PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
IanMartin
 
Comments: 4
Article views: 396
 
 
Latest Badges:



 
View all IanMartin's badges.
 

Bullsh*t Story

30 November 2012, 09:00

This uncle of mine, the one who died of a heart attack on the toilet, once told me a story that really grabbed me and stayed in my memory and sat there festering in my imagination like some parasite trying to make an illegal connection to the synaptic grid. To die of a heart attack on the toilet is an ignominious way to go, but it shouldn’t affect the veracity of the bullshit stories one has passed off as no word of a lie and as true’s God. This is something I feel firmly about, and I can say that the fact he died on the toilet made fuckall difference to the way I remember his story.

 

It went like this.

When he finally topped the rise the twilight had faded into dusk. In the murk ahead he was just able to discern a broad flat valley backed by a line of black hills. The building stood on the open plain, unprotected and solitary. To his surprise a feeble light glimmered at a window. What was there for people to do out here in this barren waste? He hurried on, anxious to beat the dark.

As he approached the building he began to worry about dogs. He had heard no barking but at any moment he expected the silence to be torn by a warning howl followed by furious baying. He had no means of protecting himself. From what he could make out the house was in a state of neglect but the windows were still glazed and he saw the glint of metal against the dark solidity of the front door. As quietly as he could he approached the lighted window and looked in. The room was dimly lit by candles and a single oil lamp. On the table lay the body of a man covered with a plain white sheet. The sheet was drawn up to his neck and his chin pointed sharply ceilingward. Not a young man, maybe fifty or sixty, a gaunt face and bald dome of a head.. Then from the right there appeared a woman, barefoot, long hair flowing loose, tying the belt of a bathrobe. Carelessly she tossed a towel over a chair and went to the sideboard. She lit a cigarette and began to pour from a bottle into a glass. Jesus, what was he to do? It was almost completely dark and a hard wind had sprung up, helping him to make up his mind.

"Who is it?" In response to his knock on the door her voice was aggressive and without fear.

"A stranger. I'm a hitchhiker, stranded on the road."

After a few moments the door opened. It had been unlocked all the time. A flashlight shone in his face and then dropped to his chest and he saw she was holding an extremely large pistol.

"I'm so sorry to disturb you, madam. I've been overtaken by nightfall. You don't have an outbuilding where I could get out of the cold, just for the night, do you? If you can help me I'll be on my way again at first light."

"Come in." She lowered the gun and he followed her into the room. "You've chosen a bad time. My husband's just died on me." He stood looking down at the pale skin drawn tight across the facial bones, the half-closed eyelids, the gaping thin-lipped mouth, the scrawny neck of a chicken. "Want a brandy?" She was at the sideboard.

"Er, yes please. Just to keep you company. For the shock. You must be…"

"He was ill for a long time. I treated him badly and he hated me. It's a relief." She spoke flatly, without emotion. This woman wasn't more than thirty-five, forty at the most. He ran his eye over the shrouded body and noted the splay of the feet beneath the sheet. The outlines struck him as entirely authentic, one hundred percent cadaverous. "The undertakers are coming in the morning."

He took the glass and drank the neat brandy.

My uncle stopped the story right there, but it was understood that he had gone to bed with the widow, and then hit the road again in the morning.

I like this story because it’s audacious and so improbable it might well be true. It has a startling freshness to it that makes me wonder if there isn’t something archetypal at work here. Like it seems to be loaded with unexplained symbolism of the type Carl Jung babbled on about. Something like a dream dredged up from the collective unconscious. Not that I believe for one moment in unscientific crap like the collective unconscious.

Now, the reason why I have recounted my uncle’s story is because just the other day I was reminded of it by another story told by no less of a gifted bullshitter than my good buddy, Cupcake.

We were at the other guy’s place and we were also drinking brandy, but it was topped up with Coke and not neat like in my uncle’s story. Cupcake had just got back from Joburg, where he had been visiting his sister. He had nearly written himself off while driving through the Karoo, and was still shaken up and in need of more than his fair share of brandewyn to calm his nerves.

“It was in the middle of the Karoo, about 50 k’s from the nearest town,” he said. “It was just getting dark when this buck runs out in front of me. Instinctively, I swerved, my wheels hit the gravel verge, and the next thing I knew I was crashing through a barbed wire fence and bouncing off into sheep country. Lucky I didn’t roll.”

“Did you hit the buck?” asked the other guy.

“No,” said Cupcake. “But when I went through the fence I smashed my lights. Otherwise there was no major damage. Just a whole lot more dents and scratches.

“You must have got one helluva skrik,” I said.

