The loves, losses and random adventures of Da Loop's mannequins

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Back To The Start - Gypsy's Adventures Part 14


Da Loop is taking you back to where it all began.  Over the coming weeks we'll publish all of Gypsy's original adventures before breaking into new territory.

(Note: all Da Loop stock featured in the original adventures is no longer for sale.) 

Sam was a little over hearing about her best friend Gypsy’s perilous activities and associated explosion of male attention.  In fact, she had accepted an invitation from her childhood friend, JJ, to go camping with some of the old school gang just to have a short break from Gypsy’s perpetual joy. The gruelling window-modelling career that Sam and Gypsy shared was challenging and exhausting enough without jealousy compounding the problem… 

After flopping into her camp chair and finding that she couldn’t get up again, Sam realised that she must have been near breaking point when had she received JJ’s text.  Never mind that everyone except JJ had come down with the flu the day before the trip (problem: Sam had planned to gate-crash the girls’ tent as she didn’t have one of her own), and never mind that JJ, the once tiny and timid bookworm, was now a 6 foot 6 barefoot and bearded barrel of muscle (possibly axe-murderer) – none of this was going to stop her from getting a little R & R!  She poured herself a celebratory gin and tonic...

A little later, Sam asked JJ if she could help with dinner.  (She was feeling a little guilty for not having brought much food to contribute.)

“Look, you’re welcome to half my Trangia stew if you’re too stuffed to cook”, JJ offered kindly while passing her a glass of red.

“You know, that would be just too awesome, if you’re sure you won’t go hungry”, said Sam.  “But just watch out it doesn’t turn into bilby stew!”  They both chuckled and the bilby scampered off.

“I have a huge bag of marshmallows to fill any gap in my stomach”, replied JJ with a grin.

So Sam ate and drank, and as the sun began to set more wildlife gathered around, admiring her politically correct faux fur Sportsgirl vest (XS-S, $20) and Earth vegan shoes ($30) (worn with FCUK tee, Levi jeans and silk beanie).  At one stage she got up, pulled out one weedy African Daisy and collapsed back into her chair feeling dizzy.  Sensing that she needed some spoiling, JJ fed her toasted marshmallows from his state-of-the-art four-pronged marshmallow stick, and Sam soon began to feel a little heady from the smoke, wine and sugar.  So much so that she decided that:

a)  a) a strange khaki vest worn without undergarment was a fashion statement;

b)  b) she needed to be prostrate;

c)  c)  she needed to be prostrate, but was not THAT exhausted that she didn’t start to wonder if R.M. Williams zippers were of superior quality to those sewn into other men’s brand jeans, and whether or not she might be able to test that out while she was prostrate.

In a nutshell, she was horny.

But morning broke with JJ’s zip still firmly in place – he’d been too much the gentleman to allow any hanky panky on what was essentially a first date (boo, hiss!).  You’ll be pleased to know, however, that he did encourage some alternative camp frolicking such as star-gazing through the tent window, bird-watching at dawn, and climbing the magnificent Pink Gum and Peppermint Box trees.

“Hey JJ!  Come on up!” Sam coaxed, relaxing in a tree fork.  JJ looked up and was about to oblige when suddenly Sam’s usually animated face (ha ha ha) went blank and her skin turned (even more) ghostly pale.

“Are you OK?” JJ asked, suddenly worried.  But it was too late – Sam was spinning… spinning… colours… swirls… swirls…falling… and even after landing safely she was still falling… spiralling… drawn into a curious and persistent vortex reaching for her from beneath the grass fa├žade…

Wtf is wrong with Sam??

Is she really just worn out?

Did she try and smoke that African Daisy?

Has she lost her marbles?

Have aliens come to suck her into their spaceship?

Or does she just need a good you-know-what?

                                                                           Find out next time!!  

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Back To The Start - Gypsy's Adventures Part 13


Da Loop is taking you back to where it all began.  Over the coming weeks we'll publish all of Gypsy's original adventures before breaking into new territory.

(Note: all Da Loop stock featured in the original adventures is no longer for sale.) 

