I could tell when he did, all the local wildlife went streaming through the open front door and out through the previously closed back door before disappearing into the tangled overgrowth called (imaginatively, considering it was the Council’s choice) ‘The Bingerbread Cottage Enchanted Forest’!
It was also evident when, after the last Squirrel had disappeared, I heard a loud CLATTER of my precious motorbike hitting the ground, followed by an equally loud “SORRY – I WAS ONLY LOOKING AT IT, NOT TRYING TO GET ON IT” from my Guest.
Yes, you’ve guessed who my Guest is – the biggest, strongest, furriest Blogger in the Cyberworld – Chris, The Story Reading Ape!
After Badger reluctantly assisted him to get untangled and out from under the motorbike Chris finally made it through the now permanently open front door (it was no longer attached to the door frame) and settled himself onto my three seater settee (which STILL has a sag in it)
I greeted him and the interview commenced as follows (I took the precaution of recording it, in case I wouldn’t have enough elbow room to write – and I was right – I didn’t)
Would you like some of my twin brother Cameron’s Home Made Peanut Brittle instead of nibbling the potpourri?
Thank you, these funny little multicoloured nibbles DO taste a little too exotic for me, sort of ‘perfumery’ if you know what I mean (he said with a big furry, pointy fanged grin).
Do you like dogs? No, not for lunch, I can always put them away in the other room if they bother you.
No, No, I LIKE dogs and I’d NEVER eat an uncooked one – ONLY JOKING !!!(he added quickly as Lily started chewing delicately on ape toes)
Well, Lily seems to have taken a great liking to you, judging by the way she’s gently tugging at your ankle fur and drooling copiously.
Y-E-S – I can see that mmmm.
So – your famous blog is one year old now and I really want to know – how did you come up with the idea?
I’m a great fan of Sir Terry Pratchett who writes all about the goings on at Discworld (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discworld) and he once said that all humans were really just apes and that the main difference between the ape-humans who survived and the other ape-humans who didn’t, was because they told stories! This helped them avoid and survive the things that destroyed the non-story telling ape-humans!
Well I thought, for every story teller there has to be at least one listener and since I can’t tell stories to save my life but love to hear them, I must be descended from the story listener species.
Taking this thought a little further, since people who do story TELLING (verbally) seem to be getting few and far between nowadays and story WRITING is on the increase, this must mean that evolution has changed them from story tellers to story writers!
THAT must mean that story LISTENERS have ALSO evolved to become story READERS, and that includes ME!
After this revelation, I decided to try and help keep these new evolved story writers (and thereby save the ape-human race) by promoting those ‘not yet rich and famous’ ones I discovered as I explored the mutliverse of stories I read.
Are you a writer yourself? Are the Ape memoires going to appear on the shelves sometime?
HAHAHAHA, as I said, I couldn’t tell a story to save my life, never mind WRITE any. With regards to my memoires, whoever would be interested in reading about an old moth-eaten, ape like me HAHAHA!
It is incredibly altruistic of you to give all us baby-writers a leg-up on the artistic ladder – does it cost you a fortune?
Oh, I don’t ever think of anyone who writes stories as Babies who need pampering – far from it – I’m, in fact challenging them to write more stories, write and edit better and to help them promote themselves and their stories!
But I regard any expenditure as an investment in the survival and future of ape-humankind (STOP TITTERING YOU IN THE CHEAP SEATS AT THE BACK!).
If I can help keep the art and skill of story making alive for future generations, so they can enjoy them as much as I do, then any costs will be worthwhile.
I imagine that all this voluntary work with authors takes up a lot of time but if you do find some free time – what do you like to do?
In my free time, apart from reading, which entertains and educates me, I like to listen to music from classical to some modern – I have a little hearing issue that prevents me making out the words of songs sometimes, but I find that the tunes themselves can benefit the spirit of the inner ape.
I also love walking in fresh air, be it in the countryside or seaside, although sometimes the wind can be a bit lazy, especially when cold, and cuts through me rather than go around me.
Where do you live?
In a nice leafy suburb of South East Manchester, England.
Is there a troupe or are you a lone silverback?
I have a treasure of a wife who, luckily, shares many of the things I like to do, plus I have a little sister and a daughter.
Oh yes, I’ve had a long and varied life of employment.
When I was 16, I worked for my hometown Council, in between leaving College and starting an apprenticeship in a local large Engineering Company. I helped to tend a large Cemetery and digging of graves. Did you know that when they say ‘Six Feet Under’, they mean it’s six feet of soil above the top of the coffin, but the grave is actually eight feet deep?
My friend and I had many an adventure discovering old unmarked graves running across new graves we were digging LOL.
I’ve worked at many aspects of engineering from the ground up, in design, manufacture, on-site supervision, installation and commissioning of equipment ranging from Power Station Turbines through Air-conditioning Chillers and Air Handling Units for Townhouses to Palaces and Tower Blocks through Shopping Malls and Hospitals.
I have also been fortunate enough to have lived and worked in several European and Middle Eastern Countries, with occasional visits to Far Eastern Countries, dealing with a variety of nationalities.
(he said, straightening his back, puffing out his impressive 75 inch belly and growling softly – but not in the least bit terrifyingly)
Readers, please do not dismiss the books of self-published independent authors (Indies) as a waste of time or money.
Granted, there are a lot who have not taken the proper time and care they should have before publishing, or who do it for all the wrong reasons (like making money).
But, there are also MANY who are turning out well written stories that easily rival those of the more famous authors.
Take a chance, after all, many of their books cost LESS than a Lottery Ticket, but you have a better chance of getting a good read than you have of winning the lottery!
If you want to know some I can recommend, check out my blog Authors Hall of Fame (http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/tsras-hall-of-fame/)
Well, with that (and after persuading Lily to let go of him) Chris arose, removed the settee from his bottom, finished off the last of the Peanut Brittles and (luckily) left through the still wide open front door, resisting any further ‘Looking” at my motorcycle and knuckled off down the lane into the picturesque smog of sunset.
PS. Several hours later Badger, Lily and I awoke to the sight and sound of the local wildlife returning to their own homes via the reopened back door and the removed boards of the front door!