A SEA EAGLES WEIGH-IN

I was sitting in my mate Eagle’s place in Hornswood (the sexy little suburbs from Hornsby to Chatswood) on Friday night and we had continued to drown our sorrows during and after the Sea Eagle’s… capitulation.

Me – “I’ve got to drop some weight, I’ve hit a hundred and sixteen kilos.

Eagle (his poker call-sign as he’s even more of a Sea Eagles tragic than I am) – “Really? I’m hundred and sixteen too.

Me – “You’re kiddin’?? We’re roughly the same build, I’m six foot tall and you’re four inches taller than me. You gotta be a hundred and twenty at least.

Eagle – “Nope, a hundred and sixteen.

Me (looking him up and down) – “No.

Attachment-1

Eagle – “Huh?

Me – “BULLSHIT. No way!

We argued back and forth and then his wife went to get the scales. She also believed her husband may be closer to the one twenty mark, than one sixteen.

Eagle – “Cool Hand (my self-ascribed poker call-sign) I’d bet money on it, but I don’t want to take your cash when I know exactly what I weigh.

I was starting to lose a bit of my confidence. He looked out of shape and seemed to have a gut like mine, but was so much taller.

Eagle – “I haven’t weighed myself for at least six months, but I’m in tune with my body, which is maybe something you need to become Cool Hand. If I do start to put on weight, my body let’s me know and I do something about it!

Damn, was I about to be laughed at? There was only the three of us there, but still it’d hurt.

Me – “We’ll see… fat boy.” I had no choice but to stay on the front foot.

Eagle – “I can’t wait for the big heart-felt apology from you both.

Me – “It won’t be as big as your gut.

Eagle – “Will the apology be written or just verbal? You should start planning it now before I step on the scales and that magical hundred and sixteen pops up.

Shit, had I made a mistake? Was I going to have to eat humble pie for my piss-taking? Mmmmmm, pie. Apologising is not in my nature and it would really hurt.

Im sorry

Eagle hopped on the scales.

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY EIGHT KILOS. 128!!

He looked at me like a deer in the headlights, like a hundred and twenty eight kilogram deer who’d just been dropped into the Twilight Zone. He’d gained twelve kilos without even noticing.

His wife and I laughed and laughed and laughed. I got on the scales, one hundred and fifteen.

Eagle – “Gee our Sea Eagles were disappointing tonight Cool Hand.

 

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Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. I write stuff for a few small businesses but I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art of blogging. And check out my the brilliant new craft-beer home delivery business I set up with a few North Shore mates (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

BOOZE-BUSTERS

Ladies of Hornswood!

Is seemingly every square-inch of spare room in your cellar, cluttered up with your husband’s bottles of alcohol? Want to reclaim some space?

Do you have nowhere to put your drinks? Or no place to store your pilates gear?

Does he seem to spend more time thinking about his expensive old scotch than he does about you?

Who you gonna call?

BOOZE-BUSTERS

You just call Cool Hand (my self-ascribed poker call-sign) and on a Friday/Saturday night that is convenient for you, I will arrive at your house with 6-8 Hornswood dads and drink ALL your husband’s booze!

🎼 When the space runs out.

And you’re ready to shout!

Who you gonna call?

BOOZE-BUSTERS!!

Need your cellar bare.

When your hubby aint there.

Who you gonna call?

BOOZE-BUSTERS!! 🎼

Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t. Here’s the answers to all the important questions you may have:

1. Do I need to deliver the alcohol somewhere myself?

Not with Booze-Busters. We come to you.

2. Are Booze-Busters accredited?

Absolutely. I have been working with every one of my hand-selected Booze-Busters crew for years! You needn’t worry, they are HIGHLY EXPERIENCED and each one can consume PLENTY. They are so committed to their craft that most of them now PREFER drinking a customer’s husband’s booze, to their own.

3. Are we affordable?

Sure are. The first six sessions are FREE.

4. Will you drink it all?

No worries about that! I am so confident in my drinkers, that if we don’t get through it all in one night, we will be back the next Friday/Saturday night and hit your clutter again. And if necessary, the one after that, and the one after that. Mid-week sessions are available by special appointment, but we do our best work on the weekends.

5. Will I gain heaps of extra space?

Absolutely. We guarantee to at least halve the amount of room your husband is selfishly hogging (let’s not be afraid to call it what it really is).

SATISFACTION IS 100% GUARANTEED* (*ours at least)

6. You don’t just focus on the cheap alcohol do you?

No way. My experts will start at the very top and work their way down. The first bottles to go will be those annoying ones taking up all your valuable space in those wooden boxes, then we move onto any ones just collecting dust. The bottom shelf we drink last!

7. Do I need to provide anything special?

Not with our service you don’t. If there is NRL or Rugby to watch the 6-8 dads will just plonk ourselves down right there on your couch and commence de-cluttering. If there’s nothing on, don’t worry, we bring our own poker table. We provide everything that’s required at no extra charge (poker chips, Spotify, snacks, a bag of party ice and even mixers).

8. Will my husband be happy?

How could he not?

Your husband – Where’s all my expensive booze?? Did you move it?

You – Oh I did much better than that darling. I called the experts… at Booze-Busters!

Your husband – Wow, Booze-Busters? That’s awesome! I’ve heard Cool Hand and the guys are very thorough. We’ll finally have so much more room in that cellar. Thank you honey, come here and give me a kiss* (*disclaimer – husband reaction not guaranteed)

9. What’s the best time?

In our experience, the entire process goes much more smoothly when your husband is either out for the night, or ideally away on a business trip. It’s more impactful for him to arrive home and find ALL his booze gone, than him being present watching each bottle consumed. You know what husbands are like at letting go of ANYTHING.

10. Will my husband mind having so many men drinking in my house?

To avoid any… awkward situations, all my team of Hornswood dads were selected first and foremost on being particularly unattractive. No pool-boy-type problems with Booze-Busters.

Anyway, he’s probably seen our van driving around town. The one big enough to fit a poker table that has the number plate “6-8 ALCOS.”

11. What if my husband is the stay-at-home type and I can’t get rid of him for Booze-Busters to do their work?

No problemo. If it’s a NRL/Rugby couch night, he can just join us. If it’s poker then he can sit down at the table and play with us while we work.* (*inexperienced poker players only)

12. How will I know how much alcohol you actually drank for us?

Included in the price, we line up all the empty bottles in a row so you can see exactly how much work we have done during the night. It’s all part of our good old-fashioned service.

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK – (Natalia from Hornswood.)

I had Cool Hand and the Booze-Busters team around last week. They were highly recommended but just in case, I checked in on the boys quite a few times, crowded around their big poker table. There was not one moment they weren’t hard at it, drinking our clutter away. Thank you Booze-Busters, I now have some non-cluttered space for my things. I cannot wait until my husband Andrew gets home. He’ll be amazed how many bottles you cleared out of his cellar (it’s been all about him down there, for years). I cannot speak of this service highly enough.

Thank you Booze-Busters. YOU’RE THE BEST!! Natalia.

Divorce packages available – we know it can be a stressful time, so if you’re a couple splitting up we remove all the booze and drink it off-site.

Just give Cool Hand and my Booze-Busters team a call on 1800-6-8ALCOS (free call).

 

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Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. I write stuff for a few small businesses but I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art of blogging. And check out my the brilliant new craft-beer home delivery business I set up with a few North Shore mates (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

BLOKES ARE SO RUDE TO EACHOTHER

I was at the races with the lads from Hornswood (being the sexy little suburbs from Hornsby to Chatswood). We were having a great time on the piss and the punt and the plan was to catch up with all our wives for dinner that night to spend some of our winnings.

McSloth (his poker call-sign), one of the blokes I was with who I hadn’t seen for about half an hour, sent me a text.

McSloth – “CUTN. Winning?

WHY ARE BLOKES SO RUDE?

Obviously, he was in fact calling me the “c” word and had just swapped the last two letters around. It was out of the blue, but that is very much how McSloth and I talk to each other. Assuming he was standing behind me and was showing off about picking the last few winners, I looked around but couldn’t see him.

I replied.

Me – “YOU’RE A F#CK-WIT, but yes, I’m winning.

I didn’t wish to lower myself to his level and use “that” word. I wasn’t actually winning, but he didn’t need to know that in this situation.

He sent me back another text.

McSloth – “Excuse me?

Not sure what game he was playing, I went on the front foot.

Me – “Not only are you a f#ck-wit, you have always been a f#ck-wit for as long as I have known you. And I hazard a guess, that you will indeed continue to be a f#ck-wit forever.”

McSloth – “Why so rude?

Me – “BECAUSE YOU ARE A TRUE F#CK-WIT AND THAT’S GENERALLY HOW I SPEAK TO F#CK-WITS.

Once I caught up with McSloth about ten minutes later, with a smirk and a nod, we both pretended the little stoush never actually took place.

It wasn’t until we had arrived at the dinner with the wives later that night, that I disappointingly discovered I had not actually been swapping texts with McSloth . I was in fact exchanging them WITH HIS WIFE.

Mrs McSloth was… unhappy.

Apparently “CUTN. Winning?“, actually stands for “See You Tonight. Winning?

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Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. I write stuff for a few small businesses but I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art of blogging. And check out my the brilliant new craft-beer home delivery business I set up with a few North Shore mates (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

FIVE DADS IN A SPA

Four of my Hornswood (the sexy little suburbs between Hornsby and Chatswood) mates and I were sitting in an indoor spa, drinking afternoon beers. Yes, yes I know it’s always a risk drinking ales while sitting with blokes in a relatively small volume of moving water, but the toilet was right there so I was confident it was ok.

We were all staying at a golf resort for the weekend with our wives. “Hatchet”, one of our mates actually owns a house there and is the sort of guy who never likes to break any rules. Because of this, it took a long time to convince him to join us in pointedly ignoring the NO EATING OR DRINKING IN THE POOL AREA sign that was clearly posted. Eventually, since there was nobody else around and he knew we were going to do it anyway, he just went with the flow.

We could see through the glass wall to the gym where Hatchet’s twenty-one-year-old son was pushing weights and doing an insane workout.

Now this kid is a beast! He’s a monster. Strong as an ox, plays Rugby in the front row in France. Massive barrel chest and shoulders, huge arms, you get the picture.

I stepped out of the spa and moved towards our strategically hidden Esky, the contents of which were rapidly diminishing. As I did so, considering the comment I was about to make I did my best to suck in my expansive gut. But alas, as we had consumed so many beverages it just wasn’t going anywhere. Damn it.

Double point

Me (pointing towards Hatchet’s Greek God-built son) – “You know lads, Hatchet’s kid over there actually models his physique on mine!” With a smile I pointed to the man-mountain pumping iron.

Quick as a flash my mate Danger replied with a smirk – “He’s not doing a very good job then!

Another mate – “I don’t think he’s eating enough carbs!

Yet another – “He’s gotta cut out the cardio too!

And one more – “His core work needs to stop!

They all laughed. Loudly! For a long time. Insensitive bastards.

Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. If you could Share far and wide via the buttons below, that would be amazing. I write stuff for a few small businesses but I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art of blogging. And check out my the brilliant new craft-beer home delivery business I set up with a few North Shore mates (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

FRIDAY DRINKS IN THE 80’S

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Things were very different at KPMG in the 80s, where I was an undergraduate right out of school. We’d been at the Malaya for lunch and had drunk so many Crown Lagers, that we didn’t actually make it back to the client. We did however make it to the office for the ever-popular, Friday night drinks.

beer bottle

There were two distinct breeds of undergrad’s when I was there. The ones who were really smart, with attention to detail, great with figures and would make excellent financial people. Then there were a couple like me, who just happened to nail the interview and were on their way to becoming the world’s worst accountants.

So, by about 6:00 things were becoming rowdy and we were all getting pissed before we went out to Jackson’s on George or some place similar, when I noticed my young mate Selwyn was still working diligently at his desk.

Now even by auditor standards, Selwyn could only be described as a “nerd”. Ridiculously intelligent, red hair, freckles, pasty skin, skinny as a rake, brown 3-piece suit and thick black glasses. A really nice bloke, but a full, super-shy, no social skills, Revenge Of The Nerds, nerd.

For some reason the rowdy conversation made its way around to the temperature of the sun and I saw an opportunity to make Selwyn… cool.

Me – “I bet Selwyn knows.”

The place erupted with the general consensus being that NOBODY knows the temperature of the sun. Keep in mind this is before Google and Siri, so people just didn’t know that shit.

Me – “SELWYN WILL KNOW. LET’S GO SEE.”

With that, nineteen loudly-inebriated accountants (and one pseudo-trainee-accountant) all walked and stumbled over to his desk. He was surprised, to say the least.

Then, through my 10-12 Crown Lagers I grew a little concerned.

If he knew the sun’s temperature, he was going to be an absolute legend. I was giving him the opportunity to use his brain to become as coolarino as fuck. But it struck me, if he didn’t know, he’s going to be a laughingstock.

After everybody quieted down a bit I began.

“Selwyn, don’t let me down here. Do you happen to know… the temperature of the sun?”

He turned his blank gaze towards me and didn’t say a word!

OH NO. In his brown suit and lanky limbs, he looked like a nerdy deer in the headlights! What had I done?? I’d ruined his KPMG life.

NERVOUS

Selwyn (proudly) – “Surface or centre?”

Me – “And there it is!”

BOOYAH. WE ALL BURST INTO CHEERS AND APPLAUSE. A beer was thrust into his hand and Selwyn was forced to leave his desk and join the party.

woo hoo

Selwyn, was now a made man.

Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. I write stuff for a few small businesses but I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art of blogging. And check out my the brilliant new craft-beer home delivery business I set up with a few North Shore mates (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

TWO ELITE ATHLETES AT THE LINDFIELD FUN-RUN

I enrolled in the Lindfield Fun-Run this past April with an old mate of mine. We’re both (for want of a more PC term) … fat. So, it was a completely new experience for us and we had no intentions of actually “running” as we knew it would definitely diminish the degree of “Fun.”

The day started badly when Big Show (his poker call-sign) showed up with coffees instead of Gatorade. Outraged, I said to him “we’re supposed to be ELITE athletes, not LATTE athletes.”

Our newbie-concerns were compounded when we noticed the number I had pinned to my chest, was a different colour to Big Show’s. I had accidentally signed up for the 10km-Run instead of the 2km-Walk. Oh God, was this legally binding??

ME ON THE LEFT, BIG SHOW ON THE RIGHT

At the start line and the activity level was frenetic! They were all shedding their outer garments for professional looking, Olympic-level running gear. We were not prepared for this multi-layer approach. Lycra clad people buzzing all around us were stretching, psyching, fiddling with watches and taking pulses. I knew Big Show would struggle to find his pulse under his layer of “insulation.”

Being our first Fun-Run we had a few unanswered questions:

  • Are there normally this many people out of bed on a Sunday?
  • Were any of them still up from the night before?
  • Should we stretch?
  • Do they know we’re only going to walk? It wasn’t mentioned on our numbers.
  • Should we drop to all fours as if using a sprinter’s starting block for the best start, as we had seen on tv? I have a fully-fused spine and Big Show is quite a stranger to “dropping.”
  • Is there a medical tent? Just in case.
WE FOUND THE MEDICAL TENT.
WE FOUND THE MEDICAL TENT
  • Where did the competitors put their keys, wallets and phones?
  • Were we meant to line up based on our numbers? We hoped not because only deciding to run the day before, ours were really high. Should we force our way to the front?
  • Why is everybody so slim?
  • Is there any food or drinks provided during the race? We had seen the tables on tv where runners get Gatorade in little cups and Big Show did have a bit of a sweet tooth.
  • Are there any mid-race breaks?
  • We noticed we were the only runners that had coffees. Are these sort of artificial stimulants risking our anti-doping status?

We were asking each other these questions while standing under a large blue blow-up archway, which we assumed was the starting line. As it turns out, it was the finish line. We realised this fundamental error when it dawned on us that we were the only ones standing there and everybody else had disappeared, presumably pounding the pavement.

WE WERE A BIT LOST

Indeed, WE HAD MISSED THE START. Our time was going to be abysmal.

OUR PACE WAS… SEDATE, BUT SUSTAINABLE!
THERE ARE SOOOO MANY HILLS IN LINDFIELD

To our complete dismay, we started to struggle a bit, not being incredibly fit. However once our second wind kicked in, we were confident the running would become much easier.

About halfway through the race we came upon an elderly lady holding a stop sign to control the traffic. Despite our best efforts we had dropped to last place and our time had been ruined by missing the start (and clearly not by Big Show’s level of fitness). She was really old and it was awesome to see her still getting out and contributing to the Hornswood way of life.

