Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Secrets of NuVanilla

After thirty grueling years, the war effort finds me drained spiritually and financially. Once, my writing - even my acting and singing - were decently lucrative concerns, (and may be again, some day,) but as the conflict has broadened, and with the addition of Polly to my life, I have been unable to work as once I did. I have scrabbled for cash, once even resorting to the delivery of printed advertisements to the inhabitants of my Zone. Over time, I have found that my fair knowledge of books and their value can provide an intermittent income - which the appearance of Ebay has enhanced, and which, combined with my veteran's pension, can allow my family and I to subsist.

I have told you of the awful troubles that befell Jenny over the weeks she spent unprotected in South Melbourne. By now you must understand that I simply cannot afford to take my eyes off the enemy in order to make money. Yet, sometimes fate does lend a hand and one day, some years ago now, while gloomily trudging the aisles of a local
supermarket, I found myself the subject of inspiration.

Idly, I was scanning the shelves containing herbs and spices, when my attention was caught by a cellophane package containing a single pod of vanilla. The price - in the region of five or six AUD - surprised me. I had not known that vanilla was such an extravagance. And the essence, I wondered next? It transpired that the store stocked only the ersatz vanilla essence - the authentic product being, perhaps, beyond the means of my local demographic, or else too precious to thusly render down.

I sensed opportunity and researched the subject. I learned why fruit of the hermaphroditic vanilla planifolia, a tropical life-form native to Mexico, commands such prices in temperate Melbourne. Then, with the assistance of Robert - the scientist who works in our car-port - we stripped down its genome and shrewdly altered its phenotype - employing techniques I would be a fool to reveal here.

Consequently, I now can supply the needs of my community with a cheaper product that is not only superior in size and vanillin-content, but also a pleasurable CNS stimulant. Though it has some addictive properties, they are mild, on par with caffeine, and, of course, are a useful inducement to purchase. NuVanilla has proved popular with the consumers of my Zone, and allows me to conduct my war efforts in some semblance of comfort.

On another subject, the redemption of my wife goes well, and, though she has yet to return home, her mother, Diane, is now present to protect and nurse her. (Diane and I have formed many a united front over the years, and - though she can be slow to recognise infiltration and is sometimes overly credulous to the wiles of the Deadly Spores - all told, she is a better soldier than I.) The extent of Jenny's recent defeat is becoming more apparent as further bulletins arrive from the front. Doyle, I have heard, claims to have secretly observed her in the company of known collaborators: sly and abhorrent creatures, feared for their blind greed and careless cruelty. I shudder at the extent of her fall. If this was a less complex war, I could act precipitously, drive these vermin out with main force and drag my wife to safety. This I would dearly love - but the Black Spores are subtle, and often a head-on attack will rebound re-doubled upon the attacker. If I am to have victory, for my family, for my friends, I must too be subtle.

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gavgams said...

Wow, what amazing writing.

Will be back heaps. Love the tone.

I think it might remind me a little of Gerald Murnane, Dostoevsky, Peter Carey short story about island city with hordes of the unemployed outside. Just mention cause they're sort of things I like.

Kilbey's ref / address to this blog on time being is wrong. I only found it through second guessing how it was wrong.

CU, this is good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sam, I also found your blog via your friend Steve Kilbey. I really like what you've written so far, although it's quite sad as well.

I used to be a huge fan of Beargarden in the eighties and have read about some of the plays you've been involved with in the past, but I haven't had a chance to see any of them yet!

Keep up the great writing Sam, I'll be reading everyday and hope others discover your writing too. I get so much out of Steve's blog everyday, he writes in a different style, but he's such a clever and brilliant writer, I knew when he mentioned your blog that it would be great and interesting to read too.
Love Amanda

Sean said...

Thanks for being so honest. I can relate to your situation with your wife. I've been a doner for about 14 years now, and though i am parked i've turned the corner.
When someone you love can't or won't stop, the cacophony of headmiles starts to wear you down. The half-truths, blatant lies... then the one that makes me feel weakest of them all, when my feelings for her manipulate my thought pattern to justify the lapse.
those crocodile tears, the phantom pains that are unbearable, irrational arguements. we all know the story. if i hadn't experienced it myself there is no way i would have the sympathy and compassion to understand her actions. i sometimes wish i didn't. Love...
even though i know that i am not doing her any favours by helping her there is always that realisation that you can't compete with addiction. "if we just get through today, tomorrow will be alright". Wrong.

BTW, i saw "In Angel Gear" about 20 years ago. Great play. I was going to say "Keep On Truckin" as a joke. Not really a topic that lends itself frivolous humour.