Drabblecast 163 - Once a Month on a Sunday

Discuss episodes and stories from the Drabblecast Main Feed and from Drabbleclassics
User avatar
Kevin Anderson
Forums Czar
Posts: 349
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:06 pm
Location: Southern California
Contact:

Drabblecast 163 - Once a Month on a Sunday

Post by Kevin Anderson » Thu May 13, 2010 5:15 pm

Drabble- Special Delivery
by Diane Elliott

Once a Month on a Sunday
by Ian McHugh

Once a month, on a Sunday, Mum and me and my little brother Zubby would dress up in our best clothes, Mum would put ribbons in my hair, and we’d all walk into town to go to church...

Image

Music by Norm Sherman, Gringo Motel and Thinkmedia
"Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion"

Facebook | Web Site | Night of the Living Trekkies | Book Trailer

User avatar
moonowl
Member
Posts: 613
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:33 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by moonowl » Fri May 14, 2010 5:05 am

Instant Digression:

Is it time for MBDM again? Huh huh?
You can't keep a soul in a box. You gotta wear it proud. It's gotta be yours, not someone else's. -Sing

User avatar
strawman
Member
Posts: 5966
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: South Georgia

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by strawman » Fri May 14, 2010 1:54 pm

Bo gotta draw a bunyip?
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

User avatar
moonowl
Member
Posts: 613
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:33 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by moonowl » Sat May 15, 2010 4:42 am

Anyway...

The story was fun. I came away with the little girl was using her imagination to escape her stressful family situation. Gosh knows I did that enough as a kid.

Love the artwork. Adorable.
You can't keep a soul in a box. You gotta wear it proud. It's gotta be yours, not someone else's. -Sing

User avatar
normsherman
Site Admin
Posts: 1427
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 4:58 am

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by normsherman » Mon May 17, 2010 4:59 am

Yeesh, tumble weed!

Well, I thought the story rocked! :)
"Give us all some Jelly"

User avatar
dreamrock
Member
Posts: 1058
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by dreamrock » Mon May 17, 2010 12:34 pm

:lol: Normally, I'd have all sorts of spiffy things to say. Unfortunately, my comrade at work was attacked and nearly assassinated by his gall bladder and I'm the only one who knows how to do his job. I listened to the episode while doing the inventory count Thursday or Friday ... I don't remember which. Anyway, between the extra sleep deprivation (I don't believe in going to bed early and his job starts earlier than mine) and being distracted by the stupid count (grr, I'm bad at counting large numbers of things), I didn't get a clear picture out of this.

It feels like either the monster in the river is really just a big snake and the little girl is worried about nothing (except a gigantic river snake, sheesh) or she's overconfident and going to be eaten by the river god in the night for daring to steal water from the river without sacrificing a rodent. Why does the river god like rodents? I dunno. I prefer chimichangas, but I suspect they're hard to come by there.

There's also a bunch of interesting stuff going on with Islam vs. Christianity, but I was too distracted to get most of it. I have no idea what the Green Christ is about, but it reminds me of the various Buddhas in Buddhism. Some are actually different Buddhas than Siddhartha (like what we westerners like to call Lucky Buddha ... the chubby one) and some are actually just posed differently to represent different aspects of Enlightenment.

Which, when combined with Christianity, we could imagine Water Walking Christ which would represent the Christ which meets us in crisis, Fish and Loaves Christ which would represent the Christ which blesses us with abundance when there's none to be had, etc.

So, which Christ is the Green Christ? I dunno. The one that tells us how the Kingdom of God is near to us in the "here's how our relationship to God is similar to common chores you're all familiar with" maybe. But if that's the case, we see that the way the local church has emphasized this hasn't actually been meaningful to the children. It's not that this Christ is insufficient, it's that its representatives have done a pretty poor job. Which tends to be typical of representatives in general, whether they represent God, men, or the growing feline interest groups.

Of course, the real reason the children have embraced the teachings of Mohammed is more likely to be that they feel like outsiders, the only Muslim they know is an outsider, and it's mysterious.

I drastically feel like I shouldn't post something this comprehensive about something I wasn't able to give much attention to, but, as Norm noted, the story does seem a little lonely of comment here.