Big Show – “Keeping the cars under control? Your dress goes well with the hi-vis.” Big Show was quite chatty and did not appear to be struggling with the pace.

The old lady – “I can’t go home until the last runners are through. AND THAT’S YOU TWO IDIOTS.”

The sweet old lady whacked me on the butt with her stop-sign (I kid you not), I jerked my coffee and foam squirted out the little drink hole. Due to Big Show complimenting her dress, she treated him much more gently, placing the sign on his lower back and shoving him forward to get him moving. I’ll bet Steve Monaghetti didn’t have to put up with treatment like this.

Anyway, we made it to the end. Due to the cheering crowd, the looming finish-line, our own innate sense of pride and the fact that we spotted a professional photographer, we decided to run the last 10 metres. My apologies for the “quality” of the video, at the time I had not thought of writing this blog.

FINISHING ON A POSITIVE NOTE

We then rested, visited the rehydration station and proceeded to wash the coffee taste out of our mouth.

Just as we were high-fiving and congratulating each other on a race well-run, we spotted our great mate Andrew Heaven (aka Axe – his poker callsign) who’d actually run the 5km and approached the finish line sucking in air and sweating profusely. We proceeded to heckle.

“COME ON AXE, PUT SOME EFFORT IN. IT’S A FUN-RUN, NOT A FUN-STROLL.”

“ENJOYING YOUR WANDER IN THE PARK THERE AXE? CAN WE GET YOU A COFFEE?”

“LOOK AT YOU SWEATING AXE! TALK ABOUT UNFIT! WE’RE THINKING OF DOING ANOTHER LAP JUST TO KEEP OUR HEART-RATE UP.”

To recharge the batteries Big Show and I headed to Goodfields for lunch, assuming this is what athletes do after a morning of exertion. It’s amazing how many nods of recognition and hearty congratulations you get when you wear your medallion and carry your accidental-10km-Run number.

Big Show and I proceeded to wear our victory medals to the next half dozen or so poker nights. I think the lads were pretty impressed. We were actually giving serious consideration to signing up for the Boston Marathon, having conquered the Lindfield… Damn these Covid restrictions. Damn them all to hell.

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Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. I write stuff for a few small businesses but I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art of blogging. And check out my the brilliant new craft-beer home delivery business I set up with a few North Shore mates (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

A BLACKOUT MOMENT

A few years ago, I set up a funky little Surry Hills-type bar (at least we thought it was) with one of my oldest mates from school. It was located in Lindfield and was called “The Blackout.” We ran it for two years and ticked it off the bucket-list however too many late nights and too much fun nearly made our wives leave us, so we sold it.

One night we had four couples come in, settle at their table and proceed to eat and drink heartily. A little too heartily in fact and one of the guys over the next few hours got really pissed and started to become loud and aggressive. The other six in the party had to sit there awkwardly while this tosser proceeded to have a big fight with his wife and was terribly rude to my young staff.

Tosser was one of those guys who turned into Donald Trump once the grog kicked in. His was so bellicose after his fight with his wife, that eventually one of my young waitresses asked me to be the one to tell him that we had run out of the particular wine he wanted.

The Blackout was crowded and chaotic that night (as it often was when we had it) but I made my way through the throng and explained the situation nice-as-pie to Tosser.

He yell-slurred – “YOU’RE FU*KIN’ KIDDIN’ ME? I’M USED TO EATIN’ IN BEST RESTAURANTS IN THE CITY MATE, YOU CAN AT LEAST HAVE ALL THE FUCKIN’ WINES ON YOUR MENU MENU.

He was loving getting up me in front of his mates and knew as the proprietor all I could do was stand there and take it. I wondered if Tosser knew he’d just bellowed MENU twice. Keeping it friendly I apologised and asked him to select another.

Tosser then stood, wobbled, got right in my face, put two fingers against my chest and poked me. Hard.

I was shocked and a bit embarrassed, but didn’t do anything. However then he yelled at me – “GO AN’ GET THE FU*KIN’ BOTTLE I ORDERED. AN’ DO IT NOW.” Tosser shoved me. Shoved me! Spittle was coming from his mouth.

I HAD BEEN TOSSER-SHOVED.

Now I’m a big guy (112.9kg which I obviously round down to 112) and I wouldn’t normally stand for this sort of disrespect, but I’m in my own bar! I couldn’t get into a scuffle with a patron and for all I knew Tosser could be the North Shore Karate champion (but he looked more like potentially a Lindfield Palates champion). But this guy was pissed, yelling, swearing and shoving. I needed to do something. He was scaring people.

I slowly put down the two Asahis I was carrying. I’m no legendary fighter but I know I look like I may be one. So I came right up to Tosser and whispered in his ear in my calmest, Clint Eastwood voice.

You’re making a fu*king goose of yourself mate. Sit the fu*k down, or I’ll sit you down.

Tosser had a moment of instant sobering clarity which snapped him out of his red wine-induced I’m-Donald-Trump delusion. You could see a look came over his face that said – What the fu*k and I doing? I’m pissed and about to get into a fight with the proprietor of my local, who’s much bigger than me, just because he doesn’t have the Claire Valley Shiraz.

One of his mates told him to sit down and Tosser used the excuse to do exactly that, without looking like he did it because I had told him to. In the two years despite having to tell MANY people that it was closing time and they had to leave, even when they were having a great night and didn’t want to, it was the only time I had to diffuse a potentially physical situation.

Anyway, Tosser became a lot quieter and did not give any crap to the waitresses after that. About 11:30 his party was preparing to leave. I was walking past with a jug of Pina Coladas, some bloke moved his bar stool back and I clipped my foot. Having never worked in a bar even when I was young, I do not have any waiter-type reflexes. I tripped.

Then it was like a cheap action movie and everything seemed to happen in ultra-slow motion. My thoughts in those short moments were pure and simply about avoiding falling to the ground and I had zero concern for what was in my hands. Flailing like an infant, I saw people’s faces contort knowing what was coming, my arms swam in the air desperate for purchase on something and I released the Pina-jug.

It landed on Tosser’s chest and splashed into his lap.

He looked like he’d been dipped in milk and his friends all laughed hysterically.

It was terrible. It was a complete accident and I apologised, possibly less sincerely that I should have, however it looked like I’d Pina-Coladad him on purpose. Tosser stormed out, swearing, abusing, shoving and slopping all over our beautiful black and white tiled floor.

Attachment-1

Walking my 500 metres home after closing that night, I kept an eye out assuming Tosser may try to run me down in his Lexus. The Google review he left us at 1:33 that morning, was… scathing.

Google ReviewTonight I was assaulted in The Blackout. The proprietor hurled a jug of alcohol right on top of my very expensive suit on purpose because I questioned how one wine on the menu was non-existent! Nothing like this has ever happened before to me. I am considering legal action. NEVER go to this establishment or the same thing may happen to you. It was assault.

Google ReplyI completely apologise for tripping over and spilling a drink on you. It was in no way deliberate. My apologies again.

Google Comment (from his mate) – Phil, you were an absolute dickhead, a bully and even though we all know it was accidental, you deserved it. Shit like that happens to you all the time because you’re just flat out rude. And by the way, your suit wasn’t that expensive.

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Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. I write stuff for a few small businesses but I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art of blogging. And check out my the brilliant new craft-beer home delivery business I set up with a few North Shore mates (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

YELLING TO A MATE LAST WEEK

A great mate of mine “Bolschy” (his poker callsign) is trying to lose weight, or at least he should be trying (with him only being 8kg lighter than me). Last week I was sitting at the lights in front of Lindfield Primary and I saw him just strolling along, walking at a snail’s pace. So I thought I’d better motivate him.
There were no other people around, so I’ve leaned out of my window and yelled loudly –
“WALK FASTER YOU FAT PRICK!”
It turns out, there’s some poor guy in Lindfield, who looks a lot like my mate Bolschy.
The guy understandably, got a bit upset. And the worst thing was the traffic had completely stopped, so I had to sit there while he got all red in the face, hands on his hips and gave me the old stink-eye.

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Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. I write stuff for a few small businesses but I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art of blogging. And check out my the brilliant new craft-beer home delivery business I set up with a few North Shore mates (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

A BEER WHILE DRIVING WITH MATES.

I was going to The Greengate with the lads so we met at Hammer’s (his self-ascribed poker callsign) place and had a few beers first. I get a bit melancholy when I think on my myriad of Hammer-memories, as he is a great mate who’s now buggered off back to America.
We then piled into our designated driver Carrot’s car, with one fresh beverage each for the short trip. Handsome Phil was in the front passenger seat, while Hammer, Bolschy and I (not one of us under 105kg) were all crammed snuggly into the back.
Handsome Phil (to me) – “Cool Hand (my self-ascribed poker callsign), I have a confession.
Me – “OH FOR F*CK’S SAKE HANDSOME PHIL. What?
Handsome Phil (guilty) – “I may or may not have ashed in your beer when it was sitting on the roof of the car.
Me – “WHAT??
I hadn’t even sipped the icy-cold roadie in my hand. It was disappointing news.
Handsome Phil – “I thought it was the empty.” I noticed a subtle, conspiratorial smile between him and Bolschy.
I had a decision to make. My beer had been disgustingly violated, but if I didn’t drink it I was destined to go the entire fifteen minute trip refreshment-less! But I was now an adult and not an 18-year-old lad who’d drink just about anything. While hurling abuse at Handsome Phil, I put my window down to pour out my beautiful beer. It was only 15 minutes after all.
The first sip wasn’t too bad. I could definitely taste his ash, but it was a full beer so it was pretty diluted.
Then Hammer let out an anguished wail.
Hammer – “OH F*CK. My wife just text me about my son who’s on his P’s.
He read it out.
Your son while reversing out of the drive, has put a big scratch up the side of your car. He’s a bit shaken up, so I’m driving now. He feels awful, but I’ve managed to settle him down and tell him it’s all ok.
Hammer was not happy. He loved that Jeep and apparently was always telling his boy that he reversed too damn fast.
Anyway, by incredible coincidence, we pulled up at the traffic lights right next to Hammer’s car, with his son sitting solemnly in the passenger’s seat.
Carrot, who had never met the kid, quick as a flash put down his driver’s window and signaled for Hammer’s son to wind his window down also. The boy had no idea what this guy wanted, couldn’t see his dad or any of us he knew in the back seat, so he wound it down.
Carrot – “MATE, YOU’VE GOT AN ENORMOUS SCRATCH DOWN THE SIDE OF YOUR CAR.
The kid’s face went bright red and he just looked… deflated.
Oh…thanks” was all he could muster.
Carrot put up his window and we drove on, pissing ourselves laughing. There’s nothing better than sticking it to the younger generation.
I made my way through my ash-violated beer and I’ll be damned if the horrible taste didn’t seem to get stronger as I drank. I thought I’d get used to it. Finally I took the last swig and then gagged, coughed and nearly choked. On Handsome Phil’s… CIGARETTE BUTT.
I spun on him, trying not to vomit.
Handsome Phil (doing his best to not laugh at my pain) – “I didn’t think you were going to drink it! By the time I noticed you were, I didn’t have the heart to tell you.
Time with mates is great for mental health, but sometimes not so good for your physical.

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Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. I write stuff for a few small businesses but I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art of blogging. And check out my the brilliant new craft-beer home delivery business I set up with a few North Shore mates (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

THAT GUY AT A PARTY

We’ve all seen it. You’re with friends, having a good time, the host brings in a new party arriver, settles him in for a few moments and then leaves, after pointing out the makeshift bar manned by two awkward looking teens. The newbie wanders over, is presented a tepid beer which has been sitting up out of the ice for the last twenty minutes, turns to us party-goers and realises he knows…nobody.

He’s a “No-Know”. What does he do? Where does he go? How uncomfortable, especially as Hornswood (the mythical little suburbs between by Hornsby and Chatswood) can be clicky.

I’m socially brazen. I’d walk up to the closest group, introduce myself, tell them I don’t know anybody and welcome or not, hang with them. However, most No-Knows will hover, not knowing who to approach. It must be terrible. So, I always walk over to No-Knows and bring them in.

About five years ago, we were at the 50th of Mel (we’ll call her), a really close friend and as us guests arrived, we all had to sketch on this large canvas a picture depicting where you first met her. So people had drawn the Golden Maccas arches, the school gates, Hoyts, etc. Some guy was taking forever, so we went to the bar intending to come back and draw later.

After two hours, I’m with my mates, a No-Know I picked up at the bar earlier and we were chatting to Trevor, Mel’s husband. He was pissed off about her previous boyfriend (who Trev didn’t even want invited), who was a ridiculously fit and handsome, French, romantic, cool guy with a man-bun, called Gaspard. He was also an amazing artist and had taken an eternity to draw on the canvas an amazingly accurate picture of him and Mel, making out on a beach where they had first met.

Mel planned to have the canvas mounted, so Trev was stressing that each morning she would be looking at such a reminder of her French lover.

Trev – “What’s that kids? Oh that’s just Gaspard an old friend of mummy’s. What? Why are they kissing while he’s shirtless?”

Trev is a 50-year-old, nicely-gutted, balding dad, with three kids and a mortgage. He can’t compete with an annoyingly still-handsome, muscle-bound artist, who’s had a lifetime of facials, gym and was no doubt telling Mel that he stayed single just waiting for her.

So, I whispered in Trev’s ear and snuck off to the front of the house.

Everybody had finished drawing and the canvas was unguarded. Now I must admit, the picture of Gaspard and our Mel with eyes passionately half-closed, was incredibly lifelike. He had used up about half of the canvas, but it was very good.

I drew a penis on Gaspard.

It was not an overly large penis (again thinking of Trev), but a penis it was. My work having been completed, I returned to No-Know and the lads who then went to check out my artistry. About five minutes after they returned, slapping me on the back, it started.

Three women I didn’t know approached.

One of them – “WHO’S THE ANIMAL WHO RUINED THE PICTURE?”

I had no idea how they knew it was one of us, but I thought I’d better cop to it. After all, it was a harmless little thing, doodled with honourable Trev-intentions.

Me (in a contrite voice) – “I um… I may have penised Gaspard.”

Well, the women went BERZERK. They yelled at me, called me an arsehole and quite a few other names. They berated me for a long time. And when they had finished, the next bunch of party goers stepped up, went psycho at me, and then the next. I felt like there was a queue, all waiting to rip me a new one for defacing Gaspard’s masterpiece.

Each time I got abused, No-Know and the boys pissed themselves laughing. As a group of abusers walked away, No-Know commented how he thought it was over the top. The abuse continued all night as everybody checked out my penising. My wife left because of the blow-back (but she normally leaves parties early anyway), Mel spent much of the night shooting me the old stink-eye from the kitchen and I was attacked all night. Too much.

Eventually Gaspard comes up. The word FURIOUS (even in capitals and bold) doesn’t go far enough to describe his anger. He was IRATE!

Gaspard (in a French accent) – “HEATHEN YOBO! HOW DARE YOU DESTROY MY DRAWING? IT WAS MY TRIBUTE TO MEL.” He waved his arms theatrically.

Me – “Well French, you did take up a lot more space than you were allocated.”

Gaspard (with his finger right in my face) – “IT SHOWED OUR PASSION, OUR LOVE. WHO ARE YOU TO DO THAT?”

Me – “SHE’S NOT YOUR WIFE MATE.”

To check I hadn’t crossed the line, I snuck a look over Gaspard’s shoulder to Trev. He shot me a subtle thumbs up, which said thank you my brother. So it was worth it.

I thought No-Know was going to collapse laughing. Eventually Gaspard moved on and seemed content pointing and sledging me to other people. The party went along, I copped constant abuse and it finally came to the end of the evening. Mel had gone to bed angry and No-Know and I were the last to leave.

On the way out, I went to have another look at my art-work, considering the degree of hatred I had inadvertently created amongst seemingly every guest.

To my horror, I noticed that my harmless little Gaspard-penis, had been vandalised! Somebody had drawn little dashes to represent an ark of momentum and they had drawn semen, not just being projected from my Gaspard-penis, but landing in Mel’s eye! Her half-closed look of passion that the French artist had so magnificently captured, now looked like she was squinting because she had something untoward, IN HER EYE!

Everybody for the last five hours, including my lovely wife had thought me some depraved, semen-drawing weirdo!

No-Know – “Yeah, sorry, I embellished it a little. Why’d you think the lads and I were buckling over with laughter each time somebody got up you?”

I was dumbfounded.

Mel never forgave me.

I thought to myself, f#ck…I really like this No-Know.

Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. If you could Share far and wide via the buttons below, that would be amazing. I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art, of blogging. And check out my new craft beer business I set up with a few North Shore dads (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

IMPROVING OUR WORLD – FROM YOUR CAR.

