First entry one via the email just to get things rolling. A little more succinct than I would've hoped, but bonus points for obviously using Cracker as a diversion while at work...
B; Lets go surfing now
C;Here comes Tane
D' Its been a hard daze nite
E: Sweets for my sweet sugar for my honey
A; its such a perfect day im glad i spent it with u
Oh, and PLEASE NOTE there are now Fabulous Prizes up for grabs!
Hank: Holy moly Mavis, look at the size of that!
Mavis: Shh... I'm busy...
Hank: But you won't believe the size of...
Mavis: What exactly?
Hank: .... nuthin'....
Mavis: Does my butt look big in this?
Hank: I think it landed out there somewhere.
Mavis: I can't see anything from here.
Hank: Maybe we should get closer... does my butt look big in this?
Hank: Well shoot, I can't see it anymore, I'm telling you, if the size of that was anything to go by...
Mavis: Does that cloud formation remind you oif anything?
Hank: Did you see the way that guy looked at us?
Mavis: Is he still watching? I hope he's not taking photos... does my butt look big in this?
Hank: Just so long as they don't get posted on the internet for people to ogle...
Hank: Some paw paw?
Mavis: Thanks, but I'll stick with the mango.
Hank: Is that J-Lo over there?
Mavis: Could be. Does her butt look big in that?
The Ballad of Hank and Mavis
A. It seems like a lifetime ago. I was in the kitchen at the Broken Arrow in Espanola, New Mexico. She burst in, lookin' hot, lookin' bothered. "You gotta help me, Hank. I've killed him. He's dead." It was true, and I didn't know what to do, but she was my girl, so we got in my car and drove, drove, drove and didn't stop still we'd crossed the border.
B. So we found a little fishing village on the Pacific coast and learned real fast how to blend in. I got a job washing dishes at Geraldo's, and Mavis did cleaning at a guest house. Not a day went by that I didn't think of running, of going home, but every day I stayed.
C. In '87, we found out that Mavis' momma had passed. Life had been better since O'Flaherty's untimely demise, but being the widow of Espanola's most notorious smack daddy was never gonna be easy. I offered to drive Mavis back, but she said she didn't want to go. We could never go back.
D. Sometimes I wonder if I made the right decision. We hurt a lot of people, but looking back, I know that we did make the right decision. We may be outlaws, but I've got my girl and she's just as beautiful as the day we met back in '74.
E. We met these college kids – Alex and Olivia from Sacramento. They asked us if we were here on vacation or if we lived here. I looked at Mavis and then said to the kids, "We're on our honeymoon."
A love song to Mavis.
Hank leaned back and felt the sun warming him. His mind drifted, meandering through a lifetime of memories to the day that he had met Mavis. He was 23, she 22. He remembered it clearly, vividly; it was on the Edinburgh to London train. They had sat opposite each other. Hank and Mavis had started a conversation and by the time they had arrived in London, their life stories had been shared. They had discovered each others favourite book, hers being Pride and Prejudice, his Catcher in the Rye. She loved the Beatles, he Buddy Holly. She voted left, he right. Both rated Gone with the Wind their all-time favourite movie. On their arrival in London they decided to attend Gone with the Wind. After the movie they sat in a diner and talked the rest of the night. At dawn they reluctantly parted.
A week later this short and intense friendship was over, his girlfriend Cindy couldn’t understand why he was spending time with Mavis and issued the demand that he stop. Hank reluctantly agreed, but he regretted it almost immediately, he missed her, her sweet laugh, her gentleness, the conversations, the words unsaid, feelings unexpressed.
Two years later Hank was sitting in a café - Cindy with her petty jealousies and sudden rages now a distant memory - drinking coffee. Mavis walked by. He raced after her. They talked long into the night, went to the late showing of Gone with the Wind. Six weeks later they were married and heading home to New Zealand. Hank took over the family business and they settled into life in Wellington. They raised two children, Scarlet and James. Scarlet was a tempetuous, driven and very successful career woman. Hank found her not a little intimidating. Their son was a restaurateur. James didn’t share his love of sport or the business, he and Hank had little in common. Sometimes Hank felt his offspring were strangers, alien beings, that he barely knew how to relate to. Mavis was the glue that kept the family together, she smoothed the waters. Eventually he sold the business, the children weren’t interested in it, that hurt, but Mavis made him realise he couldn’t change that. He retired, decided to travel.
Mavis was a gentle, pragmatic, intelligent mother and wife. Hank loved her, always had, even though he wasn't a demonstrative man and found it difficult to express this to her. He knew too that sometimes he had been a shit, what with the booze, the infidelities and working long hours. But despite this she had been his rock, his centre; he had always come home to Mavis.