“So.. FINALLY we get to spend some time together without being interrupted by gun-wielding thugs, floodwaters or… irresponsible ex-boyfriends’, said Dave to Gypsy, rather pointedly she thought.

Gypsy, looking stunning in green Zara ($14), took a large bite of her avocado, pineapple and mushroom pizza, munched away for a bit, then replied “Well I’ve got a thing for bad boys, so I think if Traeger really was as irresponsible as you say then I wouldn’t be sitting here with you in your cute beanie, would I? I’d have followed him off to Woop-Woopland or wherever the Witness Protection Program has now taken him!”

 “I was stirring you”, Dave said with a smile, but Gypsy noticed that he took a few large gulps of his Prancing Pony and nervously adjusted his beanie.

“He seemed like a nice bloke”, Dave continued, squeezing Gypsy’s arm.  “But are you saying that to hold onto you I have to go get naughty??”

“Maybe!” Gypsy grinned, then looked up and waved to Rebecca who was slaving away in the Aldgate Cafe kitchen.

“Hey! Rebecca! Feel free to join us tonight for Da Loop’s 1st Birthday party next door!  There’ll be plenty of food, bubbly and dancing if you’re up for it.”

Gypsy loved the friendly atmosphere in Aldgate Cafe, and was indeed grateful to be hanging out in her hometown with the man of her dreams on this day.  That morning they’d walked some of the Valley of The Bandicoots Nature Walk, dropped in on Elvis at the Aldgate Pump Hotel and now she was sipping mulled wine contentedly and looking forward to a frolic at the Da Loop birthday celebration, and maybe a bit of Dirty Dancing with Dave back at his apartment later on… 

Rebecca promised to join the crew for a bubbly, then Dave finished his fourth Pony and the two lovebirds headed next door.  Amongst the party crowd were Sam (Gypsy’s bestie, dressed in pre-owned Metalicus top and skirt, $18 and $20 respectively), Ron (Traeger’s non-evil twin, casual in Kenji knit, $12), Tanya & Syb from the Da Loop Mannequin Wardrobe Department (dressed impeccably in items purchased from the best recycled clothes shop in the world), and Mel and Louise from the Da Loop Props Supply Branch.  

Syb was assisting Sam to hold on to her wobbly arm, while Tanya messed with the CDs, trying to make the destruction of Louise’s favourite (‘Psychedelic 70s’) look like an accident.  Gypsy became engrossed in a conversation (shouted above the music) with Ron, trying to coax information out of him regarding what would soon be his new Witness Protection Program identity.  She had no luck, but was so intently involved in the discussion that she didn’t notice Dave polishing off twelve more beers. When she finally tried to catch his attention with suggestive comments about her intended private ‘after-party party’ she was answered with a loud burb and a thud as he toppled face first onto a table, where he remained for the rest of the night, entangled in his Dungeons & Dragons Hoodie ($28).  Gypsy decided that, as easy-going as he was, he possibly didn’t handle stress very well. 

At 3am, Gypsy, Sam and Ron were still standing. (Well, actually, Gypsy was sitting.  Because that’s what she does.)  They clinked glasses in salute: Happy 1st Birthday, Da Loop, may you remain dry and in business for another year!!

Note: Sam also wears EDC jacket, $25.  Gypsy also wears Lili skirt, brown velvet and lace NWT $20, and her necklace is $12. Dave’s beanie was purchased between photo shoot and story upload so was been replaced with another $8 beanie! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Back To The Start - Gypsy's Adventures Part 12

Da Loop is taking you back to where it all began.  Over the coming weeks we'll publish all of Gypsy's original adventures before breaking into new territory.
(Note: all Da Loop stock featured in the original adventures is no longer for sale.)

Dressed in a fashionable but no-nonsense outfit (black vintage Jill Fitzsimon jacket) and armed with a box of chocolates, a new phone, and a list of swear words as long as her gorgeous legs, red-headed Gypsy marched into the Good Times Hospital and asked for Traeger Jackson, her ex-boyfriend.

A helpful doctor directed her to Room 13. That’d be right, unlucky 13, Gypsy thought. 

She entered the room and Traeger turned his face from the window to look at her…. and she promptly burst into tears. NOT part of the PLAN!! Bugger, what am I supposed to do now? March out again?? She turned around to leave, but Traeger said “Wait Gypsy, please! I need a chance to explain.”

