James drove. It probably says something about James that he loves cars almost as much as he loves women. I’m indifferent, and don’t even have a license, since I can bike most places I need to get to. My job was to pick the music, and so we blared off in the direction of Matamata to the tune of “Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap)” by AC/DC. Appropriate, considering what we had planned.
While James was guiding his baby around the gentle curves of the country roads, I was trying very hard to make my handwriting as messy as possible, filling out a prescription form from a bundle I had “borrowed” from my father for similar purposes about three months prior. That was the main reason why we had to go to Matamata, rather than the closer pharmacies in Te Kainga; if this plan worked, any slightly suspicious purchases would be examined very carefully indeed. Matamata was far enough away for the paper trail to die out.
It’s a nice place, really. The Shire scenes from The Lord Of The Rings were filmed nearby, which gives you an idea of what an idyll it is. Rolling fields stretched away in both directions, edged by old, thick hedges as often as by wire fences. In the town itself are parks with enormous oak trees sheltering sculptures from the yearly carving festival. We blatted past it with a seen-it-all indifference and parked in front of the pharmacy just long enough for me to go in, hand over my authentic-looking prescription, listen to the detailed instructions for use, and take the box back out to the car. James started the car and we headed out the other side of town, on what’s called the Old Te Kainga Road.
“So, what did we just buy?”
“What is it?”
“I mean what does it do, you ass.”
“It does quite a lot to your ass. It’s a stimulant laxative, which means a proper dose will give you the shits so bad your anus will be burning for days afterwards.”
“You did ask. One shot of this in Mike’s beer at the pre-ball, and… well, you get the picture.”
“Vividly. You’re going to be barman, right? So you can mix it in…” James overtook a dawdling tractor.
“Yes, well, no one else there knows how to mix a decent white Russian. I’m not wearing the bow tie, though.”