Lard Lars Gets His Girl: A Modern Fairy Tale

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By Martin Smith.

Sometime after I stopped believing in the Tooth Fairy—but before you’re meant to start fighting life’s dragons—I had one of them close encounters of the strangest kind. I lived with Mum in a caravan park at the time, surviving on her minimum wage. It was the school holidays, and I was as solvent as a Sugar Plum Fairy in an oil slick, so I decided to try to master the art of stillness. You know, sort of like that Zen shit. I figured the stiller I was, the less trouble I’d get into. I only stirred to whack a sausage roll in the microwave. I wasn’t into computer games nor that social network crap. Who needed friends when my best friend was me? I watched lots of them old black and white movies, though. My favourite was that Mockingbird one. I loved that Boo dude. He was the stillest bastard I’d ever seen.

Sometimes Mum gave me grief about me not living up to my potential and not rising above the shit-pile that was our life. When she really started giving me the squirts, I’d hop up on the caravan roof and take a gander at the world from a different angle. You know, sort of like that Jem dude and his tree house. I’d smoke a joint and do me a little life-thinking. Look, I loved my mum, but, to be honest, she knew jack shit. I had dreams and crushes and them aspirations; I just hadn’t figured out a game plan.

Mum was a pill-pusher. Not a dealer. She worked the counter at the local chemist. Big Barry Boston was her boss. He was also the local member. He had this huge house overlooking a squillion acres and our caravan park.

Bazza and Mrs B had these twins, boy and girl, named Danny and Dannie. I’ll admit them Boston twins were political gold. Blonde hair, white teeth, big chests. But they were also a couple of shits. Danny wasn’t too bad. He gave me the occasional thumping or threw my bag under the school bus. But Dannie was a real bitch. A pretentious princess riding a wave of them entitlements and most of the boys in my year level. I tried to avoid her like a cold sore on a hot date, but she mocked me in class and called me Lard Lars and had everyone sit on the opposite side of the bus from me because she reckoned it was about to topple over.

One night, Mum went ballistic because I’d eaten her Cadbury Roses. Her only vice was sitting and watching Escape to the City reruns, popping Prozac into peppermint creams and dreaming of a jailbreak from the prison that was her life.

I hopped up on top of the caravan, and as I stargazed and dreamt about wolfing down a sausage roll the size of a sleeping bag, this bright light approached me. I wasn’t sure whether it was a meteorite or a satellite or ET or that pervy-guy-down-in-Block-B’s drone. But it was coming in fast. Real fast. Inside my head, the Apocalypse bugled its arrival, and them four horses neighed like an orgy at a stud farm. I curled myself into a ball and waited for my life to moonwalk past my eyes.

I felt a lightness at my feet, and I looked down and saw this little star lying there, flaccid and emitting feeble flickers.

Look, I knew my nursery rhymes, my Disney films, so I jumped up, put my foot on its twinkly bits and grabbed the fucker by the rays. I started thinking about a wish, something involving sausage rolls, when the star said, ‘Please help me. Unless you throw me back up into the sky, I will die.’

A talking star. I shit you not. I knew that preservative crap in them sausage rolls would come back to haunt me one day.

I applied a bit of foot pressure and said, ‘Nice try, Bright Eyes. But I want my wish.’

‘What wish?’

‘The one I get upon a star.’

‘You’ve got it wrong. You get three wishes, but only if you throw me back up into the night sky.’

‘Three wishes? You sure?’

‘Of course.’

So all that Disney bullshit was a lie. Fucken Americans. Propaganda fascists.

‘OK. It’s a deal.’

‘Thanks. All you need to do is say “I hope and wish”, and your wish will be granted.’

‘Gotcha. Any trick to relaunching you?’

‘No. Just fling me towards the stars.’

I picked the star up and heaved it skywards. It clipped our TV aerial, teetered but then chugged off heavenward, albeit looking stunned.

I lay down again, and as I pondered how big a sausage roll I could get with my first wish, music blared from the Bostons’ mansion. No doubt Bazza and Mrs B were at another fundraiser, and the twins and their delinquent guests were trashing the castle.

What I haven’t told you is I could see the Bostons’ bedrooms from on top of the caravan. I saw some serious shit over the years. Danny’s donger. Dannie’s tits. Once I even saw Mrs B jiggling on top of Bazza as if she was one of them wicked witches hitting turbulence while riding her broomstick. I swear it put me off sausage rolls for a week.

A bedroom light came on, and I saw Dannie. Starkers! Starkers and pouting at some ogre’s hairy knee. Next thing I knew, she was airborne and bouncing up and down and flicking her hair about and hollering God was hers and hers alone. Another conquest. No doubt she’d treat them like shit after they’d shot their load. Had I Atticus’s rifle, I could have taken her out then and there, but Atticus reckoned killing her lot was a sin. Geez that Scout chick was lucky, getting all that wisdom from her dad. Hell, I don’t even know my dad’s name.

As I watched Dannie trampolining away, anger built up inside me, four years of high-school-bullied anger, and before I knew it, I blurted out, ‘I hope and wish Dannie gets pregnant.’