“It’s been explained already.” said Gypsy coldly, wiping snot on Jill’s sleeve and avoiding Traeger’s eyes. “All that time, you couldn’t trust me enough to tell me about your real self, your family, your f…ing tail-less dog…!”

“Don’t! Please… don’t make it any harder for me to apologise to you. Being in the Witness Protection Program is serious stuff, and you were in danger! I loved you… I still love you! I couldn’t… can’t… risk anything happening to you, Gypsy – God, you’re my whole world! The best day of my life was when you drove into Joe’s Garage and chose me to service your car. I just didn’t realise it at the time.”

He was right – she had had to choose her mechanic. She smiled as she remembered driving in at 9am and seeing three mechanics sitting out on the office step in the sun drinking coffees – Charlene, Pete, and Unknown-Dark-And-Handsome Man. (Note Traeger isn’t dark anymore - he keeps changing his hair colour to trick his assailants.) In response to her puzzled look, they explained that they couldn’t work because there was a power outage (common in Aldgate, it seems).

“So the cars have been rolling in and we’ve just been sitting around and haven’t even decided who’s fixing whose”, said Charlene. “Take your pick! Hey, this is Traeger, who the cat dragged in from Mount Gambier two weeks ago. Traeger, this is Gypsy. She’s a great chick with a well-behaved car and a well-behaved Mum who also comes here.”

“Well, you’re entitled to your opinion”, Gypsy retorted, with eye-rolling.

“Do you mean you’re not a great chick?” asked Traeger. 

“I meant about my Mum!” laughed Gypsy, and immediately fell for Traeger’s intense blue eyes, square shoulders, his tousled (but rather solid) hair… basically everything about him. He was tanned, fit, alluring, luscious… and she was of course young and impetuous. 

“I pick…. YOU!” she giggled stupidly, and then instead of doing her shopping she stayed while he worked work on her car, watching his muscles ripple and hearing his soft, sexy voice swear gently now and then. The minute she left the garage she was on the phone to her bestie, Sam, raving about the new man of her dreams. Three services later she coaxed him to the movies, five services – her bedroom…  

“Oh God!” Gypsy gasped as she realised she was practically orgasming in the hospital room when she was supposed to be giving Traeger a piece of her mind. No wonder the relationship was a big fail! She thought, pulling herself together.

Of course, Gypsy hadn’t realised at the time that the increased need for car service was because Traeger (real name Andrew) was a crop consultant, not a mechanic, and knew stuff-all about Mazda RX7s. She had simply thought he was lusting after her. Sam, used to Gypsy’s impulsiveness, had tried to slow her down but to no avail.

 Back in the present, Gypsy sighed. There was no point blowing her stack (in any manner). “You don’t love me”, she said.  “I made you love me. I gave you no choice! Look, I’m a grown-up now, and I am learning from my mistakes.” 

Traeger shook his head. “You’re wrong. You didn’t make me love you, it really happened! And don’t go changing your personality because it’s perfect the way it is. Look, we may have started the crack-down on this drug ring but it is far from finished, and my family is in danger. I can’t ask you to come with me because you’d have to change your identity and move away from your family and your friends and from Da Loop….” 

He paused, and Gypsy wondered for a moment if he wasn’t really hoping she would do just that. They locked eyes.

“I know, I can’t!” Gypsy choked, dropped the chocolates and fell forward into Traeger’s arms and vintage Billabong tank. Her lips were on his and her hands were in his hair (I mean ON his hair) and suddenly she was half on the bed…

““Aaaaaieeeeeeee!!!!!” Traeger screamed. “My bloody shoulder!!!!!”

Gypsy jumped back off the bed and gasped “Oh no, I didn’t even ask you how you were feeling!”

They looked at each other and Traeger laughed despite the intense pain and broken heart, and Gypsy laughed despite the extreme ridiculousness of everything, because the plain truth was that even though it had started as a lust thing, she had loved Traeger/Andrew in a young-and-no-cares-in-the-world kind of way, and she would always love him somewhere in her heart.