He offered Mavis a piece of fruit. “Shall we rent Gone with the Wind tonight?” he asked. Mavis understood. This was the shorthand of their marriage. She turned and smiled her sweet smile, and nodded her acceptance and thanks. He looked into her still beautiful, soft brown eyes and he could see the girl who had made his stomach flutter and his heart race 44 years before. Mavis.
The sea sparkled in the background as Hank reclined into what he dearly hoped was a beach lounge bed. It was such a long way from former Soviet Central Asia and the live he once lived
Beside him Mavis lay asleep, her slack face untroubled by the demons that haunted the pensive Hank. What would she say if she knew about the guns, the furious late night discussions over the synthesis of Socialism with Islam, over environmentalism and the responsibility, nay culpability of post imperial great powers? Mavis had always been a Moscow hand, never really understanding, nor caring about the subtle aroma and charms of Tashkent. Yet they still loved one each other despite this wide gulf.
Presently a large procession of seagulls made their presence known to the inhabitants of the lounge bed. With their squawks and relentless squabbling making sleep, or even the silent contemplation of past terrors a nonsense, Hank and Mavis resolved to enjoy the spectacle, as much as they could.
Unwilling participants in the street theatre of nature that was the seagulls on the beach, Hank and Mavis retreated to the dubious charms of the nearby sea. Perhaps from a distance the seagulls would be bearable, like the difference between being on upper vs. lower Cuba Street. Here a small but surprisingly bitter debate began over whether the Kalashnikov AK 47 owed more to the influence of the German Sturmgewehr 44 or to the American M1 Gerand. Mavis was initially of the opinion that the former was indeed the case, with Hank adopting the latter position. Was this argument for the sake of argument, or a more insidious example of hidden cultural preference? In the end it was agreed that perhaps the AK 47 was simply the superb result of a Soviet military/industrial collaboration driven by the desperate needs of war.
All this talk of assault rifles instilled within Hank and Mavis a steely resolve to confront the seagulls. Inspired by the desperate creative genius of the wounded soldier inventor, Mikhail Kalashnikov, a plan was formed to reclaim the beach for recreation. No more would the mindless tyranny of the Gull be tolerated, not now, not ever.
The joy of holidaying with a loved one is that such arguments can take place, yet in the next moment all the strife and pettiness can be forgotten. When enemies are vanquished then love and recreation seem sweeter, like the last apple of summer.
A/ Hank could barely believe that he was in the last four on Survivor – Mexico the 25th series. That Mavis had also survived was great too. Mavis and he had made an alliance very early on and now had even agreed that if either of them won they would split the million bucks. Two old farts – Hank was well aware of the nickname whispered behind their back – into the final four!!
B/ Of course they had not be able to win any of the physical challenges, but what Hank and Mavis lacked in rippling biceps, triceps and quadriceps and skinny toned and taut bodies shamelessly flaunted at every opportunity, they more than made up for in cunning and guile. They had played the game well using all their years of experience and nous to overcome the “bodies beautiful”. There was no doubt that they were a handsome group but, oh so, shallow with strangely vacuous minds. Hank liked to think that in the end they had won, if not, the love of their tribes, then at least the respect of most of the other contestants – especially as they had waved one after another of them goodbye.
C/ Hank and Mavis went down to the sea to have a private conversation and plan for the forthcoming tribal council. They needed to strategise about their voting. Mavis had indicated quietly, earlier, that she thought that she had convinced Aishlee to vote with them and against Stream. Stream was an underwear model from New York; Hank snorted every time he thought of Stream modelling, what sort of job was that for a real man he often asked himself. What sort of made-up name was that! How he had lasted this long was frankly beyond Hank.
D/ Hank felt very hopeful, after his private talk with Mavis that they had Aishlee on their side and that Stream would be ousted later today. Frankly he would shed no tears when that happened. Then the path would be clear for them to vote Aishlee out, he couldn’t understand how Aishlee had not figured out that if Stream went she would be vulnerable but poor lass was a little naïve and scatty. She was more concerned about the state of her nails, than the state of the game. Lucky for them!
E/ Hank leaned back and allowed himself, for the first time, to dream about winning the million bucks, about the celebrity status and hoopla which would inevitably come their way, the chat shows – Letterman and perhaps even that dreadful woman DeGeneres! There would be product endorsements, openings to attend, speeches to make, it was a delicious daydream. Who knew, perhaps even, Hollywood would want to make a movie about their great survival. If that happened Hank thought Tom Cruise would play him very nicely indeed. Yes indeed he sighed.
A note from the judging committee:
We're very impressed with these last few entries. I've laughed, I've cried, I've thrown up in my mouth just a little bit... keep 'em coming.
