Chapter One

A man that believes his own lies is a pathetic individual.

I hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Worzel for weeks. I steeled myself for the worst and paid his camp a visit. Much to my relief, he was alive and well, and the reason for absence was sitting beside him. A tall, skinny bloke who went by the name of Stu.

After an hour or so of chatter, it became blatantly obvious that Stu had as much concern for the truth as the Act party does for the poor. If Worzel had done something once, Stu had done it twice. When I mentioned that I had once been a sales rep, Stu had been one for twice as long and had made more money than an Auckland real estate agent. Just for fun, I told him that I had always wanted to be an Astronaut. Turns out that Stu and Buzz Aldrin were 2nd cousins and that Stu had been all set to fly to the moon, except for one small technicality. Motion sickness. If Sea Legs had been around in the 60’s, Stu would have been the first man to step on the moon.

After 4 weeks with no human companionship, I was having a ball.

Worzel had made some home brew from the juice of a rata vine, and he and Stu hooked into it. As the night wore on, things became funnier and funnier.

Stu was one of those characters that lied so much, their brain couldn’t keep up with what was fact or fiction and eventually gave up trying. A man that believes his own lies is a pathetic individual.

As he and Worzel sought to outdo each other with their lies, their stories became so ridiculous that I couldn’t help but laugh. The following story is true, according to Stu. He was so offended when I told him it was a pack of lies that he threatened to ‘sought me out’. Fortunately for me, he’d sprained his shoulder a few days before when he bench pressed 300kg’s. This is his story, you be the judge.

The Marijuana patch.

I started the ball rolling by talking about the occupational hazard of blundering into Marijuana plots. It always gives me the willies, and I hate finding them. Worzel one-upped me by saying he hated the mongrels that grew the stuff and chopped it down when he found it, all but leaving a note with his name and address on it.

Stu scoffed at both of us, and after scratching his head for a bit so he could ‘remember his story’ told us the following.

He was working up in the Coromandel, donging possums for fluff in the Whangapoua Forest. Apparently, he was getting so much fur he had to take it to a mate of his who lived up the 309 and put it through a wool press. They’d truck it over to Tauranga and ship it off to China once they had enough to fill a container. He made so much money that his bank started charging him to keep it on deposit – they were worried that such a vast sum would attract bank robbers and had to employ extra security guards.

When I asked why he wore such tattered clothes and was drinking Worzel’s homebrew instead of shop brought, he was waiting for me.

Apparently, he was allergic to modern clothes and was only drinking Worzel’s home brew so as not to offend him. When Worzel said he wouldn’t feel hurt if he stopped guzzling his rata beer, Stu deliberately didn’t hear him.

Back to Whangapoua. While he was out cutting a track for a possum line, Stu blundered into the largest Marijuana Patch in New Zealand, if not the world. At that time (according to Stu) the Mongrel Mob, Black Power, Hells Angels and some other gang that I can’t remember, decided to have a truce and monopolise the drug market. Even Rob Muldoon was in on the act, hoping to sort out the foreign exchange deficit and get voted back in next election.

When I started laughing, he gave me a nasty look and said I was too wet behind the ears to remember when Muldoon was ‘In with the gangs’.

Being the virtuous, upright, honest man that he is, he went straight to the police and told them of his find. The Sargent he spoke to at the Whitianga Police Station told him to keep his mouth shut. Or else.

I told Stu that I was young fellow living in Whitianga back then, and could remember the police helicopters scouring the bush for crops and bringing their finds back to the local dump to burn.

Stu scoffed at me. Supposedly, the police helicopters were watering the patch and the loads of green stuff they brought back were common weeds. Conspiracy theories are nothing new.

Even Worzel cracked a bit of a grin, but he was as keen as me to find out how Stu’s pack of lies turned out, so kept his mouth shut.

I’ve got a bucket of skins I need to deal with, so will make this do for now. Will finish the story tomorrow night.

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