Hon Shades was head down sideways on the car park bitumen and some would say arse up. Something held her attention. Under her Chrysler Merv could see that and he wouldn’t say what I just did about Hon’s rear end. Merv certainly knew an arse up from a pair of well rounded buttocks projected skywards.
He knew they were Hons’.
Merv recognised the rubber ripple tread soles of her special golf shoes she had tucked together under her for support to hold her own rear chassis up and not too far under they couldn’t be seen. Knees splayed for extra traction on a creased portion of a blue camper’s ground sheet she was trying to ferret out something or get to it.
“What’s up, Hon?” Merv called. He made a bit of noise with his feet on the gravel to let her know it was him.
It was more of an exhaled grunt and a gasp than words but Merv got the gist.
“Me,” he said, unnecessarily as it turned out. Hon had gotten herself up and out clear of the sweep of the car line her head was disappearing under. Her muscular thighs propelled her onto her feet in a twist and a leap of the singular muscle that was Hon.
The arm projecting in front of her shoulder was transformed in a classic block and the other raised. Her fist clenched.
“Christ, Merv, it’s only you.”
“You were goin’ to deck me one, Hon.”
“One’s conservative, Merv. I was gonna thrash whoever it was black and blue.”
Merv looked crestfallen.
“Didn’t mean to get your goat up, Hon. What are you doin’? Thought you were at the tournament. You said other day.”
Hon threw herself back down on the tarp and grunted as she resumed the same posture and reaching into the unseen under the chassis of the big yellow Chrysler. She was in it to win it, Merv told Foodge later. Foodge sucked on a lozenge and didn’t comment straight off. He was hands on a big case in court.
Idle curiosity rarely got Foodge best of times.
“Merv, what was she doin’?”
“She dropped a packet of ball bearings and the packet split,” Merv said. He licked a dollop of froth off his top lip. “Think I was a bit vigorous pouring this beer, mate but it’s nicely cold and wet. It’s doin’ the trick.”
Foodge stared at Merv. “Uncle Merv, I can’t ever remember you havin’ a beer.” He swirled his glass of Milo in a gesture like people do when they’re not sure what’s going down but want to mix it so the Milo isn’t frothed separate only on the top of the milk.
“Foodge, I’m a proud man to hear a big shot you are these days calling me Uncle Merv”. Tears had sprung into his eyes yet Merv wasn’t one to squander on sentiment at any bar. Maybe because it was the front bar at the Pig’s Arms where the real story was played out all those years before Foodge wasn’t a baby at all as expected, but arrived a full grown adult off the train. Not even the Sports Bar was ever off-limits to him.
Merv’s Granny’s brother built a playpen-style gate even to fence the Sports Bar off ready for the expected littl’un but so Foodge could see through the rungs of course when Emmjay decided to adopt the new baby, Foodge that is.
Foodge looked tearful. Turned out he got some Milo up his nose and sneezed. “Ahh,” he said, snuffling like he was always a new born and the very tip of his nose moist with a speck of Milo on it, “Merv, why’d Hon Shades have a packet of ball bearings?”
“Dunno” Merv said, staring in front of him into thin air. “Hon’s got lots goin’ on up top. Never know what extra hours she’s puttin’ in, cash in hand, there’s always somethin’. Hon’s an ace mechanic.”