make-believe.org

A keg of the stuff that makes us kin

My dreams are usually noble, high-flown goals -- full of peace, love, and understanding, flavoured with a significant but still harmless dose of egotism. I have little chance of achieving them, and my inadequacies regularly give rise to minor disappointment upon minor disappointment, making me a many-times loser, but I would not have it any other way, not for a moment. I wrote, for instance, in my scrapbook when I was fourteen, that "I write to make someone cry." And while I might not frame it in such dramatic terms these days, it is still a sentiment I'm attached to. That great land-tethered bird, musicgodsplague, (a lit zine from 1995, for the uninitiated) was only my first attempt to change the world via, uh, poetry. The nobility of the goal somehow mitigates my inevitable failure to achieve it. If only I was a hyperactive fidget and more overtly neurotic, I could be straight out of a Woody Allen film.

But yesterday, ah yesterday, my sole ambition, what got me through the day, was to sit at a table in the Prince Alfred Hotel that night surrounded by my friends and companions, with a pencil and paper at hand, a jug of cloying brew before us, bringing Diddley Squat home.

Thursday nights have been Smarty Pants trivia night at Prince Alfred's, and for a couple of months we have been competing these nights, under the aforementioned banner of "Diddley Squat". Our all-conquering form has led to an inundation of umbrellas, bright yellow wigs, compact discs, caps, shirts and jocks, all bearing the markings of alcoholic beverage companies, unmistakably denoting "promotional material".

Last week our invincibility led to an imposed schism, but Diddley Squat and its offshoot Deadly Squid still carried the day, coming second and first respectively. And last night, well, last night was the final. At stake was a private party at that establishment, with a keg of beer thrown in. This is quite serious.

With invaluable backup from Deadly Squid, Diddley Squat romped home by a ten-point margin. Our recent nemesis, the Luscious Balls of Goodness, toiled valiantly, but were eventually thwarted by their own Achilles Heel, which we will call "the Simpsons round."

I'd estimate that over the last month or two there have been about thirty-five members of Diddley Squat. Congratulations to you all; it is a famous victory that has already gone down in legend. And um, if I don't have your email address, mail me -- I need to send you an invite to the party where you can claim your rightful due (which is to say, many beers).

Hey, completely unrelated to any of the above, but can I read you this? I love it.

After so many things, after so many hazy miles,
not sure which kingdom it is, not knowing the terrain,
travelling with pitiful hopes,
and lying companions, and suspicious dreams,
I love the firmness that still survives in my eyes. Pablo Neruda, from Sonatas and Destructions

Ah me.

Joseph | 19 Dec 2003

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