While you’re driving, you can quite literally improve the world in which we all live, raising not just your mood, but the mood of complete strangers sitting in their own vehicles.

HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY DO THAT?

Well, I’m glad you asked so passionately.

I was driving to work, singing along loud and proud to “My Sharona”, despite getting a number of the words wrong and those that I got right, not being able to sing them in tune. But I was having a good time.

I paused my singing because I only adequately know the main lyrics, saving my vocals to absolutely belt out the chorus. I let in the sporty-Audi-driving Merchant Banker in a suit, who was waiting to come in from a side street. I didn’t really need to let him in as he had just pulled up at the intersection, but I was in a My Sharona-fueled good mood.

Letting another driver in when I didn’t have to, is a beautiful thing.

The part I knew word-for-word started up, so I commenced singing – NEVER GONNA STOP, GIVE IT UP, SUCH A DIRTY MIND

The Merchant Banker, didn’t bother to wave! What?? Damn him. DAMN HIM ALL TO HELL.

So here’s the thing, if the drivers who have been let-in do not wave a little thank you (“Underwavers”), then this has a negative impact upon the drivers who let them in (“Saint-Drivers”). Instead of feeling… nice, Saint-Drivers feel annoyed, may stop singing, their moods having been tainted.

ME, WITH MY MOOD TAINTED.

Nothing bothers Saint-Drivers more, than Underwavers not acknowledging our attempts to share-the-nice. It’s not asking much. It’s a wave! I’m not suggesting you get out and buy the Saint Driver KFC (the dirty bird is now dead to me).

If un-thanked, even Saint-Drivers may be hesitant about letting the next driver in and that driver will in turn be annoyed, having no way of knowing about the dreadful Underwaver incident, that just took place. And not being my Audi-driving Merchant Banker, they may have been a guaranteed wave-thanker, but they never got the opportunity.

Then, like an episode of Breaking Bad it becomes an ugly snowball-of-angry. Saint-Drivers, if wave-thanked go to work just a little less inclined to yell at that new guy who cannot seem to remember that you no longer take sugar in your cappuccino. Or because the drive is the last thing you do before you get home, you may be more empathetic about your spouse’s terrible day, or more understanding of your teenage daughter telling you she’s fallen in love with the fullback from the local Rugby League team.

In my situation, if the Audi-Underwaver had wave-thanked:

My wife – “Gee you’re in a good mood this evening. Have you forgotten I want to watch Master Chef and not one of your crappy Arctic Survival Men reality shows.

Me – “Yes my love. If anything makes you happy, then you can be damn sure it does the same to me.

This can happen, all the time, to all of us.

There’s three essential steps :

STEP 1.

Always thank a Saint-Driver. Even you have had a shit day at work, you notice your fly has been undone for who-knows how long, your team is getting flogged in the footy and you think you may have been pinged by that speed camera.

And by the way, wait a few seconds until your car is fully straight, to ensure the Saint-Driver doesn’t miss your wave-thank.

Even better, when you do wave, let out a loud, theatrical “thank you”. You will allow more of your senses to become entwined with the nice and you share it with any passengers you may have. Sharing-the-nice with your kids for instance, will incline them to do it when they are driving, thereby giving them a source of nice, that is healthy, drug-free, free and world-improving.

If you are ever in doubt as to whether you are in a wave-worthy situation, wave.

STEP 2.

When the opportunity arises, let other drivers in. The more you do, the more you improve the world. Wouldn’t that be good?

THANKS FOR LETTING ME IN SAINT DRIVER.

STEP 3.

If an Underwaver does not wave… don’t care. This step is the toughest, but if you don’t, there’s little point in following the previous two.

An Underwaver, either – doesn’t understand that they should, couldn’t be bothered or is just a dick (my Merchant Banker). Whichever reason it is, don’t allow it to diminish the niceness you are thriving upon. Underwavers are not part of our club! They don’t even know our club exists. Just smile to yourself and feel sympathy for them missing out.

POOR UNDERWAVERS.

Forgive Underwavers, they know not what they do.

I am so hopeful you all will take this on board. We all have the power, but it’s a numbers game. If a few people follow this plan, that would be wonderful. But if many of us do… whoa Mumma!

Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. If you could Share far and wide via the buttons below, that would be amazing. I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art, of blogging. And check out my new craft beer business I set up with a few North Shore dads (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

IN TROUBLE AT MY DAUGHTER’S SCHOOL… AGAIN

It seems like an eternity ago now, but just before the lock-down, we had the Hornswood Ladies College (my daughter’s wonderful school) parents-meet-teachers night. 

Being Hornswood (the mythical little suburbs snuggled between Hornsby and Chatswood), nearly every mum or dad there was dressed in a suit or something equally as nice. I drove with another parent, “Bolschy” (his poker call-sign) who’s a great mate of mine, both wearing thongs, T-shirts and shorts. A tad underdressed.

WE LOOKED A BIT LIKE THESE GUYS.

I’ve always relied heavily on the fact that one overweight yobbo in a big crowd, just blends into the background. But when there’s two, in a sea of expensive attire, we stood out like a Trump-fake-tan and laughed when we saw our reflection in the glass of the entry door.

We arrived early, which meant we got full advantage of the coffee and hand-made, buttery golden biscuits. I grabbed three, two for me and one for Bolschy but due to their irregular size, the lowest bickie dropped off the bottom of the stack onto the floor. It landed near the table.

Me – “That was your one, Bolsch.

Laughing, I handed Bolschy one of the two I held and stayed for a moment to eat mine. As I returned to the table, an exceedingly attractive middle-aged teacher was about to step on the biscuit and grind it into the immaculate carpet. So I bent down behind her, just as her high-heel landed right in the centre of it, unbeknownst to her, breaking it neatly into 3 pieces.

I thought to myself no prob, seeing I’m down here any way, it makes no difference if I pick up three bits or one, it was now going in the bin (there’s no 5-second rule at an HLC function).

But wouldn’t you know it, just as I was picking up the third and final shard of biscuit, she takes a full step backwards, tripped on to me, stumbled, spilled her tea, crushed the bickie and her butt went right into my face as I looked up.

She was understandably surprised to find a man crouched down behind her, in such a thinly-populated space. She was shocked by the stumble and, well, me.

Attractive teacher – “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??

My clothing did not put her mind at ease at all.

Me – “My um… my biscuit” was all I could come up with.

AWKWARD.

Anyway, Bolschy and I went and sat in the classrooms and thankfully the teachers doing the presentation to our group of parents, were really quick. We were out of there before any others were done and decided to go and find our close mate Dange (short for “Danger”, another self-attributed poker call-sign).

With each of the classrooms in this auditorium, the wall that faces inwards is glass, so you can actually see into all the rooms. We positioned ourselves so we could see Dange sitting at a desk, he could see us, but the teacher out the front couldn’t. When he turned around and saw the two of us just deadpan and giving him the ol’ stink-eye, he laughed.

Like students trying to cut class, we did everything we could to get Dange to come out and blow off the last ten minutes of the talk. But he’s a polite Canadian, so he wouldn’t leave. He was just sitting there, being… attentive.

We had to go after him.

Bolschy wandered in, plonked down next to Dange without taking his eyes off the teacher. I could see him through the glass trying to subtly convince Dange to come out, with a few quiet words and a couple of pokes to the ribs, but no, conscientious Dange was committed until the end. So Bolschy picked up Dange’s phone, held it up in front of his head for facial recognition, and then fled with his now-unlocked, phone.

Outside the room Bolschy and I were having a ball. Now that we had his phone and he could see us, we were pretending to be perusing, looking through all his messages and photos, surfing, all the stuff you don’t want two mates doing. We watched Dange the teacher’s-pet, squirming, wondering what irreversible damage we were doing to his beloved phone.

Hilarious.

We were halted by the exceedingly attractive middle-aged teacher who accidently sat on me earlier.

Ms Attractive (I think it’s a French name)– “What the heck is going on here?

We were busted. We dropped into silence. In the room, Dange knew we were sprung and was now the one trying to control his mirth.

Ms Attractive – “Other parents are trying to learn what their daughters are going to be doing for the next year, and you two are being silly?

Me (nervously) – “Very sorry, we… we were just teasing our mate in there.” We pointed through the glass to Dange, and he looked quite disappointed to see us dob him in.

Ms Attractive – “Teasing? That’s rather immature. How do you think that makes him feel?

Me (looking at the ground guiltily) – “Not very good.

Bolschy (also looking downward) – “Pretty bad.

Ms Attractive – “Do the two of you think that’s a good idea? Do you think you are improving this situation? I would expect better of my Year 7 girls.

Bolschy (looking contrite, like he would have looked when this used to happen thirty years and forty kilos ago) – “Sorry.

Ms Attractive – “I think it’s time you two left. We’ve had enough of your trouble making.

Me (shyly) – “But we… sort of… have his phone.

Ms Attractive just shook her head in disgust. “Well one of you is going to have to go in there and return it, aren’t you?

Moving with the speed of a startled gazelle, I grabbed the phone out of Bolschy’s hand and said “I’ll return it”, thinking he would then have to stand with the beautiful, but angry, Ms Attractive .

BUT SHE CAME WITH ME!!

Ms Attractive apologised for the interruption and I slunk in and returned Dange’s phone. Luckily the teacher then introduced her to all the parents in the room, so the attention wasn’t on me.

Ms Attractive then rejoined Bolschy and I outside the classroom. Having promised my daughter I would be on my best behaviour, I had then been accidently sat on by a teacher and busted razzing Dange.

Me – “Is there any chance you could not tell our daughters?

So Bolschy and I made our way to the carpark.

Bolschy – “Let’s go. Dange isn’t coming out.

Me – “Let’s just wait for him. He’ll ring us.

Bolschy – “No he won’t. He’ll just drive home.

Me – “Oh he’ll definitely ring us.” I jingled car keys in front of him. “I palmed his keys.

We laughed and we laughed, having checked Ms Attractive wasn’t around.

Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. If you could Share far and wide via the buttons below, that would be amazing. I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art, of blogging. And check out my new craft beer business I set up with a few North Shore dads (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

WHO KNEW WE WERE LEGENDS?

Being born and raised at Bilgola, my brother and I are absolute Manly Sea Eagles tragics. One day last season, not only did we get to hang with the legendary players of our beloved club, we got to be one of them! We got to be… LEGENDS.

All we had to do was be dishonourable.

Oracle (my brother’s self-ascribed poker call-sign) and I, were at Brookvale Oval one weekend to watch the big game. It was the excellent “Golden Eagles – Legends Day”, when champion ex-players were glorified for achievements on the footy field. It was awesome. A fenced-off marquee was crammed absolutely full of our heroes of yesteryear.

Oracle and I, along with a huge number of fans went right up to see how many of our idols we could spot. One legend who we instantly recognised, walked past us and up to the table positioned at the entrance to the marquee, where a young security guy was sitting.

Security guy (to the legend) – “Legends function?

Legend – “Ooh yeah.

Without checking the clipboard, the security guy put a yellow wrist band on him and the legend went in, to cheers of the myriad of other legends already inside.

Me – “Quick Oracle, follow my lead. Look like a legend. We’re goin’ in.

Oracle – “Wait… what?

I approached the table and my brother shadowed me.

Security guy (to us) – “Legends function?

I was nervous, but the place was an absolute oasis.

Me – “Been looking forward to this all year mate.

Within seconds, we had yellow wrist bands on and we were in! The place was full of free food, free grog and free… LEGENDS.

We had an immediate problem if we were to avoid having our unfortunate, non-legendary status discovered. They were all wearing special legend jackets! So we casually headed over to the guy giving them out and he gave us one each. It was going brilliantly.

Of course the other issue was that the legends all knew each other, so we had to be on our toes. After an hour of the greatest day of our lives, we had worked out the comments we would throw out, if any legends questioned our identity.

If they got suspicious and asked “when’d you play”, with a laugh we would reply with things like:

About a lifetime ago mate… ’bout a lifetime ago.

Or –

Mate when you’ve taken as many head knocks as I have, I can’t bloody remember myself. It’s still 1988, right?

When? Back when my shoulder didn’t ache, I had a full head of hair, my wife wasn’t angry and the game wasn’t so soft.

There’s a Legend six-pack for you! (after lifting my shirt and patting my sizeable gut).

Or my brother would slap me on the back and say “jeez you’ve put on weight, nobody recognises you!” And then we’d quickly wander off to chat to other legends. Flawless.

Now I won’t use his real name or even his real nick-name, but “Horse,” one of our favourite players of all time started to chat to us. We just couldn’t look one of our Grand Final-winning heroes in the eye and lie, so we came clean to him. Horse just laughed and said as long as we don’t go out onto the ground for the Legends Lap of Honour, he wouldn’t rat us out.

I nearly ruined the grift when we joined a particular legend-group and I helped myself to one of the exotic looking sandwiches in the middle of the little table. It turned out one legend had special dietary requirements, so he had brought his own food.

Special-sandwich-Legend – “WHAT THE F#CK YOU DOING? YOU TOOK MY SANDWICH. WHO ARE YOU ANYWAY?

I struggled for a few moments to think what to say.

Momentarily Legend-awkward.

Me – “Mate, we’ve all bled for the same team. That’s what’s important.

Then luckily, they all started to file down on to the ground for the Legends Lap of Honour. After a moment it was only Oracle and I left in the marquee.

Security guard (down the front) – “YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS YOUR LAP OF HONOUR AND TUNNEL FOR THE PLAYERS, GENTS.

Oracle and I looked at each other. We were brazen, but it was time to leave the marquee-of-greatness and head on back to the general populous. It had been an amazing few hours, but crashing the Sea Eagles Legends-Lap was one step too far. We were men of decency after all.

Me – “NO MY GOOD MAN. WE WOULD NOT WANT TO MISS OUR LAP OF HONOUR.” And down onto the ground we went.

Here’s the photo I took of Oracle and I on the ground while the players are warming up.

Here we are doing our Legends Lap. Giving back to the people.

Here we are with the cheerleaders.

It was an incredible feeling, the Lap of Honour (without dwelling on exactly how dishonorable we were being) with our fellow legends, all our loyal fans cheering and clapping. What a buzz.

After we’d done our lap, we formed a tunnel for the First Grade players to run through and on the opposite side to us… stood “Horse!”

He looked directly at us and then pointed at our faces. Damn, was he going to expose our deceit? It would be a tad Legendarily-embarrassing. But Horse, being a team man, just shook his head and laughed. Like one of us legends does.

Anyway the day just got better and better. All us legends watched a brilliant game of footy from the marquee, in which the team we had all bled for, won a magnificent victory. We then went back to a private room at the club for the rest of the night and the current players and sponsors joined us. It was unbelievable and the respect the players and the fans in the club showed us legends, was incredible.

My brother took his turn nearly exposing the grift, when a fit looking dude approached the group of Legends we were drinking with.

Oracle (to the dude) – “Reuben Garrick (the Sea Eagles current winger), you played out there today, like we used to back in the day! You ran hard and straight with no thought to self-preservation. I love it.

The dude – “Sorry mate. I work for Wormald, the sponsor. I’ve never played a game in my life.

Me (trying to change tack with a laugh) – “Typical of you Oracle. If they didn’t play exactly the same time you did, you got no idea who they are!

The private room with Tommy Turbo, Man-of-the-Match.

Later that night we received a text from our dad (also a Sea Eagles tragic). He sent us a video he’d taken of his tv at home –

Boys, tonight I sat down to watch the game. They had the Legends Lap, which I watched really closely to see which players I recognised. You can understand my surprise to see my two sons, at the front of the f#cking tunnel no less! I’m getting older and forget the odd thing, but I don’t actually remember either of you playing for Manly. I got no idea how you pulled it off and I don’t want to know. How the hell did my boys end up being so dodgy?

Dad’s video skills catching me in the blue cap and Oracle in the scarf.

That day, we became… LEGENDS.

(disclaimer – If anybody from the brilliant Golden Eagles Assoc or the Manly Warringah club do read this blog, please ignore)

Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. If you could Share far and wide via the buttons below, that would be amazing. I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art, of blogging. And check out my new craft beer business I set up with a few North Shore dads (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

THEY THOUGHT WE WERE BOUNCERS

My mate “Psycho” is enormous, probably the strongest bloke I’ve ever met, used to be a tree-lopper and has arms like Dean Lukin (the scruffy, tuna-fishing, weight-lifting version of Dean Lukin, not the post-Olympics slimmed-down, neat, corporate one).

I’m a fairly… hefty bloke myself. One night in the early 90s, we were saying goodbye to each other at the door to a Hornswood pub. It was only about ten thirty, but we’d been there since midday. It was time to go.

