this lake of yours?” “Of course, I always strive for authenticity. What’s wrong with that?” “I’m not liking where this is going, but go on.” “Thank you. I called out to Maude to get off the set, then she jumped in fright, got caught up in the string of lights and both her and the lights fell into the lake.” “Hang on.” said Daniel, “Is that the night we had a blown fuse?” “Yes Dad, and that was when I remembered learning that water and electricity don’t mix.” Christine then spoke. “Are you telling me that you electrocuted Maude, didn’t own up to it and tried to cover your tracks by leaving her in her basket for me to find her dead?” “That’s pretty much it, but you must accept that I didn’t kill her. It was really her fault for being in my room when she shouldn’t be.” “Don’t go trying to blame the poor cat, she didn’t know about electricity.” “Maybe not, but I didn’t know she was there and that she’d wreck my set and accidently die in the process.” “But why didn’t you just tell us what happened?” asked Jenny “Mum, I was scared of what Christine would do and I knew she would blame me, even if it was an accident. Anyway wasn’t it better that you thought she died from old age. She was about twelve. I was just trying to spare your feelings.” “And save your own neck as well.” added Christine. “Sorry Sis. I really am.” “So why tell us now?” asked Jason. “It seems feelings of guilt have been in the atmosphere around here lately and that got me thinking about my own actions and I felt guilty; which I didn’t before. Also the news about my background has changed the way I see things. Somehow I feel freer to speak about my feelings and stuff.” “Dan, I was right last week when I said our boy was growing into a man.” “I think you are right, Jen.” “Thanks Mum and Dad. So Sis, am I forgiven?” “I suppose so Kev.” “Don’t overdo it Chris.” “If that’s how you feel then maybe I....” Christine was interrupted by Daniel. “That’s enough you two. Let’s play nice now.” “Sorry Dad.” they said in unison. “Now Kevin, are you really sorry about your deception, and if so how do you intend to make it up to your sister?” “Yes, I am truly sorry Sis, and what would you like me to do to make up. But I must add I’m not going to buy you another cat.” “That’s fine, no other cat could replace Maude. How about slave for a week?” “Sis, as much as I would love to be your slave, even for a whole month if you asked, it’s just impossible now, because I have my final exams all month.” He turned slightly away from Christine, so she did not see his smirk. “Can I make a suggestion?” offered Jenny. “Last Sunday you made your father beautiful pancakes for breakfast. How about you give Christine breakfast in bed next weekend? That shouldn’t cut into your study time too much.” “All right with you Sis?” “Offer and apology accepted Kevin.” Kevin was just getting into bed when his phone rang. He didn’t really want to take a call so late, but when he saw it was Steve calling he thought it might be nice to have Steve’s voice the last he heard before sleep. “Hi Steve, I was just going to bed, what’s doing?” “I’ve got some bad news for you about your video clip. You know how you had all those supportive comments, well now the trolls have moved on you. There is some really nasty stuff in the comments now, totally disgusting. The comments don’t only attack you but some seem to be about bringing down the people that gave you positive comments.” “Fuck! what should I do Steve?” “Maybe you should take a look first and see if you can live with it and then lodge a complaint with the platform.” “If it’s as bad as you say, I don’t think I want to see it.” “What are you going to do, just leave them there, without taking any action? That will just feed the appetite of other trolls.” “I know, can you take down the video for me? You know my password.” “Sure I can do that; it’s probably the best way to deal with those people, deprive them of oxygen, so to speak.” “Steve, I‘ve had second thoughts.” “You want it left there?” “No, I want you to close my channel completely. If these trolls lose one source of their kicks they might move on to my other videos. It’s bad enough they have attacked something I never intended for public viewing, but if they attack my other work that would be a total shit. My ballet means a lot to me. Also, I really don’t need any further stress at the moment.” “I think you’re right Kevin. What with, your grandma sick and exams next week, that’s more than enough to cope with.” “Thanks Steve, I owe you.” “No, you don’t owe me anything kevin. Just being in my life is reward enough...um...ah...I mean you’re a great mate, that’s what mates do. Yes, that’s what I mean.” “Thanks Steve, I like you a lot too.” “I’ll go now and fix your channel, while you get comfortable in bed. Then, can I call you back when you’re under the sheets?” “Whatever for, at such a late hour, mate?” he said with emphasis on the last word. “I’ll tell you then.” “I can’t wait.” “You’ll have to wait, AND don’t start without me.”
