Friday, November 23, 2007

Mossy's Backpackers #14

“Do you think she was serious?”

“I dunno mate, she looked pretty serious to me,” Greg replied evenly. A casual observer might have almost thought he had not already answered that question five times in the last ten minutes. Almost.

“Nah, there’s no way,” Max said stubbornly.

Greg rolled his eyes at him and flipped a couple of burgers over. He looked quite at home manning the barbeque wearing Mossy’s “My meat brings all the girls to the yard” apron. Fortunately all the girls had already left for their night on the town by the time Mossy had found it. Well, one would consider it fortunate if one cared about Greg’s health and well being. Max had thought it was quite unfortunate.

“Well,” Greg said, attempting to remain calm, “she seemed really excited by the idea of splitting a rental car with you.”

“Yeah, that would be so much more reliable than thumbing it again,” Max allowed.

“Just slightly,” Greg snorted. He glanced over his shoulder at the slowly setting sun. “We couldn’t have asked for a better night for this. It’s too bad we can’t watch the movies out here.”

“That would be awesome – hey, I bet we could too!” Max said, finally perking up a bit. “We could run an extension cord out here, carry the couches out… this is gonna be brilliant!”

Greg smiled and took a swig from his bottle of beer, relieved to see his friend get his mind on something besides Caitlin for once. It did not last long.

“I’ll go ask Mossy where the big extension cord is,” Max said as he started to turn away. He took a few steps before he paused, glanced around and then came back to the barbeque. “Seriously though, do you really think she meant it?”

“I don’t bloody well know!” Greg snapped. “Why don’t you just bloody well ask her?”

“Well I can’t right now, now can I?” Max said a bit peevishly. He realized how he sounded and winced slightly. Thankfully he was spared Greg’s reply by Jay’s timely arrival.

“It smells fantastic out here!”

“Yeah, thanks,” Greg managed to reply in a fairly civil manner. He returned his focus to the burgers and chicken on the grill in front of him before the temptation to impale Max with the huge barbeque fork became too strong.

“How are things going in the kitchen?” Max asked before Jay could ask about the cause of Greg’s behavior.

“Really good, Kisho is doing up those two cod Mossy caught for us and everybody’s mouth is watering!” Jay laughed. “We’ve got a couple guys on veggie cutting duty and Tobias is hell bent on making some sort of dessert.”

“I hope it involves both chocolate and chocolate chips,” Max smiled. “How’s Diego’s rice dish coming along?”

“Ah, not so well,” Jay replied, frowning and scratching the back of his head. “First he burned the rice, so he had to start over, then he managed to dump half the herbs in the garbage. That was the last of the cilantro so he had to do a run to the store to get more.”

“I told you that was one of their cars we heard!” Greg told Max smugly.

“Yeah, we really need to get a mechanic to have a look at the engines but we just don’t have the cash to spare right now,” Jay lamented.

“I think one of Mossy’s mates is a car guy, I bet he could swing you a deal,” Max told him. “Come on, I need to go talk to him right now anyway.”

“Sweet man, I really appreciate it,” Jay beamed. “You need anything from inside Greg?”

“Another one of these would hit the spot,” he replied, shaking his nearly empty bottle.

“You got it.”

Max lead the way back inside, past the idle washing machines, through the bathroom and shower area and into the bustling kitchen. Even with so many bodies in such a small space it only took him a heartbeat to spot the owner, towering over them all.

“Mossy! Quick word?”

The big man looked up from the soup he had been staring into, smiled broadly and attempted to squeeze his way through the crowd. His efforts were made significantly easier once everyone realized what was happening and simply momentarily abandoned the kitchen.

“Thanks lads,” Mossy called over his shoulder as everyone settled back in. “What’s up Max?”

“Two things,” Max replied, holding up the appropriate number of fingers. “Thing the first: where’s your longest extension cord?”

“It’s behind the seat of my truck… why?”

“You’ll see. Thing the second: Jay and Diego, I suspect you’ve noticed, need their cars looked at. Do you know someone that could help out?”

“Rory,” he replied immediately.

“Ah, payment might be an issue,” Jay said, a bit embarrassed.

“Naw it won’t, Rory will probably do it just for the fun of it. He’s not quite right in the head, that one,” Mossy laughed while tapping his forehead.

“Perfect!” Max smiled. “I’m gonna go grab the cord. Oh, Mossy when a couple guys are freed up in here could you get them to bring the couches out back?”

“Sorry?” Mossy blinked at him slowly.

“And I’m going to need a hand lifting that big fat TV of yours too,” Max carried on. “We can leave the stand though, that tree stump by the hammocks should do the trick.”

“You’re taking the piss,” Mossy stated firmly. “You cannot be serious.”

“Theatre under the stars mate! It’s going to be brilliant!”

Mossy looked at Jay, then back at Max. It was fairly obvious that he had not previously encountered this particular situation in his forty-two years on Earth.

“You’re taking my TV and furniture outside?”

“Aye aye, captain!”

“And I’m paying you to be here?”

“Not nearly enough mate!” Max gave him a toothy grin, spun on his heel and headed off again, leaving a slightly shell-shocked Mossy behind him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good stuff