Inspirational Contemporary Friendship

A Pot Pouri of Prompts

“Good morning Julia. Don’t tell me, Kent is not ready is he?”

“Has he ever been ready on time for anything? He is just putting his joggers on.”

“As long as I have known him he has seriously rejected that running on time can be important.”

“Thankfully he is not in charge of the train timetable.”

“I must say you are looking great. Getting in shape for your holiday I expect. How are your holiday plans shaping up? Kent mentioned maybe Vanuatu this time.”

“Thank you. My gym workouts must be doing their job. Tying Kent down to specific dates, times and even a place would be a fine thing. He constantly refuses to commit. It is almost like he is avoiding making a decision. You know him Walter, he is constantly running away from the responsibility in case he may make a wrong choice. Vanuatu or Iceland, anywhere, I don’t care I just want to get away.”

“Tell him he cannot run forever. How often have I heard him say exactly that? I’ll remind him of his oft quoted mantra on our run today, jog him into making a decision.”

“Jog in that context being the operative word Walter. I need him running, not jogging, and soon. At last here he is. Enjoy your run guys.”


“Julia was on about our holiday destination wasn't she? Jesus she never lets up.”

“Simply remedy Kent, make a decision. Truly that is all she wants, she doesn’t care where. You are a very lucky man to have a wife who looks after herself as much as she does.”

“I am well aware of that which does not solve my problem. Simple you say? OK, I can tell you I have made a decision, like the Chemist I have dispensed the remedy. That's a good analogy isn't it? Perhaps not. However it is the where I have booked that is the problem, she will more than care, she will go ballistic when I tell her.”

“Rubbish, the destination is not the problem it is you running away from making a decision that has her knickers in a knot.”

“How would you know anything about Julia’s knickers Walter, even I have lost contact in that department lately? Sorry, my sense of humour runs away with me at times. Truth be told I have booked us on a seven day cruise, principally designed to be in Melbourne Australia for the running of their most famous race, The Melbourne Cup.”

“A horse race? Jesus you are right to be worried, Julia hates gambling.”

“Now you understand. My original thinking was that having the opportunity to dress up, the tickets include being in the Members enclosure, the prestige of going to Derby Day dressed in the traditional black and white, her favourite combination, and the excitement of being among over one hundred thousand people witnessing the running of a World famous race, The Melbourne Cup, well I thought that would trump her anti gambling fixation.”

“How long have you been married? Rhetorical question, I know it is close to twenty years.”

“Yes twenty one actually.”

“And what almost ended it after ten years? Compulsive gambling Kent, yours. Constantly running away from admitting you had a problem almost cost you the most important person in your life. No wonder she is anti gambling. It is not a fixation as you described it, it is very very real in her mind. Applying your ‘you cannot run forever’ mantra is what saved you then. You took your own advice and got help. Do you have the wherewithal to convince her you will not be betting?”

“I am hoping you can help with that, you know convince her it is her I am thinking of, taking her on an entirely different type of holiday to what she is expecting.”

“I can see a way to get you back in the untying of knotted knickers department, it is a tad sneaky, but it may be worth a try. Only tell Julia about booking the cruise, do not mention the Melbourne Cup part. She will obviously see it mentioned on the brochures as one of the available extras. You casually dismiss it as part of your cruise as an extra purely only for those who are interested. My experience in cruising tells me the majority of passengers will be going to this Cup meeting and their excitement will be contagious, hopefully to the point Julia will suggest you go as part of the group.”

“Absolutely brilliant Walter, absobloodybrilliant. What if she doesn’t suggest it though?”

“Mr Negative rears its too often seen head. Try thinking along the lines of you can make it work. How many days cruising are there before you get to Melbourne?”

“Three days, four nights I think.”

“There you are, giving you plenty of time to enlist the help of others. Someone can run the idea up the flagpole of going to the Cup as a group and insisting Julia and you are part of the group. I guarantee Julia will salute. Simple.”

“The way you say it, it does sound simple. ……Stop. Oh God, I have to stop Walter, that wretched pain has hit me again, I need to rest.”

“Kent look at me, are you OK? You are as white as a sheet. What did the Doctor say after the last time that pain hit you?”

“I didn’t go. The pain went away so there was no point.”

“For fuck sake Kent, you are an imbecile. You promised you would go. Does Julia know you didn’t go?”

“I didn’t want to worry her, I didn’t mention it.”

“I am willing to bet you shouldn’t be running Kent. Keep this up and running away from perceived problems will be the least of your worries. Julia will have two tickets on a cruise you think she will not want and have no one to untie her knickers. I suppose I could go, sorry thinking out loud. You are a thoughtless twit. I’m calling an ambulance and then Julia.”


“How is he Julia?”

“Well any future running is definitely out of the question. According to the Specialist his heart has been running on next to empty for some time, it was just a matter of time before it ran out and stopped completely. If you hadn’t been there Walter, Kent would not be here now, well not in any living and breathing state. Although there are times with Kent I find it hard to tell the difference.”

“So what is the prognosis?”

“He will be hospitalised for a few weeks and then possibly a relaxing cruise could be beneficial. We will take it day by day. I know I need a rest. For the last few days I seem to have been running around like a chook with its head chopped off. Will you do me a favour, there is a Travel Agent who has been calling about something Kent has organised, could you speak to them. My head is not up to taking in details at the moment. It apparently has something to do with a Melbourne Cup cruise. Oh how I have always wanted to go there. I have seen it on TV, so exciting. I would think that is too much to hope for knowing his aversion to gambling these days. Anyway if you could find out the details I will appreciate it.”

“If it helps I can fill in for Kent until he gets back on his feet. You know, just on the off chance he has organised something that cannot be cancelled.”

“Would you? Oh that is such a relief knowing I won’t be running around trying to find a replacement if he has booked something”

“I am happy to help, isn't that is what friends are for.”

January 29, 2024 02:05

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