  6. Wombat Bill

    Listen Up

    Kevin has an attack of conscience, who would have thought?
  7. Wombat Bill

    Listen Up

    To fill in her time while in isolation, Christine had been working on some new cartoons for the Campus Courier. She just finished one and was uploading it when her phone beeped. While the file was uploading she read the text then rushed out of her room, found her mother in the kitchen, put her arms around her and gave her mother a big hug. “Chris! What are you doing; you’re supposed to be in quarantine.” “It’s OK Mum, look at this.” ‘Dear Christine, your test result is NEGATIVE: your GP can contact Douglas Hanly Moir Pathology for a copy of the result. Stay home until symptoms resolve; if concerned call your GP or book a phone consult with RFMP 96270600. (Do not reply to SMS)’ “Oh that’s such a relief, now we can all relax. I was quite worried for you.” “So was I, but all’s well now.” “I think we need to celebrate Chris. While I upgrade our dinner menu for tonight, why don’t you call Jason and see if he and Colleen can come over to join us. Also we’re a bit low on bubbly, so text your dad to pick up some on his way home.” “No problem, then I’ll come and help you with the dinner.” “Instead of that, why don’t you set the table with all our best glassware and crockery. I want it to be really special tonight.” “Great, I love a party.” “Damn I forgot someone.” “You mean Gran?” “Yes; on second thought, I better ring your father and sort that out.” All arrangements and preparations were made and the whole family, except Daniel’s mother, sat down at seven pm. After all glasses were topped up Daniel proposed “I’m so glad to see you all here to help celebrate Chris’ medical results.” “Here’s to Chris.” added Jason. “But we’re not all here.” said Kevin. “Is Gran not allowed to go out because of her age and this Corona thing?’ Jason looked at his father, who was tearing up, and answered for him. “Ah, Gran doesn’t like going out at night Kev and the Corona thing as well.” As Kevin looked around the table he noticed blank faces and said “Is there something you’re all not telling me?” Again, Jason sought to take the lead. “Kev, I’ve told you....” but Daniel interrupted “Kevin, there is something I haven’t told you; and that is your Gran and I had a disagreement last week and we’re not on close terms at present. It will blow over, but for now we are best to keep our distance from each other, even though I feel a bit guilty about it.” “Is it about me?” “Well...” “Dan, you should tell him the whole story.” said Jenny. While Daniel and Jenny explained to Kevin what had happened, he sat silently, listening intently. At the end, Daniel asked “Do you understand how I feel Kevin?” “Sure Dad, but as you say, it will probably blow over. I wouldn’t like it if I couldn’t talk to my mum or give her a hug.” “Kevin Covid, that was so nice of you to say.” Jenny replied. “You’re welcome Mum. Oh, by the way, remember when you told me about my birth and I said the hug was only provisional?” “Yes Kevin.” Jenny said hopefully. “Well, I want to confirm the hug as being yours.” “Kevin, sometimes you have a strange way of saying things, but you really are a great and loving son.” “I try.” “Now, that’s settled.” said Jenny “We have all talked about my mistake individually, but not as a family, so if anybody has any questions, now’s a good time to ask me. I don’t want anything to be unsaid or any question to be unanswered. We need to get through this as a family. “I’m pretty happy with how I feel about it, Mum.” offered Jason. “Me too” added Kevin. “What about you Colleen? You’re as much a part of this family as anyone else.” asked Jenny. “Well Mum Jenny, Jason has explained everything to me, but the only question I have is how we are going to deal with Gran. She’s been very good to Jason and me and we will continue to support her, but I know she’s hurting about the disagreement with you, Dad Dan. I hope I haven’t spoken out of turn.” “Not at all Colleen, I appreciate your honesty.” replied Daniel. “I know I’m going to have to sort it out some day, and I will, but I don’t want it to cause any difficulty between you and Gran. I’m so pleased you were able to convince Mum not to evict you, Jason. I know we have put a great deal of responsibility on both of you, especially you Colleen. We all appreciate what you do for Mum, we really do.” “Yes, let’s toast Colleen.” said Kevin, as he raised his glass and made a gesture towards his father that indicated it needed refilling. “Only half a glass.” said his mother “To toast Colleen.” “A full glass might loosen my tongue a bit more.” “What do you mean; loosen your tongue about what?” asked Christine. “Oh, certain information that you especially, may want to hear, or not.” Jenny joined in “How about we hear this information first and then determine if it’s worth a full glass.” “Oh, it’s worth at least that.” “Spill first.” “OK, but only so long as Chris promises to stay on her side of the table. Dad, make her promise.” “I don’t know what you’re getting at Kevin, so either tell us or leave it. I don’t care which; just stop teasing your sister...and the rest of us for that matter.” “All right then, listen up.” See Christine's latest cartoon here. https://gayauthors.org/gallery/image/16552-multiculturaljpeg/
  8. Wombat Bill


    Aah, Mum and Dad seeing the video, now there's a chapter I'd like to read.
