Saturday, July 31, 2010


(In German)

Wenn der Kindheit frohe Tage

Voll Liebe und Geborgenheit

sind weit zurueck und ohne Frage

Naehert sich die Ewigkeit.

Erscheint ein Stern und blinkt vertraulich

Erinnerungen werden wahr

Gefuehle, Ahnungen und Kindheit,

Sind auf einmal wieder da!

Peter Frederick

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

From my book: ON THE ROAD AGAIN


It was mid-afternoon and I was to call on Frank’s Floor Services, a small retailer in the town who wanted me to update his samples. The only problem was that I always had to endure Frank’s talkative high spirits, whenever I had called on him.

I was hoping to avoid his long, drawn-out monologues as I dragged my case with samples into his shop.

‘Pete, me boy! How are ye?’ his garrulous voice boomed from the back of the shop.

‘Very well, Frank! And how are you!’ I answered as I handed him some samples and brochures to show him.

Suddenly, Frank looked up and exclaimed, ‘Nigel, say hello to me mate Pete!’

Spinning around, I saw a thin looking young man with thick, round glasses and a pimply face.

‘Good afternoon!’ he nodded quickly, looking a bit confused, not knowing what else to say.

‘Nice to meet you Nigel!’ I smiled, ‘and what are you doing, if I may ask? I kept my voice jovial and matey.

‘Oh, he is good on the computer and also invents things!’ added Frank. ‘Tell Pete what you have just finished doing!’

Nigel seemed to be grateful for a topic he was familiar with;

’I’ve made a surfboard!’ he stated.

‘Yes,’ Frank took over, ‘not just any surfboard but it’s a very special one! Go and show Pete!’

Nigel led the way to the back of the shop and into a large shed that was converted into a workshop. The smell of wood and solvent was strong but not unpleasant.

‘There it is,’ he said, pointing at the biggest surfboard I had ever seen.

‘Wow, Nigel!’ I gasped. ‘This is huge, you made it for an elephant?’

‘I’ve made it with very thin plywood and fibre glass, feel how light it is.’ Nigel smiled happily, warming to this subject

With some hesitation I laid hands on this monster and expected some sort of a hernia trying to lift it but to my amazement it nearly floated up in the air. How can anything that looks as tall as a tree trunk, shaved down to a nice flat curve, be so light in weight, I wondered.

‘It’s incredible how light it is, Nigel. How did you do this?’ I asked placing it carefully back where it had come from. Suddenly, it looked fragile, to me.

‘Like I said, it is very thin plywood, reinforced with fibre glass which makes it so strong! I hope to get into the Guinness Book of Records with this!’

I shook my head in amazement.

‘Would you like to come with me, I am going to try it out right now.’ He announced in a tone that made me feel privileged to be asked.

‘W...what do you mean Nigel?’ I stammered.

‘I’m taking it to the beach right now to try it out; you are welcome to watch me make history. Would you like to come with me?’

As this was a beach resort we only had to cross a road to reach the sand. From there it would be only a few steps to the water.

Since I had finished with my calls in this town and only had a motel booked and waiting for me in the next town, so I thought, ‘what the heck!’

‘But don’t you have to!’ he said.

Like a generous uncle, I nodded agreement. ‘Just let me stow my things back into my car, I’ll be back in a moment!’

When I returned to the shop, he was already standing outside his shop with a firm grip on his enormous surfboard, which looked more like an elongated platform. The wind tousled his reddish hair and even his pimples seem to be glowing with pride!

I offered to help him carry the board but he declined. ‘I have to do this by myself!’ he stated, stepping towards the kerbside.

The road was clear of traffic and there was a continuous light breeze coming from the ocean, treating his surfboard like a sail, trying to blow him back to the shop front.

Nigel increased his grip on the board and took a deep breath, and with an aggressive stance tried to rush across the street. He made it to the middle but was then blown back to his original position.

He decided to face the wind with the small side of the board to eliminate the resistance. His red face became a lighter shade and as soon as he had recovered, he started to cross again.

This time he nearly crossed the road when the breeze changed direction and with a hefty puff of wind, he and his surfboard became very nearly airborne. Again, he found himself back at on the footpath and backed against his shop front.