"I can feel the puff in my belly, it will lift me into the sky like a hot air balloon. But I can't leave without Mavis ...God I want to escape"
"Oh I can see an island, Jumping Jehosophat. Ah Mavis, let's swim out there, it's not far, and we can make a life of idyllic companiability and rustic bliss instead of this bloody tourist shite. Look, I have tucked my shorts into my gruts in preparation."
"Now swim, swim!!! The tide is with us, the elements are for us, let's do it Mamacita!"
"Okay, let's get back to our beachspot. There is a strange disembodied head in the water. It is a sign"
"Here darling, have this dried up piece of a slice of cheese while I recline like a odalisque in swim trunks"
I'm really warming to Hank and Mavis. They seem like quite a cool couple. I wouldn't mind going along with them on their next holiday.
Via the Email - Brian
B: " mavis do u think global warming is affecting the ocean'
"Don't be silly Hank its the added pull of the comet raising the tide"
C: Those bloody Japs, there used to be whales out there."
"No dear its the waste from our resort polluting the water and keeping them away."
D: This sand is so hard to walk in,how do those boys in Iraq manage to run in it."
" I can't get over the number of cigarette butts in it."
E: Here dear have this its very low in carbon miles."
"but that container is not recyclable and is made of oil."
A:" I think that hole in the ozone layer is getting bigger."
"Who gives a fuck dear I'm trying to get in a nap."
Via the email. Name: paul
very quick entry all done in the style of "LOST"
Heading: Hank and Mavis do "LOST"
"that airplane is in trouble"
"its breaking up, Mavis" tragic eh!
"look I can see survivor's in the water"
"ignore him <head in background> he got that far without our help"
"5 minutes on our beach and he's already scored, fa'getta bout'it"
D: The arrival:
Forty three... forty four...forty five. Aha. Ze rendevous.
E: The instructions
Be on the alert for terrorists! They may be disguised as people. This pie will self destruct in your belly.
B: Crisis on the beach!
There are no terrorists on the beach! They're even cleverer than we thought! If I was a terrorist where would I hide?
C: The hunt continues...
There appear to be no terrorists hiding in the water.
A: Democracy triumphs!
I'm not wearing no god-damn burka. Ahhh - the sweet carcinogenic sunshine of liberty.
A. When Hank came to, he found himself sprawled upon a spongy mattress. Beads of sweat trickled down his shoulders as he hauled himself up onto his elbows. The surface of the mattress clung to his skin. His first thought was that he had, somehow, been swept up from his comfortable deckchair beside the rose garden and deposited in the sauna at the Paltry Street Baths, with its blue tiles and matching towels. But as he squinted into the light, he caught a whiff of salt spray and heard the sound of crashing waves, and realised that this was not the sauna.
B. It was only then that he noticed the woman lying behind him. She was awake, and he stood up as she spoke. "Oh" she said, seemingly to herself, with a hint of concern in her voice "sand....the beach? Yes, a beach. I'm at a beach. Goodness." She squinted up at Hank, a puzzled expression on her face. "Are we in Blackpool?"
Hank considered. "Well, no, I don't believe we are in
Blackpool," he replied. "I think this is a...well, a tropical beach." He gazed at the azure ocean, perplexed. The woman scrambled to her feet. "A tropical beach...Goodness. It is very warm." She stepped towards the water. Unsure of what to do,and not seeing anyone nearby, Hank followed. The woman continued: "How on Earth did I get here? I was just walking to the shops to buy some jam, and....oh, yes, I was passing the umbrella store when a black cat ran across my path, and next thing I know I'm on a tropical beach. Goodness, how very strange!"
C. They waded into the water. It was warm, soothing. "How very odd," Hank replied. "I was just sitting in the garden, doing the crossword. I think I must have gone to sleep, and suddenly.....here I am. Very peculiar indeed. I say....you weren't dressed like that going to the shops, were you?"
"Oh, goodness, no!" the woman exclaimed. "I was wearing my cardy and hat!"
"Indeed. I don't know where my trousers have gone, and
my shirt - well, it was an uncomfortable shirt anyway." Hank felt relieved that his underpants hadn't vanished into thin air with the rest of his attire, although he then noticed that they had been rolled up to expose the tops of his thighs, as if he was about to sunbathe.
"At least you've still got your boots", the woman said.
Hank agreed, although quite how he came to be wearing a
pair of neoprene dive booties was beyond him.
D. The warm sun and sea made Hank feel tired. He announced that he was going to return to mattress. The woman puffed slightly as she followed him over the soft sand.
"Might I ask what your name is?" Hank enquired.
"Mavis Winklepicker," she told him, "I'm a retired seamstress.
