fatman Find the clues!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fatman on Fatman

Interviewer: Howdy folk. Joining me in the studio today is that reclusive writer S.Heazlewood, a.k.a. Fatman, who has not been seen or heard from for quite some time. I know that some of you folks have wild theories about the nature of his disappearance. Theories that have ranged from broken fingers, blunt force trauma-slash-head injuries that may have caused some sort of amnesia, being kidnapped by yetis and the like.

Respondent: (Looking slightly dishevelled as if he's just been mugged by seagulls. He picks at a crumb that he's found on his shirt) Am I on?

Interviewer: We're live.

Respondent: Wonderful. That's great news. I'm a big fan of...uh...the..where am I again?

Interviewer: (Slightly unsure if Respondent's comment is meant in jest or if he's genuinely baffled) Ha Ha.

Respondent: (Grins blankly)

Interviewer: How have you been? It's been a while.

Respondent: Uh...yah. I guess. Er....has it?

(Audience laugh)

Interviewer: Ever so slightly. (Audience laugh) What's been happening? You don't call. You don't write. You fell off the planet there for a while. Are you well?

Respondent: Yeah. I'm totally fine y'know? It's just that...I've been doing things. Stuff. Things and stuff mainly.

Interviewer: (Rolls eyes. Audience laugh) Did you want to elaborate or should we just assume...

Respondent: Oh you want specifics?

Interviewer: Would you?

(Audience laughs)

Respondent: Ha ha. I'm...I'm a bit vague today. Ha. Look, I've been drinking a fair bit.

Interviewer: Who hasn't?


Respondent: What else? (cocking head. Looking baffled) What HAVE I been doing? I bought myself an Xbox 360 around October or November last year so there's been a lot of..uh..that happening. Killing terrorists and zombies. Saving the world. That sort of thing. But recently, and this sorta happened over night, my TV screen started to take on this red shade y'know? So I've stopped gaming for a bit. (Absently) Must get the TV repaired.

Interviewer: The life of a celebrity.

(Respondent and Audience laugh)

Respondent: I lose MONTHS to that fucking machine. Uh...am I allowed to swear here?

Interviewer: If you must.

Respondent: Can I say 'cocksucker'?

Interviewer: Yes.

Respondent: Cocksucker.

(Audience laugh, applaud)

Interviewer: Let's move on shall we? So, you've basically been drinking beer and playing computer games.

Respondent: And working. I'm working heaps of hours.

Interviewer: This would be where exactly?

Respondent: I'm currently working in a bar on Chapel street in Prahran.

Interviewer: (Raises eyebrows) Prahran? That's not exactly your side of the river is it?

Respondent: Well, no. Not really. I'm kinda used to the North side of Melbourne y'know? Which is where your hippie, arty type of person live. I mean, most bars over this side (of the river) don't even HAVE lime to put in drinks. They just...put lime cordial into peoples' drinks if they order a..a...a...vodka, lime and soda. Or maybe they punch the person who ordered it for being a pussy.

Interviewer: I see.

Respondent: Prahran has always been where the (makes quotation marks with his fingers in the air) "fashion conscious" people live. Cool haircuts. Fancy shirts. Y'know...cocksuckers.

(Audience laughs)

Interviewer: How have you gone adjusting to the change in environment?

Respondent: Good. I mean, I like the bar I'm working in. Hell, I've been going there for, like, six years, seven years. And the people there are cool. The staff and the regulars are pretty awesome. Weirdos...but awesome.

Interviewer: So, it's been a good year for you so far?

Respondent: Yeah. Busy but good. I mean what are we...a few weeks in? The heat has knocked me about a bit and being in hospitality I never got that two week break that every other living person in the Free World seems to get. Most people, sorry to generalise, but most people spend this time of year living like a Colombian drug lord. Like, sitting around the beach, drinking cocktails named after cities and smoking cigars. Oh, did I tell you what I'm planning later this year?

Interviewer: What's that?

Respondent: Well, I'm planning another overseas trip later this year. Maybe September or November. It really depends on the finances really. But I've got it in my mind to...to head over to Cuba...

Interviewer: Why Cuba?

Respondent: I think it....when did the idea settle in my head? A few years ago at any rate. I think I saw Buena Vista Social Club and thought it'd be neat to check out the music scene there. Spend a few weeks where they've got all these vintage '60s and '70s cars smoking cigars. Gotta do it before Castro dies y'know.

Interviewer: Just Cuba?

