With apologies to the excellent Peachy, and their (I’m not sure of pronouns anymore) thread on dry July, which I plan to destroy later today, I thought we can share some stories from our life, work experience, or interactions that may cause the effect “hold my beer and watch this shit” type of a response.
So, recently, I had to do some community consultation in my line of work. Naturally, there were a few of us in the car, you know, to save the planet and conserve the natural resources. All of 20 people turned up over 4 hours, so it was a success, and then we had a steak sanga on the way back that was in the running for the best country state sanga, but lost.
On the way to the consultation, I dazzled my staff with quirky stories from my previous life, which explains why the drive back was so, how would one put it, peaceful. Yeah, that’s the word!
I invite you to share your stories, I have at least five, but will start with one, most dramatic.
In my real life, not being a state dictator, I am an engineer in all things civil. I have built things that google maps show you to this day. So, when the call came from Australia, I responded, and the job was to rejuvenate the aging irrigation network of Victoria, the bread basket, the SPC Ardmona and Campbell soup home.
So I get hired, over the phone, fly to Melbourne from the USA, land on Thursday, get a rental car that has a steering wheel on the wrong side, drive to a hotel in the CBD, have a sleep, wake up next afternoon (jet lag) to meet the new boss, we go out on the town for a pint, 7 or 8 hours alter he bails, and I go back to the hotel.
Next morning (Saturday), I wake, check out, get my Camry, do the most idiotic thing in the history of mankind, where you have to go left to turn right, get out of the Melbourne CBD and head north. Destination: Shepparton. I am watching for a Lake Victoria to turn off at, see a dry mudhole, guess that must be it, turn off and voila! There is my apartment. So I get the keys in the mailbox, enter, turn on AC, TV, and try to settle in.
The TV had the lawnbowls finals, and some football thing. The AC cooled me down to 35C, as outside was 47C. So I decided to get some food, drove (should have walked, would have been faster) into town, and it was all shut! Except for ALDI and First Choice. At the former, I failed to get a shopping cart, not having a gold coin to release one. Mind you, I lived in a place where 24-hour Wal-Mart was a feature. At the latter, I decided to pay homage to the local flavour, so I got Victoria Bitter. Don’t even….
Here I am, sitting in a hot fucking apartment, drinking shit beer, thinking, how did it all go so wrong so fast? So the phone rings. One of my project managers decided to extend an olive branch and take me out for a feed and a bottle, so we go. Outside is thick. Smoky, pungent, hazy.
My PM, (still love ya’ Bob) takes me to the most Australian restaurant, and we get a bottle of Penfolds and I get a lamb dish, as you would, being new and all. And then I look up to Bob and ask, what’s up with all the smoke? And Bob goes, did you not watch TV? I say I did, but lawnbolls was on, and it sucked ass. And then he says, you, boy, is lucky, if you would have left Melbourne 30 minutes later, you’d be dead.
Date was 7 February 2009. Black Saturday.