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October 4, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

The Salient Horoscopes Page presents: The Predicted Parallel Lives of Salienteers Vol. XII: Uther Dean

by Lauren Priestley, Carlo Salizzo and Juliette Wanty
with contributions from Elle Hunt
and introducing Hannah Warren as herself

Uther Dean’s alternate reality is defined by his love of John Hughes’ film, Sixteen Candles. No one at United Video Kilbirnie is allowed to hire it out as he holds it so close to his heart. Often literally. During his long, surprisingly fruitful days at this establishment, Uther watches old reruns of Baywatch, wiping away his tears, and deals with customers who he perceives as being so far beneath him as to be unworthy of his time. Sometimes he sleeps under the desk. Sometimes he doesn’t sleep at all, haunted by the ghostly image of so many disappointed teachers, shaking their spectral heads at his “wasted promise”. “Uther,” they warble, “you could have done so much with your life. Now look at you, dribbling your life down a storm drain made of dry saliva and regret.”

He likes to think of himself, somewhat ironically, as an outstanding potential spy, waiting to be discovered. Allied to this belief, he owns a backpack—not just some dime-a-dozen MacPac, but one which would fit an army of portly dwarves inside. Uther did not have an army of portly dwarves, but not for lack of trying. The contents of the backpack never change, but are perpetually refreshed, as Uther needs his continual supply of assorted chocolate encrusted fruit; his Dick Smith branded portable DVD player; and his beloved pet ferret named Professor MacSly. No one but Uther is allowed to talk to, or even acknowledge the existence of, Professor MacSly.

An important detail of Uther’s psyche is his intense hatred for the incessant clacking of knitting needles. For a pseudo-decadent video store clerk, this does not affect the majority of Uther’s life—until one fateful summer’s day, in an incident involving a half-finished patterned scarf, a cricket bat, rat poison, a peanut butter milkshake, and a vivacious old woman named Mabel Caine.

His crime would have passed unnoticed, had it not been observed by the adorably bovine-eyed Billiam Kransky, a student at the local kindergarten. Thus, after a series of convoluted events, Uther found himself in the government’s hospitality. Such was his longing for MacSly that he cried himself to sleep, night after night—that is, until he met his roommate Boris Science, who endearingly pronounced his name ‘Utter’, to rhyme with ‘Gutter’ or ‘Flutter’. This new friendship began to cure Uther of his survivor guilt. The most frequent and effective sessions of therapy came about through repeat viewings and subsequent verbatim re-enactments of scenes from Sixteen Candles. Boris’ favourite line was “I can’t believe my grandmother actually felt me up!” Uther couldn’t choose just one line as he loves every frame of the film equally.

Eventually, Uther was let out on parole. It was heartwrenching to part with Boris, but Uther had learnt that change was part of life. Like sand in the hourglass, he was gone with the wind. He knew that he must get busy living, or get busy dying. Anyway, they’d promised to text everyday.

Uther was a reformed man—not only on the inside. There were physical changes too. The chocolate-coated fruit was gone, and the backpack was cast from his weary, bear-like shoulders. Prison had given him humility, and he was ready to do the penance for the violent crimes of his youth. So humble was he, in fact, that he found his tired feet tracing the path to Caine’s family home. The family accepted his honest apology and, his redemption complete, Uther set out to leave. Then, he caught a glimpse of something furry and curiously inactive, perched on the Caine’s mantlepiece.

It was unmistakeably MacSly. Eye met eye: one glistening with tears, and the other glazed but emotive. Between them passed something magical. Uther cradled his beloved MacSly in his arms, and like the glorious final scene in Sixteen Candles where they pash over the cake, all was at peace in the wanderer’s heart.


About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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