This week’s topic was The Outing, with several different takes on the theme. Alan started off with his thoughts on the TWC outing to Almansa. It was a cold day and he had to buy a scarf. The rest of the day mostly involved brandy and coffee. He didn’t go to see the cave house because of the ‘mountain’ that had to be climbed before you got there, which according to others who went was a small mound.
John’s story was called ‘the return.’ The first words were ‘I was in a pub.’ I think I see a recurring feature here. He saw the scruffiest bugger he had seen for a long time, who he realised was a man whose nickname when he was younger was Cretin. The story involved a tonsillectomy performed by ramming tongues in the mouth (that is a medical procedure I have not come across before), a man and his wife who both turned out to be gay (that was the outing). He gave good descriptions of the characters and received many comments. You can always tell if we like a piece of writing because we give lots of comment.
Rosemary’s tale was about preparing for an outing. It was a continuation of her crime novel. Reg entered the story with his moustache and hair dyed auburn. He ate a scone and cream oozed from his mouth into his moustache (not a good look) Very good characterization of Reg as a grotesque creature, but we don’t know what Caroline looks like.
Avril’s piece took place in Australia 4 years ago. A circus owner died and two of his workers took on some of the animals rather than see them die. Fred is taking the elephant to a children’s party and Laura has to meet him dressed only in a bikini (don’t ask!) The police arrived and Laura explained she was waiting for an elephant on a truck (as you do) They told her to take more water with it the next time.’ Their first outing with the elephant was a disaster.’ Comments were that it sounded a bit as if the elephant was wearing the bikini. I don’t think I would have admitted to being related to the bikini-clad woman Avril. Hilarious as usual.
Jenny’s story started ‘Stop pulling your knickers up.’ What on earth was to follow! George had won a painting competition and he was taken with his mates from the old folks home to receive his prize. Just before they left one of the motley crew he came with said ’you have missed 34, you are supposed to paint over all the numbers.’ Brilliant, very descriptive and effectively read by Jenny in different voices.
Mery’s short poem was about romance in France. An arresting story.
Chris had a tale about the outing of a 13 year old boy who realised he was gay and was being bullied by the other boys at school about it. If he picked a fight with Jack perhaps the boys would leave him alone, but the look they had exchanged would be lost forever. Very sad and well written.
John wrote about a holiday in Canada. His wife had won a free trip with Avon and he joined her there. He messed up because he thought he could book flights at the last minute back to the UK. In the end he had to pay a lot of money for the tickets. He never told his wife and she remained impressed by him (believe me she would have found out about the cost, wives have ways of finding out these things) The description of the scenery was excellent. He came across a Red Indian with a nose so hooked he could have caught fish. Very entertaining as usual.
Michael told us a sad story about a parting , ‘She is still in my heart, she is with another man now. He has got my Peugeot 306, I changed it for a 307.’ Very funny. Typical of a man
Gerry told us his story about mistaken identity would be coming out in May in an anthology about National Service.
The piece he read out was part of a crime story. A man going to work early in the morning saw a hobo on the road. He called to him ‘hey feller, get yourself up, you could get killed.’ The hobo was dead with terrible injuries which we don’t know about yet. He received useful comments about the hobo’s clothing and the way he was lying.
Brenda continued her story about Lottie who had been sent to an orphanage. She was put to work in the sewing room. We met Miss Parker who would prove to be a big problem for Lottie. She received good comments as usual, which showed we like the tale and can’t wait to read it in print. She was advised to change the story because the group didn’t think that Lottie would be given any choice where she worked or what kind of room she would have in the home.
Douglas also wrote on the theme. The staff of an office went for a day away. It gave the directors a chance to mix with the staff. There was a big row between Harvey and Beaumont and one of them ended up dead in the lake following a canoe race. I think paintballing would have been safer. There wasn’t just one outing but three (sorry I didn’t get it)
Cynthia, that’s me, read a short poem about the outing of a gay man. And I thought I would be the only one to think of that kind of outing!
There were two new words introduced into the English language, acrobatting and redcarpetly
Next week there is a hot pen with a difference!