Hopefully my barely-on-topic rambling will inspire some on-topic rambling.
Dribblecast: A Community-Driven Podcast | Troll Jammies

"There's no such thing as enough Tequila."

User avatar
strawman
Member
Posts: 5966
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: South Georgia

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by strawman » Mon May 17, 2010 1:24 pm

I went to a lot of trouble to ascend the Mountain of Meaning on this one, only to find the guru at the top had put up one of those clock signs saying that he'd be back at... but the little hand had been removed, so Something Thirty. I thought maybe this sign is a sign, so I sat down and meditated to understand the meaning of Something Thirty.

While I was sitting there, a number of the DC community made their way up the Mountain of Meaning. Mistaking me for the guru, they asked for the meaning of the story. All I could do was point to the sign.

It occurred to me that I had heard the story before, but I couldn't remember where. Then I recalled that this was also not the first time I had ascended this mountain and encountered this sign. Surely, I was approaching Enlightenment!

But the closest I came to Enlightenment was the thought of how very much Enlightenment is like one of those sneezes that gets 90% out, and then never happens. Where did it go? And then I remembered that this too had happened before. The Mountain, the sign, the sneeze, the foggy recollections.

Amazingly, the longer I spent on the Mountain of Meaning the more the inventory of mysterious revelations stacked up. It swelled until the very sky itself was shrouded in shadow of cloud, and I thought, "April is the cruelest month".

"Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata", replied the thunder.

With that came the rain. With a groan barely discernable amidst the wind and rain, The mountain of Meaning seemed to tilt. I looked up just as a flash of lightning illuminated the impossibly stacked wall of deja vu crashed down on our heads, sweeping us down the mountainside.

Shantih shantih shantih

I awoke to find myself in a large warehouse, counting inventory, wondering where the hell Zubby was. Oh, that's right, I forgot. Gall bladder.

I called over to the forklift driver, what time is it?

"Half-past", he replied.

I couldn't shake the strong feeling that I had been here before.

I had to sit down and wonder what it might mean.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

User avatar
moonowl
Member
Posts: 613
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 10:33 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by moonowl » Mon May 17, 2010 4:28 pm

strawman wrote: I had to sit down and wonder what it might mean.
psssst, I said make sure to snack on the brownies I left on the table, not the ones wrapped up in the cupboard.


(but well done!)
You can't keep a soul in a box. You gotta wear it proud. It's gotta be yours, not someone else's. -Sing

shoebox
Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:43 pm

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by shoebox » Mon May 17, 2010 6:13 pm

The wording of this struck me as very awkward, which gave the story a presumably-deliberate uncomfortable and confusing feel, but made it kind of hard to stick with. There were some very interesting thoughts here about how kids' minds work - particularly how they'll do life-threatening things to avoid the far greater threat of parental punishment. But I was ultimately left with a profound feeling of "What the hell just happened? Story make Shoebox feel dumb. Shoebox hit story with rock until story start making sense." I'm positive that I missed something.

-=ShoEboX=-

Richmazzer
Member
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 7:26 pm

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by Richmazzer » Mon May 17, 2010 8:07 pm

This is one of my favorites in a while. Maybe not best of 2010 so far but a wonderful story. I really appreciated and enjoyed McHugh's attention to detail like the tin bucket bumping against the little girls calf as she ran down to the creek,
dried-up berries like little brown owls, the dark spot flowing down the bunyips middle and disappearing. I also thought giving everyone a sentient shadow was a cool idea, and it was underplayed in a way that enhanced the feeling of innate magical nature that everything in this world apparently has.
I wasn't confused by the story, but maybe I wasn't reading into it as much as I should have been (or tripping on limegreen jolly jelly packets like strawman apparently was :-)

We've had enough weird creature Drabblenews come from Australia to know (or at least to make us non-Aussie's think) that the place is pretty much as close to Middle Earth as one can get these days in this globalized, industrialized world.

