Pinocchio: Stand Up From a Real Boy

A great friend of mine and his phenomenal work.



Would you rather live with a tortoise or a dragon? Trick question; a tortoise already has a home and dragons are largely fictional. I lived with a cricket, which on reflection is quite unusual but at the time I was young and had no point of comparison. Anyway the cricket said “Hello, my name is Jiminy Cricket, I am here to act as your conscience.”

I said “Jiminy Cricket!”

“Yes, that is my name.’

“Jiminy Cricket!” At this point I could tell he was becoming quite frustrated. I didn’t bother me, however, because I don’t have a conscience which was sort of a flaw in this whole arrangement. So he told me “Look my name is Jiminy Cricket, which is also an expression used when people wish to show excitement or dismay. I am also a talking cricket. I know you might find it funny to deliberately exploit the double…

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Apathy and Ignorance on my Trip Out West

I realised I had no hope, but that might have been because of the last three hundred kilometres. The drive was hell but no so more than the country I drove through. Religious iconography peppered the road between Toowoomba and Dalby, and political statements covered the next stretch between Dalby and Chinchilla. Clearly, separation of church and state can be found in Dalby and there is nothing like saturation of material to make a man numb.

The music in my car will not do, and the only major station I can find is talk-back radio. My strange desire for something weird forces my hand and I scan the frequencies searching for something to swing too; anything that will allow my dullard mind to focus. Around a town called Oakey I see a sign that tells me they have a radio station for visitors. As I tune in I learn a little information about what had been the largest shearing shed in all of Australia for its time before I drive outside its range. I was unhappy with the prospect that I would soon descend into static. That I, as a man, would devolve into a creature born of hazardous levels of boredom. My head was fuzzy and somewhere in the buzz I could hear the beginning of my madness.

They always say enjoy the drive. That’s what they always tell you.

Suddenly, the radio sprang into action. A voice was talking, nay, declaring that my search was over. I felt rejuvenated, no refreshed,  no invigorated even. What was this glorious radio station that had saved me from the valley of the damned? The radio crackled in and out, but the voices began to form words I understood.  I perched on the steering wheel like a vulture stalking a dying animal, waiting for it to take its last breath. What was that? I thought.

“What was that,” I asked the radio.

“All you need———- is ——— saved——-“, it replied like a metaphor.

“Speak up?”

“Is in control——- for he——“

The crackle was grating on my nerves.  Frustrated, I flicked the knob to make the source stronger and a voice formed.

“If you do not give yourself unto the Lord, then you will fall into hell, for so it is written. Those who think they can escape the wrath of God are mistaken. For he is the Lord of all things and the creator and as he declared I am his prophet—–“

“Fuck,” I said as I smacked the radio off.

The only man who loves preaching is the preacher and despite what the static had done to my brain, I wasn’t crazy enough to water grass root extremism at its roots. Farmland flew past me in a blur of corny colours and the silence was charged more than the static. A sign was approaching that read, ‘Do you know want to know what heaven is like?’

And I thought, ‘Man these Christians are flirty.”