But he seemed determined not to let go of the board, as this could become an extremely dangerous projectile once in the air!

Feeling sorry and embarrassed for the lad, I tried to extricate myself from this situation but he was so confident of getting to the water that I decided to stay with him, at least for a little while longer. There was surely a technique to it and he had to find it!

His next attempt was to hold his monster platform low and from the front, apply maximum weight to stop any updraft. Of course the other end dragged on the ground but that was not important, reaching the sand and the beach was!

He actually managed to cross the road, and once he arrived there, a gust of wind hit the back of his board, spinning him around uncontrollably, like a spinning top and again, he was blown back to his starting point, outside his father’s shop.

I stayed to witness some more unsuccessful attempts and in the end he too had to give up his record-breaking attempt, as he was becoming winded.

I said my ‘Goodbye’s, as he dragged his monstrous creation dejectedly back into the shop.

To this day, I don’t know whether Nigel has ever reached the water!

Peter Frederick

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Friday, July 16, 2010














Peter Frederick

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I do not like work in a big team,

With devious colleagues who seem,

Informing the boss,

And don’t give a toss,

When upset, I feel like a scream!

Peter Frederick

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Saturday, July 10, 2010


A have lots of ex-friends at last,

A useless lot in the past!

Nothing but taking,

Based friendship on faking

Reciprocity was too much to ask!

Peter Frederick

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Saturday, July 3, 2010



Entering the pub, one finds the noise almost unbearable. But in the adjacent room, three company representatives found enough space to retreat into and stand in a circle, each with a glass of the amber fluid in one hand.

They had just met a few minutes earlier, on the way in and had recognised each other as fellow company representatives and therefore a kind of bond, a recognition of rank and status in the world of commerce had quickly been established.

Fred wore a dark blue suit with a waistcoat to match and had, out of habit, his clipboard in one hand and a ballpoint pen sticking out of his small pocket that had originally been designed for a handkerchief.

Charlie was the chubby one and had the mannerism of an easy-going sales representative. Only his eyes betray his alertness and knowledge of business practices and types of human beings.

Brian, who wore a tweedy sports jacket with leather patches at the elbows, gave the appearance of the architect or similar intellectual, he would normally call on.

For some reason, the conversation soon turned to the subject managing directors and, encouraged by the room’s open fireplace and the warm and cosy atmosphere, they opened up and now have a lot to say!

Charlie: ‘My managing director is a real shifty one, he keeps promising me a pay rise year after year but it never eventuates. Who knows, he may better his own income at my expense.

Every year, he takes his family of five to Tasmania for twelve days. Once there, he meets with customers and business contacts for two days, which mean extensive lunches and one or two casual chats, mainly about how good he is personally and how well he is leading his company.

The rest of ten days are spent with his family with no expenses spared!

Upon his return to his office, he puts it through the books as having worked for ten days and only two days holidays. He can do that and get away with it as he is the managing director – there is nobody above him in this country!

His overseas principals trust him and leave everything to him, as long as everything has been booked properly, accounting-wise, no questions are being asked of him.

Charlie appears to be really worked-up about this and takes a disgusted sip from his brew. Obviously, being a conscientiously working company representative, he can only shudder at this going-on of his top superior.

Brian and Fred suddenly had flushed faces and nodded at him in sympathy.

After one more gulp of beer Brian commiserated: ‘I can relate to every word you said! Why, my managing director goes to a car dealer and says ‘I am in the market for seven new company cars. All station wagons, with cruise control and all the other extras. If you give me ten thousand dollars in cash, unmarked, in an envelope and delivered to a certain address, I sign the deal with you!’

And then he adds a punch-line, ‘I change my company’s fleet every two years and the number of cars I need are getting more as my company is growing.’

He gets away with that because he is a managing director! The last two words were uttered with a raised voice and in an expression of utter disgust.’

Again, a long draw from his glass seems to calm him down but his raised left hand indicated that he had something else to add. Patiently, Fred and Charlie nodded at him understandingly.

Thus Brian continued: ‘He sacked a representative in Perth for drinking during working hours when, in fact, he was drinking with him! It was on one of his so-called inspection trips where he’s always invited old Dave to a pub for a long discussion about business but in fact it has always been a long and heavy drinking session!

