LNH/ACRA: Alt.stralian Yarns #4: Reading Clocks

Tarq mitchell_crouch at caladrius.com.au
Sun Dec 31 18:25:22 PST 2006

by Mitchell Crouch


Been-Out-Bush-For-Way-Too-Long Man whipped around as Possum-Man
screamed, "Oh no! It's a poor wittle earthworm, aren't you? Aren't you?
Aaaw, who's the cutest wittle worm in all Alt.stralia? Who is? You is?
Are you? Are you? Yes you are! Ooh, yes you-"

"DAMN it, Possum-Man!!"

"Sorry, boss..." Possum-Man scampered off to look for hulkhens and
supersteer as BOBFWTLMan had requested of him in Alt.stralian Yarns #3.

The farmer shook his head and turned back to his third-cousin,
City-Slicker Gent, whose missus was currently trapped under the ruins
of BOBFTWLMan's house after it was destroyed in Alt.stralian Yarns #2.
The earthworm screamed and hid itself under the ground, away from the
unruly recap.

"Well, I s'pose we'll find ya missus any minute now, mate. We've
practically moved the entire house."

City-Slicker Gent let out a half-hearted grunt, and moved a large plank
of wood. Some rubble fell away, revealing his bed and a quivering
figure inside of it. Excited, City-Slicker ripped the covers away.

"Bingo!" cried Been-Out-Bush-For-Way-Too-Long Man as his faithful
four-footed friend flew from the frills.

"Ruff," stated Bingo intelligently. "Ruff ruff ruff, ruff ruff."

Been-Out-Bush nodded agreeably, and then said to his cousin, "I think
he said, 'ruff, ruff ruff ruff, ruff ruff'."

He was met only with a deadpan glare. "Have I ever told you how much I
hate your stupid animals?"

They continued their work for a while longer. Working away under the
Alt.stralian sun, which, incidentally, is the exact same sun as the one
in the Loonited States sky. Or any other sky, for that matter, that's
on the Looniearth. Not that I'm saying that the sun is _on_ the
Looniearth, of course not, that's just a ridiculous notion. Outrageous.
But it's the same one that is seen from anywhere one stands on the
Looniearth, rather, is what I'm trying to convey. Unless it's
nighttime. The whole concept of nighttime being, obviously, that one
can _not_ see the sun. But perhaps we're getting a little sidetracked
here -- the point I mean to convey is that they were working very hard
under very trying, very hot conditions. Well, actually I'm trying to
provide a sense of time passing them by, and it's working rather well,
don't you agree?

But eventually, they had moved the entire house, and there was not a
trace of City-Slicker Gent's missus. To say that Gent was unimpressed
would have been a very severe understatement. Indeed, so peeved was he
that he went so far as to utter, "Bother." before turning back to his
cousin, and saying, "What now? You're the one with all the whacky
things that go on. Where could she be? What happened? Tell me!"

Been-Out-Bush considered this for a while, and then shrugged. "Buggered
if I know, mate. I'll go find Pos -- maybe he managed to find
something. A clue."

He trudged up over the hill, and faced the depressing scene that had
awaited him. The other side of the hill was torn up and burnt, and all
of the paddocks, for as far as he could see, were in similar states.
Not a hulkhen or supersteer could be seen for kilometres.

Perhaps the most depressing aspect of the entire situation, however,
was Possum-Man in the middle of it, lying on his back and shaking his
arms and legs around.

"Hiya, BOB!" Pos enthused. "I'm makin' ash angels! Like snow angels,
but with ash, see?" He jumped up to display his ash angel.

The farmer nodded slowly, and spoke in the very quiet and calm voice
that people use for small children or insane axe-wielding murderers.
"That's very nice, Possum-Man. Now, can you tell me where the hulkhens
or supersteer are?"

"Oh. Oh, yeah. I think they went that way." Possum-Man pointed in the
vague direction of the nearest town.

"Crap," stated Been-Out-Bush-For-Way-Too-Long Man as he reached down
and scooped up some precautionary faeces. "Oi, City-Slicker! Get in the
ute!" he called as he sprinted back over the hill.

"Why?" asked the puzzled City-Slicker. "What's happening?"

BOBFWTLMan shoved him in the passenger seat, and hopped in the driver's
side. Which is, obviously, the right-hand side. The way cars are meant
to be designed. After a dramatic rev of the engine, the ute sped away,
back up over the hill.

The anxious Been-Out-Bush cried out as they zoomed past, "Jump on,

Possum-Man stared wide-eyed, and began sprinting after the car.
Utilizing previously unwitnessed super-speed, he began to catch up to
them before using a long staff that he had seemingly pulled out of
midair to pole-vault into the tray.

"Good job, mate!" Been-Out-Bush-For-Way-Too-Long Man enthused as his
comrade's cape flapped magnificently in the wind. The hero's reply was
lost in the storm of ash and dust that the ute had blown up.

Possum-Man sat down in the tray of the speeding ute, bouncing this way
and that with the car, and occasionally catching glimpses of hulkhen
footprints or more burn-marks from the gosh darn laser eyes of the

Eventually, their journey joined up with a small country road, and they
continued along it (well above the speed limit, too, I might add) until
they reached town.

In the cab, City-Slicker Gent fretted over what could be happening to
his missus. They had worked almost the entire day away looking for her
under the house, and now the only clue to her whereabouts was the path
of these destructive monstrosities. If only he'd thought to chase after
them sooner! he told himself. If only he'd done _something_ to, you
know, do something. Or something.

His cousin slammed on the brakes as the trio piled out on the outskirts
of town, just next to a massive taloned footprint.

"Rightio, gang," he began, "I reckon it's pretty obvious that the
hulkhens came through here, so I also reckon that we should split up to
cover more ground. Just follow ya noses -- how hard can an
elephant-sized chicken be to find in the middle of an average country
town, yeh?"

There was a murmur of agreement, and City-Slicker Gent began his way
down a nearby road, looking this way and that, and constantly glancing
at the sun to try to gain some indication of the time. Eventually, he
came across a downtrodden-looking farmer sitting in the gutter, with a
bull standing next to him. Worried about how long his missus had been
missing, he went up and asked the old bloke for the time.

The farmer looked at him for a mo, and then turned to his bull. Easing
the bull's testicles to one side, he replied, "About ten past five,

City-Slicker Gent was shocked. What was this? No doubt some kind of old
bush knowledge, long forgotten to the folk of the city, he thought to
himself. How to tell the time by a bull's testicles. Incredible!

"Um, excuse me," he said to the farmer, "but I, uh, couldn't help but
notice that you told the time by playing with your bulls balls. I was,
um, wondering, y'know... _how_?"

"Well," the farmer began, and motioned for City-Slicker Gent to take a
seat in the gutter next to him, "from down here, mate, ya just need to
move the bull's testes to one side, thus," he demonstrated, "so then
they're not in your way any more. Then you can see straight ahead, see?
Straight ahead to the town clock."


And happy new year, RACC. Even those people who are still currently
stuck in 2006. Gotta love them timezones.

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