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Sport 35: Winter 2007

Historic Istor

page 96

Historic Istor

Istor was a knowing man. As the recorder and keeper of the community register he knew everything about everybody. He knew when people had arrived, with what, why they'd come or hadn't left, how many houses they owned in Mt Victoria, how many cafes down Courtenay Place, what side their families had fought on in the civil wars, whether they voted National or Labour, were god-fearing or money-loving.

He'd quip: Look to your miser parents for the reason you're still a geronto-kori, after all these years an old maid; or: Hold down a job? Bloody infidel-apiste, you can't even hold your son down in a baptism.

Mum disliked him most: we can make a nice salata with the oil on his head, the vinegar in his heart; we can marry him to a goat and he wouldn't know the difference; or, his belly is a rotten yoghurt-cheese-myzithra.

The ten-years war between them began on the day she told him about her plan to turn us into Greek citizens and asked him for help in the matter. She attempted baking, cajolery and pandering conversation; but one afternoon, having lost all patience with pledges of help which never amounted to much, she shoved a sewing needle at his face and into the cabinet keyhole: you call yourself a Greek? Only a prodoti mixed-blood pig-traitor acts like this. And: you have woven a tangled histos Istor, but I am the Mrs spiderarachni around here, you can be sure of that.

Out of the drawer she pulled 1xBirth in Tavros Certificates, 1 x Marriage in the Church of the Assumption Certificate, 2 x Birth at St Helen's Certificates, 2 x Baptism at the same afore-mentioned church Certificates, 1 x Dissolution of Marriage in New Zealand Certificate.

Istor took stock. And his Mitre 10 wheelbarrow from the back room. He ran the barrow, full to the brim, to his garage on Brougham street and considered having a garage sale.

page 97