My debut single. A cover of “Are You The One” by The Presets.
My debut single. A cover of “Are You The One” by The Presets.
One of our favorite photos from this year: President Obama sits on the Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
Anonymous asked: Whatever happened to Jocksrule?
the god damn feds swooped down and busted his sexy ass.
It was a calm early Autumn’s evening in Newcastle and I had decided to embark on a night out at Newcastle’s premier nightspot, ‘Fannys’ to mark the beginning of the 2011 university year.
A lovely blonde Jewish friend of mine who was working on her last few shifts on the Fannys bar before she embarked on a rite of passage European adventure had explained that she would hook a brother up with dollar drinks should I ever happen to come in and say ‘hey’.
The comforting warmth of having so many emotionally unstable, peroxide haired, slightly larger than normal, voluptuous women all around me was something I was not used to but I seemed to be enjoying the attention I was receiving. It was like having a free holiday to the Gold Coast.
I remember trying to discover exactly what things I could and couldn’t get away with saying to some of these females, my go-to option at the time was to tell girls who looked like they may surf occasionally that I was: “Luke Bracey.. You know.. Tre Palmer from Home and Away? Yeah, I just got back from Hollywood, I had sex with Leighton Meester!”
Also popular from my hot little mouth that evening was exclaiming to girls how glad I was that I’d met someone that didn’t recognize me from all the Bonds underwear posters I had been posing in recently, how this was so refreshing to not be warmed to for my body, but instead because we actually got on really well. “I love meeting ‘real women like you!”I said to one very interested female, “Most girls here only talk to me because I model their younger brother’s underwear before their mum goes out and buys it, and all the attention for that was a novelty at first but ended up making me feel so empty….. Which makes meeting you, someone whom I really get along with seem all the more special!”
All of this inventive and cunning smack talking was starting to be a little tiresome, so I fuelled myself with some more very affordable beverages courtesy of my beloved hook nosed and fair haired Jewish friend.
After a few of these said drinks it was time for a brief pit stop in the bathroom, where the intuitive and mischievous cunning hustler inside of me found a very nice opportunity for a bit of a laugh. At the trough tensely watching their yellow piss go down the silver drain before they could leave and try their luck once again with the ladies was a pimply boy in a ‘Unit’ t-shirt and a rather large looking Serbian guy in his mid twenties with his hair highlighted and spiked up in a fauxhawk. Both of which being very suitable candidates for an Australian version of ‘Tool Academy’ should they ever shoot it.
I made eye contact with the Serbian as he left the trough and remarked “hey mate, that guy was looking at your dick!”and pointed at the aforementioned Unit shirt man.
“What the fuck no I didn’t, I ain’t no faggot!”He said hurriedly. The Serbian gazed angrily with his mouth open looking extremely unimpressed and being Serbian probably loving the chance of some possible conflict. “Why are you sounding so defensive then mate, I fuckin’ saw you.“ I remarked before smoothly walking out and letting the two ugly joe’s sort out their new predicament which came courtesy of Lemon Lime and Scotty.
Walking back to the bar I looked around me and noticed the rare occurrence that a couple of the Fanny’s patrons had larger arms than me. I dismissed their enviable hypertrophy levels when I decided they would have to be on insane amounts of steroids to achieve arms that immense, before soldiering off to find where my mates had gotten themselves to, as well as keeping an eye out for some sexy African women.
Since I embarked on the night out with a woven African shirt, I felt severely let down by the lack of African ebony hotties Fanny’s had provided on this Wednesday evening. Perhaps the more tanned girls will look close enough to Rihanna for me to possibly get slap happy and in character with the Chris Brown role play fantasy I was beginning to develop. So I had more drinks to help let my guard down and make the possibility of discovering a Rihanna lookalike all the more likely.
I’m not sure if my drink got spiked or if I was just too drunk to remember how I got there, but the next memory I have was being at Bar Beach rock pool, about 1.5 kilometres out of the main area of Newcastle. Wandering aimlessly around the pool, there was a near middle aged fairly obese and balding man leaning on the bonnet of his car, being the only person in sight, I assumed I had got there with him.
“Ooop, looks like noone’s here, should we go then?” He said politely.
It was cold by the seaside, the thought of walking in my current state back in to town and then finding a train to catch home was tremendously unappealing, so I didn’t even consider not getting into his car.
I sat down and fumbled with the seatbelt as he drove onwards, and it wasn’t until he complimented my arms before winking and saying they ‘looked fun’, that I realised I was alone in a car, very drunk and with a desperately horny middle aged queer.
My immediate instinct was not to sound agitated, for all I knew he was one step away from plunging this Mitsubishi Lancer off a cliff when he realised his newfound muscular buddy wasn’t DTF at all, but merely wishing for a lift home. Feeling totally cool with the situation, I begun to consider the quickest way possible to get away from him without making him panic and swerving off the side of the road. I suggested we stop at Mcdonalds on King St, and planned on getting out of the car and making a hasty getaway: “hey man can we stop at maccas, let’s go halves in a dinner box!”