Respondent: Afterwards I want to head over to New York. I think logically the other way would be tons easier. Because the Yanks have a shitty..uh..what do they call it? No Fly List..uh...yeah...No Fly List policy. Because of the TSA who are like bloodhounds...but real dumb ones y'know? Just relentless. I mean, did you hear about this five-year old kid who was detained because his name sounded like a possible terrorist?

Interviewer: This was just recently.

Respondent: Yah. So they've got armed guards...I'm imagining armed guards for this one...who are holding this fuckin' five-year old hostage essentially in case he steers the plane into a building or blows it up or something. I'm getting off the topic.

Interviewer: I didn't want to say anything.

(Interviewer and Respondent laugh)

Respondent: Ha Ha. It's just...it's just so stupid y'know? Anyway..

Interviewer: New York.

Respondent: New York. Reason: It's big and people talk about it. Even people who have never been there. People who have never been there wear T-Shirts that say they love it. Cocksuckers. But I primarily want to go see Letterman because I love that show. Well..."love" is a strong word. I think I love the idea of the show. Some of the episodes are killer but that's like one in...ten or twenty. Depends on the guest and Letterman's mood. And the script writers naturally. From New York [makes dramatic hand gestures]..Barrow!

Interviewer: Barrow?

Respondent: Barrow, Alaska baby!

Interviewer: Is this possibly because of (the film adapted from the comic book) Thirty Days of Night?

Respondent: Well, the town, the area fascinates me. I wasn't such a fan of (the writer of Thirty Days of Night) Steve Niles' stuff. I mean, it was a good idea but it...didn't really grab me by the balls. Which all good literature should. And I haven't seen the film.

Interviewer: Neither have I. But then again, I don't go out much.

(Audience laughs)

Respondent: Well (my friend) Free Beer suggested salmon fishing in Alaska sometime last year and the idea sort of stuck. Though he's probably not going to be able to come along because his wife (Freddy Nunchucks) won't let him. I don't know. Alaska. It seems like such a cool place to check out.

Interviewer: Does it?

(Respondent and audience laugh)

Respondent: I'm into desolate places though. Cold, desolate places. I mean, I've been to Tynda in Russia y'know? Loved it. It was so...

Interviewer: Depressing?

Respondent: Different.

Interviewer: Now, are you planning on travelling alone this time?

Respondent: Nik- who I went on the Trans-Siberian railway with- said he might come along. He's..well...it's money dependant for him as well. Chris probably can't come along because he's off to America earlier in the year for a friend's wedding. Same country but months apart.

Interviewer: Well, it's about time to wrap this up. When did you say this was? The trip?

Respondent: September. Ish.

Interviewer: A pleasure as always. Ladies and Gentlemen, Fatman.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Welcome To My Underground Lay-or

I recently heard that there was a Titan Class intercontinental ballistic missile base from the '50s, located near Moses Lake (Washington State, U.S.A.) for sale on eBay.

Yes, a nuclear base.

The asking price, according to the article in the London Telegraph, was a measly $1.5 million dollars U.S. Hell, all I'd need to do is round up 15 of my closest friends to chip in and we'd have our own place of business.

For someone like myself - who is secretly convinced that a genetically-engineered plague designed by an aristocrat vampire will one day wipe out most of humanity (except for the lucky few who will survive only to turn into some form of flesh-eating, homicidal, mutant albinos) - this is an ideal place to purchase. I will no longer have to live in fear of zombie invasions, the Four Horsemen, rain of frogs or an attack by crazed vegetable-eating killbots.

What surprised me about the article is that this is only one of many nuclear bases for sale. Although the bases (sadly) do not come with any ICBMs all it would take is a few bribes to a corrupt Chechnyan general and baby we'd be in a position to make ludicrous demands on an unsuspecting world.

Now, to start preparing for a lava-filled moat around the parameters...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Brief Lives

The phone conversation was unexpected. It was like getting slapped in the face with a fish- it stung my eyes and left a bad taste in my mouth.

'He did what?', I ask, befuddled.

Rupert repeats the story, slowly so that I can digest the information.

The phone call started innocently enough. I'd got hold of Rupert to inform him of when the Deadliest Catch was on. Also, I hadn't spoken to him since the birth of his child a few months back. We ranted on for a while, pleasantly banal tales exchanged like football cards, when he mentioned Shaun Kratzer, from school.

A blink. A pause. A blurry face in the recesses of my brain coming slowly into focus.

'Sure. Kratz. What's happening with him these days?'

'He...died earlier this year. In February.'

