Greasy Williams

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs

Greasy Williams arrived at the sniff of the teapot!

Submitted: February 09, 2018

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Submitted: February 09, 2018



Old Williams lived down the road and was one of a few who would turn up at their door to bludge cream, eggs or vegetables from Henry’s Dad. He had a nose for the teapot so had a habit of arriving just as Mum was taking a batch of scones from the oven. Henry’s sisters called him ‘Greasy’ because of is furtive looks down their tops and the ‘accidental’ touching by brushing their bare arms or with his finger glancing across a blushing cheek. They reckoned he used to ogle at them.

Of all the people that came to the door, Greasy Williams was the only one that Homer didn’t like! Homer was an old dog that Henry’s family took in because his elderly master was admitted to an old soldiers’ home. Homer was a docile black and white dog with some fox terrier in him, and he became a loved family member with no bad habits, except for the instinct to drive old Greasy Williams off the property! He seemed have picked up the vibe that the family didn’t like to have the man around. Williams drove a Rover 75, not a cheap car in those days, which begged the question: why did he need all the handouts? He didn’t endear himself to the family one bit when ran over Homer! Somehow the poor dog became tangled with the wheel, possibly by biting a tyre, while trying to chase William’s car out the gate! The poor dog’s skull was crushed!

Greasy Williams used to drive the rural mail delivery van over most of Banks Peninsular. With the mail he also delivered milk, bread and groceries if the people made the correct arrangements. He came to know Henry’s Dad by buying the milk from his milk treatment and bottling plant. The bays around Banks Peninsular were accessed by steep, gravel roads and Greasy Williams related many stories about his adventures, while scoffing down Mum’s scones and swigging free, sweetened tea. The only story that stuck in Henry’s memory was when he was negotiating the road down into Pigeon Bay, when suddenly he had a nose bleed!  Blood shot all over the windscreen and so he couldn’t see where he was going and had to switch on the wipers! He crashed into a bank! Even at seven years old Henry picked him as a bigger liar than Tom Pepper! Wipers go on the outside of the windscreen!

Henry liked being around his Dad, earwigging. He was with them when Greasy Williams offered him a partnership in in a lucrative business venture. An actual, real-dinky goldmine over on the West Coast! It occurred to young Henry that anyone making a fortune from a goldmine wouldn’t want to sell it! He thought Dad didn’t click onto that, probably because the cash register was dinging in his head. Greasy Williams must have seen the pound symbols reflected in Dad’s eyeballs and laid on the palaver about how good it was and how rich they would become. But first he needed some cash.

Dad tried to show that he wasn’t as keen as mustard, and on the quiet went off to see old Curly at bank to get an idea how much he could drag out of his account. But Dad faced the biggest battle at home! Mum and the girls wanted no partnership with Greasy Williams no matter how much was to be made out of the venture – if anything was to be made, nobody trusted Greasy. Henry was too young to be listened to but he contributed his idea that a goldminer would be dumb to sell the mine if he was finding gold!

The clincher came when Old Greasy slunk into the kitchen with his beady eyes on the teapot! He was licking his lips at the thought of the shortbread his nose told him Mum had just taken out of the oven. She saw him from out of the window, so covered the tray with a tea towel hoping he wouldn’t notice them. He wasn’t so easily fooled and when Mum couldn’t get out of lifting the tea towel to expose the shortbread, he noticed the aluminium-new-fangled foil she had covered the tray with. At the time, aluminium foil was a brand new product and Mum was using it for the very first time. Greasy Williams ran his fingers over the foil and seemed intrigued.

‘You know, that’s the same stuff their suits are made from!’ Greasy said in a far-off voice showing his amazement.

‘Who’s suits?’ Dad asked off-handedly.

‘The Martians,’ Greasy replied, ‘they wear shiny stuff just like this!’

‘Martians?’ Dad repeated.

Mum looked at Henry and Henry held his eyes wide open with his fingers and thumbs.

‘Oh yes the Martians wear silver suits,’ confided Greasy, ‘I have seen them lots of times, they took me for a ride in their flying saucer once!’

‘You’ve been in a Martian flying saucer?’ Dad tried not to smile. ‘Were did they land?’

‘In a paddock just before you drop into Little Akaloa.’ Said Greasy matter-of-factly. ‘I’ve met them there many a time!’

Henry had questions, but Dad shushed him, and asked, ‘How big are these Martians?’

‘They’re about as tall as young Henry, here,’ replied Greasy Williams, ‘I had to hunch up when they took me up in the saucer.’

The proposed partnership in the West Coast goldmine were never mentioned in the house again.

© Copyright 2018 moa rider. All rights reserved.

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