"Hank. Hank Haddockgrubber. I used to be in the Navy, but nothing like this ever happened before, not even when we sailed around that Bermuda Triangle." Hank heard a splash and turned to see a man squatting in the shallows just along the beach.
"Well, he seems unconcerned," remarked Mavis.
E. Back at the mattress, Hank reclined on the warm rubber, which trembled as Mavis perched on the edge. He peered into a black bag which sat between them. Inside it he found a towel, a rubber duck and a yellow lunchbox containing pieces of fruit. Lying back in the sun, he offered Mavis a piece of pineapple. A young couple strolled past. "At least the weather's nice here," said Mavis.
"So it is, so it is," Hank replied. "I wonder how long we'll be here. If it gets much warmer, I might have to take a swim. Now, I wonder where a man might get a drink around here..."
Mavis dozed. Hank lay back, at last he could relax, it had been a near thing, but now he could erase the last week from his mind, it was over, hed pulled it off. But his mind would not stop racing, the false smiles of grim stern faced men haunted him. How close had their fingers been to the triggers of those plastic looking machine pistols? Images of a tourtured and agonising death, held at bay with only a couple of microns of rubber plagued his mind. The sun felt good.
But was it over, what was that in the distance, they heard a low rumble, was that a gunboat racing toward them. They'd carried out their part in the operation flawlesly, for them it should be over. Had another of the team stumbled with their task, had they implicated Hank? Mavis recalled and relived her part, had she done all that was required, had she left some small clue of their involvement to lead these dedicated men to them.
They moved together, down, closer to the sea, stood in the wash and strained their eyes, the boat was coming their way, what was the strange shape above the hull, why were the crew in what looked like uniforms, it was certainly coming there way fast and there was sun glinting off binocular glass and grey metal. At last they could see, relief, it was the beach patrol, idly hooning by, young boys and girls without a care, watching over the surfers and swimmers seeing they were safe.
As their minds slowed, reality dawned, Mavis was a mother, she had kids just like these, had her desire to get out of the drudgery of ghetto life, put these young lives at risk. Hank had always been active in his youth he would have been the one at the helm dancing with danger, skipping through the surf, thrilling his passangers, amping in the speed of the bucking boat.
The swim had done little to ease their consiouns, they trudged up the beach, yes they were now free from the money worries that had plagued their lives, Hank was free of the booze that had stolen his youthful vigour and figure. But what was the cost would they ever be able to live with the part they had played in the destruction of so many young joyous lives. Yes they were free to live the lives they felt they deserved but so far there had been nothing to celebrate there was no instant spring to their step. In fact the burden of guilt lay more hevily upon them than the dire poverty they had left behind. Perhaps time would dim the guilt and they would move on and find the happiness they felt certain money could buy.
Back on their lounge Mavis turned up her nose at the morsel Hank offerd she had no appetite for the sweet, in her mind she could see her beloved children sitting on some filthy matress, dark in a basement room, injecting the heroin that Hank had carried, their lives in darkness in stark contrast to the sunlight that surrounded her. Hank too had no desire to feast on the sweet morsel, he had feasted on the little packets of death, he had carried them to this beautiful place, he had placed in mortal danger the beautiful lives of the young couple that strode past, his greed, his desire to regain the youth he was sure money could buy, could destroy lives as the booze that had dimmed his proclivity for work had destroyed his. Would the cycle continue into the lives of this young couple? Would the heroin he had concealed in his distended belly be the ruin of their lives and would they seek the same solution and endanger the lives of his grandchildren.
The sun was warm, the sky was blue, it's a hard world out there, they would make choices as he had and live with the outcomeas he would.
Retired general Hank Drinkinstein relaxed on the third day of his retirement from the marine core. His had been a proud career, culminating in his command of the presidential detail that accompanied the commander in chief when assigned. He sniffed the air as the breeze gently wafted by,
A/"I smell hippies mavis, goddamn brown rice munchin', draft dodgin hippies".
B/ "Now Hank, you promised we would come to our holiday and start our retirement in a quiet happy place, besides I cant see anyone for miles" "Their stink carries on the wind Mavis, I know they're out there, I'm calling george to send in a coupla battalions to root 'em out, goddamn it Mavis if I didn't have to wear these stupid depend things I'd be after 'em myself!"
C/ " Now remember Mavis, it puts the lotion on its skin to get rid of the hippy stink" " Hank, you're not getting any tonight"
D/ "I'm not wearing this camoflauge swimsuit anymore either Hank, I'm tired of being your little navy seal"
E/ "There you go Mavis, what did I tell you? She's got A knife and he looks middle eastern. Hippy terrorist scum, give me that cellphone goddamn it!" " Shut up hank"