The World’s Greatest Mystery (Part 1)

Deep breath folks. At the risk of ridicule and destroyed credibility, the subject of UFO’s has now landed on the SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK discussion table.

Netflix have a number of documentaries devoted to the topic and TOP SECRET UFO PROJECTS DECLASSIFIED is one of the better ones.

Across six fascinating episodes, the series proposes the need for a paradigm shift in our thinking. For 6000 years the preeminent lifeform in the Universe has been humanity. But in the face of a growing recognition of the possibility that ‘we are not alone’, a momentous and fundamentalist revision of history may be required.

Thanks to planet-finding techniques like stellar wobble, the transit method, direct imaging, and microlensing, scientists now know there exists trillions of planets across millions of galaxies.

You read that right. TRILLIONS and MILLIONS.

Telescope technology that previously only allowed a view – to use an analogy – to the end of the street – now allows us to see across the park and beyond.

The $10 billion JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE (100 times more powerful than the HUBBLE telescope, which launched back in 1990) commenced operating from it’s position 1.5 million km into space in late 2021.

It has ushered in a boundary breaking new age of infrared astronomy.

What are the mathematical odds of Earth being the only planet – of trillions of planets – to harbor intelligent life?

Further speculating, can you imagine technology 100 years from now?

What if there existed a civilization – or many civilizations – that were ten’s of thousands of years ahead of us and had learnt how to bend space-time, engineer electro-magnetic, anti-gravity propulsion and build craft using principles based on non-classical physics that could accelerate to 40 000 kilometers per hour without burning jet fuel?

These conjectures are put forward and taken seriously across the series. The point is also made that contrary to popular belief, UFO sightings are NOT purely a modern phenomena.

Since ancient times in recorded history, sightings of craft-like objects in the sky have been observed. As an example, native Hopi Indians, Cherokee and Inuit have all all worshiped flying discs and ‘sky gods’.

Above: Ancient cave paintings going back 7000 years, depicting alien-like beings and space-craft.

For so long, the subject of extraterrestrial life and UFO’s (or UAP’s – Unidentified Aerial Phenomena – as they are now being called) has been relegated to the realm of mere pop culture, rather than the scientific community.

Talk about government cover-ups, alien abductees, secret military divisions specializing in reverse engineering projects, experiments involving the mixing of human and alien DNA and to top it all off the story of a priest who one day waved to aliens and they waved back, SHOULD have all been ridiculous to me.

Yet, the further I progressed in watching this NETFLIX series the more convinced I became that the whole subject deserves, at the very least, more scrutiny from the scientific community.

Recognition of the existence of intelligent life on other planets would indeed signal a turning point in human history. But are we ready for that?

Mankind has been trying to engineer a more enlightened and accepting society since, it could be argued, the 1960’s. Probably longer. There’s still such a long way to go in that endeavor.

Acknowledgement that we share the Universe with other lifeforms would surely add another dimension to our aim of respect for diversity – in all its forms.

I’ve always said I’d believe in flying saucers the day one landed on the school oval at lunchtime.

Well, too late. It’s already happened.

Known as the WESTALL INCIDENT, the school-oval landing took place in Melbourne, Australia. And that’s what SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK will be looking at next time.

Published just last month, THE WRITING RETREAT by Brooklyn-based writer and practicing therapist Julia Bartz, places a group of wanna-be writers at a haunted mansion for a month long writer’s retreat.

There’s a seven figure publishing contract up for grabs but with murder afoot, will anyone live long enough to ‘tell the tale’ ?

Lots of ‘buzz’ around this book which has already made it onto several best seller lists.


Fascinating Questions – Interesting Answers

This year, SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK has linked up with the good folk at QUORA to bring you interesting answers to fascinating questions.

QUORA describes itself as “an on-line platform to ask questions and connect with people who contribute unique insights and quality answers.”

It’s visited by 300 million users a month.