I immediately resented the fact that I had probably warmed his heart by leading him to thinking about sharing some food with me, whilst he dismissed my idea by ignoring my suggestion and driving onwards.
Next, we had steadily driven across Newcastle and were nearing the Hungry Jacks at Jesmond, i wondered whether I had mentioned I live on the university at the start of the evening, and if that was where he was taking me just as I suggested we get some “Whopper Burgers for the road bro?”He again ignored this suggestion and drove straight past, also answering the question in my head about where we were going when I realized getting back to the comfort of my bed may be a distant pipe dream. I was now genuinely worried for the first time this now 20 odd minute car trip, yet somehow something in me still didn’t want to show it.
Like all good pick up artists, he seemed to have layered questions which start out innocent at first before gradually easing the responder before he can ask some of the grittier stuff. Not to mention the shamelessly obvious reverse psychology he was using which I was very aware of since it was cunning ploys like that that lost me my virginity all those years ago as a scheming young man.
“Hey man” he said to me while driving, in a voice that immediately made me know I wouldn’t enjoy what came next, “some of my mates say that guys like you workout to make your muscles bigger because you want to make up for being a bit small down there… Is this true?”
“Nah man hahaha”, I replied, still feeling very disorientated, yet slightly offended that there could be any possible correlation between my perfectly sculpted, vascular arms and having lacklustre equipment downstairs.
“Aw yeah…” He replied with a grin. “Prove it.” I pretended I hadn’t even heard him, before looking out of the car window to realize that we were now about 15 kilometres south of Newcastle towards Sydney and now pulling into some dirt roads where he said his property was. To this day I am not sure why I hadn’t thought of something sooner, since anything in the world seemed like a better consequence than going to the property of a man that was seeming like a cross between Ivan Milat and Elton John.
I hesitantly got out of the car after he’d driven up a long and winding dirt drive way and parked in front of a ramshackle brick house he insisted “I share with a few mates”. Somehow it felt reassuring that he lived in company, even though in the back of my mind I did fear a gang rape.
Walking inside there was dvd cases everywhere, old movie memorabilia and a few plates of uneaten food. The absence of animal heads mounted on walls and cages hanging form ceilings was very reassuring.
“Man they’re all asleep and there’s no real living room, so we’re going to have to go into my room”.
For some strange reason I still didn’t feel threatened, he was fairly obese after all and we all know that I have the shoulders of a light-heavyweight UFC fighter so I felt pretty comfortable with sitting on this extremely horny and desperate middle aged gay man’s unmade bed while he went and gathered some refreshments.
Just before he left, he flicked on the television which was showing a replay of a Manly Sea Eagles league game. Brett Stewart’s comforting jaw-line and brilliant turn of pace had me momentarily distracted from the possible tranquiliser gun I was about to be shot with before I was brutally ass raped by a house hold community of reclusive gay outcasts from society.
He came back into the room with a glass of water which I sipped at after investigating the colour to see if it was anything but clear and asked “would you like to put on a porno?” This question has been asked to me before by a man I had just met, which you can read in a previous blog “Whimsical Drunken Adventures: Episode One”. I was still fairly intoxicated and as I am an extremely curious human being I wondered what strange or exotic pornography movie would be his film of choice.
I instantly recognised the swashbuckling buccaneers and round titted minxes in ruffled blouses on the screen as being characters that must be from ‘Pirates’, a porno I hadn’t seen before but had read was the most expensive pornography film of all time to produce.
He flicked to a lesbian scene, of all possible things he could have chosen and I felt like it was time again to be responsive and talkative yet one hundred percent unsexual.
“Wow bro!” I said with glee. “Check out the way the lighting majestically illuminates her body, this lighting is absolutely phenomenal, they must have gotten in a Hollywood lighting director or something because this is brilliant!”
He squinted his eyes and opened his mouth in disgust as he looked at me like I was the weirdest person he had ever met. Him! A man who had driven to Fanny’s nightclub sober at about 35 years of age, midweek on a Wednesday, in order to pick up intoxicated but handsome young males. “There’s beautiful sex going on in acts of sensual lesbian intimacy, and you’re talking about the fuckin’ lighting?”
“Mate credit where credit is due” I said “this is cinematography at its absolute finest, art really can blossom in even the most unlikely of places bro. Isn’t the world a beautiful place sometimes!”
“Yeh… Right.” He said in what seemed like a mixture of confusion and disgust. “I’m gunna go to the bathroom for a sec”. He walked into the ensuite and left me as I sat on the bed wishing I was anywhere but this cluttered room, on this probably cum ridden bed, with this guy. I really did feel like one of those unsuspecting females who really did think she was going to a guy’s house for ‘movies’ and suddenly wanted to leave without having to experience the awkwardness of physically denying a move on her he made during Good Will Hunting or The Notebook.
