Salient. Newspaper of the Victoria University Students' Association. Vol 42 No. 8. April 23 1979
At dawn, Monday, a forlorn, hunched shoulders, hands-plunged-into-pockets, cleaving-trenches-in-the-footpath-from-dragging-feet looking character could be seen [unclear: ententing] the University. Above his head, a sad little shadow, we follow our poor friend (sniff) as he shuffles up to the door of Salient, fumbles in his drab coat pocket (sob), turns the key in the lock, shoos away the persistent wee cloud and slips inside (catch in the throat and gulp). His name was Peter "no Salient for three weeks" Beach. His life's work; the editorship of our worthy newspaper.
Four days later the wee shadow has grown to form a dense, black shroud engulfing the whole building. So despairingly gloomy is it's presence that inside, the occupants are forced to sling their long mouths over their shoulders to prevent them dragging in the muddy pools of tears. A deathly hush has crept in except for the occasional rattle in Lorraine Wilson's chest as she practices her dying breaths under the light table. Victoria Quade grips her legs comfortably and sibs agonizingly into Richard Riddiford's fairisle jumper. "He's been locked in there since Monday". Kathryne Fleming whispers to Helen Aikman of our dear editor Peter Beach. "Someone told me he's been drinking rather heavily", is the concerned reply from Rire Scotney. And "1089" they sigh in unison as they flick another tear from each other's eye.
Clang!! *%$&+¾'*** Geoff Adams has been trying to put up his fifth layer of Venetian blinds to keep out the light.
"Sssshhh". hisses Lewis Holden, but it doesn't matter. Geoff can't hear him as he lies, stunned; the muscular spasms getter feebler, feebler...... "Shall we put him out of his misery?", queries Mark Wilson and Graeme Robertson in unison. "No", say Leonie Morris, "He's miserable enough anyway". A flash of the torchlight towards the corner reveals a heart-rending sight. Kris Molloy, Robyn Wood and Virginia Adams dressed all in black, wrapped in each other's arms, away to the dirge coming through their headphones. The coursing of tears down their grief-wracked bodies produce a strange glistening.
"Hi Ho Hi Ho it's off to work....." mumbles Simon Wilson as he walks under Nigel Parry's chair on his way to finish his article on 'graves, coffins, and 10 painless ways to jump into them". The weight of all the pervading sense of foreboding has reduced his height to a mere 15 inches. Not mat he minds — except when the office dog Bonza belches into his ear, to the delight of David Murray and Kathleen Gallagher. "That'll cut him down to size" they whisper maliciously.
Stephen A'Court stoops intently over Andrew Beach's inert body on the editor's sofa. Cheeks sucked in concentration, he applies another mask of hot bull gum to the poor wee lad's tear-ravaged visage, in an attempt to restore it to somethings of its former delicate shaping. Andrew wakes up, says "Swain" and politely becomes inert again.
Not anywhere could even the sharpest eye detect the faintest glimmer of hope. Depression and devastation have permeated every nook, every cranny. Woebegoneness reigns supreme............
"Where is this leading? you ask. "Fuck, where Is It leading?" asks Chris Conway and Alan McArthur, firmly united on this question. I don't know but it was fun while it lasted and we're all going to have a ripper holiday anyway. Hope you do too.
Salient is edited by Peter Beach - It will not be coming out in three weeks time, which will leave the editor in a quandary. Not for 1,979 years will anyone have been so hung up about the May holiday. It is published by the Victoria University of Wellington Students Association and printed by the Wanganui Chocolate Egg factory, Drews Avenue, Wanganui.