There’s a topic of interest for absolutely anyone and everyone on this site. Here’s one I came across recently…

It’s cute that people think we are a completely different species from people in those days.

It all comes down to camera quality and fashion trends. If you had today’s “hot” woman photographed in similar attire with ratchet makeup and moppy hair, you’d get a similar result.

They were usually taking one photo and didn’t even know how to pose. I’ll put it a different way. If you took any of these woman – or in the case of picture ‘B’, teenage girl – who are being photographed for the first time in the 1890’s…

and gave them modern clothes, haircuts, and an Instagram account—boys would be wagging their tails instantly. The girl’s Instagram follower counts would tick up faster than a lightning bolt.


To check out HAPPY DAYS : THE FIRST FIVE SEASONS go clickety click HERE

A Day Too Late

This one’s a children’s story I wrote recently. It’s about kangaroo culling and drought. Hope you like it.

Cracks grew deep in the barren, parched soil; baked hard like a wrinkled old face. Hot and dusty – the sort of dust that got in your bones. No rain, no clouds, just the blazing hot, unforgiving sun. We have owned, lived and loved on this property for twenty-four years. Twenty-four dry, hard years that neither man nor beast could enjoy. We pray for rain. When will our prayers be answered?

I stand outside our homestead gazing across a barren horizon. I feel hot breeze on my cheeks and I taste the dust in my mouth. I see a dust devil – some call them whirly-whirly’s – rise up and start to spin its pocket of hot air. As I peer across the olive plantation, the smouldering heat begins to play tricks with my eyes. The trees look blurry as nature’s fever glistens upon the air.

Drought conditions are a worsening bad dream; only tufts full of yellow, knee-high grass are left. The native animals, kangaroos especially, are near death’s door. They are each waging a brave and desperate struggle to find food and water.

The dams are pitifully low. Our hearts are heavy with worry, as soon we will have to disconnect the pipes and turn off the olive plant watering system, going back to watering by hand. Even in day time, kangaroos are scattered like battle-weary soldiers amongst the olive trees, simply to nibble the juicy tips of young leaves. They hold a desperate hunger that makes them brave enough to come close to the homestead in search of food.

Then, as I sit on the veranda, I overhear my dad and uncle having a conversation about a practice they call ‘culling’.

“I say we target the big grey males first. It’ll disperse the herd,” says Dad.

“It’s time to go spotlighting tonight,” adds my uncle, then he calls me and asks, ”Can I count on you to hold the spotlight, Paulie?”

In answer I nod obediently. I really have no other choice.

As darkness falls, so do my spirits. Doubts fill my mind and I start to feel uneasy and nervous about killing our native animals. I realize the battalion-sized troops of kangaroos on our land are a pest, but I am a stranger to the act of ending the life of any living thing. It is not something I have ever done before.

We set off in the “Bushpig”, my name for our trusty old Hilux. I’m propped up in the front seat gripping tightly onto the big spotlight – it’s golden beam baths the field in light. Before long I’m a magnet for all sorts of winged bugs, drawn as they are to the light.

It isn’t long before we come face to face with a mob. Uncle looks through the sights and aims the 22. A pair of big red, innocent eyes, unaware of the mortal danger about to unfold, are shining back at me. My stomach is in knots of unease. I desperately don’t want it to die. Then, at the speed of thought, an idea enters my mind. I move the spotlight ever so slightly. The shot explodes into the night… and misses!

“Whose side are you on kid?” bellows my Uncle.

No words come from my trembling lips. This time I must hold the light steadier – or he will know. This time he doesn’t miss. In an instance the sick feeling rises up in my stomach, followed by a wave of sadness. I can see the kangaroo is somehow still alive, writhing in pain from the bullet wound. My right knee begins to shake uncontrollably. Uncle shoots it again; this time up close. By 1am, there are eight more bodies.

When there are no more bullets left and the killing spree finally ends, we arrive back home. Guilt keeps me awake. I cannot sleep. It was my light that helped Uncle aim. The stench of death still fills my nostrils. In the darkness on my knees I pray beside my bed for the drought to end soon.