  9. I always think that hand-made cards can say so much more than store bought. ❤️
  10. Wombat Bill


    After her Corona test, Christine received the following text “Hi Christine, please remember to go straight home and self-isolate. We will contact you with your result. (Do not reply by SMS) Daniel cooked dinner for the three of them as Jenny was working evening shift. He served Christine in her room then sat down with Kevin. “How are things going with you Kev?” “Fine Dad, why do you ask?” “I just wondered if anything was bothering you or if you wanted to talk about anything.” “Not really Dad, but I know what you are getting at. For a psychologist you’re not very subtle.” “You’re not my client you’re my son and I was becoming a bit worried about you; especially as you haven’t talked to your mum or I about it. But I’m so pleased that you have talked to Jason.” “Did he say that?” “Not in so many words...but I assumed that you two talked the other night when he and Colleen were here for dinner.” “Oh yes, that’s right, we did.” “That’s good.” Daniel answered, but was unconvinced by Kevin’s assertion. “The dinner’s really good Dad.” Kevin said by way of changing the subject. “Thanks Kev; you know you should cook for us sometimes. That Fathers’ Day breakfast was impressive Maybe we could cook together one night.” “Some father and son time?” “Exactly.” “I’d love to; what should we cook?” “You choose, but let me know in case I need to pick up any supplies on the way home.” “How about we do barbecue? That’s easier than concocting something in the kitchen.” “You’re on… Oh, I forgot to mention that I ran into Steve’s father while walking through the park on Sunday.” “Was he out for a Fathers’ Day walk too?” “He was walking their dog.” “Scruffy?” “Yes, I think that’s what he called it. Anyway, we had a little chat because he seemed to be worried about Steve. He was concerned that Steve was spending so much time away from home, and I’ve noticed that Steve spends a lot of time over here.” “Did you tell his dad that?” “Yes, why?” “No reason, just wondering. Did you tell him Steve and I have been spending a lot of extra time studying for the HSC?” “Of course I did and he seemed to accept that as the reason for his son’s absence from home so much. But he was also concerned about him taking secret phone calls and that he does not seem to have a girlfriend.” “Nobody likes their parents listening to their phone calls.” “I told him that also, and I think he understood, but he thinks it’s curious that Steve never talks about girls at home. Does he talk to you about that? Do you think he has a secret girlfriend?” “Not really, and I don’t think he has a girlfriend.” “OK” “Dad, are you fishing for information about Steve?” “No, not at all. Just letting you know that Steve’s dad is concerned about him.” “Are you concerned about me Dad?” “I’m always concerned about you Kevin. You’re my son, I love you and I care about your welfare.” “But, what I really mean is, are you concerned that I don’t have a girlfriend?” “Why would I be concerned about that? I know you are extremely busy with study and maybe don’t want that sort of distraction. And, of course, you are still dealing with the revelation of your parentage. No, it doesn’t bother me at all.” “That’s good Dad, because I might not ever be interested in girls.” “Oh, what does that mean Son?” “I think you know Dad.” “Are you telling me that you’re more interested in boys than girls?” “You got it Dad. Are you surprised?” “No, not really Kev. Your mum and I have thought for some time that may be so.” “Good father and son chat, Dad.” “Yes, Kevin it was, but I have one more question. We started this chat by talking about Mike being worried about Steve spending so much time with you.” “And your question is?” “Are you and Steve...you know...are you?” “Yes Dad, we are close, we’ve always been best friends but now it’s something more. Is that enough information for you?” “Thanks Kevin, if Steve makes you happy, that’s fine with me and I think your mother will agree. Can I tell her or do you want to do that?” “No big deal, whoever mentions it first.” “What about Jason and Chris?” “Well Jason already knows, in fact he said everybody already knows, so it isn’t earth shattering news around here.” “Thanks for telling me Kevin, it can’t be easy coming out, but equally it can’t be easy living with a secret.” “No...it can’t be for some...I suppose.” “Sorry Kevin, I should not have said it in that way.” “It’s Ok Dad, I know what you meant.” “Now what I need to know is how do we treat Steve when he is here.” “Just the same as usual, you and Mum