He came back in after about seven long minutes and went back into his fallback option: subtle reverse psychology which has no effect on me but I know from much first-hand experience that it works on most females. “Man.. If I wasn’t here you’d be naked.. You’d be playing with yourself. I just want you to feel natural, feel comfortable!” I almost laughed out loud and imagined myself using a similar line on some sort of teenage girl years ago, trying desperately to get a hesitant girl keen. “Ha ha nah.. I’m right for now I think bro” I said in a pretty strong tone whilst ensuring it had no animosity which would create awkwardness and probable drastic measures from his behalf.
“Mate you’ve been drinking, you’re young, you’re watching attractive people fucking and you’re trying to tell me that you have no desire whatsoever to just whip it out and at least have a fiddle?”
“Nah bro not right now hey, I’m pretty tired to be honest”.
After a few more similar attempts to doubt my masculinity and have me feel like some sort of square for not being confident enough with my body to masturbate in front of him, he finally began clutching at straws with obvious and hopefully last minute desperate pleas to see my cock.
“Okay. I’ve realised you’re not gay but man you really do look like you’ve got a pretty sizeable one.. It has been a long night and I need some cheering up, can I at least see your dick?”
I wondered what sort of ridiculous climax I could put on this weird evening with my next action. I was almost tempted to flop out my penis which admittedly I am rather fond of and say in my best Borat impression: “never gunna get this, never gunna get this!” Or getting it out of the zipper and running both hands slowly down the shaft like I was a ballroom dancing Latino woman running her hands down her voluptuous body and saying in my best Salma Hayek voice: “uh uh uh uh uh , no no no no no, you ain’t getting anyyyyyyyy ov dis”. So I almost felt boring and monotonous when I did none of these things and simply said “man not too keen hey”.
He finally, after all these hours of uncertainty, offered me a lift home. It seemed like every single torturous moment I had endured had been worth it. A lift to my doorstep was much handier in my books than walking the few kilometres into town from Bar Beach rock pool, which is where I would have first coherently found myself had I not become acquainted with this accommodating and eager man. Even if the chances were that he had roofied my beverage at Fanny’s and that was possibly the reason why I somehow ended there in the first place
The deed was not done yet though; we drove off in his car and I knew there would be some sort of last ditch efforts from his behalf to forge something out of thin air and find a way to see my little fella.
Sure enough, after about 5 quiet minutes of driving back north up the highway, he made his move. “So yeah man… I know how poor you university students can be n’ that…. and you’re obviously a very fit looking dude who takes a lot of pride in his body, so I thought I may as well tell ya about me mate’s website.” He said in his distinctive mud-swamp local, slightly lispy voice.
“So yeah, a few of my friends have done it.. and basically all you gotta do is have a fiddle in front of the camera.. Doing what blokes your age do most lonely evenings, don’t have to touch anybody and you get paid about 700 bucks to do it, just getting paid to wank basically. Does that sound like something you may be interested in? Here drop us your number, I’ll quickly prank you so you got my digits bro”.
I was on the verge of finally finding myself reunited with my comfy bed, I didn’t wish to say or do anything that may put this in jeopardy, so I hesitantly gave him my digits and told him I’d think about it. After one sly little thigh pat on the drive home, I was finally on my street, where I of course had him let me out a few houses down from my own.
I woke up the next morning still extremely unsure about how on earth I had ended up in a faraway beach rock pool with a middle aged gay man, just after absolutely tearing up the dance floor with fist pumps galore in the presence of all my mates. Not to mention three text messages I never wrote back to from someone in my phone saved as ‘gay weirdo’ saying things like: “hey man what’s all your contact details so that I can forward them to www.AllAustralianBoys.com and get you start earning the big bucks!”
I never wrote back to those messages, sometimes when I am a little short of rent I will admit that I do consider it but the thought of my local church reverend having a pull to images of my hot hot hot body really doesn’t warm to me.
The moral of this story is: if you are a good looking Australian male with cheekbones like Mark Wahlberg or yours truly, who also enjoys writing himself off on a night out and meeting odd new people, then start lifting heavy ass weights in order to become physically imposing.. Or you may not be as lucky as I was.
My name is Tom and I am twenty and three quarters years old.
I have two dogs. A Border Collie and a Jack Russell cross Labrador. A few years ago I tried to organise a dog family tree in order to track down the various families who also adopted a puppy from the same litters in order to reunite the canines with their long lost siblings. This isn’t my main constant thought however. I am more consumed with the concept of: how on earth did a Labrador manage to breed with a Jack Russell in the first place?? It’s something that I ponder quite regularly. At the moment I enjoy performing top secret intensive research with some old farm animal toys of my sisters that I found under the house. I really want to find out once and for all which of the Jack Russell and the Labrador fathered my pup because if it was the latter then it must have been very painful for the bitch.
Once mother walked in on me re-enacting a possible love making session between the two canines, with a farm sheep representing the Labrador which was mounting a little plastic chicken, representing the Jack Russell. Mother was aghast and told me I was a strange boy for replicating an inter-species fornication processes, but I merely think that I have a natural and healthy curiosity for animals.