The last I'd seen of Kratz was at school and, since I was in the year grade above him, I had taken it upon myself to shove him into walls and trip him over when we passed each other in the corridor.



'Wow,' I said again, for emphasis.

'I know,' agreed Rupert.

'How did he die?'

Rupert then sums up the last decade of Shaun Kratzer's life. He changed a lot, informs Rupert. He had a lot more facial hair for starters. This was because he was too busy doing real things that mattered. He was a photographer, he skied, was an avid climber and was loved by all who met him. Shaving didn't fit into his busy schedule.

On the 7th of February fate - in the form of an avalanche on Gulmarg mountain in the Himalayas - killed him.

My mind wanders.

Morbidly obese people feel that they are trapped in their own lives. For some this is a literal thing since their ample frames will physically not fit through the door frames of their own apartments and these sacks of organs will not leave their filthy rooms littered with chip packets and empty drums of root beer until several weeks after their death, when Emergency Services will have to knock down a wall in order to remove the bloated carcass from the premises. Others blame bad luck, unloving parents, misleading burger commercials, a tragic reincarnation that landed their souls in the body of a slob and not into Matthew Mcconaughey's.

I can only imagine at how scared Kratz would have been in his final moments on this planet of ours. How helpless and lost and utterly fucked he would have felt before being engulfed by a white fist belonging to some mountain god, terrible and without an ounce of passion. Still. No matter how sad it was that he left the stage so early he is truly one of the lucky ones since he probably lived more in a single day than many of us do in our lifetimes.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sailors Who Get Crabs

To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it,--but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

"You go through a couple marriages, smoke cigarettes like it's going out of style, your body aches from the time you get up to the time you go to bed, and you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about where you're going to put the next pot. Yeah, it's a great lifestyle."
- Phil from the Cornelia Marie ,The Deadliest Catch

One day out from Dutch Harbour, Unlasaka. The Bering Sea is unrelenting and vicious like a restaurant critic or a high-powered divorce lawyer. The crew of the ship are being thrown about, stumbling back-and-forwards like actors in a Charlie Chaplain film. The winds scream like banshees. It's a typical day in the life of an Alaskan crab fisherman. The show is the Deadliest Catch and my eyes are nailed to the screen.

It has taken us worthless peons a long time to get it on free-to-air but we finally get to see this amazing documentary from the Discovery Channel. How frickin' insane is this? Why not base a show about THE deadliest profession in the world (besides "suicide bomber")? It's captivating viewing. I'm captivated.

For those who don't share my addictions, or know what I'm talking about, the Deadliest Catch is a show about Alaskan crab fishermen aboard a few of the ships (around ten or so) during the four-day crab fishing season in 2005. Now the sleep-deprived crew spend their time cussing at the "greenhorns" (n00bs) to get out of the goddamn way while trying not to fall overboard themselves. In a hazardous occupation where the death rate is roughly one a week (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics over 300 fatalities per 100,000 fishermen) and hypothermia is constantly lurking around the corner this behaviours is not only to be expected, but sensible.

By the time the show finishes, I'm drenched in sweat.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gracie Under Pressure

"Ei! Fat-a man! Is-a me- Christopher."
"Ah! Christopher ma frien'! Its-a been-a long time without the speaking!"

Whenever Irish Chris and I speak on the telephone we both adopt bad Italian accents. Why do we do this? I honestly don't think either of us remember the genesis of this peculiar phone habit. Do we think it's funny, to speak in a cringe-worthy caricature Italian way?

"You-a horrible fat slob of a man! You no call me anymore. Why is-a this? Is your fingers broken in 18 different-a places? Have I done sumethin' to offend you in-a some-a way?"
"It is-a disgraceful on-a my part-a Christopher. I apologise for my insolence, my-a bad, my-a bad."

It doesn't even sound vaguely Italian. Not really. But we have been talking like this for such a long time neither of us can stop doing so. It is our ritual. Cliche-ridden mock Italian conversations that inevitably contain phrases like "'atsa nice meat-a ball!" will forever be part of our rapport.

Our accents were as convincing as Stefano's...who is an...Italian man

My friendship with Irish Chris basically revolves around drinking beer, playing pool and insulting each others' mothers...like all good friendships I guess. But lately he's been trying to get me involved in his latest hobby: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

'Look. Look at my 'guns' baby,' he'll say when we eventually catch up, casting away his Luigi persona, 'Feel my arms. They are like steel. Like weapons to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world. This is what perfection looks like.'

Although Chris is prone to exaggeration he is noticeably more muscular. Prior to his martial arts training he has stick-thin chicken arms that looked like they would snap in an arm wrestle.