By the next night, my aching soul has grown to accept what happened – mostly – and I sleep more soundly. But then a noise awakens me. The sound of large droplets of rain splashing on the tin roof starts slowly and then gets louder. Louder and faster, like thousands of bullets landing from above.

I race onto the veranda for a better view. Nature has finally, finally waved it’s magic wand! I see the ground being soaked with rain and I feel joy; joy and overwhelming relief. The drought has broken. After making us wait for so long, the watery alphabet of the clouds has now come to sing upon our roof; and our land. I breathe a deep sigh and press my palm to my heart. My lips part and I whisper to myself,“Thank you”.  I will never have to go spotlighting again. 

Since I’ve now swapped my once regular cinema-going habit (it had been dwindling for a number of years for a variety of reasons before Covid finally put the sword to it – for good) for the far more immediate and present live-theater-experience, and will be seeing eight plays in 2023 on a Queensland Theatre Company subscriber’s package, I thought I may as well go ahead and tell you about FAMILY VALUES, the play I went to see last Saturday.

The name David Williamson has been synonymous with Australian theater since the 1970’s. He wrote FAMILY VALUES in 2020. It’s what you’d label an ‘issue-heavy’ play. Characters are used as mouthpieces to voice views on various social causes and concerns. The juxtaposition of various characters with opposing views creates the drama.

It’s talk-heavy and, if I’m being candid, not traditionally what I go looking for in a piece of entertainment, but for what it was, it was very well-done. Among a great many issues dissected and ‘unpacked’ in FAMILY VALUES is Australia’s treatment of it’s refugees. The most common description of this play I’ve read is ‘thought-provoking’.

Commiserations to the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (est. 1933) who lost this week’s U.S Superbowl to the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (est. 1959).

I was kind of hoping in a not-too-serious way the EAGLES may have gotten up, since the team included two Aussies – Jordan Mailata, who plays left tackle and Arryn Siposs, who plays punter. (The EAGLES Aussie connection actually extended to a third player, Matt Leo – originally from Adelaide – who was in their practice squad.) But it wasn’t to be.

Sidenote: The Aussie connection to Superbowl extended even further when Melbourne man Eamonn Dixon caught the game ball (which he gets to keep) after it was kicked through the posts to score the match-winning field goal by the Chiefs. The ball has now been valued at in excess of $400 000.

In the lead-up to this game, I re-watched the classic Oliver Stone directed ANY GIVEN SUNDAY. Featuring a to-die-for cast that included the likes of ‘old-timers’ Charlton Heston and Anne Margaret, this film is one of the most seminal, five-star sports movies ever put to celluloid. I am completely soul-jiggling proud (lol) to have it in my personal DVD collection.


The Rise, Fall & Rise Again of Gary Numan (Part 1)

I’ve been listening to Gary Numan songs for more than 40 years. While there are artists who I loved in my youth whose music now grates like fingernails down a chalkboard, Gary Numan‘s music has stood the test of time.

I remember around the age of 15 thinking to myself about future happiness and what that might look like. I pictured myself behind the wheel of my own car, hair blowing in the wind like some type of movie star (Jerry Lewis, Charles Bronson or Don Knotts – take your giggle-worthy pick!) careering down the highway with Gary Numan‘s song CARS pouring out of the CD player.

Now if I wind down the window of my Mazda 2 (wife has the not-so-ancient Mazda 5) I can pretty much do exactly that, minus the movie star bit of course.

When Numan published his 1997 autobiography PRAYING TO THE ALIENS I rushed to get my copy. Now he has a new self written biography REVOLUTION which is an equally, if not more so, fascinating read and update on his life.

Gary Numan’s music career is the classic ‘hills and valleys’ rollercoaster ride.