All of a sudden three cocky, young, preppy sort of guys came wandering up the street. We couldn’t help but hear them coming as they were being so loud, leaning all over each other, looking very handsome in their expensive clothes, with perfect hair and really nice shiny shoes.

One of them yelled at the top of his voice as they approached – THREE SEXY, PRIVATE SCHOOL MEN COMIN’ IN. MAKE AN ORDERLY QUEUE INSIDE, BITCHES.

Wankers. Obviously not one of us Shore boys!

The taller one boomed – FUTURE CAPTAINS-OF-INDUSTRY, BITCHES.

I cannot stand that silver-spoon type, disrespecting young women and showing off about the privileged upbringing they’ve had (through no success of their own).

Psycho can’t either. They stopped in front of us.

Blonde Guy (to Psycho, with a smart-arse tone in his voice) – “I assume it’s ok for us to go inside your fine establishment, my good man?

They thought we were bouncers!

Without skipping a beat, Psycho dropped into a brilliant, tough-Pommy-door-man accent. He sounded like one of the Peaky Blinders.

Psycho – “Nobody calls me a ‘good’ man no more. Not wiv what I’ve done. Proof of age boys.

They all quickly produced their driver’s licenses. I smiled to myself.

Psycho (moving his gaze slowly from on to the next) – “Ya not goin’ ta be causin’ no trouble tonight? I’d get real angry if ya did. And ya wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

Excellent, Psycho had started quoting David Banner (a.k.a. the Hulk), in a Birmingham voice.

Blonde Guy (with a bit less smart-arse tone after the Hulk quote) – “Don’t worry about that, my good man.

Psycho (looking closely at their licenses) – “I used ta be a good man… ‘til prison.” He looked away, paused longingly, as if remembering. “But now wiv me mate ‘Cool Hand’ ‘ere, we’s two of the ‘ardest damn bouncers in the city.

“Cool Hand” is my self-ascribed poker callsign. As if rehearsed, without hesitation Psycho and I executed the perfect high-five.

I tried to hide the smile that started to creep across my face. Men in our line of work, don’t smile often and this was my first time being… “Bouncer Cool Hand.”

Psycho (dead-pan) – “We’s been seein’ a shite-load of snobby private school students wiv fake id’s from the Ukraine recently lads. Ya wouldn’t knows nothin’ ’bout that now… would ya?” He eyeballed them all.

Tall guy – “We’re… we’re all twenty four.

Me (having become “Bouncer Cool Hand”) – “WE’LL BE THE JUDGE OF THAT.

The three snobs seemed taken aback by this monstrous “Psycho” bloke, being apparently unimpressed with them.

Psycho (putting one license between his teeth and biting down, testing it like a gold piece) – “Looks legit ‘nough ta me, Cool Hand.” Pointing at the blonde guy. “Michael, ya star-sign an’ dog’s name. Quick now, son!

Blonde guy (hurriedly) – “Gemini. Tim-Tam.

Bouncer Cool Hand – “He’s right on the star-sign part,” (I had no idea if he was) “but I’m just not convinced about the Tim-Tam bit.

Psycho (to Blonde Guy) – “Tim-Tam? Serious?” He was absolutely nailing the Brummie accent.

Blonde guy (embarrassed) – “It’s my sister’s favourite biscuit…”

Psycho and I just shook our heads to each other.

Psycho – “For fock’s sake, Michael this don’t even look like ya! The guy in this photo’s a lot skinnier an’ he’s wearin’ glasses. What ya tryin’ ta pull?

Michael – “I have contacts now.

Bouncer Cool Hand – “WE DON’T CARE WHO YOU KNOW.” This was great.

Psycho (despite Michael looking exactly the same weight as he did in his photo) – “Michael, why have you put on so much weight?” Uh oh, Psycho had forgotten the pommy accent!

Michael – “Oh… well… I didn’t realise I had… I guess I stopped going to the gym and I just…

Psycho (remembering his accent again) – “Likely story.

Moving on to Tall Guy.

Psycho – “Phil, in this photo y’ave a blue shirt wiv some wanky logo. Now, ya’re wearin’ a green one and I can’t see no logo at all. Care ta explain?

The situation was hilariously ridiculous.

Phil (sweating) – “I have… different shirts…

Psycho – “Yeah, I ‘eard how well-ta-do ya’ll are. I’m keepin’ me eye on ya… green-shirt boy.

At this stage I had to walk away a little and turn my back. I was a risk of a emitting a loud, decidedly non-bouncer-like laugh.

Psycho – “DOES YA MA LIKE MEERKATS, ‘ARRY?

Harry – “What difference does-

Psycho (interjecting) – “IT’S THE ONLY PUB FOR MILES ‘ARRY. WANNA COME IN OR NO?

Harry (hesitating while he thought for a second) – “Um… I think she likes them.

Psycho – “Why the ‘esitation ‘Arry? Ya not close wiv ya mum?

Harry – “Oh, I just wasn’t expecting that question.

Psycho (staring daggers at him) – “‘Arry… always expect.

Harry – “Ok… thanks.

Psycho – “Now ‘Arry, ya have a scraggly focken “moustache(Psycho made air-quotes) in this photo, an’ now you’ve none. How d’ya explain that?

Harry just stared blankly.

Bouncer Cool Hand – “Why were you so desperate to change your appearance.

Harry answered – “It was really itchy.

Psycho (now with an excellent Clint Eastwood voice) – “I guess we’ll just have to take your word on that…won’t… we?

Bouncer Cool Hand – “Psycho, I’m not overly comfortable with any of these guys, especially Mr ‘Disappearing-Moustache’ here.”

I was laughing, but they were all too focused on answering Psycho correctly. Now they had heard his nickname, I don’t think they noticed his Peaky Blinders accent had given way to  “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.

Psycho – “Any of you ever been convicted of Truancy? Homework copying? Or do you know anybody who has? Well do you… punk?

They all shook their heads. Somehow Psycho managed to keep a straight bouncer-face.

Then four blokes who looked the same age as the three we were investigating, stood and waited their turn to be vetted by us.

Bouncer Cool Hand (happy as Larry with the new young arrivals) – “You can go straight in boys.

Harry – “How come they were allowed in?

Bouncer Cool Hand – “DON’T GET LIPPY WITH US HARRY. It’s because they formed an orderly queue.”

Psycho – “One thing we won’t abide here punks, is any married men being unfaithful. Are any of you married? A man’s gotta know his limitations!

They responded with a chorus of “No’s”.

Bouncer Cool Hand – “You don’t mind us checking do you? Ring fingers please gentlemen.

They all showed their ring-fingers while we checked for not only wedding rings, but ring tan-marks. You can’t be too careful.

Then, the actual bouncer came out of the bar! He was angry.

Actual bouncer – “WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?

Psycho, who was big enough to get away with it, in a super-friendly way put his arm on the bouncer’s shoulder and led him to the side to chat privately. They spoke for quite a while so I knew Psycho was trying to convince the real bouncer, to carry on the gag. They occasionally glanced back at the increasingly nervous boys.

Actual bouncer and Psycho wandered back.

Bouncer Cool Hand – “Howdy, Iron Kev.” I really hoped Psycho had got him in on the joke. “Here’s a quick rundown Kev, because Psycho and I are both at the end of a long shift. Michael here (I pointed him out), has put on a heap of weight, apparently used to wear glasses, now miraculously doesn’t need them and should be let in due to the people he knows in this place.

“Iron Kev” threw up his hands with a mocking look of being impressed by Michael (who appeared mortified by my summary).

Bouncer Cool Hand – “Young Phil here, was showing off about how vast his impressive wardrobe is. Harry, has next to no relationship with his mother, has no idea of her stance on meerkats and his ‘moustache’ (air quotes again) is suspiciously… transitory.

“Iron Kev” (smiling and nodding) – “Transitory – nice word Cool Hand. How could he not know his mum’s meerkat-stance? Ok, I understand your concerns fellas. I’ll see you both tomorrow.” We shook hands in a manly, bro-bouncer way.

“Iron Kev” (turning to the young lads) – “OK YOU PRIVATE SCHOOL POSERS. FORM AN ORDERLY QUEUE. I HOPE YOU KNOW YOUR EXACT HEIGHT BECAUSE I’LL BE CHECKING, MOTHER’S EYE COLOUR (I won’t be expecting you to know that one Harry) AND MODEL OF YOUR DAD’S FIRST RIDE.

Iron Kev (to Psycho and I) – “Carry on gents. You’ve done some good work here.

Our “shift” done, Psycho and I left.

Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. If you could Share far and wide via the buttons below, that would be amazing. I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art, of blogging. And check out my new craft beer business I set up with a few North Shore dads (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

THREE ANGRY RUGBY-MUMS.

I’m not saying my son Jake was a great Rugby player (I say “was” because after three broken noses and three shoulder dislocations he’s now retired). He was neither overly big compared to the behemoths he often played, nor particularly fast. Being a leftie, his pass to the left definitely lacked that certain something and he couldn’t kick to save his life.

But like all Flankers he was tenacious, tough, a great tackler and the saying – flankers put their heads where other people wouldn’t put their feet, is apt.

Being young for his year, at high school in the early ages much to his chagrin, he was forced to play with the guys in the age-group below. So his performances did stand out a bit, he was captain and often the best player.

I know I sound like a self-satisfied Rugby-dad showing off about my son, but that’s only because I am a self-satisfied Rugby-dad showing off about my son.

Once, when Jake was about twelve or thirteen we had arrived for a MASSIVE game against Joeys and he’d left his mouth-guard at home! You’re not allowed to play without one, but he said he could borrow and ran off to warm up with the team. We saw an old friend Sarah, whose son Tommy was one of Jake’s great mates through primary school and was now the gigantic guy in the opposition team.

Sarah (with a friendly laugh) – “Tommy’s going to SMASH Jake today. He’s six inches taller and probably twenty-five kilos heavier. I hope you’re ready for carnage.

Me (with a knowing smile) – “Oh we’ll see Sare, because Jake’s specialty is taking down the big guy.

She hesitated and look of horror came over her face in an instant.

Sarah – “BUT TOMMY’S GOT BAD KNEES!!

Me (looking around jokingly and laughing) – “JAKE. THE KNEES.

So my wife stayed chatting to Sarah while I went to the other side of the ground where there were less people.

The game was a torrid affair, as it always is against the opposition school’s juggernaut and Jake was having a top match. Just after half-time, three women came over to where I was on the side-line and stood uncomfortably close to me. They looked like sisters.

Sister 1 – “I’m Robert’s mum. You Jake’s dad?” She sounded like a country woman who was a bit pissed off.

Me (nice as pie) – “Yeah. Hi ladies, I’m Jase. You must be sisters.” I had no idea which one of the kids was Robert.

Sister 2 (with no introduction) – “WE’VE COME ALL THE WAY FROM TAMWORTH TO WATCH ROBERT PLAY. I BET YOU DIDN’T COME FREAKEN FAR!

I was taken aback by the agro tone.

Me – “Only Lindfield.” I smiled warmly.

Angry Sister 1 – “TAMWORTH IS A GODDAMN LONG TRIP WHEN YOU DON’T GET TO SEE YOUR SON PLAY! MY HUSBAND ONLY GETS TO SEE A FEW GAMES A YEAR, AND NOW HE’S HAD TO GO AND WATCH THE YOUNGER BOY PLAY, BECAUSE ROBERT’S ON THE SIDELINE. ASSHOLE.

Me – “Huh?” I was confused.

Angry Sister 3 – “LONG TRIP, TO BE STANDING ON THE SIDE-LINE… TALKING TO AN IDIOT.

Me – “Huh?

Angry Sister 3 – “HAVE YOU NOTICED HOW WELL ROBERT’S PLAYING JASE?

She put such venom and a little spittle into the Jase, that I became… scared.

Me – “I… don’t actually know which one’s Robert, I just-

Angry Sister 2 (cutting me off) – “THERE.” She pointed to the lanky kid in full Shore footy gear cheering on the other sideline. Then it dawned on me, standing by myself they must think I’m the coach and responsible for sidelining Robert.

Me – “I’m not the coach. I’m just-

Angry Sister 1 (interupting) – “YOU’RE TOO MUCH OF A IDIOT TO BE THE COACH.

Damn.

Then I thought I must have met the Tamworth sisters before, offended them in some way and they have got a better memory than me.

Me – “Have we met before ladies?

Angry Sister 2 – “NO WE HAVEN’T. YOU’RE LUCKY OUR HUSBANDS ARE UP WATCHING PHILLIP PLAY, SMART-MOUTH.

I pretended I was following the play and wandered away from them, cheering.

Me (watching them out of the corner of my eye) – “COME ON LADS.

They didn’t fall for it. They followed.

Angry Sister 1 – “YOU NORTH SHORE DADS ARE SUCH TOSSERS. THINKIN’ YOU’RE BETTER THAN US COUNTRY PEOPLE. WELL YOU AINT!

Me – “I have to… go… over there and…” I pointed at nothing in particular and sprint-walked all the way around to the other side of the ground. And I’m not known for my sprint-walking.

I spent the rest of the match keeping the entire oval, between me and the Tamworth-certifiable-sisters. If they moved anywhere, I moved in the opposite direction. It was like a big game of chasings. Luckily they had no more stamina than I did.

At the end of the match, they at least had the civility to stand quietly while the coach addressed the kids in team. All the time giving me the old stink-eye and adding to my puzzlement.

As we prepared to leave, the Tamworth-certifiables had one last go. A bit quieter this time, due to the boys.

Angry Sister 1 – “You’re no better than us you bald, fat, inconsiderate, annoying, snob. You’ve ruined our day.

She sure knew how to hurt.

Me – “Fat??

I turned and spoke quietly to Jake, while the certifiables, stared daggers at me.

Me – “Jake, who the hell is Robert? His mum and aunties are up me big time for some reason.

Jake (digging through his sports-bag) – “Oh, the coach told Robert he couldn’t play this week for missing practice again and he didn’t want to let his parents know. He came in full footy gear to the game. It worked out perfectly because I used his mouth-guard and we told his parents that you said as Captain I should take his, so that’s why he couldn’t play.

Me – “Oh thanks a million son.

Jake then pulls his “lost” mouth-guard out of his bag and announces smiling, at the top of his voice – “I FOUND MY MOUTHGUARD. IT WAS IN MY BAG ALL ALONG.

I couldn’t help myself, they did call me fat after all.

Me – “NO NEED TO WORRY LADIES. HE’S FOUND IT.

Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. If you could Share far and wide via the buttons below, that would be amazing. I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art, of blogging. And check out my new craft beer business I set up with a few North Shore dads (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

NO WAY TO TREAT YOUR BROTHER

When my son was in primary school there were twin brothers playing in his Hornswood Junior Rugby team. One was a hilarious, smart-ass, piss-taker, the other one was… really nice.

Tommy was tall, blonde, handsome, broad-shouldered, super-fast, skilled, scored 2-4 tries every match, our best player, smart, confident and brash.

His brother was Carl, was not tall, red-haired, not quite so handsome, a bit chubby, pale, a slow toiler, shy, good-guy front-rower who had never scored a try despite the team having been together for years.

Right on the full-time whistle in one of the last games of the season, Carl scored his first ever try with a great push from his mates in the forward pack. A Christmas miracle in July! As he jogged back to the half-way, us parents and coaches cheered and high-fived. Being a very close-knit team we were overjoyed Carl was finally in the spotlight.

Great stuff Carl.

Tommy (sprinting over to us parents on the sideline) – “IT WASN’T A TRY! MY BROTHER DROPPED THE BALL OVER THE LINE. NO TRY!”

Mark (dad of the twins) – “Quiet Tommy. The ref paid it. We win, be happy for your brother just for once.”

Tommy (who’d already scored three tries that day) – “HE DROPPED THE BALL.”

As we always did, the parents stood in a group with the kids on the ground in front, while my good mate the coach awarded the Man of the Match. This one was a no-brainer and he wanted to put special focus on Carl, to illustrate to the kids that continued commitment and effort will eventually be rewarded.

Coach – “Our Man of the Match today, who also scored the winning try is… CARL.”

In a beautiful team moment, everyone cheered louder than we ever had for another player. The one who had always lived in his brother’s try-scoring shadow, deserved no less.

Tommy – “He dropped the ball.”

The coach tried to ignore Tommy and we parents made sure we hid our amusement at the comments.

Getting hard to hide.

Coach (to the team) – “So boys, where do we start when talking about Carl?”

Tommy – “Can start with the knock-on.”

