The adventures of Zed, Uncategorized

Why we do the things we do: in this, the three and sixtieth tale of the free rider, Zed loses something….and is not quite sure what that is.

Zed new image

Two managers were conferring urgently on a matter of redundancy, not realising that in a universe as large as the one they apparently inhabited, that they were the ones who were, in fact, redundant….as may be imagined, these are the things that worried them, and about which they urgently conferred… they were wont to do about even the most trivial of things.

Who is it anyway? What are the key performance indicators for that position?  Where are the outcomes?  Why are they not on file?”

This was a matter of serious concern, or maybe it was not, but it was certainly the sort of thing that people of this kind discussed a lot.  “We may,” said the other one, a stocky man named Dave, exhaling not because of a need to release breath, but because of a certain ponderousness of style and self-importance, “We may,” he repeated, “Need to let this one go first, then the others.” Saying this, he issued an instruction that the one known as “Shanti” or some such name, was to be summoned immediately.

There was a great deal of tension in the air, even though tension is not normally visible, not even discernible in the air, or any other place besides. A flurry of activity, such as small birds make when disturbed now took place as secretaries made calls, as a message was sent to the one about to be let go. For this one, unlike the other ones, actually merited being let go….or at least that is what was said by way of explanation.

For being “let go” was not something that the vast typing, talking, and screen-loading workforce wanted to occur to them.  For a free rider, by contrast, being let go was one of the most wonderful of things, the scent of freshness of air in the updraft, the view of mountains rising in the vision, the rush of joy that happens when doors close behind you….being let go.

Still, this is a tale of a free rider.  And it happened that Zed was somewhere or another, and it was true that the free rider knew not where that was……

“Shanta, they want to talk to you!” Zed became vaguely aware of someone tugging and pushing.  “I am very sorry, I must have dozed off.  Where am I?”

“Why you are here, at Freaky Fruit Software!”

The free rider was certainly confused by this reply, saying, “Freak?  Fruit?  How odd.  But there are no strange fruit here?  I remember a song about that.  It was a sad song….I mostly do not listen to sad songs, nor even to songs at all, you understand…..”  But the free rider was cut off.

“Shanta, for God’s sake, focus!  You are in trouble.  You have not met your targets.  They think you are sleeping on the job….They might even let you go.”

“Job? What job?  Let me go?  Sleeping?  Yes it feels that way. Where am I?”

“Shanta!  Please!  I love you! Come on!  What is wrong with you?”

“Shanta? I am the free rider…..but yes, peace is what I seek.  Nothing is wrong. But I am very old, and very tired.  I do not know about these things, Freaky Fruit and the targets, Freaky Fruit and outcomes.  No I do not.”

“Shanta!  I love you!  I think I am going to have your child!  Please focus. Please try to save yourself!”

Just then the screen beeped….or so it seemed.  “Freaky Fruit respond to report that 756 positions to be shed.” A  collective gasp went around the vast warehouse.


The free rider rose from the desk.  “How did I come to be here?  How long have I  been dozing here, I wonder?” 

“Where are you going?”

The free rider replied, “I thought you said they wanted to talk to me about being free.”

“Free?  No, they want to fire people!  Shanta!”

“My name is Zed, and I am the free rider.  I believe that I have been asleep.”

“Asleep!  But you married me!”

Married you! How unfortunate.  I do not remember this.  I did not think I married people.  But life is long and the world is full of surprises.”

Shanta Devi, come to the office immediately, your exit interview is overdue.”

Exit interview!  They are letting you go!”

“At last!” sighed the free rider.

“What about the children?”

Which children?”

“The ones we have not had yet….

Zed walked to the forbidding doors….

“Mr Tabernacle will see you now.” Zed looked at yet another set of doors and asked, “Do I have to?”  The stern secretary glared at the free rider and did not say a word.  With a combination of humility and curiosity, Zed walked forth.

“Ah! Shanta!  Please sit down!”  Zed sat on the uncomfortable orange chair.

“We have been placed in a regrettable…well, you see, it falls to me to have difficult conversations…about these things.”

Zed replied, “If you are having trouble breathing, you may write your thoughts down, for I am well able to read you know.”

