Dear Small Screen Video: Part III

Words by Oliver Mol

Pictures by Lucy O’Doherty

Published on July 20, 2012

Dear Barbara,


Hold your tongue, dear manager, for I know how hard you work. When Monday did break and pounce with her bosom full, you did remain, my dear leader, hidden, lying in bed, eating Cocopops. Of course you did, for it was your queen’s birthday, the great Queen of England. And so I did watch you sleep, delicate light splashing about your face through your easterly facing window, and I did think,someone must do your bidding. And so almost ceasing to spy on you from the large tree outside your easterly facing window, I did notice there was a puppy at your foot, a man in your bed.

‘HO, HO,’ I did say to myself, ‘I have never eaten puppy.’

‘HO, HO,’ I did say again, deftly scratching my brow.

At this point I did descend from the tree that I did climb, past the magpie nest thinking, though not voicing, HO, HO, I have never tasted magpie, until my feet did touch the ground.

‘Rest, my fearless, tireless, beautiful leader…Rest,’ I did hiss as I ran across the suburban grasses, leaving your house and the tree that I did climb in the rear view mirrors of cars that were now also behind me.

Running, and thus reconfirming my commitment to your business institution, I did arrive at Small Screen Video not one minute to nine. Your doors I did find locked, your windows securely shut. I tell you I did almost depart, did almost shuffle across the street to the gelato store with the one dollar gelato cones. But Barbara, something did stop me, perhaps my infallible soul, and so, left with little option, I did remove the crowbar that I had strapped to my back and so did strike a large hole in your left front window. The commotion was great, the excitement electric, and climbing through the hole, I did open your store and begin playing Matchbox 20 loud on the HIFI stereo.

‘Come one, come all,’ I did yell at the very top of my lungs. ‘For I declare Small Screen Video open.’

It was at this point that the phone did ring, cutting across Matchbox 20’s ‘Unwell’ with terrific and terrifying force, disrupting a ballad that had inspired a generation.

‘Out, out damn spot,’ I did yell, momentarily confused as to why I had quoted Shakespeare.

Shaking my head, lost in a bizarre yet beautiful reverie that did involve equal measures of Matchbox 20 and Shakespeare, I did pick up the telephone and hurl it towards the door, completely and severely striking one policeman in the face.

‘Ha!’ I did think. ‘Ha, ha!’ I did say. ‘Now we are talking.’ By the feet I did drag the policemen through the door and by the underarms I did hoist him into a chair. Observing in both delight and disbelief, I did notice his mustache recently trimmed, dense yet shapely. And Barbara I tell you it was then that I did have a stroke of genius – as I am prone to doing at times like these.

At this point my mind did return to a certain marketing tutorial in 2006, the phrases, ‘no press is bad press,’ and, ‘carpe diem,’ violating my thought channels, and so around the policemen’s neck I did hang a sign, on it the words, ‘you boys like Mex-i-co? Woo-hoo!’ and only four minutes later did a young man in a raincoat rent Super Troopers, our first sale for the day.

Barbara, once more, I tell you shhhhhhhh. You are welcome. I am a seller. I will see you on Thursday Barbara my Barbara.

Yours forever,
Tim Bruce.

P.S. I have been watching Game of Thrones quite a lot recently, which my therapist recommended due to the fantastical nature of the text.

P.P.S. I was not sure what to do with the policemen. I have left him in the supply cupboard.

P.P.P.S. The smashed window was repaired by a friendly although moderately expensive friend. The receipt is in the till.

Oliver Mol is a Melbourne based writer. He can be reached at He is the second writer to be featured in our Struggling Writers Residencies.