have always treated him well.” “Yes, but now that we know he is your...can I say boyfriend? I mean will you tell him we know and do you think he will tell his parents?” “Dad, just leave it for now, and don’t tell his parents.” “Of course not, I know that’s his privilege.” Now can you mask up and take Christine her dessert.” While they were clearing the table Kevin’s phone rang. He noted it was Steve calling and asked his father “Dad can I be excused from doing the dishes so I can take this call?” “Sure go ahead, I’ll manage.” “Hi Steve, what’s doing?” “I just wanted to call and congratulate you on your latest YouTube video. I think it’s really great and so brave of you.” “Well thanks mate, but I didn’t know you were into ballet.” “Generally not, but yours is just great.” “Thanks, but why did you say I was brave? I was just demonstrating a few ballet steps and showing off my sets.” “Oh, you were showing off alright, but not your sets. More like showing off your assets.” “I have no idea what you’re talking about Steve, are you sure you’re looking at my latest video; the one that you uploaded for me.” “Yes, but there were two videos I uploaded for you. That was the problem, somehow you had the two files coupled together and that’s why you couldn’t upload. I separated them and did the upload for you, remember?” “Can you tell me what this video is about?” “It’s you dancing naked and telling the world about your confusion about not knowing who your father is. That’s so brave, I couldn’t do it; especially not naked.” “Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! What have you done?” “Me? I just did what you asked me to do, fix your uploading problem.” “But that video wasn’t meant for publication, it was just my way of working through my problem. Do you think anyone else has seen it?” “Wait, I’ll check for you.......” silence. “Are you still there Steve?” “Yeah, looks like you’ve got a hit on your hands. You’ve got a lot of positive comments, some requests for more and a few offers.” “Fuck, I’ll have to take it down immediately.” “Why, I think it’s great and certainly has improved your on-line profile. You’re a star.” “What if my parents see it, they’ll totally freak out.” “Do they know about your channel?” “Probably not.” “Then what’s to worry about. By the way, didn’t you tell me that your brother is a stripper now?” “Yes, what’s that got to do with it?” “A family talent maybe.” “But he doesn’t tell the world that his father is not his father.” “That’s what’s so brave of you, facing up to your problem and letting it all out. That seems like great therapy to me. Did your dad recommend that?” “Certainly not, but I like what you’re saying.” “By the way, you didn’t tell me about this revelation. If I hadn’t seen the video, I’d still not know that my best mate has a problem. When were you going to tell me? I thought we shared everything.” “I would have sometime, but now I don’t have to.” “So do you want to talk about it?” “Not really...oh maybe some time...I don’t know.” “So are you going to leave it up?” “Are you sure they are all positive comments?” “You certainly have a lot of fans out there.” “Mmm, maybe I will leave it there for now, while I think about it.” “Good man, Kevin Covid; proud to be your friend.” “Steve...” Kevin paused. “Yes, mate.” “If I had another computer problem, would you come over and fix it for me?” “Sure, but you wouldn’t have to make up an excuse.” “Steve...” another pause, “Would you like to come over and hang out with me?” “Thought you’d never ask, I’m already pulling on my jocks.” “You mean we have been having this conversation while you’re naked?” “Yeah, after watching your vid, I just wanted to see what it felt like sitting naked in front of my computer.” “Have you been recording it?” “Well....yes.” “So will you be uploading it?” “No! But I could show it to you privately.” “I’d prefer a live performance.” “I can do that.” “See you soon then.” Kevin hung up and went to his YouTube account to review some of the comments. ‘OMG you are so brave.’ ‘Hot man’ 😈 ‘Come dance with me’ 💃 ‘You’ve danced your way into my heart’ 🩰 ‘Don’t know how I would feel if my mum told me that.’ ⁉️ ‘So personal, so meaningful, so honest.’ ‘I just want to put my arms around you.’ ‘When that happened to me, I certainly didn’t have the guts to tell the world.’ ‘Bravo!’ 🤩 ‘I showed this to my mum, she cried.’ 😢 ‘So cool’ ‘I thought I was going to watch porn but instead the confession of a very brave man.’ 👀 ‘My mum just went all quiet. Do you think there’s something she’s not telling me?’ 👩
  11. Wombat Bill

    Grand Designs

    So, is he now forgiven?
