Stalk Options

“My stalker’s released more nude photos of me.”

“How’s your hair in them?”

“Fabulous. I’d just had it done.”

“Let’s have a look.”

Laverne slid her phone across the table.

“You owe him one,” I agreed, swiping through a considerable collection of images. “Maybe you should get him something.”

“Like what?”

“Halloween’s coming up.”

“What makes you think he’s into Halloween?”

“Call it a hunch.”

“I wouldn’t know what to get him.”

“Does he have someone special in his life?”

“Not since he killed all the members of his church group.”

“Any hobbies?”

“Skulking among the shadows.”

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“I mean, besides that.”

“Photography, I suppose.”

“Then why not get him some lens wipes?”

“I’m sure we can do better than lens wipes,” Laverne frowned.

“Alright, let’s keep going then… would it be fair to describe him as outdoorsy?

“Yes! And now that I think of it, he could do with a decent winter coat,” she suddenly brightened.

“My neighbours are in a cult if you’d be looking for something with a hood.”

“I’ll get back to you on that.”

“Did I mention it’s detachable?”

“It’s just… I don’t want to cause offence.”

“To someone who’s photographing you through your fence,” I felt obliged to remind her.

“I see where you’re coming from.”

“Didn’t he write that on a CookieGram?”

“Yeah, right before I reversed over him in the driveway.”

“Putting that to one side, what were you doing running naked through the forest at 3am?”

“The dog let the cat out again,” Laverne chuckled. “They’re worse than kids, those two. I should have gotten a fish tank instead. Anyway, enough about me. What’s new with you?”

“I’ve decided I want to give back to society.”

“Oh, God…”

“I know what you’re thinking but this time I’m serious. I’m going to turn these next twelve months into My Year of Philanthropy.”

“Well, you’re on your own then because no one’s getting any of my money,” Laverne sniffed.

“I don’t need money; what I need is a project.”

“Why not just join a gym like everyone else?”

“Because until just now I wasn’t aware I needed to.”

“I’m just thinking back to the incident in the park.”

“That dog should have been leashed.”

“John, you wrestled it for a Tootsie Roll.”

“Which I’d bought.”

“Which you’d dropped.”

“In case you’ve forgotten, there’s a recession on,” I pointed out, dignity still intact.

“Okay. Forget I even mentioned it.”

“Easier said than done, my friend.”

“It doesn’t even matter because you’re nice on the inside and that’s what counts. When I was growing up there was a fat family on our street and they were really nice.”

“Name them. All of them.”

“The dog was called Cupcake, I remember that much.”

“Keep going.”

“My point is, they were just like everyone else.”

“Just not worth knowing,” I addressed the elephant in the room.

“John, you have the rear molars of a hyena. I’ve watched you crush femurs like they were toothpicks.”

“That’s an exaggeration.”

“No, it isn’t. I’ve seen cleaner kills on Animal Planet.”

“Speaking of which, did you catch it on Monday? It was about these sharks that sleep. I think they were in Mexico. I have never, ever heard of sharks sleeping before.”

“That’s because they don’t,” I was informed.

“Sharks don’t sleep?”

“Nope.”

“Then what were these ones doing?”

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“During ratings week they usually whack a few in the head to make them appear cute and cuddly.”

“You’re kidding, right?”

“I’m afraid not,” Laverne shook her head.

“But that’s barbaric.”

“So is seeing a camera-woman being bitten in half during a live feed. The only thing those sharks were sleeping off was a Grade 3 concussion.”

“And Love Island?”

“Totally different.”

“How so?”

“They’re all brain-damaged to begin with.”

“How are you so well-informed regarding all of this?” I was curious.

“I was going to be a marine biologist but back then they didn’t allow women in the Marines.”

“Right…”

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