Mark (his dad) – “TOMMY!! EITHER ACCEPT THAT YOUR BROTHER SCORED A TRY OR GO AND SIT IN THE BLOODY CAR. YOUR CHOICE!!”

Tommy (thinking on it) – “Guess I’ll have to go and sit in the car.”

Off he went and sat in the back seat while the coach went on. We were all finding it increasingly difficult to contain our laughter. The problem was, the car was only about ten metres away and within earshot.

Coach – “Every team needs players like Carl.”

Tommy (yelling from the car) – “IF YOU’RE COLLECTING NON-TRIES.”

Mark – “TOMMY!! SHUT UP OR I’LL CLOSE THE WINDOW.” Just to us parents, “God help me I’d love to.”

Tommy puts up his hands in a sign of mock surrender.

Coach – “Lots of props never score a ‘meat-pie’ in their whole Rugby careers.”

Tommy – “IT WAS AS ‘MEAT-PIE’ AS A BROCCOLI SALAD.”

By this stage all us parents standing behind the players had tears running down our faces. But Carl, in his shining moment, was focused solely on the coaches words.

Coach – “It just goes to show that you don’t have to be the fastest or the most skilled-“

Tommy (interrupting from the car) – “OR HOLD THE BALL.”

Coach – “A Rugby team is made up of all different types. You can’t win with a team of just halfbacks and wingers. You also can’t win with a team of just Carls.”

Tommy (from the car) – “NOT IF YOU WANT ANY TRIES SCORED.”

Mark – “TOMMY!”

By this stage, us parents are pissing ourselves laughing behind hands and caps. Carl was completely oblivious to his brother’s heckling, he’d learned to just tune it out.

Coach – “But Carl wouldn’t have scored, if his teammates hadn’t been there to help him.”

Tommy – “OR IF THE REF HAD SOME GLASSES.”

Coach – “Persistence!”

Tommy – “OH MAN, I’D HAVE PERSISTENCE TOO IF I GOT AWARDED A TRY EVERY TIME I NEARLY SCORED. I’D BE ON A WHOLE LOT MORE THAN 31 THIS SEASON.”

Carl’s smile just beamed.

I was shaking with barely-stifled laugher.

One of the mum’s – “There was some excellent non-selfish passing today also everybody.”

Tommy – “PARTICIPATION TRY! HERE YOU GO EVERYONE, HAVE A TRY.”

Eventually we got the speech done. Mark had the shits with Tommy, said his goodbyes, got Carl in the car and was reversing in the carpark.

Coach (just to us parents) – “I can’t let Tommy have the last cool line. I have to get one more in before they drive away, so Tommy can’t retort.”

Coach (approaching the about-to-drive-off car and yelling to the parents as much as to Carl) – “HEY CARL, I WISH I HAD YOUR TRY ON VIDEO. I COULD EASILY SHOW THE ENTIRE TEAM WHAT I MEAN WHEN I USE THE WORD TENACITY.”

The coach flashed a smile and wink our way. We understood the magnitude of what just occurred. The coach, the old bull had put the young bull right back in his place. The coaches parting words, were to be the last ones exchanged between them on the matter. Drop the mic.

The car moved off slowly.

Another dad – “Well done, coach. I’ve never laughed so much. I certainly didn’t think you’d be gettin’ the last word in. You are The Man.”

Coach – “Thanks mate. It seems juvenile, but I couldn’t let him be the last to have made a clever comment. As coach I need to be the top-dog to this age group, otherwise these kids will run all over me, metaphorically and literally. How could I get them to jog around the oval six times, do 100 pushups, tackle and put their head in a ruck, if I don’t have that… top-dog respect.”

We high-fived, while all the parents continued to hide their laughter.

Top-dog respect.

Tommy (leaning out of the window as they drove away) – “I WISH WE HAD HIS TRY ON VIDEO TOO… FOR THE VIDEO REF”.

And the car was gone.

One of the dads (immediately being reminded of a funny line from a country song he once heard) – “Maybe you’re top dog, coach, but gee it appears as though you’ve been neutered.”

Hilarious.

The coach just stared at the cloud of Hornswood Oval carpark dust left by Tommy’s car.

Gotta love kid’s Rugby.

Thanks for reading. I write blogs, oftentimes simply to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. At other times, to allow businesses and business-people to get their message across.

If you could Share via the buttons below, that would be amazing. Pleeeease do. I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art – Blogging.

Cheers. Jase.

WHY DID I WEAR PYJAMAS TO SCHOOL DROP-OFF??

Me – “I’m not listening to your awful music.”

It was early morning a few years ago and my daughter, who I was driving to the wonderful Hornswood Ladies College, dismissively rolled her eyes and put on her headphones. I was immovable on the music debate being fresh from an argument with my lovely wife, at home twenty minutes earlier.

My lovely wife – “I can’t believe your car has no petrol and you didn’t fill up last night because you were late for poker. You’ll run out now, you watch.”

My wife is from Barcelona, so she does a feisty tone even better than most Hornswood wives.

Me – “I’m not an idiot. Thank you, but I dont need fuel management advice from the person whose car is empty every single time I get in. I’ll get petrol on the way and she wont be late to school.”

My daughter’s school has a long drive that circles the oval and there’s a drop-off zone for about four cars at a time. Dropping-off before the zone is strictly forbidden, so each morning we queue. I got to the front of the zone, my daughter got out and walked away and clunk, moving one metre off the zone, the car stalled. Out of petrol.

Oh, CRAP.

I had another problem. Having completely forgotten about my fuel shortage immediately after having the “I’m not an idiot” conversation with my wife earlier, I’d gone to the school run, in my usual drop-off outfit – pyjamas, full-length Superman dressing gown and Ugg boots. My daughter every morning implored me to get dressed before driving her, but who in their right mind could possibly have foreseen this series of events?

Me in my actual dressing gown.

The traffic was already starting to bank up behind me. I put on my hazard lights, got out and not taking my eyes off the ground, jumped into the passenger seat of the car who’d just dropped-off behind me (having already checked it was a dad, not some poor innocent mum). I’m a big bloke with a fully-fused spine and this was a tiny little sports car which for some reason had the seat moved all the way forward.

I could barely fit in and looked ridiculous with my knees squashed up against the dashboard. I desperately tried to slide the seat back to be able to close the door but couldn’t find the bar or button, due to my Superman gown getting all caught up. Eventually, I got the seat pushed all the way back and still could barely fit in.

Me – “Hi mate.” I stuck out my hand to the stranger.

The bloke (shaking my hand but understandably a bit surprised) – “You’re the worst dressed car-jacker ever”.

So Keith (cannot remember his real name, I was distracted) drove me to the petrol station and by the time we returned with a little fuel can, the place was in utter pandemonium. The queue which we had to sit in must have been a hundred cars and went all the way back to the main road. Students were having to jump out in non-drop-off sections, people were getting out of cars to see what was going on, everybody was furious and drivers were honking (and this is Hornswood Ladies College – we don’t honk), yelling out their windows as one at a time cars would squeeze past the idiot parked half-way into the drop-off zone. A true nightmare.

Keith dropped me off and I did the walk of shame to the front of the queue, holding my little fuel can up to show everybody that I am but a humble idiot, not an asshole who parks randomly in the drop-off zone. I began refueling in the midst of chaos, dressed as Superman.

Now look, I am particularly hard to embarrass, but I had truly been plunged into the gates of hell itself.

All of a sudden two dads get out of their fancy cars and approach me. Being Hornswood Ladies College, they were lawyer-looking and I assumed they were coming to help or possibly to have a bit of a laugh to aid a fellow dad in his moment of need. I was incorrect.

Blue-suited lawyer – “HOW THE HELL DO YOU LET YOURSELF RUN OUT OF PETROL HERE? HOW IRRISPONSIBLE.” He was rather mad.

Grey-suited lawyer (seething) – “I HAVE AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT DAMN MEETING THIS MORNING BUDDY!”

Me – “Well boo-freaken-hoo mate!” Up until that point I had been humiliated by the whole incident, now I was just angry.

There was no need for the lawyers to kick me while I was down. The honks and “MOVE YOUR CAR” yells continued around us.

Grey-suited lawyer (furiously) – “DIDN’T YOU CHECK YOUR DAMN PETROL BEFORE ENTERING THE SCHOOL GROUNDS??” He pointed right in my face.

Me (feeling incredibly flustered and vulnerable, but standing tall in my Superman dressing gown) – “Welllll lawyer, let me give you a few guesses to see if you can work out if I did check or not. And before you answer, I’ll give you some clues. I’m standing here in my DRESSING-GOWN, looking like a damn idiot, with a little petrol can, topping up my damn tank, with a hundred  people honking me and two lawyers getting up in my damn face! Now… do you think I checked my damn petrol level???”

Blue-suited lawyer – “I’m not a lawyer.”

Me – Lawyer is a generic term”.

Anyway, I eventually got home, my 40 minute morning drop-off having taken an hour and 40 minutes. My lovely wife was still home, ununusually.

My lovely wife – “Wow, that took you forever. The Pacific Highway traffic must be a nightmare. I was going to have another cup of coffee before I leave, but I guess I’d better get on the road if it’s that bad.”

To make my morning worse, I had plummeted into a moral quandary. My lovely wife is an accountant and works ridiculously hard. For her to be forced on to the road unnecessarily early, due to the “traffic” would be grossly unfair.

Here was a test of my character, my caliber… my very honour. I had to come clean and tell her she was right, I did forget her warning and ran out of petrol, I should have filled up last night and been late for poker, I blocked the drop-off zone of Hornswood Ladies College for an hour, caused absolute chaos, jumped into some blokes car, got him to drive me to the petrol station and back, stood there in the Superman gown she finds so disgusting and got into an argument with two lawyers. Mia culpa. The traffic is fine, relax and have another cup of coffee.

A question of character.

My wife – “Traffic’s a nightmare, hey?”

Me – “It… took me a reeeally long time today, Honey.” She rushed out to work. I hung my head in shame. For quite a while.

Thanks for reading. I write blogs, oftentimes simply to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. At other times, to allow businesses and business-people to get their message across.

If you could Share via the buttons below, that would be amazing. Pleeeease do. I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art – Blogging.

Cheers. Jase.

JUST TRYING TO ARRANGE A DAD’S PUB VISIT

In Hornswood (being the mystical little suburbs snuggled between Hornsby and Chatswood) it can be a little conservative and… quiet. So I need to initiate social events whenever I can.

My daughter attends a private school, in Hornswood. I don’t say that in a showing-off way at all, it’s a bit of a struggle when we have to pay the school/sport/book/camp/uniform bills. But I cannot deny it’s an amazing, well-to-do-school and most the parents drive cars that are much fancier than my Mazda CX-9.

When she was in her first year at “Hornswood Ladies College”, I thought it would be a great idea to arrange a piss-up with the dads of the other Year 7 girls. Someone arranged the same thing at my son’s school and it was great because you got to know blokes you are going to occasionally see, for the next 6 years.

I was eventually put in contact with the person in charge of such things, Mrs Penelope Correct (my daughter would kill me if I used her actual name). I sent her an email, complete with a Bitmoji. Yes, yes, I know I probably shouldn’t have started with a Bitmoji, but hindsight is 20/20.

Dear Penny,

I’m the father of a student in year 7. I was hoping to arrange an unofficial pub visit for the dads of her year, so we can all get to know each other early in the schooling career. Would that be possible? Thanks.

Jase Gram

PC replied in a very timely and positive manner.

Dear Mr Gram,

I’m pretty confident that is the first time anybody has sent correspondence with a Bitmoji of themselves. Lol. However, that sounds like a wonderful idea. Send me an email and I will forward it straight out to the rest of the dads of Year 7. Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.

 

So I sent her an email with an excellent Bitmoji of me attached to really set the tone for all the dads, when she forwarded it on.

Howdy dads of Year 7 girls,

I know some of you dodgy lads already, but most I don’t and we’re going to be at soccer, netball, parties and sleep-over drop-offs, for the next 6 years (aaaagh).

Let’s all get together for a massive, rowdy break-the-ice piss-up!!! Who’s in lads? The Greengate, March 17th. 7:00ish.

The next day, PC send me back a reply.

I’m sorry Mr Gram. Do you think you could possibly, tone the email down just a little bit? Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.

 

I assumed the picture was the problem, so I sent back a less suggestive Bitmoji.

Penny please just call me Jase. I’m no “Mr Gram”. How’s this one?

PC replied.

I’m sorry Jase, do you think you could possibly, tone the email down just a little bit further? Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.

 

So I amended it to look more like a dad celebration-of-Hornswood-life, than a piss-up.

PC then replied, in an exceedingly timely manner. I think she was starting to get a little concerned.

I’m sorry again Jase. The school does not want to be encouraging excessive beer drinking in any of their communications. Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.

 

So keep in mind I really wanted this thing to happen and I didn’t want to appear like an absolute yobbo to my daughter’s new school. I sent a Bitmoji which had no amber fluid.

I know what you’re saying Penny. How’s this one?

PC replied.

No Jase, could you do one that’s a little bit more representative of us at Hornswood Ladies College? Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.

 

That one was easy.

Penny I’m pretty keen to make it look like fun so we’ll get plenty of dads actually turn up. How’s this?

PC got back to me.

Yes Jase, I have spoken to a few people in the office and we’re still not comfortable sending that out from the school. Could you do one a little more in fitting with the school’s standards. Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.

Easy.

Sorted Penny.

PC replied. I think she was getting a little frustrated. As I was.

Jase, could you do one without alcohol mentioned or implied? And how about any single-mothers who may wish to attend? We cannot exclude any parents. Kindest regards

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.

 

Single mothers? Did PC completely misunderstand what I was trying to arrange??

Penny, single mothers aren’t actually invited. This is for dads only.

Jase.

 

I got the distinct impression my email was not going to be sent out at all and that my file had been stamped “Dodgy Dad”. So I sent this…

How do you do, fathers of Year 7 students?

I have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of some of you, however we are more than likely going to be briefly meeting at dance recitals, football games, netball frolics, hockey adventures, parties and sleep-over drop-offs for the next 6 years.

I suggest we all gather together for a tea-drinking session, so we may get to know each other. Who is interested in attending? The Greengate Hotel, March 17th. Shall we say, 7:00? The first tea’s on me!

She replied.

Mr Gram the school will take the entire idea under advisement. Regards.

Penelope Correct – Hornswood Ladies College.

 

I had reverted to “Mr Gram” and her “kind regards” had lost their warmth and had been diminished to just “regards”.

After not hearing from her for about a month, I sent her one last Bitmoji, with no words.

That was five years ago, I’m still waiting.

Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. If you could Share far and wide via the buttons below, that would be amazing. I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art, of blogging. And check out my new craft beer business I set up with a few North Shore dads (www.gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

LINESMAN FOR DAUGHTER’S SOCCER – Plunged into hell

Due to a debilitating hang-over, Andy a Hornswood mate of mine made the fatal mistake of turning up to his daughter’s Under-15 soccer final just moments before the early-morning kickoff. So all the other dads of course, volunteered him to do the dreaded linesman duty.

Andy had run-the-line for his daughter’s Hornswood Soccer games many times and it wouldn’t normally bother him. However he’d been out on the piss with the lads and his head hurt like a hammer-hit thumb. But what choice did he have? The bastards had stitched him up royally.

It all went surprisingly well, despite Andy being constantly on the vomit-precipice he relaxed and started to enjoy the actually game. It was a thrilling 2-2 score-line with mere moments left and his daughter was having the game of her life as striker. They were playing a serious grudge match against a team that neither the parents nor the girls liked as they always took games too seriously and cheered obnoxiously (we don’t like that in Hornswood).

In the closing seconds of the match, one of the Hornswood backs made a desperation kick from well in their half. The ball flew all the way up to Andy’s daughter and she slammed home the winning goal!

Andy erupted into proud-father cheers.

The problem was, because she wasn’t actually expecting the ball at that moment his daughter was a MILE offside. So much so, that players on both sides had slowed their sprinting to prepare for the penalty.

With a hangover-exploding head, perched upon the vom-ipice and alcohol still coursing through his veins, Andy was in no condition to sprint. He was way down the line and actually missed his daughter’s offside completely. In fact, in his excitement he actually forgot it was even his job to call it. He had his flag tucked snuggly under his armpit while he applauded the winning goal.

The ref (who looked to be about thirteen) – “Was that goal good mister?”

Andy – “GOOD?? IT WAS FREAKEN GREAT!!” Andy punched the sky and the flag fell out of his armpit.

So, much to the surprise of his daughter’s team, their opposition and the opposition’s highly-animated supporters (and even the Hornswood parents), the ref paid the goal. Then he blew full-time. Hornswood had “won”.

