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The Function Of Criticism by Pepijn Sauer We forget without remembering what. Something started at some point but the point is ... [774 words]
For Sofia by Pepijn Sauer You live with the question. Wondering how to proceed, we find ways to make things happen. We do not u... [449 words]
One Small Moment by Shelley J Alongi One woman's small action makes a lasting impression on a man condemned to die for his crime. [1,847 words]
Last Hours by Shelley J Alongi A general contemplates his decision before formally declaring war. [1,467 words]
Collateral Damage by David Gardiner Some explosions keep on echoing. [4,127 words]
Wolf In Janie's Shadow by Wolfa Of a girl who fell through the cracks in the world. [2,103 words]
The Wedding Banquet by Anthony S Maulucci A rich Italian from the Abruzzi region holds a feast to find a bride and falls in love with... [1,815 words]
2am by MacKenzie Morgan This is my first contribution to the site. It's an excerpt from a journal I kept over the summer. Please re... [3,361 words]
The Seventh Inning Stretch by Kurt Kitasaki A satire on professional sports. [2,230 words]
The Nova by Kurt Kitasaki A satire on executives in the automotive industry. [2,647 words]
Witness by Pepijn Sauer You have seen things. I thank you for describing them to me with so much care and poetic accuracy. Your... [826 words]
White Church by John Karl A passing of innocence and the expectation of one's future. [349 words]
Which Is The Way? by Sreenivasa Murthy Govindaraju Always in need of money and finally undergoes humiliation under the very nose of his teenage ... [2,246 words]
The Mind That Is Morning by Pepijn Sauer The mind that is morning swims. As it grows later it will become frosted glass; an emp... [459 words]
The Girl In The Taxi by Richard Koss A shy, young man has an erotic encounter with a strange girl. Is it real or just a dream? [1,493 words]
The First Time I Met God... by Joel Harper None necessary. [616 words]
The End Of History And The Last Fish by Pepijn Sauer When Field commander Asinine launched his final all out withdrawal the fir... [1,168 words]
Plague Of Time by Kevin Cope This is a story I keep playing around with and as yet is still unfinished. I am not sure how I w... [5,118 words]
Party by Pepijn Sauer Actually the host is dead. It took me a while to notice, but it's true. The host is so dead he has a lot ... [581 words]
Our Father Who Aren't In Heaven by Johnny Abrahams A man searches for his father but will he find him? [3,026 words]
Is Evil Edible? by Johnny Abrahams A very brief introductory work by a person who wishes he could write better than he can. [542 words]
In The End All Becomes Clear by Johnny Abrahams When death comes knocking, do you open the door? [831 words]
Heyman by John Karl Taipei: Big spiders, no drinking water, and lots of Taiwan Beer... Give me 10 reviews and I'll post pict... [557 words]
Gravity by Pepijn Sauer I circle the gravity of this situation in elliptical curves. Inside the fences, so fashionably dressed ... [589 words]
God Bless The President by John Karl Confrontation with knife wielding drunk in Oregon bar... did not have to be this way. [584 words]
Eurojazz by John Karl Stuck in Italy, partying, and then some... [650 words]
Don't Mind Her, She's 'armless by Johnny Abrahams Ugly people have feelings too. [1,000 words]
Adventures In The Land Of The Unexpected
Adolescent Innocence 2: Evil Never Dies by Loki Evil proves it never dies in this second game of death and destruction. [14,390 words]
A Song Of Absence by Pepijn Sauer Absence. Everybody is on the beach but you. Meister Eckhart sunbathing in bright green short... [1,412 words]
A Modern Day Love Story by Shari Calkin Just an example of how God works miracles in people's lives, especially when they least... [1,241 words]
A Deadly Kind Of Love by Kevin Cope Billy Harper loved his mother just a little too much... [1,846 words]