As well as animals, another favourite hobby of mine is Dee Jaying. A few years ago my best friend and psychiatrist Mitchell told me that it might be a great way of meeting friends my own age, as well as being therapeutic and helpful in my never ending quest for knowledge. Not that I know of anyone else on my side of the street who spins on the decks, but I’m pretty confident in saying that I am the best Dee jay on my side of the street.
There is a song by the very much under-appreciated T.I.S.M which I feel sums me up perfectly. It is called ‘Everyone Else Has Had More Sex Than Me’.
I had never played tracks to anyone but myself until last week when I had my first live audience. My younger sister Lily and her friends were getting ready in Lily’s bedroom for a night out when some uncharacteristic courage from deep within me came out to shine. I suddenly had the thought that it would be both spontaneous and exciting to raise the volume of my trusty speakers. I went up from a ‘24’, the previous height I had ever raised it to, to a brave and free spirited ‘37’ making it well and truly loud enough for them to hear across the hallway.
They didn’t say anything to me at the time about my audio master class but I’m sure they absolutely loved it.
The following morning I left the house for my weekly walk to my Zumba class at the community centre. Oh and just between you and me and please don’t steal my idea, but I think I will hit the big time with my concept of producing dubstep remixes of Zumba tracks.
Anyways on the way there I went to purchase some chocolate milk for energy from the corner store. It was in there that I noticed a very beautiful girl in tight red shorts, cut just below where her bottom finished, as well as a very impressive physique- athletic yet elegant. As I nervously edged past her to get to the fridge in the tight aisle where she was leafing through a Vogue magazine, I accidentally kicked my toe and consequently fell forward. The only thing that saved me from landing head first on the cold tiled floors was the firm and reassuring stability of her buttocks which I instinctively grabbed on my way down.
I was very apologetic as I was aware of how suss it may have looked, since I had just performed a very uncharacteristic up and down scan of her body before I walked past.
I embarrassingly scuttled out of the corner store with my refreshing bottle of chocolate milk and belatedly realised it wasn’t that impressive derriere of hers that was her most interesting feature at all. I thought back to just before I scanned down to her scrumptious bottom and remembered the shirt she was wearing, which had a large picture of a howling wolf. I immediately made a mental note that it was something which I needed to add to my wardrobe collection.
I still had 44 and a half minutes until Zumba at the community centre, so I decided to play a game of ‘followsies’. Followsies is a game I invented where I try to keep an older male in my sights for as long as possible without getting caught. It had provided me with some very interesting moments in the months prior. In one instance I ended up at a nice man’s 80th birthday party where I made many new friends who I now regularly visit at the Pittwater Palms retirement village. A not so fun moment was longer than usual game of followsies when I followed a middle aged man over two busses. The game ended at an Eastern Suburbs public toilet block I had followed him into when he turned around and looked at me (meaning the game was now over) and asked me if I wanted a blow job. I didn’t know what this was, and still don’t, but I do remember running out of the toilet block crying as he bent over trying to steal my pants or something. Wondering what kind of a childhood this man with a lisp and big hoop earring had had, to lead up to him becoming a pants thief of all things.
I couldn’t find any suitable candidates for a nice friendly Sunday morning game of followsies in the half hour in which I searched, so I decided to make my way to Zumba class. On the way there I noticed many lost dog signs for a very young Pomeranian named ‘Isabelle’ on various telegraph poles and notice boards. There was even a flyer for this lost dog on the noticeboard outside my classroom in the community centre, which is normally full of crackpot old ladies advertising their New Age, Yoga Tai-chi therapeutic group love making sessions in embroidered orphan made hemp shirts or something.
I walked in early for Zumba, just like always, for my warm up routine I tore out of one of my sister’s ‘Women’s Health’ magazines. I originally stole it because the girl modelling the exercises in the photographs had very nice hair and I’d figured she’d be a very good addition to ‘Tom’s Locked Door Happy Time’, at home. Lately however it has proved to be a very useful acquisition to my pre Zumba routine.
As the final stragglers to the class arrived, I noticed that one of the first time attendees was the beautiful girl from the corner store whom I’d shared the slightly unfortunate earlier mishap with.
I stayed right away from her during the class in order to stay as inconspicuous as possible whilst observing her graceful motions whilst she Zumba’d, but mainly it was in order to marvel at her wonderful wolf t-shirt I had glimpsed earlier which I was becoming increasingly envious of.
I saw this coincidence of her going to the same class as me as a sign from above that I needed to find out where she got that shirt of hers so that I could perhaps one day wear one during one of my booked out arena show DJ sets.
I haven’t talked to many girls around my age before, aside from my sister and her friends who sometimes approach me for a brief conversation whilst I’m temporarily parked in front of the television on a Saturday evening watching Australia’s Funniest Home Videos.
Building the confidence to enquire with her during the class didn’t happen and I decided it may all of a sudden magically come to me whilst she was on her walk home. I used my skills acquired from various games of followsies the few months prior, in order to walk nearby yet hopefully unnoticed until I eventually built up the courage to essentially talk to the first girl in my own age bracket who wasn’t my sister or one of her friends, and find out where I may find a stockist of the wolf shirt.
