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Today's quote:

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Today I keep my head down with SHOWDOWN

You, too, can read it online at archive.org


It's going to be another hot and humid day, so my thoughts of New Guinea are never far away. And what better way to indulge in such thoughts than by reading Errol Flynn's swashbuckling "SHOWDOWN"?

Don't expect a Shakespearean treat; in fact, it would mostly appeals to those who'd answer the question, "Have you read Shakespeare?", with "No; who wrote it?" It's Mills & Boon with bows and arrows, right down to its print size, except that while Mills & Boon pulped anything not sold within a month, "SHOWDOWN" should've been pulped right at the start.

I mean, who wants to read palpable - should that be 'pulpable'? - trash like this: "She was standing close to him and, her arms about his neck, she was looking deeply and seriously into his eyes. 'Oh, darling', she whispered. 'To hell with pretenses. I suppose I could get frightened at a fish or something and throw myself into your arms for protection. But do I have to?' Suddenly she broke away from him, let her feet down and pushed her way up the sand bar until the water was just above her waist. Facing him, she threw her arms out wide. 'Look at me', she challenged, her head high. 'Don't you want me? Don't you want me at all?'"

The back cover reads, "Born in Tasmania, Errol Flynn spent his youth roaming the South Seas, dabbling in, among other things, smuggling, gold prospecting, slave trading and promoting cockfights. At twenty-three he had to leave New Guinea in a hurry - or face almost certain death at the hands of the outraged natives. He was a legend in his lifetime; he loomed even larger after his death. Whatever his morals, he loved life and lived it with the dashing, swashbuckling bravado with which he wrote his only novel, "SHOWDOWN". He made $8,000,000 in Hollywoood and spent every penny of it on high living. But he always claimed that his greatest addiction was not to drink, drugs or sex, but to curiosity!"

The only reason he had to leave New Guinea in a hurry was to escape his many creditors, and demon drink, drugs and sex always won out over his curiosity. But don't let me disabuse you of your fanciful notions of who Errol Flynn really was; simply read Page 93 in TAIM BILONG MASTA:

Click on image to enlarge


Still, I read things a lot worth when in New Guinea where books were a rarity and, at a pinch, I would read the labels on cans of HEINZ soups.

If Errol's prose gets too hot, I can always reach out for a Feldschlößchen!

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