Back in them days, I was like that Kevin What’s-his-name. Six degrees separated from town gossip. Our town had a well-oiled machine. Mum heard from Marlene who heard from Myrtle who heard from Marge who heard from Mel who, while cleaning the Bostons’ house, overheard Mrs B breathing fire. Two months later, the machine reported Dannie pregnant. An unnamed father. The party line had Dannie overseas at some fancy finishing school; however, the machine reported her out west, holed up at some party crony’s property.

Mel reported Bazza being absolutely shit-faced, going off his head about what’s the use of campaigning on a family values platform when your fifteen-year-old daughter’s up the duff, and what’s the use of being a chemist with shelves full of contraceptives if the little shit can’t practice safe sex. Rumour had it Bazza paid a lot of people to keep hush-hush about the kid. Twelve months later, the machine reported Dannie and baby had slipped back home.

Not long after, Bazza invited the whole town, me and Mum included, to a shindig. Fantastic, I thought. Free sausage rolls.

He gathered everyone into the town hall, topped their glasses and toasted the party and family values. I found out later the crafty shit swabbed every bloke’s glass and tested the DNA.

Three weeks later, Mum got home late and—having had a few too many Millennium Cocktails—went for me with the spaghetti ladle. That was enough for me. I decided to up stumps and haul arse.

Before dawn next morning, I packed a dozen heated sausage rolls wrapped in tin foil and that Boo dude DVD in my bag, swapped an IOU/I♥U note for two hundred-dollar notes in Mum’s secret stash tin and headed for the bus station.

I walked past the Bostons’ house, and the place was lit up like a Chernobyl sunrise. Ambulances and police cars were everywhere. I could hear Bazza roaring like them forties and Mrs B wailing like those banshees.

Mr McMurphy, who’d been driving the express bus to Emerald City ever since Moses dipped his big toe in them red waters, greeted me with a mouthful of wobbling dentures as I paid him to get me the fuck out of Kansas.

I sat up back and the air-brakes whooshed, when a thud came from outside the bus. Old Man McMurphy slammed on the brakes, and his teeth hit the windscreen.

A red-hooded figure carrying a backpack and a bassinet hopped on and paid their fare. When the figure turned, my heart did a round turn and two half hitches. It was Daniel Boston. Bawling his eyes out.

What I haven’t told you is that when I was up on the caravan roof having a wank, it wasn’t Dannie I fantasised about; it was Danny. With a Y, like the chromosome.

‘Where’re you heading?’ I said to him.

‘I’m doing a runner. My dad found out I’m the father of Bub here, and my sister topped herself.’

‘Holy shit, Danny. I’m so sorry. It’s my fault.’ I told him about the star and the wishes and that I hadn’t meant to hurt Dannie, all while Mr McMurphy foraged for his grin amongst the food wrappers on the dashboard. I’ll admit I got a little carried away, because before I knew it, I even told Danny that despite him being an incestuous shit, I loved him.

Danny said, ‘I reckon you’re pretty cool, too, Lars. Listen. All I want is to live in a fucking normal family. Got a couple of wishes left? I say we split from this goddamn hell hole.’

I looked up front and saw Mr McMurphy putting his teeth back in.

‘Hey, Mr McMurphy. I hope and wish you’d get us the fuck out of here.’


These days, me and Danny live up north, two lovers in paradise. And with little Daniella completing our happy family. We have a nice house overlooking the ocean and run a gym together. I’m a personal trainer, teaching them seniors to live life and not fear death. I’m pretty buff these days. I move around. A lot. The only time I stop is when I look up into the night sky and wonder what wishes all them stars have granted. I still have my last wish. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it. Maybe buy Mum a Get-Out-Of-Jail-For-Free card or, better still, wish everyone could be as happy as me and Danny.

Last month, them politicians finally got off their collective arses and let couples like me and Danny exchange vows. I saw Bazza on TV, pumping some shit about contemporary family values. He sure had greyed over the last few years. Him and Mrs B were estranged for a while. He was allegedly caught in a parliamentary chamber, bonking some teenage cleaner. It took a while—and I reckon a lot of money—to clear his name. He may be an arsehole, but I have to admit he sure can spin straw into gold.

Danny contacted his parents last week. They’re coming to town. Some dude called Jerry Mander reshuffled the electoral boundaries, and Bazza’s swapping over to a safe Senate seat.

They’re dropping by this afternoon for a cuppa and some fence mending.

I’m not sure how it’ll pan out, whether we’ll all live happily ever after, but, Geez, I sure hope they like sausage rolls.


 Eight-year-old Martin Smith


Martin Smith is a writer of short fictions of humour. Having spent a working life crunching numbers, he retired to the Bellarine Peninsula in 2013, where he lives and writes in a beach house at Queenscliff. When he is not banging away on his keyboard with thumbs and index fingers or reading snippets of his scribblings to his beloved Rose, you’ll more likely than not find him walking the beach barefoot at low tide or downing a double scoop of Peppermint Chip at the local ice-creamery. He plans to publish two collections of stories of humour (This Laugh’s On Me and The Cannibal’s Guide to Health and Wellbeing) in 2023.

Martin joined Geelong Writers in 2022. He is a member of The Seaside Scribes, a writing group that meets at the Queenscliff Neighbourhood House every second Tuesday.

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