Randy Writes a Novel (Randy Buys a Bookshelf on Gumtree – Censored)
All right (clears throat) Here we go OK, [bleep] OK, here we go. OK (blubbering) OK (sharp breaths) (smacking lips) “Walking to Skye” – Chapter 1 (sharp intake of air) I bought a bookshelf on Gumtree recently. Um I-It was an amazing experience. I’ll quickly tell you about it then I read the book But I found it strange because it made me start to think about the way like our methods of communication have sort of changed over the years Y’know in the old days if you wanted a bookshelf you just go see Gareth the bookshelf guy? ‘Cuz he was the dude in your tribe that made the bookshelves He had a little bookshelf cave. He was *reputable!* Now any mad [bleep] can sell their [bleep] on Gumtree You know what I mean? As a species we’re sort of able to cope with knowing and and gossiping about around like 100 or 150 people that’s like the limit of our tribe Any more than that it starts to get confusing Which is why we created abstract constructs, like territories and, deities To unite larger groups of people under an imaginary common factor And it works a treat! Because we only really gather on mass on special occasions But I think like…social media and (dithers) It’s sorta [bleep] that all up Y’know I don’t think we’re we’re able to deal with the thousands of people we’re connected to on a daily basis And as a result? We neglect our immediate 150, y’know? That’s why I never get invited to parties anymore It’s not ‘cuz I *ramble* on about veganism, and [bleep] old ladies (laughter) It’s because I’m not on Facebook and everybody just *assumes* you are I am *so* behind on the births, deaths, and marriages of my friends that I feel like “The Time Traveler’s Wife” every time I go to a party! Like this is…duh…Tim. He’s our son He’s six now [bleep] Didn’t even know you were pregnant (laughter) Anyway, and y’know smartphones aren’t that great? Y’know that right? They’re not. They’re not that great. You don’t need the internet in your pocket you work at Kohl’s, OK? You’re not working for the President You don’t need it! You don’t need that much information But also! What was the point of developing opposable thumbs for you to take a photo of your head, and post it on the internet and then just (monotone) stand by for validation? (laughter) No one gives a [bleep] about your head! They’ll only validate it in order gain permission to post a photo of their own head on the internet and (monotone) stand by for validation (laughter) The people who give a [bleep] about your head *will* at some point (emphasizing) see it in real life! [bleep] your head, and the neck it rode in on! (laughter) Your vanity is *sucking* up my bandwidth! (laughter) Anyway, this is what’s going through my head as I’m on Gumtree looking for a bookshelf Because, like, y’know when you put something in the…on the…on the…in the…like, the search in “Booktree?” (questioning) … in “Booktree?” What the [bleep]? (emphasizing) When you you put something in the search on Gumtree! I’m having a stroke up here! Um…yeah. When you put something in the search, right? And…and like, there’s always a couple of things that come up in the list that I like the polar opposite of what you search for Like, “Get out of my head, Gumtree algorithms! Conspiracy!” No, but seriously, it’s like you type “bookshelf”, and it’s like “bookshelf”, “bookshelf”, “bookshelf” “gramophone” Huh “bookshelf”, “bookshelf”, “bookshelf” “combine harvester”?! What the [bleep]? (laughter) Eh…that’s actually a pretty good price! (laughter) Anyway, on this particular day I found two bookshelves that worked for me in terms of *cost* and more importantly geographical convenience Because I’ll be [bleep] if I’m driving to Broad Meadows to pick up a bookshelf, right? (laughter) So, I type in “bookshelf” and I see the two things and I’m like OK, one seller is “Kathy”, and the other is “Morgan” I send them both the same text message, “Hello! I saw your bookshelf on Gumtree. Is it still available?” Kathy texts back straightaway saying, (high-pitched voice) “Sorry! It went this morning!” (laughter) That’s cool Kathy, I’m sorry I gave you an annoying voice in the retelling of this story (laughter) Morgan’s response came through a couple of minutes later, and simply read, “It was my wife’s bookshelf.” (laughter) How do you respond to that?! Aside from the fact that it doesn’t answer my [bleep] question!? “His use of past tense in that sentence (awkwardly) unnerved me slightly!” I’m like, “Oh I should probably just find another bookshelf!” And then I noticed he lived in the suburb next to me. So I replied, (sharp intake of breath) (timidly, trailing off) “Is it still available…?” (laughter) He responded with the letter “Y” Just a “Y”! Is he asking me *why* I want to know if it’s still available?! Or is it a “Y” for *yes*! And he’s so in the throes of *grief* that he can’t manage the “e” and the “s”? I assume it’s a “Y” for “yes”, so I respond “Cool! I’ll take it. When’s a good time to come and pick it up?” No reply for 15 minutes. I’m like, “Oh… he’s forgotten about me, [bleep] I’ll just find another bookshelf.” And then when his reply actually does come through, I realized he spent those 15 minutes crafting his response, because it’s a [bleep] thesis!