Arm inspection done, he will then ask me to attack him so he can show me a submission hold he learnt that week. Two seconds after I lunge at his neck I'll be on the floor of a pub while onlookers glance our way wearily.

'Now this chokehold...'
'...is pretty hard to break. It IS possible. For maybe a blue belt. But for the run of the mill mugger, played in this instance by you...'
'..Ugh...grugh...disrupting the...guh...blood supply to my...ugh...brain...'
'Huh? Oh, sorry Fatman.'

As I lay wheezing and plotting revenge I get the uneasy feeling that I may need to take up Jiu-Jitsu soon in order to be able to counter his chokeholds and joint-locks. I still feel that, push come to shove, I could take Irish Chris in a fight. Not a fair fight. I'd hit him over the head with a crowbar when he wasn't looking. But who knows how strong he'd be in a years' time? Could I take him then?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pirates Get More Booty

"Avast belay, yo ho, heave to,
A-pirating we go
And if we're parted by a shot
We're sure to meet below!"

J.M.Barrie, Peter Pan(1904)

Pirates certainly are a musical bunch. While they spend most of their time at sea avoiding the Spanish Armada and gigantic, radioactive squids they do have a lot of down time where they get to prance around in colourful garb and belch out their favourite Gilbert & Sullivan medley, swigging rum and throwing up. Sure, there's a bit of raping and pillaging along the way but no more than your average Brisbane Lions football player on a Saturday night. Of course, back in the 17th Century, instead of buying the girls' silence the pirates tended to just kill them and any potential witnesses. Times were simpler back then.

"Bloodthirsty" Mick and his "2 Live Crew" sing their version of Booty-licious

Singing buccaneers are a lot rarer to find these days. Technically one need not be a Barbary Corsair in 1815 to be a pirate as they still exist today (the latest reported incident -Danish bulk carrier Danica White- being in June of this year somewhere near the coast of Somalia) often armed with sub-machine guns and trained dolphins. Let's ignore them for now and instead celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

How Can I Help Celebrate Talk Like A Pirate Day?

Simple. Although it helps if you haven't bathed for a while to truly get in the mood all you need to do is don an eye-patch and say 'Arrrr' a lot. Oh, and when you ask your friends if they want to join you, you ask them if they want to be part of your lethal seamen.

Won't I Get Fired If I Do This?

It...helps if you take the day off. It is a bit difficult to type wearing an eye-patch and if you work as a diplomat or a switchboard operator for emergency services or an orderly at an asylum you may indeed get fired.

Are There Any Other Dangers Associated With This Day I Should Be Aware Of?

Aside from the gigantic radioactive squids you mean?


You'll find it really hard to order pizza. Or hail a cab. You have to watch out for those pesky Goonies who are trying to steal your gold. Your pet parrot may attack your eye. If you walk into a bank you will find a deathly silence fall all around you and one of the tellers will probably call the cops and the cops will shoot you down dead.

It Seems Like A Pretty Stupid Day To Celebrate Then

...and you'll have to be on alert for the traditional enemies of pirates: the ninjas.

'I'll let you touch my sack but you have to tell me where those blastard ninjas are.'

Are You Yanking My Chain?

No, no, no. Pirates have been rivals with ninjas for years. There is still a debate as to who will win of the two groups. Personally I think us pirates could beat the snot out of those dorks wearing black pyjamas.


Fatman's Talk Like A Pirate Day where we annoy the band Regurgitator
Fatman's Shitty Talk Like A Pirate Day When No-One Showed Up
There's actually a Pirate Supply Store in San Francisco! And Dave Eggers.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Lame Attempt At Getting My Friend Zoe To Come Out For A Few Drinks The Other Day

Zoe: I really can't.

Me: You really should.

Zoe: I really, really can't.

Me: You're a wuss.

Zoe: Yep.

Me: Why not?

Zoe: Because I have to play netball and finish a 2,500 word essay.

Me: We can find you a substitute for netball. Does it have to be a female netball player?

Zoe: No.

Me: I'll pay a wino to take your place. You may have to give him a back rub later though.

Zoe: Ugh.

Me: I'll write your essay for you.

Zoe: 2,500 words?

Me: Yep.

Zoe: It's about Isadora Duncan. What do you know about Isadora Duncan?

Me: Heaps.

Zoe: You're lying. You don't even know who she is.

Me (defensively) : I do so.

Zoe: Go on.

Me: She...was the founder of Dunkin' Donuts?

Zoe: Not even close.