|From Fancy Pants to Getting There
By Elizabeth Wright
Review by Audrey Chalifoux.
I first met Elizabeth upon visiting the local Anderida Writers’ Club to see if it would help me with my book. Her rendition of some verse about cleaning with a newly purchased vacuum cleaner had me snickering so hard I nearly descended to the floor. With great anticipation I took the offered manuscript home and curled up and began to read.
If you are wanting bland and dull pick another book. This book will have you in stitches as you are lead by the nose, your feelings, emotions and heartstrings. Despite personal life’s interruptions each chapter had me chortling, snorting and general making funny noises as I tried hard not to make much noise. It was the day I was in a coffee shop reading a chapter that caused several of the other customers to look a little funny at me as I struggled for some decorum.
Liz starts with a pair of knickers, the crotch-less undergarments that saucy ladies wear, being the final straw to a twelve year marriage. The husband was given his comeuppance in front of the local lads from the pub that snickered at his departure in his mud smeared Capri dragging a pansy flower box and scarlet waving panties. He was stopped only moments later by the local Fuzz by his erratic driving and towing features. She walked home pleased that the police were around when she needed them. It was her saviour as murder would have been a lot more awkward as cleaning up the blood and getting rid of the body would a lot more difficult.
A short chapter and verse shows how Liz bagged her ex-husband and later a daughter to the rural retreat which ended with his departing mudslinging exit. Living in the countryside does mean learning that foxes are not being murdered which gives the police the chuckles and cockerels are very noisy but not for dinner.
After deciding to move from the rural retreat, Liz and her daughter Jackie temporarily stayed in a shared boarding house with other interesting people. A younger handsome gentleman came to stay while working on his mechanic degree before departing for Australia. Romance was definitely out the window though lust filled satisfaction was on the cards until he left on an interesting descent down the stairs.
A new home was bought and then the pet business went to pot along with the rest of the country and Liz was at the bottom of the heap. After the bankruptcy Liz was struggling to find a job with no paper documentation to back up her skills. The various tales about her jobs at a pet store, working in a bakery and a variety of possible money making schemes are injected with her humour; and the bright side to the disasters that she faced are absolutely priceless.
Learning about charity shops and rummaging through other people’s rejects show Liz and Jackie a new side of life and learnt that goods are not what makes the world go round but the people and their reactions.
Liz’s description of moving liquid manure in a car is marvellous. No one would have believed the problems caused by a strolling pheasant when Liz braked to avoid it. She and her friend were covered along with the interior of the car. Other cars swerved as they stood by the side of the road like a couple of Worzel Gummidges’ laughing their heads off before continuing their way home. Then they hit the busiest railway crossing which held them for nearly twenty minutes. The smell and the ooze of the liquid manure was too much for Liz who then displayed her talent of being sick,- “passengers on the Victoria to Eastbourne train had a grandstand view of a crusty, brown scarecrow doing projectile vomiting over the bonnet of a rusty old car.”
Liz’s interpretation of the Friday Ad’s section for men looking for women took on a new meaning and insight of what those men were really looking for in life. They range from “don’t think twice” meaning others have run the opposite direction to “genuine single dad” meaning at least a dozen children all with separate women.
Then she met an older man, Charles, who bred budgerigars and had a rugged handsomeness about himself. After a short time of knowing one another Charles invited Liz out but would not tell where he was taking her. After a car journey that had an indication of horrors to come they ended up at the dog track. Liz was not impressed, and a dinner of fish and chips with the ketchup ended up on her coat was the last straw. Finally they headed home or so Liz thought. He pulled off on a dark lane and made his move and was firmly put in his place. But the car was now stuck, Liz in a fit of bad judgement tried to help by pushing the car while Charles revved the engine. The rain which was falling helped the adhesive of mud to stick and there was Liz as a mud lady. They walked back to the main road where a kind white van person took them home. She found out later he was married and his wife had released all his budgies when she accused him of having an affair.
Liz’s description of working in a national cut price store stocking and tidying the shelves and the thievery that went on that the management would not deal with properly is mind numbing of what people get up to doing. After another boxing match with the bankruptcy people (namely the government) wanting more money now that her house is in positive equity Liz needed another job. She found one in a bottle cosmetic factory. Here Liz coped with machinery from the dark ages, bottles with lives of their own, and workers who ranged from moving immigrants to terrorists. This job as the previous one left to go abroad without her.
It was in a dentist office that she struck gold. Liz told her daughter Jackie that she could write better short stories than the ones she was reading in the magazines that litter such offices in hope. With many stops and starts, from archaic typewriters to computers with a new language, Liz has persevered to produce this delightful and humorous take on her voyage through life to this moment in time.
- Audrey Chalifoux.
Click here to read an excerpt from 'From Fancy Pants To Getting There'
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