I felt like McHugh just took this alternate-fantasy Australia, where the myths and folklore happen to actually be real, and set it in a familiar world, in the pantheon of all our "normal" faiths and beliefs.
Dreamings, wardings, Gamblegams and Bunyips, clearly these are things acknowledged to exist alongside the Last Prophet and the "Green Christ" (which to me seemed like a denomination or amalgamation of Christianity that also considers the creatures and nature spirits of the land. A cautionary gesture at where this "Green" fad might be going a bit too far? :shock: )

I was expecting the story to be, at least metaphorically, about the girl coming into womanhood (Once a Month huh? yuuuckk) but that didn't happen, fortunately! The world is a fantasy-land for children regardless of if there are actually bunyips and gamblegams in it. What this story did for me was deliver a child's curiosity, imagination, exploration of the fantastic, alongside the cold, unflinching reality of concrete circumstances. Bunyips may be forgiving, but ultimately we are not all always so lucky and are still at their, and "nature's" whim. The child's father, someone who evidently felt he had mastered the elemental creatures and understood the way things are, is not even exempt himself, apparently having somehow been killed.

We can dress it up as fantasy, call it a bunyip or Poseidon or the Last Prophet, we can feed it mice or worship it once a week. At some point though, that water tentacle will come crashing down.

Loved the Drabble and "Robot's Choice." It did get me in the mood for Megabeast 4 too.

Oh and AWESOME episode art this week!

User avatar
dreamrock
Member
Posts: 1058
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by dreamrock » Mon May 17, 2010 8:40 pm

Richmazzer wrote:I wasn't confused by the story, but maybe I wasn't reading into it as much as I should have been (or tripping on limegreen jolly jelly packets like strawman apparently was :-)
:lol: In contrast to strawman, never think you aren't reading enough into it because of something you see me say. Because, baby, this brain gets bored and will make playthings out of a pile of cedar chips. :D
Richmazzer wrote:Oh and AWESOME episode art this week!
No. Kidding. Drabblecast art is really good anyway, but this week's kicked ass.
Dribblecast: A Community-Driven Podcast | Troll Jammies

"There's no such thing as enough Tequila."

User avatar
strawman
Member
Posts: 5966
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: South Georgia

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by strawman » Mon May 17, 2010 10:15 pm

Just to clarify, my mind is a drug-free workplace. (Unless you count the soup that my pancreas pumps out).
(C'mon, now, it was 8 AM. Just lettin' you into the strawmind.)

In fact, I had heard the story before. I was having trouble following this one because of the reader's Aussie accent, so I went to McHugh's website, brought it up in print, and read while I listened, which solved that problem. But I wanted to know why mum cried, and why the mouse sacrifice, and so much more. Scattercat likes to write in similar fashion. The premise seems to be similar to Eliot's: The writer doesn't owe the reader meaning. The story as rorschach.

Well, what happens when I encounter that rorschach is a story in itself. And although the meaning of my story may be as impressionistic as the meaning of Once a Month, that seems an appropriate response.

Since we're noting impressions rather than meaning, my main impression was of a child's imagination in a landscape of magical nature, as Richmazzer said. But I wanted to know WHY so often I began to feel like Nancy Kerrigan... But there I go again.

I confess that when I don't understand a story, I usually wait for comments to come in that enlighten me. Dreamrock threw out a charity comment to assuage Norm's hunger. But I suspect the tumbleweeds are a result of others hoping for clarification, like me.

Now, if the Bunyip had mutilated and eaten the girl, there would have been a hundred sighs of satisfaction from the PP contingent. No guts, no glory for those folks.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

User avatar
dreamrock
Member
Posts: 1058
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by dreamrock » Mon May 17, 2010 11:35 pm

Having spent most of the day pondering this story (and correcting typos I made in my long post :lol: Fish & Loves Christ indeed), my final conclusion is this:

Our world is barely comprehensible to adults. The hows and whys seem either arbitrary or like magic to children. How does a microwave work? Magic. Why does daddy work eighteen hours a day and still not make enough money to eat well and wear decent clothes? Because.

This story is about trying to make sense of an adult world and trying to find a place to belong. I'm fairly convinced the father figure was just trying to keep the girl safe from a river animal easily capable of eating someone as small as she or her brother is. No real "magic," no spells, no river god to appease. Just the harsh reality we're not quite ready to face.

I'm pretty pleased with the story. Even if I'm pretty sure it lacks river gods that devour little girls in their sleep. :lol:
Dribblecast: A Community-Driven Podcast | Troll Jammies

"There's no such thing as enough Tequila."

