Archive for September, 2012

Saturday Night Rue

I regret not accepting the offer from friends to stay the night after a social evening instead choosing to drive home. A trip we had made a hundred times before.

As always, non drinking hubby was driving, leaving me to become drowsy from the earlier consumed wine. Being a “back seat driver”,  this works well for our marriage. Sleeping makes me oblivious to his driving so we arrive home still being civil to each other.

I had just tilted back the seat and closed my eyes when I heard him curse loudly. It wasn’t the volume of his words that alarmed me but rather the attached panicked inflection which implied a pending catastrophe. With my sudden surge forward from the brakes being heavily applied it took only a split second for me to open my eyes to witness whatever ominous doom was about to unfold.

In this short time my mind had strangely played out the expected scenario. With his sudden outburst implying an inevitable hopelessness to this looming situation, I anticipated tail lights of a huge truck with which no doubt we were about to collide. Eyes now fully open, my expectation was wrong. There was no truck, there was no obstruction, there was no inevitable doom. The road was clear. I quickly realized the doom wasn’t pending, it had happened.

He had hit a Kangaroo. What? My life flashed before my eyes because of a kangaroo? I was almost fully alert by now and quickly asked if we should go back and check on the Kangaroo to which he replied “there’s nothing we can do for the kangaroo, I’m more worried about the damage to the car.” For a second I felt bad for the kangaroo until the words “damage to the car” really had me wide awake. Not the car. Not the cost a lot of money NEW car. There was a single street light up ahead so I asked him to pull over to check the damage. Really though, this was a stupid request. What good would it do us to know how much damage there was? We could do nothing about it now anyway and knowing would inevitably cause an even more depressed drive home. But I HAD to know.

He had barely pulled over before I unbuckled my seat belt in readiness. Weirdly, as I did this, my mind was happily acknowledging that at least I now know that the seat belts work in the new car, having locked in with the brakes. I bolted out of the door and rushed to the front of the car hoping only to see perhaps a little ding or a bit of washable blood splatter. What I saw was not even a remote thought in my head. I screamed in horror. Hubby, still yet to exit the car, envisaged from this scream a totally smashed in front end. Then he also was in shock.

Protruding from the grill was a big brown furry Kangaroo bum and his long thick tail. The top two thirds of its body was not visible because it was jammed inside the motor. It looked like one of those fake animals that you attach to your boot.

A couple of deep pitted growls later (from me, not the Roo) I began assessing our situation. We were in the middle of nowhere with a dead Kangaroo lodged tightly in our car with no means to release it. Again with the stupid thoughts, I actually toyed with the possibility of continuing home this way. After all, we had just travelled at least a kilometre in this manner.

With Hubby smirking at my “blonde” moment I soon realized that I hadn’t bothered to factor in the impact damage to the engine which soon became evident at the sight of water flooding from underneath. My next thought was of who could help us? Call NRMA. Surely amongst their array of tools they would also carry Kangaroo Removal Equipment wouldn’t they? Ok, so another stupid thought but hay, at this time I was a bit short on ideas.

As I called the NRMA, who proceeded to supply me with a variety of unwanted numbers before finally being given their NEW roadside assistance number, hubby informs me that the Roo was in fact alive and was backing itself out from the car. “Holly Molly”. How could this be possible? This will be one angry Kangaroo and I wasn’t about to get in its way so I jumped inside the car while still trying to get through to the NRMA. I was forced yet again to listen to their endless spiel on their wonderful and varied services and their suggestion of going to their website. Who cares! I just want roadside assistance. I mean, why else would I call a “roadside assistance” number?

By the time Hubby realized the Roo was not “backing out” but rather its now limp body was sliding out, a car pulled up and a young guy offered a hand. He was an off duty policeman (never far from an accident) who grabbed an old towel from his car and managed to pull the Roo out and drag it to the side of the road. As grateful as we were for his help I would have preferred he stayed longer. At this point, any company was enviable to that of being alone on this dark lonely road with the eyes of a dead Kangaroo glaring at my every move.

Frustrated that NRMA only attend to breakdowns and towing our car would cost a fortune, another 20 mins was spent on the phone to the insurance company. A tow was finally arranged, son was called to collect us, and as I sat there waiting on this freezing night I thought back to the original offer we turned down of a comfy bed, a hot breakfast, lovely company then a pleasant DAY trip home. Grrrr. The choices we make.

