mr vague

I have started a new teaching job this week and had to fly to Christchurch for induction. The Dedes and I have a deal that when ever I go places I pick one of them to accompany me should there be space in my backpack. I believe they view this as an assurance I will return to them. This time I chose Mr Vague, a placid old fellow who goes with the flow. I certainly couldn’t have coped with one who wanted to paint the town red at night. I knew there would be a lot of information to take in during the day.

Right! He was so placid that he stayed in my backpack pretty much all the time. I was traveling with my new colleague Bonnie, who I met for the first time when I took my seat in the airplane. Mr Vague is very shy. That is why I took him. I thought he might come out of his shell when he is away from the other Dedes. But no, he stayed where he was because he heard us chatting away and did not want to impose. I wanted to show him the town centre that was struck by a horrific earthquake in 2011 and still looks like a battle field. As it is winter, it was dark by the time we left the art school. The town is also closer to the south pole than Auckland and therefore colder. I thought he might be interested in the Cardboard Cathedral, designed by disaster architect Shigeru Ban to temporarily replace the original cathedral that was damanged in the quake. After all, Mr Vague is made from the same material. He took a quick glance and said it is too cold to come out of the warm backpack.

We were there for two days and like all the Dedes he loves breakfast. So a cup of coffee finally lured him out for a quick chat in the morning. The warm ambience of the art noveau cafe suited him well and the coffee was excellent. That is all he needed to be content for another day and have a snooze while I was off to more induction.

The next time I saw him was when I arrived at the airport and heard that our plane would be delayed by 4 hours, which meant we wouldn’t be home before 2am. He shrugged the news off.  “Nothing you can do about it” he said and shouted me a beer. Neither of us got flustered – Mr Vague because he had slept for two days, and I because I was too tired.

Mr Vague at airport