“I did not mean that.  The conversation is difficult because we are going to have to let you go.  You are not the only one____”

“But I am most happy to be liberated, for liberty is one of the things most prized to a free rider!”

“A free___ Well, I mean, your contract with us here at Freaky Fruit is terminated.  You are entitled to certain release conditions and retraining packages…actually you have no rights really, but we want to look after you in your post-employment situation.”

Zed smiled and said, “Post-employment situation?  I do not know…..but, I am always happy to be liberated, and as for the rest of it, I have not any idea of what you are talking about.”  The  man was clearly uncomfortable. “You see, your outcomes are very low….I mean, amazingly low.  It reflects badly on your supervisor….”  But he was not ready for Zed’s reply.

“I have been asleep for a long time. Maybe for a month or perhaps it was a year.”

“O!” said Mr Tabernacle.  And this was really the moment when the termination interview itself was terminated…..

Still, then Zed added, perhaps irrelevantly, “Have you seen a cockatoo?”

But Mr Tabernacle had not seen that bird, not the wandering onager besides, because this was  a place of outcomes and of responsibilities and indeed of all manner of sorts of sorrowing talk that Zed did not understand.

As Zed wandered off, a clerk approached and with quick intakes of breath said, “Your things!  Your things!”

But Zed did not know what those things were, nor yet was there any reason to take them, even though there were mobile phones, and wallets with cash and cards, and other things besides. All the free rider could say was, “I have been asleep for some time.”

And so it ends, this strange tale of sleep, and of loss, for the rider knew not how these things happened to happen, still less why.  But then, do we, as we wander the world, do we know why things befall us, and do we ourselves know why we do the things we do?







My Lists

The Great Blog Spring Clean….

I am not sure when it hit me, but I realised I had hundreds of posts…and most of them were, well, junk.  So, how about a spring clean-up?

Shouldn’t we clean away the crap sometimes?

So I am going to:

1. Get rid of the poems I wrote that I think are not very good (even if some people liked them).

2. Get rid of duplicated stuff….like endless repetitions of the same music that shows how obsessive I am.

3.  Get rid of really drunken stupid stuff.

4. Get rid of really rude stuff.

5.  Get rid of stuff that I don’t know what it is

6.  Get rid of posts like this one, and like those mad awards blog posts

7.  I wonder what will be left after that is all done?

Fairytaleepidemic Britt did this a while ago…and she is right.  Right.

I made a start.  I got rid of some of it….but there is a long way to go…drunken poems, crazy posts….bad cooking….pictures of pot plants….you get the idea.  Jumble sale, thrift shop material….except it is online.



Dear Aphrodite, one of my favourite bloggers (so kind and honest with her feelings) has kindly nominated me for a Liebster award….and of course, I gratefully accept!  

And I thank you too!!  I adore you and your blog…but you know that….

So here goes….the rules are in 11s.  Eleven questions, eleven random facts about you…but just five nominees…


1. Display the award.


2.  Questions – these are my answers to Aphrodite.

She asks me these questions….and I have cut in my answers….

1. How can another person make you feel really happy?

A:  I don’t know.  I can say that people being kind to me matters a lot.

2. What is the nicest thing a loved one has ever done for you?

A:  Personal things….things that show I have been noticed.  Small things.

3. What are, according to you, the basic ‘ingredients’ for awesome sex?

A:  I just don’t kow really.

4. What do you do to make you feel joyful again when you feel grumpy?

A: Well….music, or go outside, or take a breath….or sometimes I just go to sleep if it is too overwhelming.

5. Are there comedians you like, and if yes, who?

A: Loved the Chaser.

6. What do you prefer, a bath or a shower?

A: Shower….


7. Name something you think is funny about yourself.

A: I love clowning around…my walk.

8. What’s your favourite food?

A:  Vegetable curry.

9. What body part you consider as (the most) beautiful (oh, and you Have to name one, everyone is beautiful, in some way or another !)

A: My hands….

10. What annoys the crap out of you?

A: those leaf blower things

11. Who do you really admire (can be famous or not).

A: my mother.