 

Cheers
Buttercup

 

“Humans have a knack for choosing precisely the things that are worst for them.” ― JK Rowling

 

Voting Day

You know all those pesky people who stand at the school gate thrusting all those how to vote forms at you? Well, due to a favor owed – I was one of them today. I had offered my services to a person I had recently met who had been very kind and supportive, and who I admire and respect. While I was sincere in my offer, I was not enthused about the day itself. I anticipated a rather laborious and tiring experience and no doubt would anxiously await the day’s end. Instead, my experience was the total opposite.

I had never done anything like this before so the idea of a new experience was exciting though my preconceived idea of what these “people” were like and the segregation I expected was adding to my anxious dread.

It was suggested that I arrive about 7am to get a “good spot” at the school gate. I wondered exactly what was meant by “a good spot” because all I had ever seen were people standing right in front of the entrance thrusting multiple colourful pamphlets at me as I tried to make my way through. I had always been displeased at the rudeness of this practice and wondered how I would cope now being one of “them”.

As advised, I took a chair, a mini table, through in a thermos of coffee then packed the car with the box of “how to vote” forms and 3 placards. I donned my provided T Shirt and Cap and drove the half Kilometre to to the school.

There were 2 others already securing their “spot” and placing their own placards. Not knowing exactly what to do I was relieved to see that one was a neighbour, experienced with the procedure. She politely helped me with the rules. Rules? Ok, so there are rules. Glad she was there.

The other man was also helpful and it wasn’t long before we were chatting away (not unusual for me) when the first of the voters arrived. I copied the others with their method of handing out these forms and before I knew it, I was a seasoned distributor.

By this time of course there were many many more supporters all handing out their preferred party forms and now a much larger area was covered by placards and people and I now know what was meant by a “good spot”.

The brother arrived to help not long after and settled into our spot. Typical of us, discontentment with serious matters inevitably turned to humour. I’m sure many voters had never been presented with these forms in such a manner before.

We would all be having a full on conversation about something, breaking from it automatically to offer our individual spiels to voters as we handed out the forms before picking up with our same conversation without a hiccup.

We laughed at all the excuses for not accepting these forms with the most common being the serious mobile phone conversation, pretending to be engrossed in a conversation while waving us away with their other hand as they walked in the gates. Then there were the ones with a small child on each hand (naturally we handed our form to the child instead). The dogs on a lead was a good one, and yes, we did try to hand them to their dogs. It was all done with fun and most people seemed to enjoy it, even stopping for chats again on the way out. One of the highlights for me was the amount of old friends and neighbors I was able to catch up with.

We were provided with a nice delivered lunch and then a dinner at a local Tavern in the evening. All up it was great fun and I’m looking forward to the next election.

 

Cheers
Buttercup

 

“Everybody is looking for an election where they can do something and participate.” – Rand Paul

 

Fathers Day

Men really DO have everything they need don’t they? Each year leading up to Fathers Day the family ask me what I think Hubby would like. Apart from a Cruise, a Sports Car or a Cute Young Blonde, I can think of nothing else he wants. There are just so many sox and undies a person can use so unless they get some creative juices flowing the default present is usually Scratchies in a card. This gift works well though, not only does Hubby enjoy the thrill of a possible win, the Scratchies themselves provide for a bonding moment with the grandkids as they ‘help’ him. Talk about bad parenting!

Naturally, the “bet on anything” son is not satisfied with just the Scratchie wins, he then instigates a “bet on the bet” so to speak. Betting on which person will win the highest amount. Seeing the 4 yr old’s eyes light up is a bit of a worry. He has no idea why this strange little bit of cardboard suddenly becomes $4 since he just learned that 2 shiny little round gold things is $4.

This year, at the request of a nephew, our families, with a Father Talley of 9, had a combined Fathers Day lunch, and just like with our Christmas gatherings, family rivalry was active. To start, a game of Bocce in the back reserve saw their competitive nature in full swing. Being at a numbers disadvantage, our team did surprisingly well. In fact the nephews were at an embarrassing loss until the final throw which saw our team utterly demolished.

Not satisfied with the initial defeat, they went on to challenge us again, this time with a game of Guesstures. Surely we would do better at this. Surely a non physical competition will see our family triumphant. There was much laughter as we each contorted with strange and unavoidable actions and positions, embarrassing ourselves for the sake of the team. What a great day. I hope yours was also.

 

Cheers
Buttercup

 

Oh, the outcome? I’ll keep you “Guessing”.

 

“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.” Charles Wadworth