A Changing Of The Seasons by Bradley Postma Allegorical romance relating the fickleness of love with the weather. [6,240 words]
Within The Darkness by G S Kimbro Short Story of a strange encounter in a restaurant. [1,707 words]
Tarradale's Option by Ed Bruce A tale about life in the Scottish Highlands, an incomer's attempt to defy tradition and the... [3,533 words]
Tale Number One: Dederik Flunn by Banae Wan A young man inherits his father's job as a professional murderer. On his first m... [2,480 words]
Salvation In Death by Alberto Pupo Things are never what they seem... [493 words]
Regretting Mistakes.. by Alberto Pupo a weird tale of a deranged little mind... [1,044 words]
Playing Life By The Rules by Kevin Cope Some last thoughts before I go. [792 words]
On The Way To Retreat by Muhammad Nasrullah Khan Story of a man who sacrificed everything for his country. [1,881 words]
On Orcas Island by John Karl Yuppie vacation to local resort... [269 words]
Legacy by Adhara Von Nuremberg There's more to life than living. [1,612 words]
Kelly's Neighbour by Roxanne Kendrick - [535 words]
John's Secret by Glen Pearson Bill's big brother John is acting a bit weird. What's going on? (Not for impressionable kiddies... [2,154 words]
Faint Bell - A Story You Should Read Because I Said So, And I'm Smart. by Scott W. Hazzard A southern lady waits for her man. No su... [699 words]
Dogfish by Wolfa An owner tells the story of a neurotic, once-abused dog. [1,352 words]
All-Day Breakfast by Kevin Cope An ordinary day. An ordinary guy. A not so ordinary cafe. [2,336 words]
Adolescent Innocence by Loki After moving back to his hometown, a teen finds himself trapped in a deadly game of kill o... [7,559 words]
Losing Life by Antony Berrios A women finds herself in a strange place being held against her will. [672 words]
Hanover Square by Kevin Cope An old man sits by his wife's bed as she slowly passes away. He consoles himself by recalling th... [1,035 words]
In Hour Of Death by Muhammad Nasrullah Khan Dear Readers I have written this short-story in context of Gabriel Garcia's farewell letter to... [1,664 words]
The Ultimate Option by Nadeem Akhtar Modern man's predicament has left him only to avail the ultimate option. A story of all tho... [1,302 words]
The Maniacal Core Of His Unsound Mind by Banae Wan (I want comments.) One eighth done. Reprint. Changed title with anothe... [1,195 words]
The Gap by W A Hardy - [4,055 words]
The Confession by Kathleen McCarthy A murderous cousin plans to murder her way to money. [2,119 words]
The Beast Of Briovera by Christopher Grady In every Fairytale there is some truth, it is up to us to seperate the 'Fairy' from the '... [4,029 words]
Sunday Drive by Antony Berrios A family’s last trip together. [736 words]
Smothered by Paula M Shackleford The story of a girl who drives away men without meaning to. Will she ever find true love? [3,970 words]
Sitting Still by Scott W. Hazzard An ex-writer reflects upon his miserable life while receiving a routine lap dance from his favori... [2,159 words]
Shattered Lives by Kathleen McCarthy A story of a romantic triangle with deadly consequences. [4,761 words]
Who Knows What? by Iain Spittles This is an updated version, take a look, give a comment in return, that's all I ask. [966 words]
Neighbour by Sreenivasa Murthy Govindaraju A retired official who remained as a bachelor attempts to write his auto-biogrphy drawing inspiratin ... [2,296 words]
Lane 23 by Vanessa E Clemmons A mother competing with patience and her daughter's determination to obtain glory. [343 words]
Franky And The Crash by Scott W. Hazzard A gruff ragamuffin rampages through a city to become an anti-"pretty boy" -anti-hero. Rea... [1,079 words]
Dad's Discipline by Oscar Oljmex - [684 words]
Annie And Metoo by Arlene Gunn A lonely girl befriends her shadow. One day it suddenly disappears.She is again lonely but find... [1,400 words]
All My Ex's Ain't In Texas by Patti Dinneen A native New Englander recounts her adventures in Texas. [2,308 words]