It’s the story of a musician who exploded onto the world stage back in 1979 with successive number one chart-topping hits (‘CARS’‘ARE FRIENDS ELECTRIC?’‘WE ARE GLASS’) only to spend the next 38 years in relative obscurity trying and never really succeeding to recapture the magic of those early years.

He did taste commercial success again when his 2017 album SAVAGE reached No. 2 on the UK Top 40 album charts and No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard dance/electronic chart.

In the book, Numan describes his reaction at learning the album had gone to No.2 on the charts…

“Nearly 40 years of longing, hoping, battling and set-backs all came out at once and I cried like a baby. I had no idea the emotion was there, waiting to come out. No idea at all.

People assume that it couldn’t compare to when I was number 1, but they don’t see it the way I do. It’s not just about the chart position – it’s about knowing you’ve finally got back to a point that is undeniably successful.

That number 2 was the end result of a thirty-five year struggle, and it honestly meant more to me than all the number 1’s. They’d come easy – this had taken more than half my life.

I’d been all but dead and buried, written off more than once, vilified, ridiculed, dismissed, and yet here I was again. I promise you it was the most satisfying, rewarding moment of my career. So far.” (p 449)

We learn about Gary’s Asperger’s Syndrome and the time he encountered a real life ghost in the subway.



Back in 1996, cola giant PEPSI created a television ad (below) that became the subject of a history-making court case.

The ad was part of a campaign centered on a promotional loyalty program where customers could earn PESPSI POINTS.

These points could, in turn, be traded for physical items such as t-shirts (75 points) sunglasses (175 points) and jackets (1450 points) all branded with the Pepsi logo.

Points could be earned through the purchase of cartons of Pepsi, with labels attached to the boxes of the cartons. The campaign was the largest in Pepsi’s history to that point.

To advertise the promotion, Pepsi released a series of television commercials; one of these commercials showcased a computer-generated Pepsi-branded AV-8 Harrier II jet, manufactured by McDonell Douglas.

In what was intended as exaggerated humour, the ad showed that if you amassed seven million points, you could earn yourself a Harrier Jump Jet (worth $37 million at the time).

The promotion caught the attention of enterprising 21-year-old business student John Leonard. In place of a label, the promotion allowed Pepsi Points to be directly purchased for 10¢ per point, a detail noticed by Leonard, who convinced five investors to lend him a total of $700,000.

 Leonard sent a check for $700,008.50, and 15 labels, per promotion rules to the cola giant. The offer was refused by Pepsi, who referred to the promotion of the Harrier jet in the commercial as “fanciful” and stated its inclusion was to create a “humorous and entertaining ad”.

A protracted court case ensued. This is the subject of the Netflix documentary PEPSI, WHERE’S MY JET?

Uppercase watchable, intriguing and entertaining.

American author and screenwriter Brett Easton Ellis (born 1964) has just released his first novel in 13 years. SHARDS is a story set in the world of 1981. It centers on the hunt for a serial killer named THE TRAWLER.


2022 – That’s a Wrap!

Between Vladimir Putin, monkeypox, Depp vs Heard, Will Smith’s Oscar slap and 44 days of Liz Truss, it’s been another tough but interesting year. Here’s a SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK look-back…







200th POST (April)


I LIKE TRAFFIC LIGHTS (But Only When They’re Green) (May)




PUPPY LOVE (aka ‘Teddy’) (July)




Top Ten Movies of the 1990’s (August)

KISS Concert (September)

FIGHT CLUB (October)


VOICES (Fiction Story) (November)



BEST BOOK COVERS of 2022 (December)









No blog for you…ok just a little bit then.

