From the Desk of Wes Piddens
Bonalbo Rural Fire Brigade
16th February 2021
Ms/Mrs/Mr Celine Barbell (hope I got that spelling right)
Twelve months ago, our village of Bonalbo lay in the path of the Bangala Creek fire, and we had to go in hard to pull that fire up, but now us/we at Bonalbo Rural Fire Brigade have just taken delivery of a prefab building, which will be used as our training/meeting /command room. It is proudly plonked, cheek-by-jowl, next to, but set higher than, our fire shed. That shed was a well-known mecca for mosquitos, rats, snakes, rot, frosts and flooding. But that has all changed, and it’s down to you and your bold leadership and fundraising during those dark and fiery days.
Accordionly, we would very much like to hope to dream to ask you to come and cut the cheese/mustard/ribbon and officiously declare our little building to be a Happening Thing.
Bonalbo is an elite/luxe/malnourished village set in the upper Clarence Valley. The town, home to a Bronze Dog, Hidden Mural and a putative Nissan Cedric Museum, exudes ‘highly visible promotional opportunity for celebrities’ the way Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping exude ‘humanity’. Nonetheless, most visitors describe the trip to Bonalbo as ‘a lovely drive’ (although most visitors to Bonalbo come from Old Bonalbo, which is only eleven klicks up the road).
Celeste, we are as flexible as Pluto Pups are festy. If you were to show the slightest interest in coming down, we could schedule this thing any time, day or night. Obviously, the optimum window would be in the next three months or so, since this building didn’t come with much of a warranty and might be past its prime come the end of May. The officiousness could take any form you desired and be a golden five minutes to treasure. Frankly, if we could breathe the same smoke-free air for a short while and express our gratitude to you, our lives would be pretty much complete. Which is sad.
So, what do you say, Celeste? If you don’t say ‘Yes!’ we’ll be forced to ask a politician, and nobody wants that. Then again, if you do have to say the ‘Nay No’, please accept this letter as a sincere token of our genuine gratitude for your magnificent spearheading, awesome dosh-raising and general not-f-ing-around-ism.
Bonalbo Rural Fire Brigade
18th March 2022
Ms/Mrs/Mr Ceylon Boudoir (hope I got that spelling right)
That other letter is now passe, redundant and past its use-by. Here’s the skinny on the latest situation here in Bonalbo.
Upon sober reflection it was decided that the momentum of your Big Star juggernaut may be somewhat dissipated were you to down tools and trundle to a hick burg, there to be greeted with flowers, accordions, slack jaws, speeches and associated embarrassing fawnery. We thought it would be cruel to put you on that spot.
Every mental molecule of our concerted brain power was applied, for months and months, to the problem of expressing our gratitude to you. When the fug finally cleared, a way ahead was revealed. We would name our new, luxe training/meeting/command room after you and install a dandy plaque to remind the world, and generations to come, of your badassery and social leadership.
So that’s what we’ve done. Hope that’s cool with you.
BTW, the floods came to Bonalbo. The Fire Station was flooded, but not the Celeste Barber Training Room.
Oh no, she sat high, plucky and dry in a display of architectural fortitude that made Noah look like a preposterous biblical myth.
It goes without saying that if you ever come to Bonalbo to marvel at the Bronze Dog, Hidden Mural or putative Nissan Cedric Museum we’d be only too happy to facilitate an inspection of the Celeste Barber Training Room, a caressing of the luxe plaque and even the taking of impressions in wet cement of hands/feet/body parts. Just say the word.
But seriously, Celeste, this is a good thing that you have done and we are grateful.
A lesson to us all.