There were many times where it seemed as though she might have spotted me but we never made eye contact apart from one or two occasions where she may or may not have been glimpsing at me in the shiny windows of shopfronts ahead of us. She may also have just been admiring how beautiful she was. I would like to make it clear to you the reader that this was not a game of followsies by any means, since mum has always told me that followsies with girls is banned. I simply wanted to know more about this t-shirt.
I had just decided to call it a day and hope she returns to the excitement of Zumba class next weekend, and put a cease to this unproductive supposedly courage building long walk, when I heard a soft whimpering sound coming from beneath a boat trailer. There, wedged in between the rear tyre of the trailer and the cement gutter of the street, sat a little injured puppy dog.
From my many years of watching Harry’s Practice and later Bondi Vet, I could immediately tell that this dog had a broken right hind leg.
As I bent over to pick it up, the hurt puppy dog looked at me warily like I may be some kind of predator. It made a soft yelp as I scraped it from the damp cement and brought it closer, totally conceding into whatever fate its new captor thrust upon it.
Bereft of any form of collar or identification I assumed that this injured puppy dog was an abandoned Christmas present, so I removed my shirt and wrapped it around the dog for warmth and cushioning before taking it home for further rehabilitation.
Over the next week this abandoned dog became my new sole focus of attention. I constructed a bed out of various woollen football socks my grandma had knitted me over the years which I had grown out of, and formed a make shift doggy mattress inside my top sock drawer, once I had made space by removing all the magazines I use for ‘Tom’s Locked Door Happy Time’.
I purchased some Plaster of Paris from the local hobby store where I usually buy my extra model farm animals and Warhammer figurines and paints and created a cast for the broken leg of my new injured friend which I eventually named ‘Elizabeth’.
Since Elizabeth’s right hind leg was broken and immobile in plaster, walking had become impossible. I remembered back to an episode of my favourite show, Bondi Vet where there was a Dalmation who had just had both of its hind legs crushed in an unfortunate roadside accident. The Dalmation got by with 2 wheels on a makeshift platform acting as its legs, so I began constructing a similar contraption for Elizabeth.
It was difficult to find suitable sized wheels and it wasn’t until I eventually grew the confidence to dismantle my life-long favourite toy, a bright red replica New York fire truck that progress well and truly went under way.
After a while, Elizabeth eventually began to trust me more and more so I made her own little nook in the corner of my bed out of blankets for her to sleep in but she always ended up retreating back in to the corner of the room. Just once did I want to snuggle her as I fell to sleep, just once.
Mum would always ask why I kept having dinner in my bedroom and not with the family, and I would tell her that I was studying to hopefully go to university one day as a rocket engineer.
It seemed about once a week somewhere in town I would see the girl from Zumba, but I could never quite pluck the courage to enquire about her prized t-shirt. Instead when I saw her I’d just smile as charmingly as I possibly could but she never seemed to smile back. She also seemed to have retired from Zumba since that first instance, so these times I saw her in town were my only real opportunity to ask. She always seemed to look sheepish and avoid eye contact whenever I saw her, no matter how wide mouthed and heartily I smiled.
I had appropriated for Elizabeth, into dog form, the rehabilitation exercises my physiotherapist had given me a few years ago when I broke my leg in a trampoline accident in the backyard.
After a few more weeks I decided it was time for Elizabeth to shed the Plaster of Paris leg cast, which had only really seemed to be agitating her. She was now ready for our first public outing together since I rescued her from underneath the trailer, on our first ever walk.
I fastened one of my dog collars, from when they was a puppy, to Elizabeth’s neck, as well as an old lead and we left the house. I was so excited for Elizabeth to be walking again. I felt proud knowing that it was all thanks to my tender loving care and time that she was able to do this and I knew that she’d be grateful, even if she never seemed to enjoy sleeping with me.
I waved at Sean, the boy who lives across the road with a funny chest and smiled when he commented on how adorable my new puppy was.
I took my time and walked very slowly, since Elizabeth was only a little puppy with one recovering leg and picked her up whenever it was time to cross a road. I’d hold her against me in case some of the flowing traffic possibly frightened her. I felt so at ease with myself whenever this occurred, I’m normally very hyperactive and easily agitated unless I’m preoccupied by a number of activities but when I held Elizabeth to my chest it was like nothing in the world mattered and that we were meant for each other.
I walked out of the corner store after purchasing my favourite start to the morning: Dare iced coffee double espresso flavour, when I saw the same girl who has somehow, by chance, been popping up everywhere I went recently, the girl from Zumba.
She looked at me walking my dear Elizabeth and gasped for some reason or another, before walking away briskly in the opposite direction.
Bewildered, I kept on walking with Elizabeth as we together enjoyed the morning sun. I’d just stopped beside the footpath to acknowledge the unique and blissful smell of a blossoming wattle tree when a blue and white Ford Falcon pulled up, a police car. This imposing vehicle grinded to a halt about four metres from where I was standing in a little roadside park and a female from the backseat of the car wound down the window and I heard her wail:
“That’s the creep who’s been stalking and following me for weeks, who my pending A.V.O is out on and he’s also must be the one who stole my fucking dog.”
