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

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!





Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Back To The Start - Gypsy's Adventures Part 8

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.)


Gypsy burst through the front door of the Aldgate Pump Hotel (please excuse costume change – 80s dress sold last weekend), screaming for help. 

There was no point using the pub phone to contact Traeger – his number had just drowned along with her mobile in the flooded Da Loop front window - but maybe she could find some extra manpower to help prevent her ex and his blueprints from falling into evil hands.  

She grabbed the first person she saw.  “I need help!” she gasped. 

“Sorry, babe, I have a gig to do.  They do live music here now, did you catch that news?”

Oh great, thought Gypsy. Everyone is sitting out in the beer garden waiting for the music to start.  I can’t gatecrash that!

There was no time to think - she did a 180 and ran back out the door and across the road in a panic.  Diving through the Da Loop side gate she ran head-on into…
“DAVE!  THANK GOD!” 

“I wondered why you didn’t show up for our How To Host A…” began her boyfriend.
“No time to talk! Traeger is about to arrive here to rescue me and…”
“Rescue you from what? The dinner party??  Traeger… as in your ex???”  puzzled Dave, looking like a bit of a dill in gangster costume plus Pacman cap.
“Well how many Traegers do you know? YES!! Look, any second now he might show up and then…” she was interrupted by a man’s voice calling from behind the shop.
“GYPSY!”
“TRAEGER!!”  She grabbed Dave by the arm and they ran along the shop’s side wall towards the voice.  Gypsy closed her eyes and prayed that they would get to him in time.  Well, and that her size 14 purple 100% silk Brown Sugar party frock ($28) wouldn’t be ripped by the tree branches they were stumbling through.

“ARE YOU OK?!” yelled Traeger.  “I’M SORRY - YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO GET DRAGGED INTO THIS!  I CAN EXPLAIN!”
“THAT IS NOT A VERY ORIGINAL LINE!”  Gypsy yelled back while still running.

As they emerged at the rear of the shop Gypsy scanned the creek and stopped dead in her tracks as she locked eyes with the man she had once thought was The One.  Dave promptly smacked into the back of her and nearly lost his beloved Pacman cap in the waterfall, thereby ruining the moment, which was probably just as well.

At the same time, two men jumped from the neighbours’ fir trees and tackled Traeger, covering him with a white sheet and dragging him toward the rear carpark.

“OMG!” gasped Gypsy.  She and Dave scaled the back fence and ran across the Aldgate CafĂ©/Style House bridge just in time to see one of the men forcing Traeger into the back of a grey wagon.

“Quick – look at the car!  Memorise the number plate!” Dave shouted.
“What’s with the wagon?” Gypsy asked.  “These are hardened criminals.  One shot at me. Don’t they know they’re supposed to use a real boot to kidnap people?”
“Maybe they’ve knocked him out with gas so he can’t wave out the window”, Dave suggested, and then squeezed her hand.  “I’m glad you’re still standing (in those lovely Nine West gold and black thongs).  And I can’t wait to hear how you got out of the shooting situation.  But for now get in my car, take my phone and call the cops while I chase!”
Do Dave and Gypsy manage to catch up with the abductors?? 

… stay tuned to Facebook, the Da Loop website or the Da Loop shop window!  

EVERY CLICK ON THE WEBSITE HELPS DA LOOP!

Da Loop would like to thank those good friends who have assisted with filming over the last few episodes.
In addition to items mentioned above, Gypsy wears green and brown recycled necklace/bracelet set ($12).  Dave wears pre-owned R.M. Williams striped shirt ($10), NWT Dowd corporate pants ($18), spotted Paco Rabanne tie ($4) and own braces and hat.  Abductor looks striking in dark purple pre-owned Kenji shirt, Quiksilver hat, and bad haircut.  Abductor needs to visit MK Cutters Hair Artistry.







  


Friday, December 27, 2019

Back To The Start - Gypsy's Adventures Part 7

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.)


