Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: The Burglar Files

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  • Deborah,

    Good grief. That's a grim wee story. Ermm... thank you for sharing, I suppose.

    New Lynn • Since Nov 2006 • 1447 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Yeah, I hope you aren't too traumatized, Deborah. Although, looking on the bright side, I could have felt moved to post my teenage poetry -- and that, I can assure you, would have caused you much more suffering to read.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I ask, in the interest of historical accuracy, if there was actually a light at the intersection of Parrs Cross and West Coast Roads in 1986? Because now it's a rather fetching roundabout. With flowers. I walked blithely across that intersection today, as a matter of fact, but I'm now seeing it in a whole new light...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    An excellent historical question, Danielle... alas I have no idea. I can reveal, however, that the original location of the intersection was given as Glenview and Great North Road. For reasons unknown at this distance (some 24 years) the original location was crossed out, and Parrs Cross and West Coast Road were substituted.

    Twenty-four years ago -- God I feel so old!

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Wait until you can say 44 years ago (with reguards to writing)...arrrgh!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Swank,

    That's a nice piece David, particularly at 16. I won't say it's entirely bereft of humor, there are fatalistic smirks lurking in it. Did you tidy it up much before you put it out?

    Does this make me the only registered user from Las Vegas?

    Las Vegas, NV, USA • Since May 2010 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Was the Video player VHS or BETA ?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    It's good to see the language is exactly the same 24 years later although students at my school pronounce it "cun" as though it's a different word and therefore not a swearword.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Why didn't the lads calculate the likely punishment should they get caught?
    What right did the kid on the bike have to damage their car?
    Did the lads go to a Catholic or Protestant church?
    Were their school fees greater than $10,000 per term when they were at school?
    You see David? There are serious questions unanswered!

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I loved that story - it captures so beautifullly, and grimly, the mindset of those two kids. And you wrote that at 16? Hats off, man. Hats off.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Good on you David & congrads on the job.
    The thought of UC actually employing did stun me a little.
    All I'm hearing is the cull of staff & Carrs targeting of Librarians. I had the joke, "How hard is the Dewy Decimal System?"
    But, hearing he sees no need for Librarians to have a degree, makes him a Troglodyte in my eyes.
    I also believe two Masters Degrees means you failed a PhD.
    That could of course be a little bitterness on my behalf about my own PostGrad study.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Scott Swank wrote:

    Did you tidy it up much before you put it out?

    Yes, quite a bit of tidying. Chopped out several dozen adjectives and adverbs, as well as a whole bunch of semicolons. For some reason I was crazy about semicolons when I was sixteen -- couldn't write a sentence without one. Don't know why I was so rejecting of the full stop.

    Also chopped out some extraneous material that linked this piece into the other stories. In fact, I can exclusively reveal that the bloke in the pub, the girl in the burgled house, and the kid on the bike were all featured in other chapters.

    Does this make me the only registered user from Las Vegas?

    I'm quite sure it makes you the only Reverend registered from Las Vegas (sorry that we have no space in the PA registration form for an official title). I must say that no-one can accuse you of not taking an ongoing interest in the people whose weddings you've performed. I should write a letter commending you for your follow-up service -- although I wouldn't know where to send it. The Pope? The Archbishop of Canterbury? Jim Gibbons?

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    For some reason I was crazy about semicolons when I was sixteen

    The infamous gateway mark that leads straight into hypotaxis - that's a pretty notorious scourge. And there's nothing that families and educators can do: the more you alert kids to the dangers of the semi-colon, the more irresistibly alluring it becomes.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Glenn Pearce wrote:

    Was the Video player VHS or BETA?

    Originally there was a line of dialogue on just this subject -- but I edited it out because I thought no-one would remember the distinction. I'm quite sure, however, that further investigation would reveal that the video player was originally purchased from Jorgensen's.

    Ian MacKay wrote:

    Why didn't the lads calculate the likely punishment should they get caught?

    That really is a very good question, and something that fascinates me about the type. From an early age I've always thought about the consequences of being caught. But some people just don't. If you can shed any light on why not then I'd be bloody interested to hear it.

    Jackie Clark wrote:

    I loved that story - it captures so beautifully, and grimly, the mindset of those two kids.

