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 The SHORTS Project



He’s off at their place now. Always goes there, straight after breakfast on Saturdays; listens to the races – with them. He gets a hot meal for lunch though; just has a grill for tea…

It’s quiet here, without him… he listens to the races. He always listens to the races on Saturdays. Last year he collected thirty dollars winnings. Money he’d won. Usually ends up giving it all back though, three dollars this week, two fifty the next…

He’ll be back at five thirty. Later. He’s with them now, listening to the races. Has a hot lunch though – with them.

So quiet…

We always have the races on the radio when he’s here – loud. Always have them on – so it’s quiet when he’s out with them…

Can’t stop him. Just have to let him go his own way. He’s got to have something to occupy his time now – since his retirement..

Quiet without him here. No one to talk to. Alone here. No noise. Quiet.

He comes back at five thirty. He’ll be back soon. Five thirty. Won’t be long now. He’s listening to the races. He won’t win any money. He might win some money.

Oh, well, better get him his grill. He likes it as soon as he arrives. He’ll be back soon. Always goes, straight after breakfast on Saturdays; listens to the races. It’s all he’s got – the races.

I don’t understand the races.

‘Did you win?

‘Have you been drinking?
‘No, I haven’t.
‘I can smell rum on your breath.
‘No, I haven’t.
‘I didn’t have any rum.
‘Have you been drinking?
‘You have been drinking. I can smell it.
‘All I had was a cup of coffee.
‘On your breath.
‘A couple of cups of coffee.
‘A couple of cups of coffee.
‘It was the rum in the coffee.
‘It was coffee.
’With rum in it.

’So you didn’t win.
‘Did you lose?
‘Yes, you did.
‘No, I didn’t.
‘Yes, you did.
‘A bit.
‘How much?
‘A bit.

‘Three dollars.

’How far in front are you now?
‘I’m alright.
’How far?
‘A bit.
’How much?
‘Not much.
’How much?
‘I’m behind.
’How far behind are you?
‘A bit.
’How far?
‘Three dollars.

’So, if you hadn’t gone today, you’d be even.
’You’d be even.
’If you hadn’t gone…
’Left me here…
’On my own., in the quiet.. on my own..

‘I’ve got to have something. Some pleasure. With the boys – it’s all I’ve got…
It’s all I’ve got.

‘Would you like your grill now?
‘I’ve kept it hot.
‘In the oven,
‘You’re late,
‘No, I’m not.
‘It’s six-o-clock,
‘Got a flat tyre,
‘Did you change it?
‘Your hands aren’t dirty,
‘Washed ‘em,
‘At the pub,
’So you have been drinking,
‘I might’ve been drinking,
‘Yes, you have,
‘I might’ve had a drink,
‘I might’ve had some rum,
‘I’ll get your grill,

’It’s been in the oven.
‘I know,
‘It’s alright.
’While you were drinking.
‘It’ll be alright,
’In the pub.

’I’ll turn on the television,
’We’ll watch the television,

’There you are,
‘Yes. ‘
’It’s coming on.
’The picture’s coming on,.
’It’s the races.

‘He’ll go to sleep now, you watch, he’ll go to sleep, Soon as the tele comes on, he goes to sleep. You watch. See? He’s going to sleep…

His eyes get tired about six-o-clock, he likes his little sleep, when the tele comes on. Won’t sleep without the tele… won’t sleep.

Sometimes he talks to me, when the tele’s not on. Sometimes. Usually he goes to sleep. His mouth’ll drop open in a minute… look, there it goes.. Plop. An’ he’ll start snoring. He’ll snore right through the races. Right through ‘em.

If I turn the tele off, he’ll wake up. Then he shouts at me for turning the tele off. He likes his tele. Gives him a chance to relax… gives me the shits.


‘Wake up!’
‘Wake up, y’old bugger. The tele’s finished, wake up. It’s time to go to bed.
‘Whaa.. ?
‘It’s time to go to bed. The tele’s finished..
‘Tele’s finished.. ?
’I missed the races


‘What else was on?
‘Whaddya mean, nothing?
’Do you want a ouppa tea?
‘Whaddya mean, nothing?
’Do you want a cuppa tea?
’I’ll make a cuppa tea.
‘I don’t want a cuppa tea.
‘You like your tea, don’t you?
‘I hate tea.
‘You like tea, don’t you..
’In a cup.
‘I always have tea in a cup.
’Do you want a cuppa tea?

’Got a dry mouth?
‘You always have a dry mouth on Saturdays.
‘Cause you’ve been drinking.
’That you’ve got a dry mouth..
‘No, I haven’t,

‘Been drinking…’
‘Yes, you have.
‘You gonna get that tea?
’You always get a dry mouth when you’ve been drinking..
‘You gonna get that tea?
’On Saturdays.

’I’ve got a good mind not to getcha that tea.
‘Why not?
’Let you suffer,
’For yer drinking.
‘I’ll get the tea,
’No, you won’t.
’I’ll get the tea.

‘Cause I love you.
’Even if you do drink.
’An’ gamble yer pension..

’An’ leave me here,.
’On me own.. in the quiet,. on me own,.
‘Like a bloody worn out record…
‘It’s nag, nag, nag all the bloody time..
’Don’t you swear at me.
‘Every Sat’dy night, regular as clockwork..
’It’s all I’ve got.
’It’s all I’ve got. To do – talk to you. You’re all I’ve got.
’You’re all I’ve got…’



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