3.  Eleven Random facts about me…

1.  I like cooking

2. I like coffee, and drink a lot of it

3.  I love nature, plants

4.  I love books, novels

5.  I love poetry

6.  I love music and singing in my car

7.  I like being with clever people…love that

8.  I do not want eternal life

9.  I stay up late

10.  I like mid mornings best…

11.  I don’t like having sex.


4.  My questions.

1.  Do you have many friends?

2.  What do you value in a friend?

3.  Can a purely online relationship be a true friendship?

4.  How long have you been friends with your longest friendship?

5.  Can a lover also be a friend?

6.  Do you have a pet?

7. What do you like reading?

8.  What kind of person are you?

9.  How do other people see you?

10.  What is your favourite food to eat?

11.  What is your favourite food to cook?


And my nominees….

1. Astral Anastasia…..

2.  Rebecca whom I adore….

3.  Mouse….yes, you.

4.  Domina Jen…of course.

5.  Mickie….


Great Muse song…was going to play Endlessly, but remembered this one….the guitar and all…love the ending of it. Wrote a poem to go with it, but it does not go with it, so I will put that separately….unrelated really.

The slow build here….great. And the absolution thing…death and love and all that.

Glory days of Muse.

“Sing For Absolution”

lips are turning blue
a kiss that can’t renew
I only dream of you
my beautiful

tiptoe to your room
a starlight in the gloom
I only dream of you
and you never knew

sing for absolution
I will be singing
And falling from your grace

there’s nowhere left to hide
in no one to confide
the truth burns deep inside
and will never die

lips are turning blue
a kiss that can’t renew
I only dream of you
my beautiful

sing for absolution
I will be singing
And falling from your grace

sing for absolution
I will be singing
And falling from your grace

our wrongs remain unrectified
and our souls won’t be exhumed.



Episode two

“The old days?”

She pushed back her hair wearily.  Still, she was a growing child and needed to know about things.

“Tell me about it before.”

“Well,” she started, “We used to have a shop.  And I used to love to go to school…Yes I need to tell you about what that was like too.  It was not like now.  I mean things are very damaged now, but school nowadays is much nicer than then.  Anyway, we used to have a shop…..”

“I mean tell me about the men.”

“Men!  What for?”

“You always avoid talking about them.  Tell me about them, please.”

“There is not much to tell, you know.  They were just no use in the end.  And then when they got that disorder, well, we did not have many choices really.  They became so, I don’t know, violent and….”


“What?  Isn’t that enough?  No one liked them in the end….not really.”

They walked on in silence a little further, and the sounds of buildings being destroyed continued as they walked.

“It is good that they are finally doing that,” Mother said vaguely.

Then she saw Friend.  “Hello Beth!  Do you want to come in?”

“O how kind of you!  Yes….hello Anjali.”


For a time there was silence.  Then Marcie started towards the stove and pushed some buttons.

“I want to know about the men!” said the child suddenly.

“Not much to tell really,” said Mother.  Then she added, “I never liked them much.”

“Marcie!  You might not like dogs, but that is no reason not to talk about them.”

“You’re right, but I don’t feel like it.  And I don’t really want to talk about dogs either.”

“Well, what do you know about them?”

“Dogs?  O, men, you mean?”  The Friend paused.  Then she added, “Well, you know what Anjali, I had one once.  Unlike your mummy, I was very fond of them.”

“What was it like?”

“Well, it was pretty stupid like….I mean, we should not call them ‘it’ because in those days, we called them he and him, you see.”

“Was it nice?  What did it do?  What was it for?”

Mother waved her hand again in a gesture of tiredness, and moved back towards the stove.  Not that there was anything she needed to do.

“Well, after the Disorder, we had to start to destroy them unfortunately.  They were, I don’t quite know how to put this, they were, sort of more like themselves, and sort of dangerous.  Some of us tried to create a society for the protection of men, but it was hopeless really.  At least looking back on it….”

“They were never any good, not really.”

“Come on, we evolved with them….we would not be here ourselves.”

“Can’t we talk about something else?”  Mother’s back was slumped a little.

“Why don’t you go to sleep for a while.  I can tell Anjali about the men.”

“Good, O thank you.  Let me just drink this with you.”

“Well, and before you go, what about tomorrow?”

And with one thing and another, they all forgot about the men, and Marcie even forgot to go to rest because life was nice as it was.  Even so, Child had many unanswered questions.