Actress Betty White (Aged 99) January

Actor Sidney Poitier (Aged 94) January

Singer Meatloaf (Aged 76) January

Sister Janet Mead (Aged 83) January

Singer Bobby Rydell (Aged 79) April

Music Composer Vangelis (Aged 79) May

Australian Cricketer Andrew Symons (Aged 46) May

Actor Ray Liotta (Aged 67) May

Dawn Donaldson (My Mum, Aged 92) May

Revlon Cosmetics (June)

Brisbane Radio Station 4KQ (on-air for 75 years) June

Actor James Caan (Aged 82) July

Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (assassinated aged 67) July

The 74-Year-Old Somerton Man Mystery – July

Al-Qaeda Leader Ayman al-Zawahiri (death by drone – aged 71) August

Former Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev (Aged 91) August

Queen Elizabeth II (Aged 96) September

Brazilian Soccer Legend Pele (Aged 82) December

There are a number of countries around the world – China, the U.K and South Korea among them – who are leading the way into nuclear fusion research.

Nuclear fusion is the energy that powers the sun and stars. It is ‘clean’, infinite and produces no radioactive waste or greenhouse gases.

It involves the production of plasma, which simply explained, is gas with electricity running through it. A single kilogram of fusion fuel produces as much energy as 10 million kilograms of fossil fuel. 

Researchers at the US National Ignition Facility in California performed fusion experiments in early December that released more energy than was pumped in by the lab’s enormous, high-powered lasers.

This represents a landmark achievement known as ignition or energy gain and is SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK’S ‘Scientific Breakthrough of the Year’.

Back in September, American model Bella Hadid (aged 26) had a dress ‘sprayed’ on to her while on the runaway at Paris Fashion Week.

Cambridge Dictionary – HOMER

Merriam Webster Dictionary – GASLIGHTING

Macquarie Dictionary – TEAL

Oxford Dictionary – GOBLIN MODE – WOMAN

Collins Dictionary – PERMACRISIS

Japan’s Kanji Character of the Year – WAR

And my New Year’s resolution? In 2023 my plan is to read more. And the first step to achiening that goal will be switching on the subtitles on my television.

Best Book Covers of 2022

Last year they were magnificent. The year before that set the standard. And now it’s time to hit the high notes once again.

In what can sometimes resemble a sea of tin-plate dinghies, these book covers are all daringly different luxury cruise ships.

(1) Literally eye-popping energy with a little penguin in the bottom left corner.

(2) I remember those colored circular stickers very well. And there’s a few faces I might want to blot out in my old school photos as well – if I could ever find them.

(1) Never underestimate the power of The Blob. Love how it’s just off-kilter as well, almost eclipsing the “L”

(2) It must have been a challenge to design a cover that could hold its own against the glorious subtitle “A Heartbeaking Work of Staggering Penis,” but I think this does the job beautifully.

(1) The playful pink poltergeist strikes again! Untidy or uncanny? Either way this cover has presence. At least we know it’s a glorious day outside that just ajar door.

(2) See the little human casting the long shadow? See where they’re standing? This one’s for anyone whose ever stood in the margins. With those staring eyes in the dark it would work equally as well as a Stephen King horror cover.

(1)The slightly uncanny, person-ish shape appears to be reaching out from behind prison bars. Wait, no! That’s a street intersection. Wait again…no, they’re definitely French windows. Ok, so maybe that’s actually the mythical dolphin-dog standing on it’s hind legs while trying to unlatch the door to it’s enclosure. I think you get the idea. Whatever way you look at it this cover is intriguing.

(2) For a non-fiction book about ghosts and hauntings, this cover is suitably mystery-shrouded. Not sure if you can see it along the right hand edge, but bonus points also for one of the more innovatively placed ‘Author of...’ mentions.

(1) When the flight attendants go through the emergency procedures on a plane, no one pays attention. When you put those same boring procedures on the cover of a novel, suddenly it’s interesting.

(2) Those slightly menacing red lines through the words may mean either there’s a psycho killer on the loose or a mad scribbler can’t hold it in any more.

(1) Gotta love mushrooms sprouting from a vaginal coral in a disembodied hand!

(2) The quality of that red ‘n green turtle saddle indicates it might just be hand-stitched.


(1) Gripping cover bar none.

(2) Precious Purple Rapunzel!