“That’s for sure,” said Cupcake. “But anyway, there I was, trying to get back up on the road, and it was fully dark by then, when along comes this black dude in a bakkie and gives me a hand. He’s the farm foreman and says I can follow him to the farm house and stay there for the night. But when we got to the house, which wasn’t far away, a young woman opened the door, and she wasn’t charmed to see me. She said this wasn’t a good time, because her father had just gone and died. But I could sleep on the couch in the living room.”

“So there was a corpse in the house?” I said.

“Yah, in the bedroom,” said Cupcake. “Anyway, after a while the woman offers me a drink and we sit there in the living room. She tells me she’s glad her father is dead, because he was a bastard. He treated her dead mother like shit and he treated her like shit, too. In fact, he treated everyone like shit. We had another drink and then the foreman dude comes in. He doesn’t say anything but goes down the passage and I hear a door close. The woman finishes her drink and says she’s going to sleep now, and also goes off down the passage and I hear a door open and close. So there I am, alone in the living room and it’s getting late but I don’t feel like trying to sleep. I drink more of her brandy and start thinking about the dead man lying in the bedroom.”

“Creepy, hey?” I said.

“Not really,” said Cupcake. “I was more curious than anything. So I get up and go and look down the passage, and there’s a door standing open and the light’s on. When I look inside I see the corpse lying stretched out on the bed with a sheet over it up to the neck. I go in and take a closer look at this guy, and he looks a real old bastard, just like his daughter said. Heavy, brutal features. Now, just as I’m about to turn away, I take a last look and the fucking corpse goes and opens its eyes and looks straight at me.”

“What?” said the other guy, nearly choking on his b&c.

“Yah,” said Cupcake. “Looks me straight in the eye and I jump about a foot in the air. Then the corpse sits up and says He’s not really dead. He’s only been acting dead so he can catch his slut of a daughter carrying on with that fokken kaffer of a foreman. He gets up and goes to the wardrobe and takes out a sjambok. Then he walks down the passage, throws open a door, and all hell breaks loose.”

“Jesus!” said the other guy. “Then what did you do?”

“I thought to myself, Fuck it, I don’t need to get caught up in this kind of shit, and I ran outside, jumped in my car and drove off at speed, even though it was the middle of the night and I had no lights. I somehow managed to make it to the next dorp, where I stopped and waited for daybreak. Then I carried on back to Cape Town.”

By this time I was experiencing an acute bout of déjà vu, and then I remembered my uncle’s story and realised why. Cupcake’s advemture bore some strikingly similar features to my dead relative’s, and both my buddies agreed with this observation once I had finished recounting the uncle version.

“Have either of you read anything by the Irish playwright JM Synge?” asked the other guy. There was a kind of startled look in his eyes.

“Nope,” I said.

“Negative,” said Cupcake.

The other guy doesn’t have shelves but there are piles of books on just about every flat surface. He went to one of them and extricated a volume.

“This is uncanny, man,’ he said. “Synge also wrote short pieces, and this one is called ‘Pat’s Story’. Let me read it to you.”

When he was done we sat looking at each other with our mouths open, like we were a trio of half-wits. This Irish story was just too similar to the other two for there to be a rational response forthcoming.

“Well, I dunno what to say,” said Cupcake.

“This can’t be possible,” said the other guy.

“There’s something seriously fucking weird going on here,” I said.

‘Pat’s Story’ can be read here:   http://wwwgatecrasher.blogspot.com/

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Lethiwe Mdluli
Have you suddenly developed a fea...

Flying has always been considered as the safest way of travelling until this fact was questioned because of the recent tragic events surrounding airplanes. Read more...

4 comments 95 views
Submitted by
Greypatriot
Ending the Malema revolt

During the past five years Julius Malema has become a deadly threat to future public order and peace. He has grown in fame and popularity as a radical youth and political party leader, way beyond the expectations of critics and experts.  Read more...

30 comments 624 views
Submitted by
John Comyn
Eskom have hijacked us

Anyone out there seen their electricity bill this month? I live in an apartment and my bill has gone from approximately R600 to just over R1000. Read more...

1 comments 23 views
Submitted by
Thabiso Sbo Dlamini
Open Letter to my fellow ANC comr...

I am not an expert in politics, I’m just an ordinary South African who loves South Africa, the African National Congress and would like to see our country prosper. Read more...

14 comments 750 views
Submitted by
Dudebear
The sadness that is Malema

All in all, Malema is one bad cow. He should have been incarcerated long ago for his utterances. Many of which tread the line of treason.  Read more...

3 comments 300 views
Are they going to bomb the Karoo ...

Kiev has bombed Donetsk to smithereens. So what I want to know is this: do they have the same plans for our Karoo farmers? Read more...

49 comments 2866 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.