Brian's Brief Encounters

This is an Unofficial Kaffe Fassett fanzine. Brought to you from a Leafy Suburb of the Throbbing Metropolis.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Natural Enemies

Sometimes the obvious solution isn’t.

Obvious, I mean.

In times of crisis it’s nice to know that there is always someone there for you. Even though Mrs Brian with her disdainful looks and pithy comments weren’t readily available; there is always another option. In my case I turned to the internet and They may have been having an off day recently but, it’s hard to miss their advertisements these days. So, I gave them another chance.

“Hello, Leafy Suburb Naturist Club. Brad speaking, how can I help you?”

“Oh…err….hello. I….erm… got your number from the internet….”


I had the feeling that this wasn’t the first slightly tongue-tied person Brad had fielded a call from. The truth is that I didn’t really think about who I would be speaking to when I dialled the number. I challenge anyone to telephone a naturist club and not imagine the person on the other end being in the buff. I’m sure Brad was a lovely chap. However, the images that persisted on presenting themselves in my mind were somewhat disturbing. I hoped he and his co-workers had designated chairs.

“Yes, I have a little problem I wondered if you could help me with?”

“Oh I see. Don’t worry, we offer a wholesome, clothing optional environment focusing on body acceptance and giving you the opportunity to gain a better body image and more self-esteem.”

I wondered if they used Blu-Tac or drawing pins in their office. My money was on the Blu-Tac.

“Oh right. How are you with stingy things and spiky watchamacallits?”


I hoped they had the air conditioning cranked up so that they didn’t catch a chill in this cold snap we’ve been having.

“You see, I searched for ‘fighting dirty against Mother Nature’ and you were recommended.”

“We were?!?”

Buffy Brad wasn’t sounding so cocky now.

“Yes. Do you have a callout charge? Or, is it just an hourly rate?”

“Err… We don’t do home visits.”

“How are you going to rid my knoll site of the stingy things and spiky watchamacallits then?”

“I’m not exactly sure we can help you. We don’t fight against Mother Nature; we embrace her.”

Sigh. I wasn’t entirely certain that Mrs Brian would be too chuffed with Brad and his chums embracing in the garden. She’d be bound to ask some tricky questions. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

“Any chance you could pop round to embrace some of her less welcome offspring and rip them out by the roots?”

“I don’t think so.”

“I have plenty of Dettol…..”


“….and an angle grinder if it helps?”


Click, buurrrr.

Typical. Trotting out a flashy mission statement but, when it comes down to the nitty-gritty they turn their noses up. I’ll bet they’ll be the first to complain when cheap EU labour comes in and takes their jobs. They’re safe for a while yet; searching for a Polish naturist club willing to do a home visit was beyond even the trusty Yell. It’s only a matter of time though.

With Mother Nature still winning the battle of the knoll site and Buffy Brad falling woefully short of expectations; it was time to bring out the big gun. No more Mr Nice Guy.

It was Google-Time.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A Thorny Issue

Much like one of those punchbags for kids.

There was a slight sway and then my chosen target righted itself with one leaf looking a bit worse for wear. No problem; I have the genes for this and made some corrections to my backswing. A flex of the knees, hips pointing at the target, head down and fast acceleration through the turn. David Leadbetter might have had some disapproving words as I picked myself up and surveyed the sum total of my efforts. Three leaves.

With my bitch firmly hunkered down in the furthest corner of her kennel, I went in search of the correct footwear. Once I had donned my Callaway Comfort slip-ons I really gave it some welly. A dozen swings and nearly as many leaves later I took a breather. These stingy and spiky opponents weren’t giving up without a struggle. Time to fight dirty.

Grabbing a handful of stalks near to the base seemed like a good idea at the time. Mother Nature had thought of that one though. After tweezering out the thorns and a liberal application of Dettol I retrieved a pair of gloves and tried again. Several hacks later I had reduced a couple of stalks to stumps and needed to pause for some reflection; and to get my breath back.