It wasn’t a good scene in the front window of Da Loop – not only did Gypsy have a gun pointed at her head and floodwater up to her armpits, but her outfit had changed since the last photo!  (Well, people always want to buy what’s on the mannequin or, in this case, mannequins…)

Now looking stunning in 80s black and white, Gypsy recalled her assailant’s recently-completed phone call.  “I’VE GOT THE REDHEAD” he’d barked into the phone.  “IF THOSE BLUEPRINTS AREN’T DOWN AT DA LOOP IN FIVE MINUTES, SHE’S HISTORY!” Gypsy couldn’t work out if he meant that he’d shoot her or she’d drown, so she asked him.
He looked at her blankly.  “Drown, obviously.  Otherwise it won’t look like an accident, will it?”
“I guess not.”

“I paid off a mate in Council to direct stormwater into your shop during this storm. (Or should I say, direct extra stormwater into your shop, ha ha ha.) Everyone will think you were simply trapped inside a flooded building!!” He must have seen Gypsy’s doubtful look, as he added “He’s very reliable, my mate.”
Gypsy stalled for time while her eyes darted around looking for something… anything… that could help her.  She was in it, literally, up to her neck, but it was somewhat comforting to know that he didn’t really want to shoot her.  “Ah… so was that Traeger, er, I mean Andrew, you were talking to? “
“The one and only,” he snarled. 
“Well, you know we’ve split up.  I’ve never seen your blueprints, and he’s not going to come running here to rescue me and bring them to you, so why don’t you just let me go and we can save you from totally ruining your Billabong shirt?”
The man let out a loud laugh.  “I don’t care about the shirt – I bought it cheap, AT YOUR SHOP HA HA HA!”.
“SPIDER!!!” Gypsy suddenly shouted while sending a deliberate glance to the ceiling.  Billabong Man (who was arachnophobic, fortunately)  lost concentration for a fraction of a second as he followed her eyes, and so in one swift move Gypsy grabbed a wooden clog that was floating past (reduced to $14) and dived under the water.  A bullet exploded into the ceiling, then Billabong Man corrected the angle of the gun and aimed into the swirling, muddy water. But he could see nothing.
Underwater, Gypsy clonked the clog hard into the window.  Immediately, water starting pouring through a sizeable hole onto the verandah.  

Gypsy knew she had to move fast or she would become visible to her attacker.  She turned and swam around the back of the gondola while Billabong man spun around and began to search the shop as the water receded.




He skimmed the front of the shop for a sign of red hair, but saw none.  Where the bloody hell is she??  he thought, panicked.  She must have swum down to the back room… 





He waded off past the shop counter and Gypsy grabbed her chance – the water had receded enough such that she could yank open the door under the reduced pressure.

She ran into the street, ditching her disguise and scanning the street for Billabong Man’s accomplices who must surely be hiding in wait for Traeger.  Will he really come to save me?  she wondered.   In any case, he doesn’t need to put himself in danger now that I’ve escaped - but I’ve got to warn him!! She made a beeline for the pub, hoping to use its phone, and screaming for help on the way. (Gypsy’s phone had drowned in the cute $4 black handbag she’d been wearing.) 

But how do you call someone when you can’t remember phone numbers because they only exist as contacts in your phone??  Will Gypsy be able to drum up enough help in the next three minutes to intercept the attackers and save Traeger and the mysterious blueprints??



Monday, November 25, 2019

Back To The Start - Gypsy's Adventures Part 6

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 in the old adventures is no longer available for purchase.)


“You must be soooo relieved that your Mum approves of Dave” puffed Sam as she broke through the pain barrier on the jogging machine, thankfully wearing her comfy Adidas running shorts purchased earlier at Da Loop.  Gypsy and Sam were sharing a few hours with the marvellous staff and machines at Fitness Life Studios Aldgate.   The original purpose was to silence Gypsy’s Mum, but the visit was proving most enjoyable in itself.