  12. Wombat Bill

    The Covids

    Christine's satirical comments and other related images.
  13. Daniel was awakened early by the hoon at the end of the street, burning down the road on his over-powered motor bike. The house was otherwise quiet so he decided to go for a walk. He had many things going on in his head and hoped a walk alone might help clear his thoughts. He mulled over the ‘Kevin’ issue and concluded that his son seemed to be coping. He thought ‘It’s somewhat surprising, given that Kevin is prone to over reacting to even small matters. But this is a major thing for a teenager to cope with and Kevin isn’t showing any signs of stress at all. He doesn’t discuss it with me or his mother, but he does seem to be talking to his brother and Steve, I think. That’s a good thing. Maybe he feels more comfortable talking to his peers. I’m sure that’s it.’ But the issue with his mother still troubled Daniel and he was at a complete loss as to what to do about it. He didn’t want to give in to his mother but he also didn’t want it to fester and become a permanent rift between them. ‘I really should talk to Mum about this and see if we can come to some arrangement, but how can I do that without seeming to give in. That’s exactly what she wants, to be right and have others agree with her always. This really has shown her in a new light. Oh, I know she’s always had an air of superiority about her, but over the years we’ve usually agreed on what’s best. Bugger, I now realise it’s because I have always given in to her. She has a sneaky way of getting me to do that. Well this time no, I won’t give in. This time I am definitely in the right. It’s my family and I’ll make the decisions.’ Then there was Christine’s Corona test results still to come. He hoped she would be cleared and the house could go back to somewhat normal. He concluded that there was nothing to be done today that would fix any of these matters. He said to himself ‘Daniel, let it go. Today is supposed to be your special day to relax and let the family pamper you.’ He did a full body shake and headed home for breakfast. As he left the walking track and was crossing the park he ran into a neighbour walking his dog. “Hi Dan, haven’t seen you in yonks, how’s things?” “Pretty good Mike, considering the circumstances, you know how this virus has us all living in a different way. But I’m really busy at work. People are so much more stressed these days. How about you?” “Things are picking up a bit this month. Had a pretty lean time when elective surgery was cancelled for two months. The world was starting to look a bit ugly for a while, but I’m able to start rectifying that now.” Daniel looked puzzled for a few moments then laughed and said “Oh, I get it, a plastic surgeon’s joke.” “Yep, that’s it, the Beauty Master is back in business.” “Good for you.” “I’m glad I ran into you Dan, I want to talk to you about my son.” “Is this a professional consultation, on the side, that you want Mike?” “No no, nothing like that. Good heavens once we started that, the next thing you’d want those sagging eyes of yours done for free.” “My eyes, what’s wrong with them?” “They could do with a bit of work Dan.” “I hadn’t noticed.” “Anyway back to my son, just father to father.” “Of course, what’s the problem?” “Well, I hope it’s not a problem, it’s just that he’s been spending a lot of time away from home lately. When I ask him about it, he says he’s studying with a mate.” “That seems reasonable, both our sons are doing their final exams for the HSC this month, so the more study time the better, I would have thought.” “Yes, I know that, but he doesn’t always take text books with him and he’s very secretive. When he gets a phone call, he goes off to his room to take the call.” “Mike, we were both teenagers, are you telling me you weren’t secretive about phone calls, especially those from girls. I know I was.” “Maybe so, but he never mentions any girls names in conversation, he only ever talks about Kevin.” “Well, they are best mates and have been since you moved into this area. Come to mention it, Steve has been spending a lot of time at our place lately, but, as I say study time is important for them this year and I think Steve has also been giving Kevin a bit of moral support.” “Moral support? I don’t want to pry but is there anything I can do to help?” “No, not at all, it’s just family and teenage stuff he’s dealing with. It’s good the boys are close enough to support each other. Don’t you agree Mike?” “Yes...of course....that’s probably what it is. Good talk Dan. Now I better get Scruffy back and hopefully there’s a big ‘surprise’ breakfast waiting for me.” He said as he held