Hooters was defining our time at the port town of sweet smelling water.

I’m sure there was more to the place.

‘There is,’ said Bernhard who deflected a punch from an Asian.

We meet again, I thought.

‘He’ll meet my boot between his balls again,’ grunted Bernie who kicked between the Malay’s legs and hooked his balls with his foot and then squashed them with all the force he could muster.

‘You call me  a terrorist,’ moaned the Malay, ‘when all I am is an activist and wannabe photojournalist.’

Well stop being a crybaby and grow a set of balls, I said. I like Malaysians, just not the spoilt kind like you.

‘Not much of a fight scene,’ said Bernhard, ‘ I had him on the ground before you could say Nasi Goreng.’

Nothing like brevity I said.

‘Well I don’t know why you worry about him,’ said Bernie, ‘he’s not devoted one extra minute to you after he decided that you were not good enough for him.’

I know, I said, and now you know where most of the creative energy goes.

‘It’s wasted on asswipes like Mr. Save the World.’

So where to next?

‘The village of sweet smelling water,’ he said, ‘it’s a place you have tried to capture in your madcap book on revenge.’

So you know about Bert too?

‘He raced you out of Perth. Of course, I know. They play upon your fears. They think you are a wimp.’

I am. 

But I travel hot spots of Asia.

‘Well, that captain thought you a pushover too. Then the cleaner and that con man you got work for in the past decided to join the pack. And we all know that Bert was pulling the strings from his den somewhere in the Philippines.’

So they were out to destroy my life? What was in it for them?

‘To drive you fucking back shit crazy,’ he said as we jumped in the car and headed out of town.

I’d say they have achieved what they wanted and so much more.

‘Only if you let them, now let’s see if you actually have any balls. Now’s the time to start using them.’

They were full and needed draining.

‘Talk is cheap,’ said Bernie, as we parked the car at the Village of Sweet Smelling Water and entered the one street village which had cheaply made shacks built up on both sides. Nothing a bit neon and hot chicks couldn’t do to spruce up the image of ‘I’ve been slapped up in a day.’

My word count was up and I just popped a local version of Viagra.

I sprayed on some cheap Brute perfume and popped a gum and sprayed some mint freshener for good measure. Man, I felt born again. The badness in my life behind me. The asswipes out of my way.

And I had just knocked out that Malay.

‘Uhum,’ said Bernie, ‘I think I was the one who kicked him in the balls.’

Only in my word count you did, I said, as we entered a bar and ordered some beers.

I was telling Bernhard about Graeme Green. ‘He wrote between 9 am and 11 am 500 words, then knocked off for the day.’

I see, said my Kiwi buddy, who was looking around at the talent. When we entered, there were two fat chicks behind the bar, now the place was packed with hot chicks.

‘They know where the cash is,’ said Bernie, ‘and have a look at the other bars, bet they have been stripped of their best talent.’

I said I could leave it that, and continue tomorrow, as I knew where the story was going.

Until a big titted whore raped me. This story would have to be put on hold.

‘He’s draining his balls.’ Bernhard was laughing and talking to the other girls in the bar. ‘And soon I’ll be draining mine.’

I just started laughing. I wouldn’t be draining anything. I wanted to explore this laughing vain for as far as it went.

‘Chicken shit,’ said Bernhard.

Chicken shit. I had to laugh at that one.

‘Now what the fuck did you put in my drink,’ I eventually asked.

‘Fucking laughing gas.’

I had no idea you could lace someone’s drink with laughing gas, I said as I downed another beer. ‘But if you have any more of that shit, give me some.’

Between another bout of laughter and a few more drinks, money flowing, only laughing and drinking as much piss as possible our only objective, Bernie asked me a question.

Of course, it’s self-censorship, I said.

Be both sputtered and spat out our drinks, having no control of our bodily functions.

That laughing gas was great shit. I had a hardon in a whore house and a big case of the giggles. Things could be a lot worse.

‘You could be bullied by bullies. Not here on my shift.’

Thanks, Bernie. He’s a real mate. A rare breed.

‘And a fucking Kiwi to boot.’

The girls laughed in a chorus and Bernie handed out red notes like it was Chinese New Year.

We had reached the high tide and looked back.

‘Fuck, he’s trying to quote Hunter Thompson now!’

That old dog didn’t miss a literary illusion.

‘I’ll fucking quote you some latin if you want. Never underestimate us Kiwis, we’ll surprise you all the time.’

I called over one of the big titted lassies and handed her some reds and told her to smother Bernie’s gob.

‘That’s one way to shut me up,’ admitted Bernie as he came up briefly for air.

Brute perfume works every fucking time.

‘And my red notes, now stop handing them out like candy, that’s my hard earned wages.’

I ordered over the other fat bartender and told her to smother him until he wasn’t breathing. She had the boobs to achieve such a  task.

We all took another hit. The laughing gas was in a canister under the table.

‘Courtesy of management,’ said the manager, a witch looking lady with one eye whose ghoulish appearance had us in stitches again and Bernie wanted to explore her empty eye socket, which got a big laugh from all the whores in the bar and also the one eye mamasan who was sponsoring this freak show.

Bernie raised his eyebrows.

‘I fucking own this joint as well.’

Yep, this was the Village of Sweet Smelling Water. And it was fucking fine to be back.




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