“Yes, well you know my Mum – she doesn’t stand for any nonsense.  The fact that Dave has a pronounceable name, an apartment, a job, and a family with which to eat Christmas dinner (and none of them with two heads), starts him high on the scoreboard.”
“Poor Traeger”,  responded Sam in understanding.  “He never stood a chance, did he?  He was too much the Mystery Man.  But I was still surprised when he up and left without warning.”
“Yeah, me too”, nodded Gypsy.  “That whole ‘mechanical assistant drifting from town to town” story didn’t fit him at all.  We’re talking someone who liked to book restaurants a week ahead and used the probability theory to explain why I like sunflowers.”
Gypsy adjusted her Running Bare crop top and Slazenger pants (both bargains at Da Loop) and swapped from the exercise bike to a rowing machine.


 “And he pretended to shun society, but actually he constantly asked me about all my friends – what sports they played and who grew up with who and who got drunk at which party… it’s like he wanted to join in, but when it came down to it he always had an excuse for non-attendance at parties and family gatherings.  I just thought he was a bit self-absorbed, you know?  And who wants to settle down with someone who’s full of himself, or someone with some weird identity crisis, for that matter?”  She sighed, and flopped onto another piece of gym equipment.  When she couldn’t establish its purpose within five seconds, she gave up and kept talking.


“I shouldn’t compare, but it’s so easy with Dave.  Everyone loves him, even Mum’s bloody cat, who hates everybody.  Tonight we’re going to a How To Host A Murder party with some people he randomly met while queuing at the pancake van at the local footy one day – can you believe it??  Ha ha – he’s going to look so hot dressed in the 1920s gangster outfit that the invitation instructed!  He’s wearing braces on his trousers and under that I’m making him wear…”
Sam gave her a sideways glance and cut her off.  “Yeah, yeah, spare the detail and the drool.  You gave me enough hints last week to answer any questions I might have about his sexual prowess.  I don’t need a visual.  Come on, I’ve had enough of getting fit, let’s go down to Da Loop and see if there’s any work going.  It’s been pretty bloody inconvenient having no income through all this flooding.  I know you’ve been occupied with dinner dates and movies and all that cutesy stuff, but I’ve been bored out of my brain.”
The girls got changed and headed to Da Loop.  Sam was interrupted by a phone call from Janet, her mum, asking that she pick up a parcel from the post office before five, so she waved Gypsy goodbye and they parted.
Gypsy wasn’t surprised to find the shop door open and a foot of water lapping at her feet, even though Aldgate had only seen a brief downpour.  For Chrissake!  She thought.  This workplace is soooo dysfunctional!


Suddenly a figure moved toward her from behind the door and she felt something cold press against her temple.













“SIT!!” said a gravelly voice.  She sat.  She felt the water rise past her knees and start lapping at her waist.  
“WHERE are the BLUEPRINTS?” the voice continued.
“Um… what?” asked Gypsy.
“The BLUEPRINTS that ANDREW showed you!  WHERE ARE THEY?”
“Andrew who??  Sorry, I think you have the wrong…”
“YOU KNOW WHO I MEAN!”
“No, I…”
“TRAEGER. ANDREW. Whatever you want to call him!”
“What?!” Gypsy exclaimed, quite confused, and quite wet, as the water was now rising toward her armpits and outside the rain had started falling again.  “Are you telling me that Traeger’s real name is ANDREW?!  Christ, Mum would have a field day if she knew that!”  Gypsy stole a glance at her assailant – a tall man in a black hat, loud surf shirt, G-Star RAW jeans (all also available at Da Loop), and dark sunglasses.
“Don’t MESS with me, SISTER!!  If you aren’t going to tell me where those blueprints are, I’ll make your boyfriend bring them straight to me!  Hope you’re good at holding your breath!”
The man took out his phone and dialled.

What the f… is going on??  Why is Da Loop flooding after a seemingly normal rainfall event??  Why is there a strange man in the shop?  Why did Andrew pick such a dumb name as an alias?  What are the blueprints?  Which boyfriend is he talking about? And wouldn’t it have been more practical if Gypsy had changed into the hot pink Seafolly swim skirt instead of the Stella dress (dress $14 – bargain!)??
Tune in next time for the answers to some of these intriguing questions…

And come down to Da Loop for some post-flood shopping. xxx