A burly police officer got out of the driver’s seat, as well as the girl from Zumba. I then realised it was her screaming pedantically from the backseat of the police car.
I was absolutely, inexplicably bamboozled as to what the Charles Dickens was happening. Standing my ground, I picked up Elizabeth and held her close to my chest as the policeman approached me slowly.
“Tom put the dog down, do not harm it!”
I was very offended, how could I possibly even so much as contemplate harming the first thing I have ever loved? Something I took so much care in restoring to full health.
“No” I said firmly, trying to sound as stern as possible even though I hadn’t been this terrified since the first time I ever saw a clown.
The officer edged closer and although he had no weapons out, nor handcuffs or anything else that my favourite ever visitor to ‘Tom’s Locked Door Happy Time’, Maggie Doyle from Blue Heelers would ever use in this situation, I was still very scared.
He was very big, his arms were thicker than my legs and I didn’t want to find out the hard way what special moves he knew so I did as he said and put Elizabeth back on the ground with a tear in my eye.
Elizabeth walked around and the girl from Zumba called out to her with a strange name that she wasn’t familiar with and all of a sudden Elizabeth seemed almost as confused about the whole situation as I was. She walked to a nearby tree before she galloped back to me, where she belonged. She lay on her back so that I could pat the soft grey fuzzy fur, she must have known that rubbing her tummy had soon become one of my favourite things.
“Tom, come on mate, don’t encourage her to stay” said the policeman. I looked behind him at the girl from Zumba and she looked a wreck. I must say it does make even the most classically beautiful of women look immensely unappealing when they’re crying and wailing. I all of a sudden wanted to pat her on the tummy as well.
Instead of this happening however, she ran up and snatched Elizabeth from the grass and when I tried to stop her the policeman grabbed me with his hulk arms, I was powerless as the girl who had been in my thoughts for weeks took away my one true love. “Tom, everything is going to be okay, I’m sorry mate.”
“Wait!” I yelled out as she jogged off with Elizabeth wriggling in her arms, “Where’d you get your wolf shirt?!” The girl looked back confused and kept on jogging away whilst her immaculate derriere softly rippled with each footstep.
I was taken to the police station and got told the Zumba girl had reported me for having apparently stalked her over a couple of weeks. Elizabeth turned out to be ‘Katrina’, her lost Pomeranian which had been gone for weeks. I got put on probation and soon all of Avalon heard of my apparent stalking.
Now no girls will ever speak to me, not even Lily. And I never got to sleep with Elizabeth.
Give a little love: http://www.facebook.com/LemonLimeAndScotty
— ‘Mister Duck’ Alex Garland ‘The Beach’
There are times when I look at people and see nothing worth liking.
There’s a quote that Leonardo Dicaprio’s character ‘Richard’ says in the movie adaption of Alex Garland’s novel ‘The Beach’. I have always giggled about it and taken much fun out of quoting it to self proclaimed ‘worldly travellers’ who painfully discuss their adventures to both Bali and Fiji as a means of very subtly taking the mickey out of them. He says:
“I still believe in paradise, but now I know it’s not some place you can look for. Cause it’s not where you go, it’s how you feel for a moment in your life, and if you find that moment, it lasts forever.”
You can also hear Leo’s beautiful rendition of the quote on this song from the movie’s soundtrack by Orbital: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT3_iunhi74
However, it wasn’t until your humble narrator was the participant of some rather deep moments in Kenya that I realised perhaps ol’ Leo the heart throb is onto something after all.
The story of my trip to Kenya, with the mighty Warringah Rats and the beautiful people from the Oasis Africa charity, begun at Sydney Airport. One of the smooth talking business men who was a part of our touring group managed to convince the receptionists at the Qantas lounge to admit nearly forty riotous, whimsical young men into their beautifully furnished lounges. It was here that we learnt a man had deceased on the plane we were supposed to be boarding, on it’s flight before ours (RIP M.G), and we were going to have to be delayed. With complimentary Moet, Stella, Hennessy etc at our disposal, we were more than happy to oblige.
Finally boarding the flight to Thailand, I soon learnt that, thanks to my fathers many days in the park kicking the ball with me as a youngster, I have seemingly inhuman hand-eye coordination and am now the undisputed king of Warringah Rugby in ‘Pong’ on the plane’s video game systems.
More delays at Bangkok airport since our scheduled flight to Kenya departed without it’s elite athlete and famous blogger passengers, meant that most of the touring party paid a visit to the nearby massage parlour, including yours truly. It was here where I was struck with a seemingly unanswerable question: Is it ‘gay’ to have raised my flag to half mast mid-massage if my masseuse was male, (admittedly a Thai male, basically a girl anyway) yet I was no doubt thinking of a female from back home? I swiftly put my mind on the sewerage infested river we were scheduled to build a bridge across over in Kenya, and felt my flag duly retreat back to half mast where I wanted it.
