Too Late

I got to see my father a few days before he died. I got there the day after he lost the ability to speak.

He’d have made age 65 if he’d had just a few more days.

Life can be a cunt sometimes.

© Grumpy Axolotl

One out of Three ain’t False

One of these vignettes is true. The other two were dreams. Can you guess which?


They came in cars. A Mini and a Morris-minor both painted a shade of teal echoing the plumage of their passengers. There were no less than five inside each vehicle and a few more perched on the roof. Native parrots. Kea, Kākā, kakapo, kākāriki. All as big as the humans the cars were originally built for and by. Each bird had learned one or more phrases of human speech. They would shriek their pet-phrases at random intervals as if afflicted with Tourette’s and the bird-brained cacophony was hilarious. Then another vehicle pulled up. A white van this time. My grandmother hopped out of the van and kicked Liz up the ass. Then she got back in the van and drove away.


Young kids don’t think that way. That’s what a lot of women say. Bullshit! I was only five years old the first time we visited Toronto. School starts at age 6 in that part of the world. My age was more suited for the equivalent of what we call Kindergarten in New Zealand. Standing-desks were not trendy back then, but very common in school-type environments. So there we were standing by some table busy working away at … Goodness knows what … I can’t really remember, but that was probably when I was playing with the plastic castle that had a trapdoor leading into a secret room that could be accessed by locating the camouflaged sliding door on the side. The girl standing next to me was engrossed with something equally fascinating so I looked around to make sure no-one was watching, then bent down and looked up her skirt.


The beautiful and mysterious world of calligraphy. I don’t think the teacher was explaining it very well. Not my fault that I couldn’t read the blackboard from where I sat. Fortunately, my pencil-case was loaded for bear. I stopped scribbling with the blue ink and switched to felt-tips in bright colours. Then highlighters. At least two other kids at the same table followed my lead — either from boredom or rebellion — and we were soon making a fine mess on our pages. By the time my masterpiece was ready for grading I had used a decent amount of cellotape to ensure that the remains of my peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwhich would remain fixed to the page. The thesis scrawled in bright red tomato-sauce “Remember: The bigger the spider, the bigger the mess.”

© Grumpy Axolotl


Prompt: Lifestyle

So there was that time I visited a nudist resort. I was utterly horrified by what I saw. Here are some examples of what the utterly loathsome perverted creatures who haunt such locales partake in

  1. They swim in the pool
  2. Do gardening
  3. Play darts
  4. Play foos-ball
  5. Read books
  6. Play billiards
  7. Cook food on a barbeque
  8. Drink beer
  9. Play table-tennis
  10. Socialise
  11. Swim in the pool again
  12. Followed by sunbathing
  13. Play board-games
  14. Hold pot-luck dinners
  15. Waste time on jigsaw puzzles

All that and more … with bare bottoms.


There ought to be a law.

Seriously though. If you have never partaken in naked swimming or sunbathing, you are missing out on some of life’s most simple and natural pleasures.

Moreover: Today is World Naked Gardening Day. Dig it man! But I live in the Southern Hemisphere. Venture outside naked at this time of year and it’s stiff-nipples guaranteed.

(C) Grumpy Axolotl

The most Exciting Thing all Week

So I’ve been looking out my window. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m a pervert; lots of people look out of windows. Don’t you judge me! It’s interesting what we focus on. Maybe it’s a case of small things amusing small minds. In this instance I’m looking at a small bird: An Eurasian blackbird, to be precise. And this particular specimen is stone-cold fucking dead. Bird has been dead for 2 weeks now. In that time, Bird has undergone a significant transformation, but let us back up a step. <rewind>

The first week was dead boring. A biologist would tell you that there was a lot going on under the hood – so to speak, but from my perspective the bird simply flopped around a bit as the wind dictated. So anyway, Bird looked just as birds do (sans animation) for about a week. 

In the 2nd week, the maggots became visible. Masticating meat-house maggots, merrily munching away. I love how nature cleans up after itself. I know maggots aren’t everyone’s idea of a good time, and I wouldn’t invite them in for tea and scones but the cycle of life is an endless wonder. Yesterday the carcass collapsed in the rain. It looks a bit disgusting but this is where the real fun starts. 

There exists a sparrow (one of millions) that is visiting dead-bird, and eating the maggots that are eating aforementioned dead-bird. Bird eats maggot eats bird. Different species of bird, but it’s almost cannibalism-by-proxy. The sparrow works tirelessly, returning every few minutes to gobble more maggots, no doubt whisking the little wrigglers back to the nest to feed the next generation of hungry beaks. 

The story ends there, but this whole scenario reminds me how simple it is.

(C) Grumpy Axolotl

Six-Word Stories #18 (Quake)

Fuck! – That was a big one!

You may have seen the “quake-island cows” in the news?

Early Monday morning, Most of New Zealand were rudely shaken awake by a terrifying Magnitude 7.8 earthquake. It was the strongest and longest quake I have ever felt. The were reportedly 2 earthquakes at the same time which is why it went on so long. 2 minutes it lasted. That’s a long time to be wondering when the world will stop moving and whether you will still be alive when it does. The quake was also unusual in that it was quiet and gave a slow-swaying motion. Often a quake is violent and shuddering and accompanied by a roar. This one felt as if the house was riding on a boat.

There was very little damage where I live, but Kaikoura has been devastated and Wellington city have had to close several buildings. Many lives would have been lost, had the quake struck during work-hours. Thankyou to all the countries that sent boats and aid to help the people and animals of Kaikoura. ❤️

In Māori: Kai = eat/food. kōrua = crayfish. And yes, Kaikoura is famous for its crayfish.

To the Wagon

I let myself out of the open-plan office and trudged across the courtyard beneath an overcast sky. The woman in the coffee-wagon was chipper as usual, and I was the antithesis of that. I asked for a flat-White, though my mind said ‘fat-white’ for some reason. I hate the new coffee-wagon. It shakes when the occupant moves. I feel dizzy when it shakes in front of me. I’m often dizzy. I’m always tired. I used to have mochaccinos but now I have flat-whites. I can go to bed early and sleep right through the night. I think I have what they call ‘low-carb flu’. Kei te mauiui ahau. Should come right in a couple of weeks. New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere so Summer is icummen in. Sing kiwi. The days are getting longer. I didn’t need to buy a coffee when I could have made one in the office for free but sometimes it’s nice having a destination when going outside. The wagon sells pies and sausage-rolls in plastic packaging. One time, I tried a sausage-roll just to feel warm. All I remember is that it was really sweet and that just isn’t right. I look forward to the warmth of Summer.