(1) The vagina images just keep coming.

(2) Love the multicolored 1970’s movie-credits font.

(1) Spot the nun. And bonus points for the funny angle on the dangling crucifix.

(2) Doesn’t look like anything else out there. This is what chaos on a book cover looks like.

(1) Weird and precise and, because of the shadows, a little threatening, somehow.

(2) Love Bird Woman’s thumb hooked around the C.

(1) Go the hand-drawn text!

(2) A splash of color in the most psychedelic way.

(1) MOTHER THING is a great title and the cover is a fiendishly comical delight.

(2) Two portraits juxtaposed in a very interesting, splotchy way.

(1) Which side indeed. A clever and convincing—and fun—take on the signage-style cover.

(2) Um……okaaaaaay. Viva la black hole spacetime!

(1) A blazing worm will get my attention every time. Including THIS time.

(2) A probing book that aims to get to the bottom of it’s subject. Sorry.

(1) When you’re an author and your first name is Rainbow – yes! – you get to feature an oval shaped upward-downward rainbow on your front cover.

(2) Color text on a B & W background works for me. Every time.


Best Cartoons of 2022

As anyone who’s shown even a casual interest in this site over the years would know, SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK and whacked-out cartoons frequently sit side-by-side on the same food-stained couch (this site). There’s one or two thrown in for comic relief, most posts.

Now that we’re in the ‘look back’ month of the year, it seemed like the right time to gather a collection of some of the best together in one glorious, cackling heap.

Here are 50 cartoons from 2022 that might just bring on an ice-cream smile. Or, sticking with the cold dessert descriptions, maybe a snow-cone titter. Or failing that, possibly even a good old fashioned sorbet snigger. Not that anyone’s ever heard of one of those before.

Whatever your pleasure, SWS is confident there’s something here for everyone. And that includes… YOU!

Teddy’ Donaldson couch-surfing

Would love to know your Top 3 from this lot. Even just one cartoon that caressed your funny bone. Comments are hugely open.

Looking Back

History is so neat. So perfect. So packaged and understandable. So…done.

Like an old shoe, it comes with comfort and layers of certainty. What could be more certain than the past? We can slide into it and make sense of it. Usually with ease. That isn’t always possible with the far more perplexing present.

History, God bless it, has been likened to a narrow flashlight in a darkened room. Using another analogy, its the broad brush as opposed to the fine tip which is used more often than not when recalling things from the past.

Our moments and memories are reincarnated in isolation; separated from their original context, leadup and intricate details. They are nothing more and nothing less than a single moment in time.

Like these moments

The comparison to today’s finger-sized 64 Gigabyte USB flash drives (‘Memory Sticks’) is striking. Throw in the fact that a Gigabyte is one thousand times bigger than a Megabyte – even though the prefix ‘Mega intuitively sounds bigger than the prefix ‘Giga’ – and the contrast becomes jaw-dropping.

Three Rock Queens for the price of one. This photo was taken by BLONDIE co-founder and lead guitarist Chris Stein (now aged 72).

Just so you know, a ‘SWIM-MOBILE’ was a mobile swimming pool on a long flat bed trailer that could be moved from place to place. Makes sense now, huh?  

That kid on the dragster is the person who would grow up to be Microsoft’s Co-founder and the man who would hold FORBES MAGAZINE’S ‘Richest Person in the World’ title every year from 1995 to 2017 – except from 2010 to 2013.

‘Ol Blue Eyes doesn’t even spill a drop.

One of her more popular feats was raising her 85kg husband over her head with one arm.

Your challenge is to identify who the young girl (pictured with her older brother Taylor) is in this picture. She would go on to become one of the most bankable stars of 1950’s/60’s Hollywood. First name starts with the letter E’. Think ‘Queen of the Nile’.

Click HERE to tune to vintage television history.


