Thursday, September 01, 2005

Family Matters

A couple or maybe three months ago, my mother dropped into conversation the fact that my brother had casually mentioned he might give up shop-keeping in favour of a return to farming. Remembering that the last thing my brother mentioned he might do (climbing Mount Cook) led to his immediate setting in train the things he would need to make the climb (he was only dissuaded by the fact that a trained guide and her two climbers fell to their death), I suggested that he was probably serious about selling up and moving on.

Sure enough, within the next couple of weeks, I'd had reports of him travelling all the way to Waikouaiti (among other places) to look at what I'd tend to call a ranch rather than a mere farm, not that he had time to call on his big brother. But then, at the end of July, he and his wife and my mother and two of my nephews descended upon Dunedin. We duly drove up to said farm, his wife hated it but my brother was all persuasive about what a great opportunity it was and so on, and how there was this (admittedly) great piece of land overlooking Karitane upon which he could build a suitable mansion for a family with several million dollars to fling at the task of farming. But later that weekend, it came out that everyone was enamoured with a piece of land near Fairlie, so sights had been set, plans had to be made.

Fast forward to yesterday: after ten years in the supermarket trade, my brother and his wife signed off on the sale of their establishment. I remain confused about where in fact they intend to relocate to, but a return to farming is imminent.

On August 12 of last year, a family friend was murdered. Over the past two weeks, both my brothers and my mother have been in attendance at the Whangarei High Court as his murderer was tried. In fact, they were all witnesses. The defence was a novel one - nothing was disputed about the fellow's responsibility for killing Bob, he accepted that he had. He didn't try to argue that he was high on any sort of drugs. Nope, his defence was that Bob was gay and had made unwelcome advances upon him so he took his cut down single barelled shotgun, went to Bob's house as he ate his dinner, and blew his head apart, smearing bits of Bob no person would ever want or expect to see through-out his dining room. The two week trial was all about trying to establish Bob's sexuality and then attempting to get the jury to buy the story about the unwelcome advances - as if they somehow justified such an awful attack. Not explained by that story was why he forced his wife, with whom he was on the verge of estrangement, to go to an abandoned quarry, where he tied her up for two days and repeatedly raped her. Funny how women can choose such "nice" guys and leave others to wither on the vine.

But anyway, among the sordid detail of the trial, there was humour. The defence had two pieces of "evidence" to establish Bob's gayness: a witness who said "the guy has always seemed gay to me" and a photo. Not just any photo, but a photo of my brother, taken when he was in his late teens, a strapping young farm worker. For added "proof" of gayness, the photo just happened to be of my brother in drag, dressed to the nines for some Young Farmer's event. Of course, it was of zero probative value, but it led to a great deal of embarrassment for my brother.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home