(laughter) He must have felt so bad about only using a single consonant in his previous text that he just *massively* overcompensated with this one Also, for some reason felt that the use of punctuation entirely unnecessary So it’s just one *obscenely* long sentence Which reads, (monotone) “You must come and pick up now I only have short time here at house and also it wide so bring van or trailer and there stair but I can help you carry *down* stair if you come park out front walk up path ring bell and I will help you carry it to trailer or van I only accept cash and if you do not come now I will (emphasizing) sell it…someone…else (wild gasping and screaming) (panting) (laughter from crowd) Again I’m thinking, “Ah… I should just find another bookshelf at this point!” (laughter) But now I am *fascinated* by Morgan! (energetically) And I simply *must* meet the man! So, I drive over to his house (laughs in disbelief) Before I left! I sent him a message saying, “Cool! I’ll be there in ten minutes.” He replied “okay” but spelled it “O-K-A-Y”! Which just fascinated me more! That he’ll use *four* letters to spell a *two* letter word! But only *one* letter to spell a *three* letter word! (exasperatedly) Morgan is off the [bleep] chain! (wild laughter) (Randy laughs) (applause and cheers) And as I’m driving over to his house I’m trying to picture what he’s gonna be like, y’know? His Pidgin English might suggest ethnicity of some sort (sardonically) but I don’t wanna racially profile him! Maybe he’s an old man who recently lost his wife? And he’s not that very good at texting Or *maybe!* And I’m *really* hoping this is the case Morgan is just [bleep] crazy! So, (laughter) I get to his house and I go up to the (snickers, mockingly) I park out front, walk up the path…ring bell! And I (laughter from all) I *brace* myself for the door to be opened by like an old man in a smoking jacket, wearing fishnet stockings, and suspenders just *puffing* on an opium pipe While a butler just creepily polishes a goldfish in the background (laughter) And then a tiny pug dog wearing a fez hat just trots up the hallway, sits on the mat, looks up at me, and says, (a la Scooby Doo) “Relcome to our rovely rome!” (laughter) And then the door opens, and I am *thoroughly* disappointed! Before me stands an average Caucasian male, in his mid-30’s, dressed casually (pointed) Hipster chic! Stubble, glasses with designer frames, expensive watch I immediately think “architect”? But the house is too cheesy for that It’s like a double storey doll’s house with bay windows But definitely a designer of some kind? (aside) Maybe a *graphic* designer? He’s too skinny for manual labor He’s too hip for the public sector But this *can’t* be Morgan! Because Morgan’s text messages would suggest that he’s not that technically savvy! And then the man standing in front of me says, (deep voice) “Hello, my name is Morgan.” (dramatically) And the plot thickens…suh! (laughter) He invites me in, shakes my hand, closes the door And 20 minutes later, I will be witnessing Morgan perform some of the most *aggressive* acts of violence I’ve ever seen in my life And I will be speeding away in my car *bleeding* from the face! (deep intake of breath) (ominously) Here’s how this [bleep] went down (laughter) I go into the house and I noticed two things, immediately One, this is a house in the throes of renovation Nothing too extreme. But there’s like drop sheets on all the furniture, there’s freshly painted walls, there’s a bathtub wrapped in plastic in the hallway awaiting installation (awkwardly) Someone’s doing some work…on this house! The second thing I noticed, on the way up the stairs to the second floor, on the first floor landing is a wedding photograph Featuring a very cleanly shaven Morgan with a very beautiful bride. Very much in love! The photograph is very much on the floor! And the glass in the frame is very much smashed! She’s not dead! She’s left him, (dramatically) and the plot thickens a bit *more* for Morgan! (laughter) And as Morgan unceremoniously like, *kicked* the photo frame to one side on the way up the stairs I really wanted to pry into Morgan’s life, and ask heaps of inappropriate questions But he was clearly a broken man He had this terrible air of sadness around him So I didn’t want to intrude Luckily for me though, I didn’t have to! Because Morgan *immediately* began oversharing, and told me the whole [bleep] story! (dramatically) Aah! Thank you, Morgan! I shall hang off your every word, and then retell your tale to 200 strangers, and recorded for a [bleep] DVD!