Andy ran to the goal square, high-fived and hugged his daughter excitedly.

Then with a newfound spring Andy set off across the field to celebrate with the rest of the Hornswood parents. Walking past the gaggle of heart-broken opposition girls from whom he had unwittingly burgled the match, he heard comments thrown his way. Some irate, some teary.

“WHAT A CHEATER. THAT AWFUL GIRL WAS A MILE OFFSIDE.”

“I WONDER WHICH ONE IS HIS DAUGHTER.”

“HORNSWOOD ARE SUCH DIRTY CHEATERS.”

“SHE’S A COW.”

“HE’S A FAT OLD CHEAT.”

Thinking that was a bit rough and it wasn’t his fault his daughter had single-handedly beaten their old nemesis, he then walked past a large group of opposition dads, out of earshot of all the girls.

“YOU’VE GOTTA BE FUCKIN’ JOKIN’ MATE! YOU HAVE A FUCKIN’ BET ON OR SOMETHIN’?”

“DID YA HAVE YOUR FLAG UP YOUR ARSE PAL?”

“YOU DODGY? OR YOU JUST SHIT, MAN-BOOBS?”

“KNOW THE FUCKING CONCEPT OF OFFSIDE DUDE?”

Despite the hangover fog in his brain, Andy finally realised his error. And as a predominantly honourable man, he was mortified.

He decided he and his daughter should skip the team celebrations – of their hollow and undeserved victory, and just leave. Quickly.

As he was getting into his car, a slightly scary little old lady appeared. He smiled and Andy hoped he wasn’t about to cop some more abuse or plummet headlong off the vom-ipice, right in front of her.

Little old lady (yelling in a thick Middle-Eastern accent) – “YOU ROB MY GRAN’DAUGHTER HER FOO’BALL!!” Andy just stood there. “YOU NO GOOD MAN. YOU LIE WIZ ZHE GOATS.”

One of the angry opposition dads (yelling from the sideline to the little old lady) – “JUST LEAVE HIM MAMA. HE’S JUST A DIRTY CHEAT.”

She waved her hands, witchingly, right in his face. Freaked out, all Andy could do was close his door and drive away.

In his rear vision mirror, he could still see her gesticulating, spitting on the ground and yelling.

YOU LIE WIZ ZHE GOATS.”

Anyway, the next day Andy and Samantha, were with my lovely wife and I in a fancy-ish restaurant in Hornswood having a great night. An hour earlier he’d finished recounting the story of how he unwittingly gave his daughter’s team an exceedingly hollow, finals victory and an elderly lady had loudly accused him of goat… relations.

I reacted as you’d expect.

Feeling a… presence on his shoulder, Andy turned and there standing next to him was the old lady! Andy froze. He felt as though his heart had stopped beating. He knew what was coming. In reflex, he threw back the final mouthful of Verve in the bottom of his glass. There was more in there than he anticipated, his eyes watered and he coughed.

Little old Middle-Eastern lady – “YOU REMEMBER ME MISTER. YOU ROB MY GRAN’DAUGHTER.”

Andy just nodded, scared. Really scared. Nobody in Hornswood makes a scene in a restaurant, it’s unseemly! He looked to me for support, I did my best to suppress laughter.

But much to his relief, this time she appeared calmer and seemingly had gotten over her bitter disappointment, somewhat.

Little old Middle-Eastern lady – “ISS OK.”

She smiled, turned and left.

Andy much relieved, commenced breathing once again. Sweating but smiling, he started to explain that she was THE little old lady so we’d understand why he was so obviously terrified.

Our laughter, let him know that we had already worked it out.

Then Samantha noticed a piece of paper on his bread plate, folded many times, into a thick little rectangle.

Andy opened it up carefully (see below) –

 

Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. If you could Share far and wide via the buttons below, that would be amazing. I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art, of blogging. And check out my new craft beer business I set up with a few North Shore dads (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers

 

SHE DIDN’T LIKE ME, THAT LAWYER.

I sipped my Hemingway Daiquiri (who knew there was such a thing).

Carolyn the lawyer was undecided between getting the absolute shits with me, or laughing. Confident they should all be similarly offended, her four-man entourage of sycophantic junior lawyers become a little agitated.

Me (with a smile and joking tone) – “All I’m saying is, I’ve been standing here for twenty minutes meeting you all for the first time and all you’ve talked about is how rich you are, the fancy cars you drive and the amazing places you holiday! I’m not rich, due in the main to my meagre income, I drive a six-year-old Mazda CX9 (with fancy power windows and a reversing camera) which cannot compare to your Tesla,” I motioned to sycophant 1.

Me – “Our last holiday was Byron Bay, which pales in comparison to your Maldives battery-recharge,” motioning to sycophant 2.

I can generally hide any social-frustration.

Lawyer Carolyn (who decided she now had the absolute shits with me) – “Why don’t you walk away and find some Mazda friends then?”

Me (still with a smile) – “Good idea.”

So, I wondered over to my wife who was talking to the host of the elegant affair, Shane.

Me – “Some lawyers asked me to walk away.”

My lovely wife – “What?? We’ve only been here half an hour!”

Turns out tall, attractive lawyer Carolyn was the head of one of the biggest law firms in the known universe.

We were at a cocktail party in Shane’s magnificent house on the water with twenty others. Hanging with the rich and powerful. Sophisticated waiters buzzed amongst us with fancy cocktails, bubbly and truly amazing food. Shane’s a BIG-TIME lawyer, so the event was highly lawyer-permeated. Lots of very clever people everywhere, but I was feeling pretty cluey because it was so stinking hot on the verandah in the mid-Summer afternoon, that everybody had to put on sunscreen, and I was the only one not wearing a suit!

About two hours later it started to rain on and off, so nearly everybody moved inside. I was full of champagne, Hemingway Daiquiri’s and beer and thought it would be a good time to rejoin the lawyers to smooth things over, as I’d discovered Carolyn was actually Shane’s boss. I was going to bury the old hatchet.

Me – “Sorry about earlier everybody.” I put up my hands in a vulnerable symbol of apology. “I’d had an argument with the wife who didn’t want me bludging a ciggie off those lads out on the verandah. I know, I know, cigs are moronic, but I am guilty of bumming the odd one when I’m on the piss.”

The four sycophants and Carolyn were still standing in exactly the same positions as when I left them two hours previously. I quietly wondered with a chuckle if the warden allowed them toilet breaks.

Me – “You’re all still standing in exactly the same positions as when I left two hours ago… Does the warden allow you toilet breaks?” Damn.

Lawyer Carolyn – “What exactly do you do?? Apart from dressing inappropriately!?”

Me (with a smile) – “I’m a writer!”

I AM A WRITER!

Just at that moment my wife walked past and without stopping says to the gaggle of lawyers – “Actually, he’s NOT a writer”. I had to then admit, that I’m well on my way to becoming, a writer.

Me – “So what are you guys talking about?”

Sycophant 3 – “The actress Madeleine Stowe and her legal team actually.”

This was a great topic, on which I could talk without upsetting any of them. Madeleine Stowe has always been in my top ten most attractive women of all time.

Me – “Ah mate, Madeleine is in my top ten of all time.”

They all stood, silent. Lawyer Carolyn looked like I had just spilled a beer on her Gucci handbag.

Sycophant 4 stared at me with a perplexed look. It was pretty obvious why.

Me – “Not now obviously, but in her day. Madeleine, along with Kate Beckinsale, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Maria Conchita Alonso (especially in Extreme Prejudice), Olivia Wilde, Megan Fox (pre-facelift), Salma Hayek, Liv Tyler, J.Lo of course and Eva Longoria.” Luckily I had this discussion the day before with the lads, so I could rattle my top-10 off.

Lawyer Carolyn – “That’s sexist! You’ve demeaned all of those women.” She had real venom in her voice.

Me – “Huh? I’ve demeaned Madeleine Stowe and J.Lo?? Oooh, I wonder if they’ll be ok.”

Lawyer Carolyn – “Well what if I was to demean you by calling you a fortuneless, boorish, overweight, sexist, Neanderthal in front of all these highly successful lawyers? What then?” Sycophants 2 and 4 chuckled.

Me – “Overweight?”

That was it for me. Too much.

Me (loudly to everybody at the party) – “EVERYBODY, I’VE JUST BEEN CALLED FAT BY LAWYER CAROLYN, SO I’M NOW GOING ONTO THE VERANDAH TO BLUDGE A CIGGIE.”

My wife, who was over the other side of the party, starts yelling at me and gesticulating wildly. Now she’s not a party-yeller, I am, but she’s not, so this was out of character for her. I couldn’t make out her hollering over the music and chatter, but guaranteed it was along the lines of DON’T YOU DARE GO OUT THERE AND HAVE A CIGGIE.

I had to get away from all those who were all trying to publicly emasculate me.

I turned, ignoring everybody, including my wife who was still waving and shouting. I power-walked fast, purposefully. Manfully.

I was a bit annoyed.

And BOOM – I slammed straight into the ten-foot glass verandah door that somebody had slid shut behind me.

I’m 112kg, so when I manfully walk into something, it bangs. LOUDLY. The massive doors shook and there was a communal oooooh sound from the crowd. I dropped to the ground, stunned like I’d been hit by a mallet, leaving a perfect impression of my face, sunscreen-printed on the glass door.

Lawyer Carolyn stepped over me and quietly slid the door open with a smile.

My wife came casually sauntering over, she’s unfortunately used to incidents like these. She left me prostrate on the floor and said to Lawyer Carolyn, I was yelling at him not to walk into the glass.

In my dazed state, all I could think to say to my wife in my defence was – Carolyn started it”.

Shortly thereafter, as we were leaving, Shane stopped to wipe off the perfect sunscreen-impression of my face that had been left on the glass.

Me – “It’s like the Shroud of Turin.” I had recovered my dignity.

Shane – “If Jesus was fat.”

Thanks for reading. I write blogs, oftentimes simply to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. At other times, to allow businesses and businesspeople to get their message across.

If you could Share via the buttons below, that would be amazing. Pleeeease do. I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art that is – Blogging.

Cheers. Jase. 

I TOOK DOWN THE SCHOOL BULLY IN 1979

Living in Lindfield, I worry too many people in Hornswood (being the mystical little suburbs snuggled between the bookends of Hornsby and Chatswood) work too hard and don’t have enough… fun.

So just sit back and read this story about my childhood.

All fights at my Northern beaches primary school took place at the “Village Green”. This cliché-named grassy area was surrounded by bush, only a few hundred metres from school and was far from prying teacher and parent eyes.

I was eleven, walking there in a daze with my best mate Pikey and essentially the rest of the school, who all knew to form a big circle.

Biff Gutman (not his real name) was enormous! With shoulders like the Six-Million-Dollar-Man Sasquatch, he took his position as ruthless school bully, very seriously and used to smash guys any chance he got.

And I was fighting him.

And I was terrified.

Earlier that day, Gutman had me in a headlock. My ears burned, neck was stretched painfully and my back screamed. He randomly grabbed any kid in the school he wished (except for Pikey) and this was just my turn.

Pikey was… an animal in a fight! Far from a bully, he was lean and wiry and was the toughest kid in the neighbourhood. I’d seen him ferociously fight three blokes our age once, when they tried to steal our chocolate Paddle Pops, and trade punches with two kids simultaneously from the year above!

Nobody messed with Pikey. While most school fights were mainly wrestling, Pikey was a hitter.

Anyway, Biff was parading me and stopped in front of Melanie Cutest (fake name) the hottest girl in the school and her entourage of good sorts. I had no choice but to lip off, knowing it’d mean Biff would probably keep me headlocked.

Me – “HEY GUTMAN,” making sure I had Melanie’s attention. “YOU STINK LIKE A WET HESSIAN BAG STUFFED WITH FEET JENKINS.”

Paully Jenkins smelled so badly we used to call him “Feet”.

“Feet” Jenkins (standing nearby) – “WHAT?”

Then there was silence.

Nobody ever made fun of Biff Gutman. Nobody. Slowly the girls started to chuckle and before long everybody was laughing at him.

Surprisingly, he let me go. I stood. His massive head was KFC-box red and was en route to exploding.

Biff – “VILLAGE GREEN, AFTER SCHOOL. AAAAARRRGGGHHH.”

I think my heart actually stopped. Everybody cheered. Oh f#ck.

I knew true terror.

I’d seen Biff punch guys in the face until they collapsed and then kick them. He was a brute. Twice my weight, loved hurting and I’d never seen him so enraged! I was going to die that afternoon. A disappointing turn of events.

Feet Jenkins (later on) –“Jaaaase. You’ve got a chance against Biff.”

Me – “Really, Feet?” I looked at him hopefully.

Feet Jenkins – “As much chance as my feet smelling like Pine-O-Clean.”

He laughed and walked off.

I had no choice but to show up. Biff stood in the circle rolling his Sasquatch shoulders and throwing practice Jase-smashing punches. I was skinny (then, now… not so much), I had no chance.

As we approached the already established circle, Pikey was giving me tips about hit first, hit fast but I just couldn’t follow. My mind was a rolling fog of impending death.

Feet Jenkins  – “THE LEMON-LIME PINE-O-CLEAN JASE. THE GOOD STUFF!”

He laughed again.

Pikey – “Jase… you gonna get killed. Gutman’s, Bionic-Man strong.”

Great. My fighting expert gave me no chance.

I couldn’t really hear him or anything else over the din and my fear, anyway. I was near tears and it was all I could do to stop my legs running like Steve Austin.

Pikey – “Want me to take him?”

I heard that!!

Me – “Huh?”

Pikey – “Biff’s been hurtin’ kids for years.”

Me – “Huh?”

On the Northern beaches, you didn’t let anybody else fight for you. It’d make you a coward. A weakling. A chicken. You certainly wouldn’t be able to claim in any way, to be like the Six Million Dollar Man! No Jamie Sommers for you.

But… f#ck that. This was BIFF GUTMAN! My pride would heal a lot faster than a broken face.

Me – “Well (unsure of the etiquette)… would… would that be ok?”

Pikey – “No worries. Hold me bag and me footy cards. There’s pretty much the whole school here so after, we can do some tradin’.” Swapping of Rugby League cards was banned in school ever since Biff had bashed poor Johnny Tinsdale who would not swap his Max Krillich and Graham Eadie cards, for a Terry Randall .

My mood improved markedly.

Biff (holding up his hands in a pre-emptive victory salute) – “GET IN HERE NOW JASE. I’M GONNA SMASH YA F#CKIN’ FACE.” He laughed at his rhyme.

Me (feeling quite chipper) – “Biff! Here’s Pikey… in my stead.” Now that I wasn’t fighting I was using fancy words.

Biff’s face drained of colour. The throng cheered excitedly. They were expecting to see me get beaten senseless, now they were going to see the fight of the century.

Biff immediately resisted and called strongly for the court of public opinion to sway the overwhelming advantage back his way.

Biff – “You, you can’t do that. It’s not… not allowed.”

Pikey – “It’s allowed. You’re not a chicken are you Biffy.”

I won’t go into the violent details. However, they fought, Pike won, Pike won easily. Biff was humbled by about a eight tremendous punches to the face. A popular victory, with everybody present.

Bullying-Biff was lying on his stomach, hands protecting the back of his head, face in the grass, crying with Pike sitting on his back.

Me (leaning over him) – “HAD ENOUGH BIFF?”

Biff (muffled by the grass) – “Yea.”

Me – “EVER GOIN’ TO BULLY AGAIN BIFF?”

Biff – “Na.”

The crowd erupted, cheered, whistled and hugged. All their lives had changed forever.

Me – “Great work Pikey.” We high-fived and I handed back his bag, Bionic Man thermos and footy cards. “NOW WE RULE THE SCHOOL.”

Anybody ELSE messing with me and Pikey?

Pikey – “Nah Jase. Now nobody rules the school.”

Me – “Oh… ok.”

And that, was how I took down the school bully in 1979!

Still to this day I can’t believe we stood up to Biff Gutman… and I won!

 

Thanks for reading. I write blogs. Oftentimes simply to enable me to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. At other times, to allow businesses and businesspeople to get their message across.

If you could Share via the buttons below, follow me on Facebook, that would be wonderful. Cheers. Jase. 

AN AMERICAN BOY, DISCOVERING AUSTRALIA

Would you be impressed if I told you I’m successful enough to have recruited a celebrity guest blogger?

Well sorry, all I have is a mate of mine, who goes by the poker call-sign Hammer. He’s certainly no “celebrity”. The term “guest” implies he’s… welcome to come over. And he’s absolutely not a “blogger” by any means.