The flight over Kenya at night was the first sign of the vastly different landscape and culture we were now moving into. With miles of desert and shrubbery mixed in with the occasional dimly lit rusted tin roof. Which was dissected every so often by a bustling road with hordes of traffic bumper to bumper seemingly travelling at will in total anarchy, lit up in and illuminated like a concentrated sample vein of Bangkok.
After being mobbed by our fans and the local media at the airport, featuring a couple of t.v crews, we finally arrived back at our hotel. The aptly named ‘Masai Lodge’ which backs on to a large national park.
I was paired off as roommates with ‘Turbo’ a big and beefy club stalwart with about 40kg on me in his belly alone, an exotic mixture of Serbian, Aboriginal & orangutan.
He opened the door to room 24, to discover that there is one elaborately made king sized bed complete with leopard skin doona and matching leopard skin pillows, and then dwindling in comparison a bed that was barely single sized- definitely bereft of enough surface area for us hard hitting rugby ‘props’.
Of course in more ways than one did Turbo have rights to the bed, he had called ‘shotgun’ after all, and he had been at the club 15 odd years, whilst I’m not even a current player, not to mention his advanced aged difference which meant I should probably show some respect.
So the logical thing to do was to allow this elderly gentleman now finally at one with his own kind in an African national park to simply have the bed and be done with it, but no. Not your Mr Lemon Lime, I was feeling far too tense from an over extended flight to Kenya via Dubai to commit myself to being the ‘bitch’ of the hotel room (and front row of scrum) this early on tour just yet.
“Oh no you don’t” I proclaimed as he sprawled his oafish body across the bed, implying it was his. I hastily removed every layer of clothing from my body, including underwear, aside from my blue Nike Air Max’s. I now resembled whatever a Narrabeen lad would resemble should he ever choose to streak at a football game. I leaped nude on this great big Silverback Serbian gorilla, and pinned his paws to the bed. “Get the fuck off me you fruit, what the fuck are you doing!” He yelled helplessly.
“Who’s bed is it?” I said in my smoothest ice cold naked Clint Eastwood impression.
“Just get off me right now you fruity poofter!” with a mixture in his tone of both paranoia and slight amusement, as I edged my very powerful yet very hairy and pale powerful prop’s posterior towards his head. Which from it’s dwindling hair levels and exotic skin tone provided a great comparison to my derriere. Just before I took my game up a level, and got that little bit more explicit and persuasive, he submitted. “Fine, the bed is yours Killer, just get the fuck off me!”
We looked at each other with eyebrows raised as I hurriedly put my clothes back on, feeling somewhat chuffed in myself as well as slightly unimpressed with how I may look in the eyes of my new probably narrow minded ‘jock’ teammates this early in the trip.
The following day was our match against the Kenyan Harlequins, which was an atrocious affair besides the beautiful try scored by the Arabian assassin: Dyan Smouha. We battled jet lag and hangovers whilst our bodies cameto grips with the altitude. Not to mention the Pygmyesque referee who looked like an Oompa Loompa should it ever suffer the fate of Augustus Gloop and fall into the chocolate lake at Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory. This said referee proceeded to turn into a panicking over emotional five year old as soon as he yellow carded one of their lean yet gargantuan Kenyan Harlequin players- who looked like he wouldn’t look out of place with a cheetah skin cape on his back. holding a club on a throne in an erotic ‘Men of Africa’ calendar.
This pygmy referee eventually got to the tough and jet lagged Rats boys, and after toughing out most of the match at 10 all, the score eventually blew to 29-10.
After a post match function where I was seated with one of the many vice-presidents of Kenyan rugby, as well as a 500kg bull on a spit to dine on whilst we listened to 147 ‘riveting’ speeches from all the aforementioned Kenyan rugby dignitaries, I walked back across the now darkened rugby field only to receive a rather intimidating tap on my shoulder.
“Excuse me, were you number 22?” asked an enthusiastic and rather physically imposing Kenyan lady around her mid 20s. “Uh yeah.. I was actually” I said, a bit tentative but also friendly due to her being the first Kenyan female I had properly conversed with thus far. “Okay, wonderful; this is ‘Amara’, and she thinks you’re really sexy”. The muscled woman giggled and walked away, revealing from behind her broad shoulders what seemed, in my starved-of-ebony-honeys-my-whole-life brain I thought of her to be a cross between Kelis and Halle Berry.
My ‘ebony’ fantasies accumulated over the years along with many of my mates went into overdrive, an epiphany of beautiful African origined females soaring amongst my memory banks: Halle Berry’s nonchalantly topless scene in ‘Swordfish’ and Kelis’ raw confident sex appeal in any film clip she’s ever been in being at the forefront of these unholy thoughts. While ever present in the back of my mind the many warnings drummed in to our young willing and eager minds from tour management over the past few weeks.
It turned out she was an air hostess for Air Kenya because she wanted so see the world, and conversation flowed progressively, blowing away my prior expectations, she was laughing, I was laughing, and we held hands and moved on to the bar dance floor.
