One time at the local A&P Show – which was all we had worth going to on our own, away from our parents (oh, they would drop us there and pick us up, arrange times to meet, pay our entry but goddamit we were claiming it as ‘freedom’) – we were having a hoon on the sideshows. Teenagers. Wandering. And there’s this toothless old bastard standing there with the bent barrel of the tampered air-rifle. And he’s going, “shooters. Who’s shooting. Any more shooters”. And he’s up and down and all across that little patch of grass. “Shooters. Any shooters. Who’s shooting?” And it’s $2. And I’m keen to pay $2 but the bugger never stands still. And then my mate has a crack. Pays his two bucks and gives, just slightly, the same amount of fucks as he closes one eye and after a long wink comes up grinning because he’s pegged a diamond. The old guy isn’t much-impressed and tosses out a bag of lollies, some stickers or whatever, just shitty non-trinkets. “Cheers Big Ears”, my mate says. And though it didn’t need to be said this old geezer had some fuckin’ flappers on him. So if not quick as hawk at least as able-hearing as one the grizzled fuck says back, “Same Goes Big Nose”. And there’s a pause. My mate wasn’t so slow and was double pleased with himself as he says, “Likewise Big Eyes!” And then there’s a big pause. A really big pause. Like the polar bear examining himself mid-order of his drink. (You know from some bullshit joke). And this A&P show veteran sneers, “in the rear – queer!” Well you’d be triggered up these days and penning an angry blogpost. Getting signatures for your bloody petition. Changing the world, gathering up all the friggin’ awareness you could. You’d be there with a marching mother gathering you up under her wing to protect back in the nest too. Or whatever. And however. But this is Hawke’s Bay. And that was 20 years ago. A little bit longer even. And we dined out on that for days. Two bucks bloody well spent. Two dollars and thanks for the memories. In the rear – queer. We laughed. And then laughed some more. In. The. Rear. Queer.