Living in Lindfield, I worry too many people in Hornswood (being the mystical little suburbs snuggled between the bookends of Hornsby and Chatswood) work too hard and don’t have enough… fun.

So, Hammer is an American now living in Hornswood and he told me what I thought was a very funny story, so I asked him to write it. Here is the result:

 

AN AMERICAN BOY, DISCOVERING AUSTRALIA (guest blog by Hammer)

A number of years ago our family ventured a long move overseas to Australia. As part of our newfound excitement we took to experiencing as much of the local landscape as possible. Travel, food, social culture and much more. During the first year, the youngest of our children embraced many local sports and activities.

He’d always been very quizzical, wanting to learn new things and full of questions. We have always considered him a bit of a Renaissance kid, happy to try just about any activity or new experience. However, when I say he has always been full of questions, this child averages hundreds a day. Every day. Still to this day.

Being from America, there was certainly a learning curve for the young lad and his various undertakings. Learning about rips and ocean safety during Nippers and surfing lessons. The fact that baseball falls a far distant second to cricket in Australia.

Not a baseball bat in sight.

Despite the tribulations, he persisted in his education and most importantly had fun playing with his new friends.

One evening, my wife and I were enjoying a glass of wine after dinner, still at the table. The meal was over, and kids had headed off to homework and other activities. Into the kitchen walks our youngest with his typical youthful exuberance and stands across from the two of us announcing that he had a question to ask.

Thinking nothing out of the ordinary, I respond to the miniature version of my wife and myself, “What can we do for you?”

To the absolute surprise of both me and my wife, the youngster says, “I have been checking out what sort of stuff you can do in Sydney. I do have a question. What is a hooker?”

We have always been open in our household about subjects regarding the human body, relationships and educating oneself about anatomy and other possibly socially sensitive topics. In reality, these typically just fall into the category of ‘we are all just human’. Teaching our children about what their bodies will experience, and that sex is natural (but should be done lovingly and responsibly), has been part of our approach to child rearing.

After a painfully long silence in which our child took turns alternating glances between the two of us, I finally conceded to his mother that she is likely best to address this shocking question. “Why don’t you handle this one, babe?”

As my wife took control of the situation, I was amazed by her ability to explain the ‘world’s oldest profession’ to the child, in terms that would make sense to a young mind, while at the same time shielding the child from some of the harsher realities of prostitution. She navigated the conversation with an expertise that only a woman speaking to her own offspring, could handle. I was amazed at how well my life partner was able to manage the situation into which we were suddenly thrust.

I decided at this point to offer my encouragement, “Do go on, dear.”

After her explanation, the boy was apparently full of many, many more questions than before he started his quest for an answer. He pondered the new information quietly to himself, but was not satisfied that he was wiser from the moments preceding his entrance. He wanted answers and was not getting the correct ones.

He turned to me, his father, his mentor in life for guidance and stated to me questioningly, “I don’t understand?”

Being the source of all knowledge to a young boy, his father can always provide. A man of many years’ experience surely has the information needed and can put it in a relatable way that will keep his trust for a lifetime. An oracle to a knowledge seeker.

I looked the boy in the eye an explained, “In the scrum, the player in the centre who rakes the ball back with his foot.”

He looked at his father knowingly, “Thanks, Dad!”

As he left the room, off to learn more about his new favourite sport, I felt a burning emanating from the other side of the table. The staring glare of both confusion and disappointment from my wife was remarkable. To clarify her suspicions, she needed to ask, “Did you understand his question from the beginning?”

As a proud father, I let her know that my connection with the boy was strong, “Absolutely.”

She responded, “And you just allowed me to explain this topic knowing what he was really asking?”

Proudly, I replied, “Without question.”

 

Thanks for reading. I write blogs. Oftentimes simply to enable me to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. At other times, to allow businesses and businesspeople to get their message across.

If you could Share via the buttons below, follow me on Facebook, that would be wonderful. Cheers. Jase. 

ANOTHER INCIDENT WITH A LAWYER

Living in Lindfield, I worry too many people in Hornswood (being the mystical little suburbs snuggled between the bookends of Hornsby and Chatswood) work too hard and don’t have enough… fun.

So, here’s what happened to me. Last Friday we needed a lawyer to look at a simple contract, and by the time we were going home, my lovely wife was irate at me!

Right from the start I knew the lawyer was not my sort of bloke. He kept us waiting twenty minutes, despite not having anybody with him.

When he eventually could be bothered seeing us, he was an absolute dick! Three piece suit, massive red wooden desk, kept talking over the top of my wife (so he at least was brave) and seemed to frown at my chewing gum. To rub salt into the wound, he refused to give us even a ball-park fee quote. He thought he was a fancy Pitt St lawyer, not a suburban Hornswood one.

A real dick. A dick-lawyer.

But in his defence, he did have a glass bowl of Werther’s Originals on his desk. The Charles Bronson of lollies.

Anyway, dick-lawyer’s PA made me a mug of tea and it came without a saucer, so I had a chewing-gum issue. I helped myself to one of his post-it notes and plonked the pink gum down onto it, on his desk.

Dick-lawyer stared down at it. Looked up at me. I looked at him. Then he looked down at the chewy. Then he looked back to me. I looked back to him. Then he looked to my wife. Then back down to the chewy. I looked at my tea, was distracted by the thought that it looked way too strong, but no worries.

My wife wondered what was awry, because dick-lawyer had stopped talking enough for her to actually get a few words in. She followed his line of sight.

My wife – “Oh my God.”

Having been together for many blissful decades, she’s rarely surprised by things I do. But this one seemed to take her aback. She rummaged around in her handbag, found a tissue and snatched up the chewy.

Dick-lawyer (ignoring me and talking to my wife) – “Would you like me to get somebody to take that away?” He picked up the post-it pad and put it in his drawer.

Me (to them both) – “I was going to continue chewing after my tea. I wasn’t going to leave it there. I’m not an animal.”

After sitting there for half an hour hearing him prattle on and not listen to my Chartered Accountant wife at all, we had to leave the document with him. He would peruse it when he had less pressing matters and then His Magnificence would give us some idea as to what he would charge.

Over lunch I texted his PA and said tell dick-lawyer (not using that exact moniker) not to bother, we wouldn’t be giving the job to him.

She texted back – Mr Large Toss (not dick-lawyer’s real name) is quite surprised, as he gave you thirty minutes of his time, and he’s a very busy man.

I replied – I could tell he’s busy by the way he kept us waiting twenty minutes and has no time to give us a ball-park fee expectation.

After lunch, I went back to dick-lawyer’s office to get the document. Due to an earlier chewing gum… incident, my wife refused to go in and waited out the front.

To show there’s no hard feelings, I stuck my head into dick-lawyer’s office to give him the traditional “thumbs-up of thanks”. He was on a conference call at his desk, saw, but didn’t acknowledge me in any way. Dick-lawyer looked like he’d been tucking into the Werthers Originals, with the bowl moved in front of him in his fancy red chair.

Acknowledging I probably had no right to grab one, I did an over-exaggerated, comical tip-toe into his office, so as not to disturb him. I can be considerate.

I mouthed “cheers” as I leaned over his desk and dipped my hand into the bowl and pulled out a golden-wrapped Werthers. Beautiful.

I’d got away with it.

He gesticulated his hands with a “WHAT THE HELL” movement, but due to the conference call, he couldn’t say anything.

Now you must understand, it is extremely difficult for a man of my nature to grab just one, Werthers Original. It was like I could hear them calling to me, come back sweet prince, take another of us. Dick-lawyer was having none of that. He covered the top of the bowl with his hands.

Realising I’d been blocked, I pretended I was actually coming in to grab the post-its that had been placed again, on the desk. Like a moth to a flame, dick-lawyer moved one hand to protect the post-its, leaving the bowl foolishly half defenseless. I swooped in and like taking candy from a proverbial baby, plucked up another Werthers Original.

Dick-lawyer, had been taught a hard lesson.

A while later, outside:

Wife – “You sucking a lollie?”

Dammit.

Me – “Huh?”

Wife – “Is that a Werthers?”

Me – “Huh?” Cleverly trying to throw her off.

Wife – “Is… that… a… Werthers?”

Me (with a look of contrition) – “Yeah… dick-lawyer said I could.”

Wife – “You honestly took one? After us deciding not to use him? After putting gum on his desk?”

Me – “Yep.”

We walked a few metres.

Me – “Just one.”

 

Thanks for reading. I write blogs. Oftentimes simply to enable me to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer. At other times, to allow businesses and businesspeople to get their message across.

If you could Share via the buttons below, follow me on Facebook, that would be wonderful. Cheers. Jase.

 

UNDERSTANDING MEN’S ROOM ETIQUETTE

I know for my readers that are mums, this topic may seem unimportant or even unsavory. However for men, men’s room etiquette is essential for social wellbeing and this blog should be passed on to your sons (and some husbands too). And in turn onto their sons, and onto their sons…

 

THINGS I WISH SOMEBODY HAD TOLD ME AT TWENTY: PART V

 

UNDERSTANDING MEN’S ROOM ETIQUETTE

If you haven’t read my previous blog about this series, you definitely should do so before reading this one. It will make a lot more sense:

(https://writehandman.com.au/2018/05/17/things-i-wish-somebody-had-told-me-at-twenty-jase-gram-hornswoodexpress-com-au/)

But basically, single mum Sandy asked me to teach her socially awkward, twenty-year-old son Rick, some “how to be a man” stuff. Some of the essential life lessons, that her son would eventually learn as a bloke over the years anyway, but are much easier if I just tell him.

I agreed to use the majestic, noble art of blogging to cover things that he may struggle to find written elsewhere.

I’ve never actually met Rick, but if we did have a chat:

 

 

Thanks for reading. I’ve put my heart and soul down in words, for you. Like a noble, armour-clad knight astride a powerful war-steed, in dogged pursuit of my elusive dream of being able to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer.

If you could Share via the buttons below, that would be wonderful. Cheers. Jase. 

 

DON’T FOLLOW PROFESSIONAL SOCCER WHEN YOU’RE 20

At an absolutely elite, professional level (only), I find soccer… an abomination!

Nothing (except possibly watching my son play Colts Rugby) gives me more enjoyment on a weekly basis, than watching my daughter play club soccer. It’s a brilliant game at a social level and is wonderful for fitness, team spirit and personal accomplishment.

THINGS I WISH SOMEBODY HAD TOLD ME AT TWENTY: PART IV

DON’T FOLLOW ELITE SOCCER

If you haven’t read my previous blog about “dealing poker when you’re 20”, you should do so before reading this one. It’ll make a lot more sense (https://writehandman.com.au/2018/05/17/things-i-wish-somebody-had-told-me-at-twenty-jase-gram-hornswoodexpress-com-au/)

Basically, single mum Sandy asked me to help bring her twenty-year-old son Rick up to speed, on some “how to be a man” lessons. I agreed to use the noble art of blogging to cover things that he may struggle to find written elsewhere.

I have never met Rick, but if we did have a chat:

soccer1

soccer2

Thanks for reading. I’ve put my heart and soul down in words, for you. Like a noble, armour-clad knight astride a powerful war-steed, in dogged pursuit of my elusive dream of being able to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer.

If you could Share via the buttons below, that would be wonderful. Cheers. Jase.

MANAGING “THE VAULT” WHEN YOU’RE 20

Most of us men instinctively bottle our emotions, so we need to be able to occasionally bare our soul to other blokes, ask that it be put in the “Vault” and know it will be taken to the grave. Talking in confidence to a mate, is integral to our mental health.

THINGS I WISH SOMEBODY HAD TOLD ME AT TWENTY: PART III

THE “VAULT”

If you haven’t read my previous blogs in this series about “managing the beer shout when you’re 20” and “dealing poker when you’re 20”, you should, it’ll make a lot more sense.

First read Part I – https://writehandman.com.au/2018/05/17/things-i-wish-somebody-had-told-me-at-twenty-jase-gram-hornswoodexpress-com-au/,

Then, Part II https://writehandman.com.au/2018/05/22/things-i-wish-somebody-had-told-me-at-twenty-part-ii/)

Basically, single mum Sandy, asked me to help her twenty-year-old son Rick, become less socially awkward. I agreed to use the noble art of blogging to cover things that he may struggle to find written elsewhere.

I’ve never met Rick, but if we did have a chat:

Vault.v2

Thanks for reading. I’ve put my heart and soul down in words, for you. Like a noble, armour-clad knight astride a powerful war-steed, in dogged pursuit of my elusive dream of being able to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer.

If you could Share via the buttons below, that would be wonderful. Cheers. Jase. 

 

MANAGING “THE BEER SHOUT” WHEN YOU’RE 20

While drinking with your mates at bars, The Beer Shout comes with inalienable rights and obligations.

THINGS I WISH SOMEBODY HAD TOLD ME AT TWENTY: PART II

MANAGING THE BEER SHOUT

If you haven’t read my previous blog about “dealing poker when you’re 20”, you should do so before reading this one. It’ll make a lot more sense (https://writehandman.com.au/2018/05/17/things-i-wish-somebody-had-told-me-at-twenty-jase-gram-hornswoodexpress-com-au/)

Basically, single mum Sandy, asked me to help her twenty-year-old son Rick, become less socially awkward. I agreed to use the noble art of blogging to cover things that he may struggle to find written elsewhere.

If we did have a chat:

Rick – “Getting the first shout upon arrival Cool Hand (my self-ascribed poker call-sign), you’ll probably be buying less beers right? Because not everybody is there yet?”

Me – “Clever, however if any blokes arrive within ten minutes of your shout, you are obligated to offer them a beer, thereby having to go to the bar twice.”

Rick (with a cocky smile) – “Not eleven minutes?”

Me – “Ten. You want to hear the rules or not?”

Rick – “Yes, sorry. If there have already been a few jugs bought, am I obligated to get the same type again?”

Me – “Nope. Your jug, your choice.”

Rick – “Can I ask for help carrying the drinks?”

Me – “You are entitled to a beer-helper, only if there are five or more glasses.”

Rick – “Is it better to quietly shout when it’s your turn?”

Me – “Absolutely not! When it’s your turn you loudly announce to the table – MY SHOUT LADS. And when you return you are Jesus, turning water into…beer. Make sure everybody knows about it!”

 

Me – “And try making the shout jugs, not individual beers. It’s a hell of a lot easier to carry 1-2 jugs than 3-6 schooners. And if anybody is a little more or less thirsty, they can fill their glass as full as they wish.”

Rick – “What if people argue when it’s their shout Cool Hand?”

Me – “Every time you’re asking a bloke to put his hand in his pocket to provide you with beer, there’s going to be a momentary push-back – IT’S YOUR F#CKING SHOUT MACCA, will automatically be responded by something akin to – NO F#CKING WAY, I GOT THE SECOND LAST ONE. The person you’re calling out, always has a right to defend himself initially, then you work out whose turn it actually is. It’s very structured.”

Rick – “What if people try to avoid their shout?”

Me – “Rick, an under-shouter is the lowest form of life in an Aussie bar setting. “Whisperers” (because they under-shout) are like an All-Blacks fan, a soccer injury-feigner and a Steve Irwin-hater, rolled into one. You have the right to lambast with lines like – MACCA WOULDN’T SHOUT IF A SHARK BIT HIM.”

Rick – “Does every group have a Whisperer?”

Me – “Unfortunately they do in “Hornswood” just like everywhere else Rick. So don’t be naïve. Watch them like Delta Goodrem watches a muscular, young male contestant on The Voice. They will tend to be the same Whisperers, so you’ll know who to hawk.”

Rick – “Do over-shouters exist Cool Hand?”

Me – “Despite their best intentions, a “Bellower” (over-shouter) causes nearly as much chaos as a Whisperer. If some brief discussion is going on as to whose turn it is and a “Bellower” says “I’ll go”, it screws up the order completely and lets the Whisperer temporarily out of his shout.”

Rick – “What if I want to stop drinking?”

Me – “It’d just be dumb to ever drink more than you feel comfortable with Rick. Really dumb. You can stop after your shout.”

Rick – “What if somebody is drinking faster than everybody else?”

Me – “They get themselves a “wedgie”, a personal in-between-shout. This has no impact on the rights and obligations of the regular shout however.”

Rick – “What if everybody else is ready for another and I’m still drinking?”

Me – “As irresponsible as it sounds, if you are in the shout, you have to roughly keep pace, or drop out.”

Rick – “Cool Hand what if somebody asks for a bourbon and coke?”

Me – “Despite many shouters getting annoyed at this, bottom-shelf spirits are roughly the same price as beers, so let it pass. However, you are entitled to complain about the extra effort – OH FOR F#CKS SAKE MACCA. WHAT AM I YOUR F#CKING SERVING BOY?”