(wild laughter and applause) (Randy chuckles and clears this throat) He *is* a graphic designer! (aside) Yes! And he’s really good at it! He does, like, massive rebranding campaigns for large corporations. He gets flown all over the world doing this [bleep] About four years ago, a woman hired Morgan to rebrand her florist business. And he did such a great job she *married* him! And he thought everything was just fine until about three months ago Morgan had to do a presentation in Sydney, right? But he was on his way home from overseas, and he got stuck in Dubai due to a flight cancellation. So, rather than cancel the meeting, Morgan suggested to these businessmen in Sydney that they do a Skype chat. Because he so technologically savvy despite his [bleep] baffling text message style! (laughter) So, Morgan checks into a hotel, cracks open his laptop and starts skyping with this roomful of businessman in Sydney, who are all watching Morgan on a massive screen on their boardroom wall, right? And everything’s going great! (sarcastically) Morgan is totally nailing it! Until about halfway through he realizes that a file he wants to show these dudes is on the desktop of his home computer, back in his home office in Melbourne. And he decides to *live* share the desktop of his home computer on the Skype chat He knows how to do that He can control his computer remotely from anywhere in the world It’s not particularly new technology, but Morgan makes it sound so impressive So this roomful of businessmen are all watching keenly like, (stuffy fake voice) Oh! Margaret bring in some biscuits! There’s some newfangled [bleep] going on in here! (laughter) As Morgan *clicks* a few buttons, and (mouth pop) brings up the desktop of his home computer on the Skype chat Now…what Morgan doesn’t realize is that his wife has been using the Photobooth app on that particular computer to take pictures of herself to take *naked* pictures of herself to take naked pictures of herself… doing some pretty [bleep] up [bleep] It’s embarrassing to say the least Just as Margaret came back in with the biscuits, (as “Margaret”) “I’ve got you the…” (loud scream) (laughter) Now…those of you who are familiar with the Photobooth app will know that how it works, is that accesses the built in camera in your computer and with a click of a button (mouth snap) takes a photo of you when you’re standing in front of the screen. And if you know that, you’ll also know that if you leave that application open, the camera also stays open. Witnessing whatever may be happening in front of the computer, in real time! Such as your wife in your home office [bleep] your best mate! (Randy exclaims loudly) (drawn out) Oh no…! (slow and dramatic) Morgan….nooo! Morgan then goes on to tell me, *she’s* keeping the house! His former best mate is moving in! And while they’re out for the day happily shopping for fittings, Morgan must suffer the indignity of moving his [bleep] out, and selling the stuff they don’t want on Gumtree to this guy! (exclaims and groans) It’s at this point of the story, that Morgan starts crying. He breaks down, and I do not blame the man it’s [bleep] horrible. And I just want to give him a big hug, and say, “Everything’s gonna be all right, Morgan.” But I am holding the full weight of a (dramatically) bookshelf! Halfway down a set of stairs! And Morgan is the only thing stopping that bookshelf from caving my face in I was like (shouting) Morgan! (laughter) (shouting) Mooorgan! And Morgan managed to pull himself together, for about eight seconds and then just went *bah!* and let the bookshelf go! I fell backwards! It literally rolled over me and took out the light hanging above the staircase. I’m now lying on my back, getting showered in broken glass ‘cuz the bookshelf turned end-over-end just went *thonk!* right through a freshly painted wall at the bottom of the stairs I’m like (gasping and groaning in horror) I’ve got a tiny cut on my forehead, which is just [bleep] blood for some reason Apart from that…I’m fine (laughter) Morgan however? He’s not fine Morgan is the opposite of fine! (laughter) Something happened when the bookshelf lodged itself in the wall and he sadness just (mouth pop) went away in a second. And he started [bleep] himself laughing (laughter) Hysterical! And he had the *craziest* laugh I’ve ever heard in my life. I’m standing on this he’s weird and he’s like like some sort of demonically possessed baritone kookaburras and I still have the bookshelves like we extracted from the wall the bookshelf