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Adventures In The Land Of The Unexpected
A satirical look at the conference circuit in the unusual setting of Papua New Guinea.
[1,066 words]
Will E Drillit
A casual observer of elemental forms of society.
[September 2001]
[email protected]
Adventures In The Land Of The Unexpected
Will E Drillit

Hi Alison

Adventures in the land of the unexpected

It was early Monday morning as the mostly bleary-eyed troupe gathered together in the hotel foyer, the enthusiasm and light-hearted rivalry of the ice-breaker party the night before just a vague and distant memory. The air was cool and pungent, the result of a cosmopolitan blend of delicate delegate bouquet, South Pacific essence and the recycled air conditioning. Yet, as in times past, the organising committee had worked wonders in pulling the whole thing together and once again included a high class field of capable speakers. It was day 1 of the 4th Petroleum Convention, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea and proceedings were about to get underway.
Coming right on the heels of the APPEA Conference in Brisbane, some delegates were highly selective about which papers would gain their undivided attention. I mean, there’s only so much you can take in and it’s not in the best of form these days to nod off during the sessions.

So the scene was set. Take in the papers of interest, see the people you needed to see and then get out and look around this truly exotic location. However, those delegates expecting a tropical paradise were to be somewhat disappointed.

Outside, the 3 metre steel fence topped with razor wire surrounding the hotel perimeter and the guys with the Rottweilers and batons gave a hint of a suggestion that it was probably better and safer to be on the inside. However, 3 full days cooped up inside did not cut it with certain individuals and the talk at the end of the first day revolved around just a single subject….escape!!

The first indication of stir-crazy behaviour appeared late on the first afternoon. A chap named “Pleasance” came strolling through the hotel lobby whistling a tune from the famous war movie about a group of allied prisoners of war who were being a pain in the arse to their captors. The tune went largely unnoticed but when he started shaking his trouser legs and dispersing imaginary dirt across the marble floor, immediate empathy was achieved with kindred spirits with the same thoughts in mind. The escape committee was born.

The Oilman’s barbecue later in the evening provided the perfect cover for the first full meeting for escape artists Pleasance, McQueen, Coburn and Attenborough. The plot was simple. The following morning after the seismic papers and the paper on the Stanley discovery, a vehicle would be commandeered from the adjoining compound and a forage into the outside world would be undertaken. It was important not to be away too long, just a brief recce on the first occasion. Through our extensive network, we had discovered the existence of another escape committee. The Interoil people had planned a breakout for the following afternoon, using the cover of making a boat trip to their proposed refinery site. We had to be back for that as it offered up a further opportunity of attaining freedom. After a few more beers and, content that all eventualities had been covered, we retired early, buoyed with renewed enthusiasm for what the following day might bring.

And so it went as the plan worked beautifully. A quick trip around the town by main road to see the sights, a short stopover for lunch at the local curryhouse and back to the hotel with just enough time for a quick brush-up before liaising with the Interoil escape committee.

The Interoil boat trip proved to be a bittersweet experience but nevertheless a highlight of the conference. To be out there on the open sea and be so close to freedom yet knowing in the back of our minds we were soon to return to port. The disappointment was tempered by the excellent hospitality of our hosts at Interoil who went overboard to ensure that everybody on deck had a good time. We arrived back at the hotel in good spirits and just in time for the start of the cultural evening which was characterised by some noisy locals banging loud drums. Still, we were in other places mentally so it hardly seemed to matter. We had enjoyed the taste of freedom so much it was decided the last day should follow a similar pattern. Early in the morning someone remarked that the afternoon sessions concentrated on the unknown subject matter of Environmental Geology and Land and Community Affairs. It was felt that a little knowledge in these areas could prove dangerous and our concerns were borne out when it was noticed the last couple of papers were entitled “Changing the free lunch culture” and “Singing songs of expectation”.

Coburn had struck paydirt, having somehow managed to secure himself a flight back to Singapore at lunchtime with one of the local partisans in a small Cessna. That left the rest of us out on a limb for something to do, particularly as we were without a vehicle. As is always the case under trying circumstances, necessity becomes the mother of invention. McQueen and Pleasance opted for the Interoil “déjà vu” trip as it was on once again. However, Attenborough, wary of the pitfalls in such a caper opted instead for the safety of the PNG Yacht Club bar and a chance to bring his notes up to date.

As it turned out, the déjà vu trip never eventuated because of engine problems on board the vessel. It could also have had more to do with the lack of variation of attendees who turned up for the trip. Anyway, back to the hotel to get ready for the dinner dance which turned out to be the best night of the convention. After the obligatory speeches and food were put to bed a good time was had by all out on the dance floor. At the end of the evening the escape committee was disbanded, secure in the knowledge that when this event comes around again in 3 or 4 year’s time, everyone involved will plan a little better in advance – and take a good book!!

Oh, and the conference. Generally upbeat with some excellent papers; OilSearch putting together a 12 well program; Interoil looking at 10 wells next year; the gas pipeline borderline at best; a few smaller players sniffing around for new acreage and a widespread view that the PNG government machine has a lot of work to do to hold the interest of those looking to explore this fascinating country.


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© 2000 Will E Drillit
September 2001

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