With all due respect to actual serving boys.

Rick – “What about offering waters with my shout?”

Me – “Very responsible, but unfortunately likely to be met with derision. When you are shouting, just scull two glasses of water yourself while you’re at the bar. If somebody throws in – CAN I HAVE A WATER ALSO? You reply – OH FOR F#CKS SAKE MACCA. WHAT AM I YOUR F#CKING SERVING BOY?”

Rick – “What if somebody is drinking softies?”

Me – “Coke Zero comes cheap, but not free. However, softies are excluded from the shouting process. So if your mate asks for one, you are obligated to get him one and he doesn’t have to shout-partake. But you are permitted to get up him in lieu of a drink – F#CKING HELL MACCA! GET IN THE F#CKING SHOUT OR GET OUT OF IT.”

Rick – “Thanks Cool Hand. You’re generously explaining things that could take years to learn myself, if at all.”

Me – “Don’t mention it mate. Just being a good man is thanks enough. Look after your family and remember… shout responsibly.”

 

Thanks for reading. I’ve put my heart and soul down in words, for you. Like a noble, armour-clad knight astride a powerful war-steed, in dogged pursuit of my elusive dream of being able to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer.

If you could Share via the buttons below, that would be wonderful. Cheers. Jase. 

DEALING CARDS WHEN YOU’RE 20

For a little while my blogging may have a different theme. Meaning, for a little while my blogging may actually have a theme.

THINGS I WISH SOMEBODY HAD TOLD ME AT TWENTY: PART I

DEALING POKER (AND MOST CARD GAMES)

An old friend at the Rugby, introduced me to her neighbour Sandy from Hornswood (being the mystical little suburbs between Hornsby and Chatswood).

In quite a moving way, Sandy proceeded to explain to me that her husband walked out 13 years ago and left her to raise her seven-year-old son and two slightly older daughters. I was wondering why she was sideline-baring her soul to me and was a tad nervous she was a bit of a nutter (which it turned out she wasn’t). Luckily she got me at half-time, so she had my full attention.

She told me her son Rick is smart, caring and gentle and she’s incredibly proud of him, but having grown up with three women, he’s socially… (she was looking for the right term).

Me – “Socially retarded?”

Sandy – “Awkward”, (damn, I shouldn’t have suggested a word). “I’m concerned Rick doesn’t yet know what it means to be a man, especially in social settings”.

I nodded as she spoke.

Me – “Does he support NRL or Rugby? I know Sea Eagles  and the Aussie Super Rugby teams are in a bit of a slump, but club Rugby is amazi-”

Sandy (interjecting) – “Soccer”.

Me – “Oh dear. Ok then, has he never seen a bloke publically get up an old mate who’s put on a heap of weight?”

Sandy – “Absolutely not”.

Me – “Shit. He’s never been told on the sideline with a bloody nose, I know you’re hurtin’ son but you have to go back on, your team needs you?

Sandy (her lip trembled) – “He plays tennis”.

Me – “Aaah. Never learnt the basics of poker?”

Sandy – “Hearts.”

Me – “Yikes. He does need some help. Doesn’t know he can piss in the backyard if it’s just too far to walk back to the house?”

Sandy – “I didn’t know that was a thing.”

Me – “Oh it’s certainly a thing. Never seen a bloke lying hung-over on the couch, wasting a perfectly good Sunday after having been out with the lads the previous night?”

Sandy – “No! He doesn’t know any of that! Now I know we’ve only just met, but it’s important. Could you write some blogs on things my twenty-year-old son should know? The reason I asked to be introduced to you is that Rick and some of his mates read your blog and think it’s, well… cool. He won’t listen to me, even if I knew what to tell him.”

I thought, sipped my latte and subtly checked how many minutes before the second-half started.

Me – “Sandy I’d love to help Rick, especially if he and all his mates think my blog is so super-cool (my mind was ticking over). I’ll blog the stuff he probably won’t find written about by anyone else.”

She hugged me and left. Lindfield kicked off.

THINGS I WISH SOMEBODY HAD TOLD ME AT TWENTY

POKER DEALING

Rick, when you start to make your way through life, there is one overriding principle you should learn early and practice often, as it will make your progression much smoother and easier.

Don’t annoy the older blokes!

Let me give an example.

It’s best to go through life never gambling.

In the same way it’s best to go through life – never getting on the piss, never having a ciggie, never eating KFC, never getting stoned, never skipping lectures, never having a messy room, never vomiting in your mum’s Maidenhair Fern, never getting fired, never coming home with one shoe and never coveting your mate’s girlfriend. But realistically Rick, that shit happens when you’re twenty.

There will inevitably be a time that you’re playing poker. Whether it’s at the local pub, on a buck’s or in your mate’s garage, there’s one piece of etiquette which must be heeded to not give the absolute shits to the older blokes (those of us who do know poker).

When you’re dealing, DON’T… FLIP… THE… CARD… TOWARDS… YOU… and NEVER LOOK AT IT FIRST.

If you’re dealing you must flip the card away from you, towards your opponents. And you must flip it quickly and don’t look at it before the other players.

This sounds to non-poker players, a small thing. However to poker-experienced men, small it is not. A “deal-peeper” is generally either a newbie (if that’s the case you probably should prepare for a night of really hard lessons) or just doesn’t give a shit about common poker courtesy. Both of which you want to avoid. A “deal-peeper” unfairly gaining that one extra moment to decide on a “clever” comment like “you got a hand like a foot” or “you played that like a vegan”, is unacceptable.

Don’t go pissin’-off the older blokes at poker.

Another important part of poker Rick, is knowing how your chip stack compares to everybody else’s. So it’s polite to stack yours so all players can quickly see how many/much you have at any time. There is nothing more freaken annoying than some bloke who conceals his valuable chips behind a wall of red ones, hiding it like it’s his f#cking Browsing History! Nobody’s going to steal them! You’re not building the Trojan Wall out of Lego!

Put your chips in rows, by colour, so we can all see instantly what each other have got and get on with the game.

Rick when my brother and I in the early 90’s had to travel to Campsie, Marrickville and Blacktown to play cash-games in the homes of dodgy blokes of… ill-repute, we luckily knew to flip the cards away from us, without looking at them and didn’t try to hide our chips. Luckily. Can’t say the same for our old mate Brett “Deal Peeper” Jorgenson… God I miss him (just joking, he’s fine… now).

Welcome to being a man Rick! It’s amazing, but it comes with certain obligations. One of which is don’t annoy the older blokes! More things I wish somebody’d told me at twenty, to follow.

Thanks for reading. I’ve put my heart and soul down in words, for you. Like a noble, armour-clad knight astride a powerful war-steed, in dogged pursuit of my elusive dream of being able to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer.

If you could Share via the buttons below, that would be wonderful. Cheers. Jase. 

MEETING ONE OF MY NRL HEROES

We’d drunk like Romans (with all due respect to any Romans reading). It was late and time to go and talk to some NRL LEGENDS.

Last Thursday I was at a Hogs For The Homeless fundraiser, run by awesome ex-NRL players like Josh Perry, for Youth Off The Streets. A superb charity.

They don’t come any higher on the “legend” totem pole, than Brad “Freddy” Fittler. Most capped player for the Blues, captain of Australia and newly appointed Blues head coach! My brother and I, and three blokes from our table, went up for a photo.

A true legend.

Possibly second only to Freddy, from a Blues fan’s perspective, is the amazing Danny Buderus. A phenomenal player who looks like he’s been bench-pressing his Harley, not riding it.

Danny walked out to the car park to leave. I went racing after him, but him still being as fit as all hell and me, not so much, by the time I had covered about 5m (and stumbled), he was 30m away. I had to call out.

“DANNY. PHOTO?”

He was a long way away and my brother and I were two drunk lads, so I expected the old SORRY BOYS. GOT TO GO. But he didn’t. Like an absolute legend he ran back to us, we congratulated him on his appointment as assistant coach and thanked him.

You know what he said?

“Anything for Blues fans.”

LEGEND. Perfect selection.

Then back to the bar and who happened to be standing there all on his lonesome? Just Brad “Freddy” Fittler.

My time to shine.

In my memory the conversation went something like this.

Me – “Freddy! Can we have a chat?”

Freddy – “The day people stop wanting to have a chat my friend, is the day I lose my job.”

Me – “Freddy, I think you need help with some Blues selections.”

Freddy – “Oh.” His keenness seemed to wane.

Me – “First of all, Jarryd Hayne is on notice! If he’s playing brilliantly, he’s in. If not, he’s out!”

Freddy – “Gottcha.”

Then I went on to list out a few players who definitely should be in.

Me – “Dylan Walker deserves another chance. Both Jake and Tommy Trbojevic are absolute musts. I think you should probably look at a young, tough player like Curtis Sironen maybe.”

Freddy – “Hang on! THEY’RE ALL MANLY PLAYERS.”

Me – “Ahhh, yes you’re right…. So I suppose my ideas on Darcy Lusic and Frank Winterstein are a bit moot then.”

Then I went on to discuss others and their relative merits. Freddy, was absolutely brilliant and stayed for at least ten minutes, listening intently. He didn’t have to.

Me – “Freddy, shouldn’t you be writing these ideas down?”

Freddy (tapping his head) – “All up here mate.”

Me – “Just like a great coach.”

Freddy – “Thanks mate.”

In all the excitement, I drunkenly spilled a little of my beer.

Me – “Whoa whoa”, I yelled to my beer.

Freddy smiled.

Me – “Freddy it’s funny, with you being an NRL mega-star, I was hesitant to come over and give you my selection theories, because obviously you must have at least 20-25 percent more NRL knowledge than me.”

My brother – “You weren’t hesitant!”

Freddy – “20-25 percent?”

Me – “Yes, but then I thought stuff it, right at this particular moment being the NEWLY appointed coach, you haven’t actually selected any more Blues teams than I have. So from that regard, we are on a par. Currently anyway.”

He was patient.

Freddy – “Ok mate, what are we going to do in the halves?”

I thought it unlikely, but just in case Freddy wasn’t getting as much out of our conversation as I was, I looked for a way to give him a rap.

Me – “Well Mitchell Pearce is a good half-back, but a good half-back, needs a great five-eighth to pass the ball to and let him make most of the decisions. And we haven’t had a great five-eighth since… well since you Freddy.” I slapped him on the chest.

Freddy – “I’m happy to get a mention.”

For another few minutes I espoused my selection ideas and Freddy listened intently. Then…

Brad “Freddy” Fittler, one of my all-time hero’s, put his arm around my shoulders.

Freddy – “How about this mate? Give me your mobile number, then in May, when I’m choosing the team with Danny, I’ll give you a ring and we’ll sit down and talk selections.”

I was speechless.

This was an amazing moment.

Then with a nod and a simple “cheers boys”, Freddy turned, walked out the door, got on his Harley and rode off…

…without my phone number.

With great men like Danny Buderus and Freddy Fittler in charge of the Blues, we cannot lose.

 

Thanks for reading. I’ve put my heart and soul down in words, for you. Like a noble, armour-clad knight astride a powerful war-steed, in dogged pursuit of my elusive dream of being able to claim at parties much to my wife’s chagrin, that I am in fact… a writer.

If you could Share via the buttons below, that would be wonderful. Cheers. Jase. 

McDONALDS IS SO UNFAIR

At McDonald’s, I get treated like everybody else. I queue up, order, eat, leave.

It’s extraordinarily unfair!

I have been an obsessively staunch supporter of Macca’s my entire life (especially since discovering my KFC-retention problem, so the Dirty Bird is now dead to me). I have pumped infinitely more money in over the years than anybody else I know.

I deserve recognition far and above those normal Hornswood people who only look at Macca’s as a place to have a Mc-piss on a long trip.

Here’s how it should go –

Casually walking into Hornswood Macca’s, ignoring the protests I go straight to the front of the line and raise my hand towards the 19-year-old staff member, Tommy. I show him my thick, “M” emblazoned gold ring. The youngster, thinking I was going for a fist-pump is unimpressed with it.

e558278931799.560c5b182635a

Me – “Does this ring mean anything to you son?”

Tommy – “Nope.”

Me – “Good. It’s a few steps above your paygrade.”

Tommy – “Most things are.”

Me – “Go get your proprietor son. Say to them… the fat man walks alone. They’ll understand.”

The kid hesitates and then ambles off to the back room. The owner comes racing out after hearing the secret phrase. He looks nervous, is sweating and steals a wide-eyed look at my ring.

Proprietor – “I had no idea you were coming to my restaurant today Sir. I’m Benjamin Sherman. Benny. We don’t get many… McRing wearers in here.”

Me (looking around distainfully) – “I am not surprised to hear that, Sherman. Not surprised at all.” I frowned.

Sherman looked crestfallen.

Me – “Just joking Sherman! You need to maintain a McSense of humour.”

Sherman – “Oh, joking. Right.” He giggled uneasily.

Sherman noticed the large, middle-aged man working the chip fryer. A button around his gut, under more pressure than any button deserved to be, had popped open. The proprietor raced over and spoke into the big man’s ear, who then looked over to me questioningly and did the button up.

Me – “DON’T CHASTISE HIM SHERMAN! THIS MAN IS A SHINING EXAMPLE OF THE McSTANDARDS WE SHOULD ALL ASPIRE TO.”

Me (to the gut-baring fryer-master) – “GOOD WORK. IT’S WONDERFUL TO SEE YOU HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING THE PRODUCT.” I turn my eyes to Sherman. “You could afford to stack on a few kilos yourself Sherman.”

Sherman (to young Tommy) – “Let’s prepare a fresh Big Mac pronto Tommy! One that’s been sitting on the tray is not good enough for a McRinger. And let’s throw a heap of extra salt on the chips, a bit more lard on the meat pattie, a couple of extra pickles, upsize that Coke Zero and while you’re at it… don’t skimp on the Big Mac sauce!”

The proprietor looked to me for approval. I let him hang for a few seconds before commenting.

Me – “I like the cut of your McJib, Sherman.”

The digital board showing the other customer’s order numbers went blank, until my order was ready. Then a big Number 1, flashed up and I collected my food.

As I ate at a table, Tommy, the fryer-master and Sherman stared at me intently from behind the counter. The stout fryer-master asked what was my story and Sherman turned to the two of them.

Sherman – “He a wearer… of the McRing!”

Fryer-master (sucked in air) – “Wow! A what?”

Sherman – “The McRingers are more a part of Macca’s success over the years, than the Happy Meal, our ‘do you want fries with that’ and the highly addictive qualities of salt, sugar and fat, all combined!”

Sherman gave me a little wave. I didn’t notice.

Sherman – “We don’t know from where the McRingers have come, but he’s one of the reasons you have a career boys. The McRingers are personal friends with our founding father… Ronald McDonald himself, Grimace and The Hamburglar. They helped us win the war in the 80’s against that accursed Colonel Sanders.” He waved a fist in the air. “Some men have eaten so much product from our restaurant chain, so often, with no thought to their personal wellbeing, that they become… McLegends.”

Fry-master – “Whoaaa.” He stared at me with admiration. “He’s awesome.

Sherman – “We proprietors have a saying – McRingers don’t have Junior Burgers, they have Senior Burgers. No McHappy Meals for them, it’s McEcstatic Meals. Their Big Macs, are Colossal Macs. Cheeseburgers are Brieburgers. Chicken McNuggets? Uh uh, Pheasant McNuggets. Their Hash Browns? Real hash!”

Tommy looked shocked.

Sherman – “Just joking on that last one Tommy. No Quarter Pounders for McRingers, One-Third Pounders. McFeasts become McOrgys.”

I stood to leave. Sherman nodded respectfully.

As I walked past them, towards the door, I stopped. They all stiffened.

Me – “Sherman. Tell me about McClub!” I didn’t look at him.

Tommy and fry-man realised the McRing was just the tip of the iceberg and there is so much more they didn’t know.

Sherman – “I don’t know what you mean. I’ve never heard of any McClub.”

Me – “I repeat, tell me about McClub!” I turned and looked him in the eye.

Sherman – “I don’t know what you mean.”

Me – “McShermanator, I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

He grinned from ear to ear and beamed with pride. Tommy and fry-man, high-fived and then hugged.

Thanks for reading. I write blogs oftentimes just to be able to claim when meeting a new person at a party, that I am in fact… a writer (whereby my wife generally jumps in and proclaims “HE’S NOT A WRITER”). If you could Share far and wide via the buttons below, that would be amazing. I write stuff for a few small companies but I need to one day be a famous contributor to the noble art of blogging. And check out the brilliant new craft-beer home delivery business I have set up with a few North Shore dads (gettincrafty.com.au) Cheers