incidentally shelling I decided how to just roll down a staircase and smash through a wall we carried out to my cot we have to stop that C’s times because mothers like I ended up we got to my table put it on the trailer and Morgan was in such a great mood he let me have the bookshelf for free and that’s where the story shooting but there was something about the bookshelf going through the wall that flipped up which in Morgan’s head and he is now hungry for more distraction so as I started tiny the bookshelf to add to my trailer moving just strolls over to like an upright mailbox on the front lawn and just starts trying to wrench it out of the ground just really put his battle-axe and just starts smashing up the front garden just be hitting the daisies get out the lavender I’m like oh hey Morgan maybe you want to stop and think about that and he wheeled around and looked at me like Jack Nicholson chasing Shelley Duvall up the stairs in the shining and said now I like tying knots I’m quite good at tying knots if I tie something down I take my time because I want it to stay there but it’s Morgan nonchalantly strolled up the driveway rolled up the garage door and put the mailbox through the windscreen of an Audi I must admit I kind of rushed my knot-tying job I got in the car I’m about to drive off I’m like looking at the house going oh I’m sure it’ll be fine and then an armchair smashed out of an upstairs window I just like doing doing doing going down the front lawn I was like what’s my duty of care in this situation I didn’t want to call the cops on him I didn’t want him to trash the house I’m like dad I’m gonna have to talk to Mogan so I’ve gone out I walked up the driveway myself you know when someone does something really violent you just like stuff we’re not supposed to do yeah he just yeah he’s feeling in my Tumtum and I’m standing there standing there in the garage and there’s like an adjoining door in the garage that leads into the house I can see in through that through the door into the house up the staircase like a wooden staircase and I’m standing in the garage is going like I was calling a cat for its dinner and then I notice a small trickle of water start to come from the top step and then a little bit more water and then some and then quite a lot of water just down the stairs like a water feature I’m like hi that can’t be right and there Morgan appeared on the top step holding a hammer like this run straight past me like where are you going is I made a beeline for my table like nah man stuff is her stop it just stop he spins around guys are just checked my phone she texted me 15 minutes ago saying she’ll be here in 15 minutes we’ve gotta go and gets into my car I run down the Lord getting the driver’s seat I’m like what was with the water he goes huh I put plugs in all of the seats and turned all the taps on that’s it’s like just draw it was like I took outside quick rounded the corner at the end of these straight and the book shelters Coosh and exploded against the guardrail just exploded in a shower of badly tied knots and broken dreams so man the hook is just lifted they’re like a little bread crumb for his ex-wife to find on the way home to her destroyed gingerbread house I dropped Morgan at a train station I have never seen him again and that my friends is why I no longer shop on
gumtree thank you very much you know my favorite bit of that story I just made it up yeah it’s not true there is no Morgan it’s very unsatisfying isn’t it but I saw him in my head I saw Morgan you’d make it why is it we can feel so robbed when someone tells us a story we just heard isn’t true and yet so satisfied at the end of the fictional novel you know the other great thing about that story first draft