User avatar
strawman
Member
Posts: 5966
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: South Georgia

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by strawman » Tue May 18, 2010 12:03 am

So, Dreamrock, the mouse sacrifice ritual was a figment of the girl's imagination?
It seems to me that your analysis here is similar to the premise of most skeptics that, since there is no rivergod, this must therefore be a product of a child's imagination.

But if the horror genre has taught us anything, it is that skeptical adults who disregard what the child says about the monster will soon encounter the Horror of being the Mouse.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

User avatar
dreamrock
Member
Posts: 1058
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by dreamrock » Tue May 18, 2010 12:20 am

strawman wrote:So, Dreamrock, the mouse sacrifice ritual was a figment of the girl's imagination?
It seems to me that your analysis here is similar to the premise of most skeptics that, since there is no rivergod, this must therefore be a product of a child's imagination.

But if the horror genre has taught us anything, it is that skeptical adults who disregard what the child says about the monster will soon encounter the Horror of being the Mouse.
Oh, I think the sacrifice does something important ... mainly distract the hungry animal in the water away from the little girl's attempts to get water. And I'm pretty sure the father figure taught her that. I just think that she's reading a bit more into it than was ultimately intended. Did her father figure insinuate it was magic so that she would see it as a mysterious thing and not a fearful thing? Maybe.

There's some big croc or boa or something in the water and whatever it is occasionally eats little kids. We know about that stuff in real life and it doesn't seem magical to us as adults. Just because the Sun God isn't really battling for supremacy over the heavens with the Moon God doesn't mean the eclipse isn't real. It just isn't what we might assume absent better information.

What I meant about river gods not devouring her in her sleep is that the monster in the river, not being an actual god, is more likely to eat her next time she goes to the river (if he happens to be hungry) than to hunt her out in her sleep and eat her in her bed.
Dribblecast: A Community-Driven Podcast | Troll Jammies

"There's no such thing as enough Tequila."

User avatar
strawman
Member
Posts: 5966
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 2:20 pm
Location: South Georgia

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by strawman » Tue May 18, 2010 2:10 am

If it's a croc or a gator, I'm taught that feeding it mice just reinforce the girl/food association. Not best practices. Down here every park has warning signs: Caution: Do not feed the gators.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

User avatar
tbaker2500
Site Admin
Posts: 3612
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:03 pm
Location: West Lafayette, IN
Contact:

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by tbaker2500 » Wed May 19, 2010 3:49 pm

Gosh, everybody here seems to be missing the main point here: The narrator's voice is damn sexy! :D

The main story was good. The drabble was awesome! And good job Mr. Ignatius!
You're my quasi-ichthian angel, you're my half-amphibian queen...

The Dribblecast, we don't care if you sound like an idiot.

User avatar
dreamrock
Member
Posts: 1058
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by dreamrock » Wed May 19, 2010 3:56 pm

tbaker2500 wrote:Gosh, everybody here seems to be missing the main point here: The narrator's voice is damn sexy! :D
I can get behind that statement. :lol:
Dribblecast: A Community-Driven Podcast | Troll Jammies

"There's no such thing as enough Tequila."

User avatar
ROU Killing Time
Notorious Forum Hog
Posts: 4253
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:07 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by ROU Killing Time » Fri May 21, 2010 4:28 am

tbaker2500 wrote:Gosh, everybody here seems to be missing the main point here: The narrator's voice is damn sexy! :D

The main story was good. The drabble was awesome! And good job Mr. Ignatius!
I'm so behind the curve. First time there's been an episode of DC I haven't jumped to listen too, but I haven't been feeling well.

But if there is a sexy aussie voice, I guess I better hop on it.

Crikey
"Never fuck with The Culture"
Sublime In Peace Iain M. Banks.

El Barto
Member
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:14 pm

Re: Drabblecast 163- Once a Month on a Sunday by Ian McHugh

Post by El Barto » Sun May 23, 2010 11:52 pm

This was a frustrating story to listen to because I couldn't understand the narration and the dialect. Perhaps if I'd been near a computer and following along with a written version I could have enjoyed the accent but I listened to this story in the car on a long drive and was disappointed to not be able to enjoy the story.

Post Reply