But her place and her future was here (in Free Fusion OMG! knit $10), with her wonderful Dave (in Drill Hawaiian shirt $8) and with Sam and her silly Mum and with Da Loop. Bring on their next adventure!



Sunday, May 31, 2020

Back To The Start - Gypsy's Adventures Part 11

Da Loop is taking you back to where it all began.  Over the coming weeks we'll publish all of Gypsy's original adventures before breaking into new territory.
(Note: all Da Loop stock featured in the original adventures is no longer for sale.)

“Maybe it’s just as well that Andrew is recovering in hospital right now”, said Ron in regard to Gypsy’s ex-boyfriend who had recently reappeared in her life under mysterious circumstances that had put all their lives in danger. “Because the scene I’m picturing involves flying crockery.”
Gypsy was not amused. “Can you please explain for a start why he has two names?” she asked. They were seated in the local police station sipping cups of tea while their conversation was taped. Gypsy was fidgeting and tossing her chestnut mane in exasperation.
“OK, OK. Here’s the deal.” continued Ron. “Traeger’s real name is Andrew, and mine is Simon. Until recently we lived in Victoria – me, Andrew, Mum and Dad. One day at work Andrew came across a drug lab, and …” 

“Hang on, hang on”, interrupted Gypsy. “He’s a mechanic, so how does that work?”
“No… he’s a crop consultant, and he found this drug lab in a limestone cave near Portland.”
Gypsy felt a bit stupid – she had met Traeger when he’d been servicing her car. He had told her he was an itinerant mechanic and that he had only stayed in town as long as he had because he’d fallen in love with her. The lying bastard - she decided it was probably a miracle that her car hadn’t since blown up.

“On a table in the lab was a document containing blueprints for nine other drug labs across the country, only he didn’t know that’s what they were when he grabbed it. He also didn’t realise he had triggered an alarm and that there were two armed men on their way across the paddock to kill him. He only escaped because he heard some White-eared Honeyeaters sounding their distinctive alarm calls and knew something was amiss. And also because he was wearing some hardy John Frith leather work boots (Da Loop, pre-owned $25).”

“Ah, so he fled with the document.“ chipped in Dave, Gypsy’s current partner of the completely non-lying-bastard variety.

“Yes, but he ended up dropping several pages in his rush, so the police only ended up with half the plans.  The problem is the ringleaders thought, and still think, that Andrew has the whole document.
They threatened him many times thinking he would hand it over. They chopped off his dog’s tail (
dog wouldn’t pose for photo, sorry – ed.). Then Mum and Dad ended up with third degree burns when their house was set alight. It was so awful seeing them with their scarred faces and burnt-off eyebrows. That’s when the police proposed that the four of us join the state’s Witness Protection Program. So Mum and Dad were relocated, with new identities and new eyebrows, to a rehabilitation centre in Adelaide. Andrew and I followed, as Traeger and Ron. But we didn’t trust the system for a moment. I knew they’d eventually find Andrew, so when they did I was ready – a man tried to attack him in his caravan but I made a racket and he ran off because a crowd started to gather

“So then we decided to split while we had the chance, and have been on the run ever since, heading to the federal police to talk to them in person about the leak in the Victorian Program. It was too hard to explain to you, or even say goodbye. We just up and left.”

“Then how did you make it back here so quickly when I was about to go underwater in Da Loop?” puzzled Gypsy.
“We had warning that you were about to be captured – they needed us to know in advance so that they could be sure Andrew was back at Da Loop with the blueprints at the exact time you were drowning and would hand them over to spare your life. We drove back -couldn’t risk the airport with our new IDs- and the call from your attacker came in as we reached Aldgate.”
Ron went on. “Look, the baddies planned on a clean getaway – you forced them into employing Plan B when you escaped – hence the torture chamber.”
 “Oh, right, so now it’s my fault Traeger nearly got his arms ripped off?!” questioned Gypsy, astounded. “Hel-lo!!”
“No, no! You took that entirely the wrong way! Look, I tried to talk Andrew out of driving back here, begged him to call the cops instead but he wouldn’t hear of it. I know you’re going to give him a hard time but, for what it’s worth, he does love you and the fact that you’ve been in danger has torn him apart with guilt.”
This last comment made Dave squirm in his seat. He wished that he and Gypsy were at the How To Host A Murder Party as planned instead of sitting in a police station listening to smart-arse mannequin drivel. He knew that Gypsy would want to see Traeger. And he was scared of losing her…
Gypsy stood up. “I’ve gotta go. There’s something I have to do. Please excuse me.” Dave’s face fell.
Once outside, she ran to the nearest payphone and slotted in the coins she had nicked from Dave’s wallet earlier.
“Sam?” she said when her bestie picked up. I need to shop. Wanna go help your niece pick out her formal dress, right now??”
The reply was squeals of delight. The men could wait, for goodness sake. 
(Below - Supre T-shirt, Da Loop, very cheap.)

