Jasper was a “Balt’ ”..ie; he was of those states centered around the Baltic Sea..perhaps he could have been Estonian…he was a tall ponderous sort of chap…with a long serious gaze, with one of those what are called “lantern jawed” faces. He always spoke in a slow , carefully chosen word way..I don’t wonder many philosophers came from the Baltic States..Jasper appeared to put a lot of thought into what he said before he said it…but then he didn’t ever say much of great import.
“You gotta watch those ‘Balts’ “ Jack Mitchell warned..’Ooo..they’re trouble..those bloody Balts”.
He always wore shorts in the summer..not short shorts like a footballer, but loose baggy ones to the knee. He would sit at the bar pint in hand with legs crossed in a peculiar effeminate way..that is; with his legs entwined like women do…and he would stare incessantly at one person or spot before delivering some profound statement.
“Michael”..he announced out of the blue one day “Michael..would you tell your girlfriend to stop staring at my legs…I know I haff good, manly legs…but could she please not to stare at them so ?”
Of course , Mick was astonished and choked on his beer…Tracey, Mick’s girlfriend, was outraged and put on one hell of a show…Jasper was nonplussed by the whole affair and just commenced to roll a cigarette with his slow ponderous methodology.
Jasper had huge hands…big fingers more suited to blacksmithing or a farrier for draught horses than what he did do…but no-one knew quite what that was as he was an awful liar. Jasper’s toil at rolling a cigarette was something to watch..he was so clumsy with those big hands that it was quite a chore that exasperated him at times.
One day a “airy” young lady sitting next to him at the bar took out of her dilly-bag one of those automatic cigarette rollers where you place the paper then the tobacco, then lift or flip the lid and a perfectly formed “rolly” appears to greet you. Jasper, ciggy-paper stuck to his bottom lip watched this magic with deep concentration, his big paw all the while shoved deep into the pouch of tobacco…as he watched, the ciggy-paper fluttered with his breath on his lip…he detached it and addressed the young lady.
“That is a cleffer machine…a vonderful machine …where did you obtain it?” he asked in his slow deep voice.
“Well I didn’t steal it if that’s what you mean?’ The young woman replied.
“ I vas not accusing you, madam…you look like a honest young lady..an honest AND attractive young lady…perhaps later I would like to get to know you in a more familiar way..I like you..and I like your machine..I am asking where you haff purchased it”…
The following week, Jasper was seen to have one of those machines ..it would sit at his elbow on the bar next to his pouch of “Drum” tobacco…Jasper now had a contented look on his face, and he would gladly demonstrate the marvels of that machine to anyone who asked..and many would take advantage of his hospitality of the proffered resulting cigarette until he woke up to the fact that he was being taken for a ride…philosophers are like that, they learn fast!
Jasper disappeared out of our lives as quickly as he appeared..Late one night he asked Mick for a lift home on the back of his 1000cc. Suzuki…Mick delighted in putting the fear of god in anyone silly enough to ride pillion with him..Jasper had no sooner settled himself on the trembling machine and informed Mick to drive carefully as he, Jasper, was…and that was the last we heard of Jasper as Mick took off full-throttle and it was impossible to tell if it was the roar of the motor, the squeal of the tyre or the Joe. E. Brown howl of despair from Jasper as they disappeared down Yakka Road toward Sth. Brighton.
But he never came back.
The “Tank Sisters”.
The Tank Sisters were a couple of voluminous and weighty ladies (not related in any family sense) that hung around the front bar of the Seacliff Hotel..why, was anyone’s guess..as there was little prospect of linking up with any respectable males in that establishment..at least not this side of sobriety..which, of course led to this little tale.
Overheard conversations of lurid desires between the two ladies had been reported at different times, but the reproduction of those intimate details is best left to more scurrilous publications.. sufficient to relate that the general complaint between them was that if they didn’t get some sexual satisfaction soon (they didn’t say it QUITE like that!) , “It would heal up”…whatever the “It” was.
There were rumours that Little Johnny, the SP. (starting price) bookie was running a tote on which of the ladies would anally absorb a bar-stool first…such was the broad beam of their backsides!
My old mate , Mark..you have heard me mention him in that story of ; “To the Lighthouse”..well, Mark had a Saturday morning routine he would rarely swerve from, and that involved getting to the front-bar of the Seacliff Hotel just at opening time, claiming his favourite spot at the bar with an uninterrupted view of the television set to watch the days footy, open his copy of the Saturday paper at the horse racing page and settle in to a good days exercise.
This one morning, rather than being the first to the bar, he had to share his place with Tim the plumber….who, Mark noticed was sitting sombre mood, slouched, arms crossed on the bar encompassing a pint of beer…further, Tim appeared to be in some kind of trance, staring at the rising bubbles in the amber fluid.
“G’day Tim..” Mark greeted “How’s it going?”
“Huruumph!..fuckin’ shithouse!” Tim growled out the corner of his mouth.
“Why..what’s the matter?” Mark inquired as he snapped open his paper.
“Well, I got pissed last night, didn’t I ?” Tim took a long draught of the’hair of the dog’.
“So..” Mark shrugged “You get pissed every Friday night”.
“Yeah, well..” and here, Tim tossed and fiddled with the coins on the bar-mat…he finally confessed ; “..I..I woke up this morning , at about one o’clock , on the beach , with one of the Tank Sisters hanging off my dick !”
Mark lowered the paper down , turned his head slowly toward Tim, wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the seriousness of the situation.
“JeEEzus, mate!…wadidyado ?…”
At this moment of reflection, Tim gave one of those involuntary spasm jerks of the arm..making his beer spill a tad.
“ Fuck it!..waddya think I did ?! ” he angrily spat..
Now, neither Mark , nor anyone else of that front-bar clientele has ever inquired to Tim for the answer to that question….nobody wanted to know…