And boy, can he drink! He is so fast in this that only after a few minutes his face always turns red like a stop sign…..

‘How is this possible?’ Fred and Charlie interjected. Whilst they believe Brian, of course, the reality of this was difficult to comprehend.

Brian shrugged his shoulders. ‘He asked for the car keys and gave him a lift to the nearest taxi stand. There, poor Dave had to rummage around the car for his belongings and store them into this taxi. His former boss then drove off, totally soused – but nothing ever happens to these creatures.

‘How can that be?’ Fred thought aloud. ’By law, anybody, who gets sacked on- the-spot, must be paid off instantly. Did he give the man a cheque?’

‘No he didn’t! The payment arrived much later by mail, right before the court case.’

‘That cannot be! That is against the law’

‘He is the managing director; he can do as he pleases. There was this industrial court case, of course, but there he spoke, with his air of born-to-rule and stentorian voice, he was instantly believed by the magistrate. Naturally, the employee did not have the same eloquence and had a deflated attitude right from the start of the court case……..’

‘Bloddy ‘ell!’ Charlie could only utter. ‘I know what these people are up to, but I’ve never heard anything like that. Myself, I’ve been to the Department of Labour and Industry twice with previous companies, trying to lodge a complaint about a whole string of law-breaking but did not get anywhere. Firstly, I had to wait for two hours because the room was full of people who had something to report, then a young man obediently noted everything I said down on a form. When finished, he looked at my itemised list and assured me that it will take at least six months before they can deal with it as they have such a big workload.

Aw, forget it,’ I replied. ‘I won’t be with the company by then!’ Then I walked out. It is really hopeless to buck the system. After all, a boss is a boss is a boss…..’

Fred seemed to get visibly depressed, listening to all this. But he, too, was no stranger to the machinations of heads of companies. Everybody turned expectantly to him for his contribution.

But he looked upwards with darting eyes as if having difficulties about where to start.

Finally, his words started to flow: ‘My boss, every now and then, declares a container load of goods he receives from overseas as damaged through transport and therefore unsalable. This can happen, of course, when you receive a lot of containers into the warehouse and they have undergone an extensive journey, that is half around the world.

So he claims compensation from his company’s insurance and, with that money, sends-off an order for a replacement from his European supplier.

The insurance company takes away the container with the supposedly damaged goods and puts it in a public auction for disposal at a fraction of their real worth.

At the time of auction, my managing director appears there and, as a private person, manages to succeed in his bidding. Now the container with the immaculate goods belong to him privately and he has it taken away and disperses it at an attractive price through his contacts in the trade. With an enormous profit to him personally, of course.

He does this quite regularly and with the proceeds buys house as a nest egg. Nobody knows about this and he known in his state as a company director, a family man and citizen in good standing!’

Everybody is now shaking their head and staring sadly at their now empty glass. Fred feeling that it is his shout, collects them and leaves to return soon with full glasses of glowing amber fluid with the foam hanging tenaciously over the rim of the glasses.

‘Yes,’ Fred utters slowly, as if speaking to himself’ We have a warehouse with a fork lift that is diesel-driven! In a confined space! The warehouse worker has to keep front and backdoor open to prevent himself from fainting’.

Four eyes are staring at him, wide and in disbelieve.

‘There is no shower for the store man despite what the law says, no working clothes, no kitchen facilities – why, he had to buy his own pie warmer and a plastic chair to sit down.

And the product samples the company gets from the overseas manufacturer and the discontinued items the managing director gives to his son, who has a retail shop that sells them in addition to the normal line of goods. Of course, that never goes through the books and there is easily $ 80 000.—income from them the government does not know about.’

Charlie, who has just swallowed more of his tasty substance in his glass, finds time to remark:’ They try to crack down on black cash – theoretically, everything has to go through the books. Wage earners like you and I cannot get away with anything. But such a managing director with their natural cunning get away with their schemes. And society and the law seems to accord them a superior position and, if queried, a monopoly of truth!

The conversation ceases and the quiet in the little room becomes oppressive as everybody ponders this last sentence. Even the sipping has stopped and is being replaced by sad nodding of people in-the-know!

Peter Frederick

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