    Why thank you, Jackie! It helps if you've just spent four years incarcerated with fucked-up teenagers of this type (Glenn Pearce more-or-less exempted from this statement, of course).

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Just thinking wrote:

    Good on you David & congrads on the job.
    The thought of UC actually employing did stun me a little.

    No need for congratulations -- it's just a short-term contract, finishing in June. Back to my usual writing after that.

    All I'm hearing is the cull of staff & Carrs targeting of Librarians.

    There certainly does seem to be a lot of very unhappy academics at Canterbury these days -- at least in the School of Engineering.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Respec. I imagine being that self-knowing at 16 would have made Paremoremo High's prison-of-the-soul even harder to endure. I dread to think what nostalgia the Rugby World Cup may offer.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19729 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    A touch of Frank Sargeson? "A Great Day".

    And that recent novel "The Lazy Boys" by Carl Shuker.

    But you are so very good all on your own.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Bloody hell, David. After reading your story, I am now scared to go outdoors!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    That really is a very good question, and something that fascinates me about the type. From an early age I've always thought about the consequences of being caught. But some people just don't. If you can shed any light on why not then I'd be bloody interested to hear it.

    Your sentences weren't long enough for these fictional characters, of course.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Cecelia wrote:

    A touch of Frank Sargeson? "A Great Day".

    Oh how I scoffed when Jolisa Gracewood suggested the same thing. But actually I did read a Sargeson story (part of a collection by NZ authors) that very same summer. Not "A Great Day" but rather "Sale Day". So maybe you both do possess some kind of literary telepathy.

    Amusingly though, I'd become confused over who'd written "Sale Day" and somehow thought that it was Katherine Mansfield. This caused no end of confusion when I attempted English at Auckland University shortly afterwards, as I was always saying that I liked the Katherine Mansfield story where the cat was stuffed into the fireplace and burnt alive. People were so surprised to hear that Mansfield had written on such a subject.

    Geoff Lealand wrote:

    I am now scared to go outdoors!

    Just remember that you're alright as long as going outdoors doesn't involve you appearing in West Auckland.

    George Darroch wrote:

    Your sentences weren't long enough for these fictional characters, of course.

    To beat Ian Dalziel to the punch... yes, I suppose that must have been what I was trying to fix with all those semicolons.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Great story, David. Grim, but very well realised. And at 16!

    There certainly does seem to be a lot of very unhappy academics at Canterbury these days -- at least in the School of Engineering.

    Oh yes. Not just at Engineering- in fact I'd have hoped that was one of the happier spots.
    TEU are holding a (paid) union meeting and rally outside the registry on June 9th. Worth passing that on to anyone and everyone who might feel inclined to support it. It'd be good to see a mass expression of this dissatisfaction.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Carr squanders resources...

    All I'm hearing is the cull of staff & Carr's targeting of Librarians.

    Carr and cronies are blind to many opportunities - a large number of fabulous solid Rimu shelves from the Uni of Canterbury library showed up at a Demolition / Salvage company recently and were sold at a pittance by them (you wouldn't have bought two short lengths of Rimu for the price they sold each unit for!) so I dread to think what the University got for them!
    - No real world vision indeed ...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    ...all those semicolons.

    ...and I always thought a semicolon was an
    asshole in a big truck!
    Anatomy was never my strong point...
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7948 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway,

    Holy Christ - what secondary school did you go to - Borstal?!?! I was so traumatised after reading that I'm too scared to venture out to Kelston to visit my Dad.

    When I lived in New Lynn the house was burgled so often AA Insurance threatened to withdraw coverage. The kid next door confirmed our suspicions by being seen at the bus depot wearing some of my flatmate's clothes that had been taken a week earlier.

    sunny Pt Chevalier • Since Mar 2008 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Swank,

    I can only say that I am embarrassed that you know who Jim Gibbon is. I would that no one outside of Nevada knew his name, much less outside the states.

    As for commending my ecclesiastic mettle, I'm pretty ecumenical -- though after 5 years in Nevada I'd prefer you avoid the Mormons, they're a touchy lot. Mind you it helps to mention that I'm an atheist up front, people make all sorts of assumptions.

    Are there more of this series in the works?

    Las Vegas, NV, USA • Since May 2010 • 2 posts Report Reply

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