When carrying out tricky tasks I find contemplation time to be invaluable. With a deck chair, cans of stale beer and some reading material to hand I felt sure that inspiration would soon strike. Sure enough, an hour and three beers later I realised my problems: Apart from being locationally challenged when it comes to clitorides, I had a blunt sickle. Obviously both of these issues needed dealing with. As my assortment of power tools were designed for building and destroying things I felt sure that Mrs Brian would be in full agreement if I used them to deal with the second problem first. I don’t think the ‘marital aids’ mentioned by the Cosmo feature writers included my orbital sander. Even on its slowest speed.

The following ten minutes or so have prompted me to issue some important safety advice. If you try to sharpen the blade of a sickle with an angle grinder, don’t hold the sickle between your knees. At least, not without the proper protection. A cricket box should do the job.

After another, slightly more painful, Dettol application I realised I’d had the solution in my hands all along. Mrs Brian was going to be very impressed when she got home. You see, even the most sturdy of growths can’t resist the determined efforts of an angle grinder. Mother Nature hadn’t planned for that one had she?

A third of the way through I decide to step back and admire my handiwork with the assistance of the final beer. My smirk of satisfaction disappeared as my bitch ventured out during the hiatus and had a scratch’n’sniff around the base of one of the remaining stumps. Clearly Mother Nature wasn’t going to go down that easy; and neither was I. There was a battle of wills to be fought and, if she was going to submit to me, I’d need more help than Cosmo and alcohol could offer.

What I need is an expert.

(…you can open your eyes now ladies…)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Trade Secrets

Unfortunately the snow didn’t venture this far south.

Which left me fresh out of site clearance excuses.

As I have previously mentioned: I should be in possession of the DNA footprint required for gardening. If not the tools. I have no idea what happened to Granddad Brian’s (RIP) horticultural implements when he left us for the cabbage patch in the sky. He bequeathed me a fruit bowl. It’s a very nice fruit bowl, but it’s usefulness outside of holding fruit are somewhat limited. To the best of my knowledge the stars of Groundforce have never found a use for one on their shows.

In fact, much like you never see Hollywood actors going to the toilet in movies; you never see Charlie and Tommy clearing any stingy things and spiky watchamacallits do you? We only ever get to see the sexy side of gardening where nail guns and water features are the order of the day. So I guess there is a chance they have a fruit bowl on their lorry that they whip out when the cameras aren’t looking. Unless I can get hold of a ‘Groundforce- The Director’s Cut’ DVD, the use for this item in knoll site clearance will have to remain a mystery.

Not to be deterred, I made my way to the garage in the certain knowledge that my genes were of sufficient quality to overcome this problem. I could almost hear Granddad Brian (RIP) whooping an “Attaboy!”

Now I don’t wish to be rude but, if you are of the female persuasion I’ll have to ask you to look away now. You see, I am about to reveal some blokey type stuff to which you should not be privy. Much as you girls never tell us what really goes on at an Ann Summers party; you shouldn’t know what happens when you go off to your mother’s having left us with a ‘project’. All that both sexes are really interested in is the net result; the rest should remain a secret. So bear with me ladies.

Now that we’re alone guys, I’m sure that, like me, you are well aware of the contents of your garage. Just maybe not the exact location of everything. With my bitch at my side, an extensive root around commenced. Five minutes in and she was busy licking her bits while I had turned up:-

Various oily thingummies.
A deck chair.
An unused socket set.
A four pack of beer past it’s sell by date.
An assortment of power tools.
Old copies of Cosmo, dated when Mrs Brian and I were courting.
A dozen half-tins of paint in assorted terracotta shades.
A rusty sickle.
A collection of rock-hard paintbrushes.

Hang on, I’d hit the jackpot! I had a rusty sickle. The previous occupants had clearly not been too vigilant when they had left over a decade earlier. Having left behind such a useful tool I could almost forgive them the dodgy wiring, floral wallpaper and bailiff visits.

Now that I had a tool designed centuries ago for exactly the purpose required, I squared up to the stingy/spiky jungle. My bitch quickly sized up the situation and made for the nearest cover.

With Granddad Brian (RIP) whispering encouragement in my ear.

I took a swing.

(…no peeking yet girls…)

All ramblings Copyright(c) 2005/2006 by Brian. Ask First.