up two fingers on each hand. “Me too, but I do worry a bit when Kevin’s in charge of a frying pan.” “Surely your daughter learned to cook from Jenny.” “Of course she did, but I forgot to tell you, she’s in quarantine for a few days till we get her virus test results. She was at a pub which had a confirmed corona case there.” “That’s a bummer, I hope she’s all right. Give her my family’s best wishes.” “Will do Mike. Have a great day.” “You too Dan, bye.” As he walked into the kitchen, he could smell pancakes cooking and was greeted by Jenny, who gave him a hug and said “Happy Fathers’ Day.” He looked towards the stove and noticed Kevin flipping pancakes.” “Hey Dad, I think I’ve got this pancake making mastered... finally.” Jenny and Daniel exchanged looks and laughed; their thoughts going back a few years. “Well, I expect it to be better than last time you tried.” “No worries Dad, you’re gunna love ‘em. How do you want yours, undercooked or burned?” “What!” “Just joking.” While waiting for Kevin to work his magic with the batter, Daniel said to Jenny. “Look at my face, what do you see?” “A very handsome man, still as good looking as the day I married him.” “Thank you, but that’s not what I mean. Look at my eyes.” “They don’t look bloodshot or anything like that, why, are they sore?” “Not my actual eyes, look around them, what do you notice.” “Nothing out of the ordinary, what are you getting at?” “Well, I ran into Mike today, on my walk and he said my eyes were, how did he put it?...oh, sagging.” “Is that Mike May, Steve’s father?” “Yes, he has me worried now, am I looking old and worn?” “You know he’s a plastic surgeon, don’t you?” “Of course.” “He’s probably just touting for business, Dan.” “Touting is a strong word, you make him sound like a street peddler.” “Isn’t that where you ran into him?” “Yes” “I rest my case.” Kevin was too busy retrieving his pancakes from the warming oven to notice his parents’ conversation. When he had the stack delicately balanced he placed it in the middle of the table and said. “Now sit down they’re ready.” Daniel sat at the table and noticed an envelope on his place mat. “Is this for me?” he asked. “Of course Dad, you can open it now. I made it all myself.” Jenny remembered some of Kevin’s previous homemade gifts and held her breath while Daniel opened the envelope. See Kevin’s card at https://gayauthors.org/gallery/image/16551-fathers-day_new-1jpg/ Or Members’ Album Gallery - The Covids – Fathers’ Day
  14. A few days later, Jason decided that he needed to talk to Beryl. He had not seen or heard from her since Daniel told him that she wanted him and Colleen to leave. Jason thought it terribly unfair that he and Colleen should suffer for something they had no control over. He summoned up his courage, put on his mask and tentatively knocked on his Gran’s door. As he heard her approaching the door, he called out “It’s Jason Gran.” “Coming, my boy, I’m not as fast as I used to be.” “In your own time Gran.” As she opened the door, he asked “Can we have a little chat Gran, I’m really worried.” “And what has a young’n like you got to worry about?” They sat down and he answered. “Is it true that you want Colleen and I to move out of the house?” “Did your father tell you that?” “Yes, of course, but I don’t think that’s fair or a good idea.” “Not fair, you say.” “Yes Gran, we have nothing to do with the problem and it was Dad that argued with you, not me. I’m not even sure why you two were arguing and I don’t really need to know; that’s between you two, I don’t want to get involved.” “OK point taken, maybe I shouldn’t take it out on you. After all, you’re not the one that is so ungrateful. But you also said not a good idea.” “Yes, it’s not a good idea for you. After all we came here to support you during this pandemic thing and it’s far from over.” “You know what Jason? For a boy that earns a living by taking his clothes off, you sometimes surprise me the way you think things through. Also, I admire your guts in coming here and presenting your case so simply.” “Thanks Gran, but can you let up on the clothes off thing, I also work the bar and I’m learning bar management as well.” “With half your clothes off!” “Oh Gran!” “OK, I’m just having a bit of fun.” “As long as that’s all it is; I work hard on the job and in the gym so I can keep my job. There’s plenty of young ones waiting to take over; that’s why I’m learning more about hospitality management. One day I’ll have to stand aside when a new gym bunny comes along.” “I’m not sure I understood everything you said Jason, but I think I got gist of it.” “Good, so are we cool Gran. Colleen and I don’t want to see you left alone here because of