Gypsy wears Henry Roth vintage black dress, $40; Chrysalis handmade bracelet and necklace featuring Swarovski crystal $40 and $30 respectively; pre-owned handbag $12. Sam wears stunning maroon formal dress with hand-beading, worn once, new $695 tag, Da Loop price $250; vintage beaded purse $8; vintage bracelet $25; pre-owned bracelet $8; Liliana pink heels $16. Traeger wears Rodd & Gunn check shirt $28; Hugo Boss jeans $25.

Ron wears Back To The Future T-shirt $14; Guess shorts $18; Duchini sandals $10.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Back To The Start - Gypsy's Adventures Part 10

Da Loop is taking you back to where it all began.  Over the coming weeks we'll publish all of Gypsy's original adventures before breaking into new territory.

(Note: all Da Loop stock featured in the original adventures is no longer for sale.)

“Traeger!” Gypsy cried, lurching forward toward her ex-partner lying motionless, blindfolded, and a little warped in the armpit region on the torture machine in the centre of the dark and dusty barn.
Ron, Traeger’s not-evil twin, tried to stop her. “Shhh!  Not yet, Gypsy!”  

But it was too late - a figure in dark sunglasses (why?) emerged from the shadows on the opposite side of the barn and lunged at her.  Dave, looking on, recognised him as Traeger’s kidnapper.  Ron grabbed a nearby plank of wood and swung it wildly at the man’s head, knocking him out cold and flat on top of Gypsy.  

As Dave moved to pull his beloved free another door flung open and a tall man in a straw Akubra (Size 62, $20) leapt forward and swung at Ron, hitting him in the side of the head and causing him and his plank to topple forward into the tangled mess of limbs.  Akubra Man then started waving a revolver around…

… BANG!!! There was a scream followed by CRACK!!  - another shot from the doorway and then a female voice saying “I hope that one was the baddie…”  Dave turned to see a policewoman, dressed smartly in NWT Esprit dress pants and navy Converse shirt, wielding a gun.  Akubra Man slumped onto the floor clutching his knee, whereupon the policewoman cuffed him.

 “Er, yes”, came Gypsy’s muffled voice.
“Yes what?” said the policewoman.
“Yes, that one was the baddie”.

“Well that’s lucky then, isn’t it?”

“Gypsy!  I thought you’d been shot!!” cried Dave, wondering vaguely how she could possibly see who shot who from the bottom of a pile of bodies.
“I have, but it’s just a flesh wound.”
With immense relief, Dave turned his attention to the contraption still sitting untouched in the centre of the barn.  Traeger, still unmoving, was a sorry sight.
 “Mate?” he began hesitantly. “Are you alive??”

There was a horrifying pause.  Then came the rasped response:  “Yes.  But they grilled me for fifteen minutes while those ropes got tighter and tighter.   I’m bloody sore, and I think I need a screw or two.”

Dave decided that he’d better take that last comment the right way seeing as he was Gypsy’s boyfriend, or Traeger would soon have a few more injuries to contend with.
“An ambulance is on its way” said the policewoman.  “By the way, I’m Constable Tanner.  I was despatched by Detective Sergeant McDonald after you made the 000 call.  I’m sorry about the delay.”
“Detective?” pondered Gypsy.  