It’s been a while since SCENIC WRITER’S SHACK trotted out it’s fiction voice. The story you’re about to read – well, if you get that far – concerns a humble gravedigger who embarks on a ‘soul-seeking’ quest one rainy day while knee-deep at work in the cemetery he calls his office. Most unexpected results follow. I just had to saymost unexpected’ didn’t I? Better judge for yourself.

Paul Lipshut had been casually digging a grave in pretty hard ground within the grounds of Necropolis cemetery.  At a certain point he began to feel hot and tired. He stopped and sat down in the grave to have a rest. What could be more natural?

Without warning and coming from nowhere in particular, the jovial Englishman thought he heard a voice. At first he took it to be human but with some weird kind of echo effect to it. The seasoned grave-digger initially believed it was his own hearing that was somehow at fault.

He stood up to have a look around. As far as he could see, the cemetery was totally deserted in all directions. Although he was standing up to his neck in the grave, he didn’t have a perfect view. Tall headstones nearby blocked his sight.

He began to suspect that some of his known-to-be-mischievous workmates might be  concealing themselves nearby and playing a joke on him; perhaps trying to frighten him by speaking deeply into a funeral vase or something to create the ghostly echo effect. It had happened before. He shouted out sarcastically a few times but no one answered.

After a brief period of silence, the bearded cemetery worker again heard the indistinct echoing voice. Becoming annoyed by what he was now convinced was a morbid practical joke at his expense, he climbed angrily out of the grave to see what was what.

He searched around furiously, expecting someone to pop up and run for it, however the immediate vicinity of the grave offered no such resolution. Deciding that whoever it was that had been fooling around had probably pre-empted him and nipped out of sight over the other side of the incline, Lipshut trudged uphill in pursuit. But still  there was not a soul in sight.

Again he heard the voice. Still he couldn’t make out the meaning, as the sound-distorted words seemed to be jumbled up, like echoes on top of echoes in some multi-track recording. By now however, he had sensed the direction from which the sounds seemed to be coming and, still curious and suspicious, he went walking towards what he believed was the source, a certain gravestone.

As he began to realize that there was no reasonable place for a joker to hide in that particular area of where he was, he began to feel wary and genuinely frightened as the sounds continued to emanate. It could not have soothed his jangled nerves then to realise the voice was coming out of a gravestone.

Having determined that a tombstone was talking to him, Paul Lipshut had a good look at it and found the name on the headstone to be that of one ‘Mallory De Courcey’.  As light rain began to fall, Lipshut removed his phone from his back pocket and began a GOOGLE search.

It took no more than a minute for him to discover the name Mallory De Courcey, according to the corresponding dates on the tombstone, had belonged to someone who, at one time, many years now past, had made some type of name for himself performing as a ventriloquist. Lipshut reacted with a mixture of amusement and curiosity to further discover the entertainer’s act had featured a puppet bear named ‘Voices’.

Paul Lipshut knocked off early from his shift at the cemetery that afternoon. Thanks to that epiphanous moment amongst the graves, he now knew, with all the certainty of a sage, what he was really meant to devote his life to. It was the end to a long, long period of searching.

Now it all made sense. As a boy he’d found joy in two things: dirt – which, due to the weather in and around the city of Cardiff, naturally also included its wet-weather cousin, mud – and entertaining others. It was the second of these true loves, he now told himself, that was clearly his true path.

His search was finally over. There would be no more digging; for dirt… or answers. He affirmed that however long it took him to forge a brilliant new adventure inspired by this day, he would travel the distance. Strange events had pointed to a new direction for his life. And a sign like this was surely too meaningful – and bizarre – to ignore.

Humble grave digger Paul Lipshut had heard a voice amongst the tombstones on this fateful, moistened day. It illuminated a path that would open up the next stage of his life. It was, quite literally, his calling.

Speaking of ‘voices’, here’s two from the past re-emerging this week and worth checking out –

Whatever makes you happy right? Speaking of which, isn’t it time you got your fill over at HAPPY DAYS: THE FIRST FIVE SEASONS?