I was doing a bit of shopping in Woolies but it was a bloody beehive of activity in there. Women mainly, were buzzing about, dawdling, blocking aisles, procrastinating over the size of Mr Preen and I was impatient. I wondered how my wife hadn’t blown her top, her being more impatient and bad-tempered than me.
That’s when I headed for the bench in front of Woolies to wait for the swarm to disperse. As I sat, I nodded to the large meaty-looking old gent at the other end of the bench. Meaty suited him I thought, bald with a large meaty sorta face, his heavy meaty thighs were squashed and spread over the bench.
“G’day Mate,” he asked, “you waiting on the better half too?”
I didn’t know whether to be short with him and just grunt or be polite and engage him in conversation. Or, I had an old Readers Digest that a kind friend gave me — No, I’ll be friendly. So I said. “Hi Pal, how ya doin’?”
“Waiting patiently for the missus, as usual.” He said.
I nodded and smiled “Yeah, we blokes do a lot of that.” And that set him off.
“I swear we were set on this earth to wait for them and on them, women, that is.”
“And they’re always late! They have no sense of punctuality.” I told him.
“Right!”He said and went on with some convoluted tale of him waiting for ever for his wife. “They exist on a parallel universe.” He paused.
I stepped in. “They can talk —”
“Talk! My wife could single-handedly talk for the Australian Olympic Debating Team.”
“They all can, Mate. But logic —”
“Logic!” He yelped with excitement and all his meatiness wobbled. “Hey, imagine you were being tried for a serious crime and half the jury were women. Do you reckon they would be logically weighing the evidence? Oh no. They’d be thinking – ‘should I have peas or beans with dinner tonight.’ Or a man’s fate depending on some scatter-brained woman having a hormonal incident.
“Yeah, I had similar incident and that was a damned disaster.” I remembered.
“An incident? Their whole damned lives are disconnected incidents.” My new friend continued.
“Yeah, and they drive on our roads,” I urged him on again. This is fun!
“Don’t get me started on women drivers.” He groaned, his great meaty jowls quivered indignantly.
“All women should be deported to New Zealand when they turn thirty,” I told him. “they could eat ’em. I believe they’re still cannibals over there.”
He nodded, then paused and glared at me. “Hey, I’m a Kiwi, are you having a shot? Winding me up?”
“Nah Mate.” But I couldn’t help myself. I laughed in his face and stood up. Time to go. But he grabbed my fore-arm with his large and surprisingly powerful, meaty hand.
“Don’t do that Sport.” I warned. “Let go.” But he didn’t.
Suddenly somebody grabbed me from behind. I twisted around. It was a bloody big copper! Two of ’em.
“Oh!” I said, “how did you find me?”
“You left the ambulance parked out the front, Genius,” One of the coppers told me. “Anyway, what are you doing here, Mick?”
“I’m waiting for my wife. She’s in Woolies.”
He squeezed my wrist and my knife clattered to the floor. He said. “No she’s not. That’s why you’re supposed to be in the secure wing of Lismore Psychiatric Hospital. For life!”
“So Mick, have you seen Nurse Jones? She seems to be missing.”
“Oh yeah. Did you look in the ambulance?” I asked and handed him the keys.