“Traeger, I’m very glad you’re not dead, but you’ve been a complete tosser and as a result someone tried to drown me.  Please explain.”
The Constable shot Traeger a glance and said.  “Let’s get these two jokers out of here, send Traeger off in the ambulance and take the three of you back to the station for a nice, long cup of tea and a chat.  And I’m sure you’re all well overdue for a costume change.”

What will be revealed?  Are Traeger and Ron good guys or bad guys?  And on top of that, is Traeger really a selfish so-and-so?  And will somebody explain what the ‘blueprints’ are that have caused such anguish?
Tune in next episode!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Back To The Start - Gypsy's Adventures Part 9

Da Loop is taking you back to where it all began.  Over the coming weeks we'll publish all of Gypsy's original adventures before breaking into new territory.

(Note: all Da Loop stock featured in the original adventures is no longer for sale.)

'000’ Gypsy dialled into her boyfriend Dave’s phone as she lurched from side to side with each bend of Strathalbyn Road.  Speeding in front of her was a grey wagon, and as she waited for someone to answer her call she saw a white figure moving in the back window.

“He’s conscious!” she exclaimed, but no sooner had she said it than the wagon began to edge further and further away.
“Looks like they’ve under-drugged him”, said Dave, looking very lovable in his How To Host A Murder costume combined with well-worn Pacman cap.  “Maybe that means they weren’t planning on travelling too...”
“Police, please!” Gypsy’s voice interrupted. “I’d like to report a kidnapping… Traeger Jackson… T..R..A..E…er, yes, er, no… what? No, we’re behind them, currently approaching Echunga.  Hang on, can’t you despatch someone??”  Seconds later she hung up.
“What did they say?” asked Dave. 
“Well, they were confused”, Gypsy replied.
“That’s because Traeger isn’t really Traeger!” Dave pointed out.
“No, it wasn’t that – he was in the system as Traeger.  But they said he has a red alert next to his name, or something.  Not helpful!”

At this point the wagon had disappeared from sight and they reached the Meadows turnoff with no clue as to the direction it had taken.  They sat uselessly at the intersection, with precious seconds passing.  Suddenly there was a loud noise to the right and a motorcycle pulled up alongside Dave’s window.  

The rider removed his helmet and Gypsy gasped.  “TRAEGER!!  How did you..??” 

“I’m not Traeger”, he said.
“Well, ANDREW then!” Gypsy said sarcastically, having just discovered hours earlier that her ex-boyfriend was not who she thought he was.
“I’m not Andrew either.  Look, there isn’t much time.  I can find Traeger, OK?  He’s chipped and I can get his location.”
“He’s chipped??  Hey, who ARE you?!!” Gypsy demanded. 
“My name is Ron.  I’m Andrew’s…Traeger’s… twin brother.”
“Ah, of course” Gypsy nodded knowingly.  “There’s always a twin in these things.  I suppose you’re evil as well, are you?”
Ron looked at her quizzically and adjusted the collar of his Billabong feather-patterned shirt, and she decided he mustn’t have watched many soapies.
“Nevermind”, she said.  “What do we do now?”
“Follow me. I might need some backup.”
He sped off.  Dave looked at Gypsy.  “So you want me to continue with this pursuit of your deceitful and chipped exboyfriend ?” he asked. 

“Um, yes?” said Gypsy.  So Dave kicked the little red car into gear and followed.  Twenty minutes later they pulled into an obscured track in an unmade road reserve lined with dense Cup Gums.
“On foot from here”, said Ron as he disembarked and looked disapprovingly at Gypsy’s heels.  “We’re at least fifteen minutes behind them though, so we’d better run!”
Gypsy and Dave followed Ron across the paddocks to a deserted barn.  

Around the back was a door.  Ron opened it slowly and they peered in… 

Gypsy gasped (again).  Ron swore quietly. “They’ve got him rigged up to a stretching rack.  It’s a form of torture, with a remote”, he whispered.   They must really want those blueprints!  I just hope we’re not too late!"

Has Traeger already had his arms ripped off under his (quite fetching) black checquered shirt?  (Hopefully not, or he’ll have to be velcroed every day like his counterpart, Sam, and it’s a pain in the arse.)  Or did the crew arrive in the nick of time?  Find out next chapter!