a silly argument with Dad.” “Jason!” she said sternly “It was not a silly argument. It’s a matter of principle and your father has shown me no respect for the way your Gramps and I tried to protect him, his marriage and Kevin for all those years.” “I’m sorry Gran, that’s not what I really meant and as I said, I don’t really know what it was about, but it seems to have upset you enormously and I don’t want to add to that.” “OK boy, I don’t want us to be on separate sides here, so I’ll tell you what I’ll do. The rift between your father and I remains; only he can fix that, but as they say, the sins of the father should not be visited upon the son.” “Now, I’m not sure I understood everything you said. Is that a quote or something?” “Yes Jason, what I mean is I don’t really want to punish you and Colleen, because of your ungrateful father’s actions, so you can stay. By the way, where is that lovely girl that you still have not wed? I don’t see her much lately” “She works a lot of extra shift because the hospital is so busy and so many staff are off sick or in quarantine.” “Yes, this damn Corona thing.” “And thanks Gran for letting us stay. I’d love to give you a big hug but you know the rules.” “Bugger the rules my boy, give your old Gran a hug. If this bug dares to come near me I’ll give it a run for its money. I’ve survived everything else this world has thrown at me.” That evening Daniel was watching the TV news when he heard the following, NSW health authorities have warned of potential coronavirus exposures at three venues in Sydney. They are the Master Hot Pot in Canley Vale and the BBQ City Buffet in Bankstown on August 1, plus the Eveleigh Hotel in Redfern on Friday July 31 from 7:30pm to 10:00pm. Patrons of these Sydney businesses have been told to monitor for symptoms and seek testing if they have symptoms. He immediately recalled his conversation with Christine, a few nights back and called out to her. “Did you hear that Chris?” “What’s that Dad?” she called back as she came from the kitchen. “Wasn’t it last Friday night that you were at the Eveleigh?” “Yes, why?” “There seems to have been a Corona positive person there between 7.30 and 10, when you were there.” “Are you sure it was last Friday?” “Yes, but check the health department website anyway.” Christine went back to the kitchen to tell her mother and retrieve her phone. A few minutes later she returned to Daniel. “You’re right Dad I was the night I was there.” “How are you feeling?” “I was OK until just now. Do you think I should get tested?” “They say if you have any symptoms, you should get tested.” “Yeah, but there have been a lot of people who are asymptomatic and still pass it on. I don’t want to take that risk.” “Let’s go and talk to your mother.” After their discussion it was decided to call Colleen for advice. She advised Christine that she should isolate immediately and go for a test the next day. Jenny took charge, put quarantine procedures in place and after sending Christine off to her room, she called the rest of the family together for a meeting. “Now guys, Christine will remain in her room except for when she needs to use the bathroom. In that regard, she can have exclusive use of the family bathroom and Kevin, you can use our ensuite.” “Sure Mum: do you think she will be OK?” “We won’t know till she gets tested but in the meantime we need to sanitise the house.” She threw out the salad that Christine was preparing and gave the boys each a bottle of disinfectant and sponges to clean every surface that Christine was likely to have touched in the last few days. “And when you finish that dispose of the sponges, change your clothes and shower.” “Mum, isn’t this a bit over the top, we don’t even know if she’s got it yet?” “If she has been infected and we don’t take precautions then we may find that she has passed it on. Do you want that?” “S’pose not” he grumbled. “Right then, gloves on, disinfectant in one hand, sponge in the other and off to work we go.” “You’re sounding a bit Disney there Jen.” “You don’t have to whistle, unless you want to.” “What are you two talking about?” “Never mind Kev, it’s a bit before your time.” “Do you mean we’ll be Coronabusters?” “Something like that.” The following day, Christine borrowed her mother’s car and lined up at the local drive-in Corona testing clinic. Upon return she was asked, by a masked Jenny, “How did it go?” “Oh it was fine, if you like having your brain probed by an oversized cotton bud.” “Did it hurt?” “Of course it bloody hurt.” “Sorry love, now you had better get back to your room and rest. I’ll bring you some lunch soon.” “Thanks Mum.”
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