I was now faced with what seemed like one of the hardest decisions and equations of my life so far, one possessing an immensely complicated risk/reward mathematical calculation that even the brightest ‘Actuarial Studies’ graduate would have difficulties with. (probably because it’s even more difficult an equation for those studying actuarial studies since you probably rarely meet women to begin with). That being the ever so slight but highly dangerous chances of catching AIDS vs. the high probability of having the night of my dreams emulating ‘Lexington Steele’ in ‘Desperate Blackwives 6’.
The whole ordeal of having to get my Good Will Hunting on, and perform this advanced mathematical equation was taken away from me by tour organiser Phil Parsons, who all of a sudden said it was time for all of the boys to head back to the lodge, thus putting all of my meticulously performed groundwork to waste, and causing me to coin him the tour nickname ‘fun sponge’, which stuck.
A few nights later i was reassured by a rather talented local Kenyan DJ, that this girl would “probably not have AIDS, it’s easy to tell if you’ve lived here for a while”.
Before listing ways he proclaimed he could tell matter of factly if a woman had AIDS or not, like it wasn’t really a big deal in the slightest.
While still mildly on the topic of tour nicknames, and may I tell you there were some absolute pearlers, there is nothing more appealing in my eyes than to give certain females pet nicknames amongst the boys. Call me a misogynist, but naming the plump and balloon faced glamour obsessed leach of a woman in charge of the celebrities who were visiting the slums with us, whom turned into one of the most immature and snide adults I have ever comes across ‘Magda’, was a great idea. No offence to Magda Szubanski, I think you’re wonderful.
The next day was our first inside the Kibera slum and Oasis Africa orphanage. The Kibera slum is 5km out from the Nairobi city centre, and is a few square kilometres in size, yet home to an estimated million people. Most of which are without any form of running water, electricity and sewerage. They defecate by means of the ‘flying toilet’ which essentially means doing your business in a plastic bag, and flinging it away. The more polite people will walk to the perimeter of the slum to fling their ‘flying toilet’ away- which led to us being met by the overwhelming smell of feces when hopping out of the bus, but that is rare.
(notice the black water and plastic bags)
I stumbled accross a young boy of around two years of age at the perimeter of the slum, his head barely visible above the long and unmowed grass. I walked up to this seemingly lonely and lost child in an unbuttoned black shirt which exposed his horrendously swollen belly to try and suss out who was taking care of him, since there were no adults for hundreds of metres. The perimeter of a slum really didn’t seem like the place to leave an unattended child. He looked up at me nonplussed, while at the same time seemingly failing to acknowledge I was there. I sat next to him on the dirt and observed him clumsily walk in circles without any intended destination, seeming very disorientated and hungry. I’m not sure what made me decide he would be better off with me than be left alone here in the sun. Perhaps the presence of my trusty slingshot I had purchased earlier had something to do with me seeing myself able to hunt and provide for him. With this slingshot I was now reminiscent of a cross between ‘David’ from the Bible, Alby Mangels and Dennis the menace, although probably more weighted towards the latter if you asked any of the people on tour who had their lower torso/genitalia pounded by pebbles in the following days.
When first arriving we were first confronted with the gang leader, a tough looking but relatively friendly Rastafarian who is basically the king of the slum, which is basically lawless. His jet black skin further intensified what seemed like the most shredded muscles I have seen in my life, and along with him and two frumpy women in uniform armed with AK-47s, we ventured in to the slum.
From every nook and mud built cranny we would see tiny white eyes amongst darkness, curiously gazing toward us from inside doors, holes and around corners. Just like the perimeter of the slum, there was human waste everywhere you walked, what we were told had once been a pleasant stream of fresh water was now a jet back concentrate of a million people’s fecal matter slowly trickling from the top of Kibera to the bottom. If there was one substance in the world you didn’t want splashing into your open wound, aside from maybe Zyklon B- it would be this.
Yet whilst marching along the repulsive and highly oderous slum pathways, it was evident just how much pride people took in their personal space and dwelling areas, as well as their appearance. Walls of mud and sticks were made beautiful in photographs by hanging washing of every colour and print imaginable. Looking into open doors of mud homes a few metres wide, where supposedly handfuls of people slept showed beautiful and happy babies seated and playing on clean traditional African Dutch wax-printed cotton carpet, reminding me of the art of Yinka Shonibare. The haunting bird like humming from the children’s only words of English they knew, over and over: “how are you how are you how are you how are you!” constantly ringing in our ears along with forever feeling obligated to reply to their question repeatedly, politely. Even if you knew they didn’t understand, it still seemed like the right thing to do to show good etiquette.
After a few tears brought on by a few people’s clumsy steps, we finally weaved our way into the Oasis Africa school. It was like an uninhabited planet, every classroom we would wave towards would stay behaved and dedicated to their studies, barely acknowledging us at first. After one courageous and free spirited young boy ran out to play with us after we stacked away the 10kg of books we had each brought to stock the library, more and more kids came running out of classrooms not wanting to miss out on the fun. Soon enough there was dozens of tiny children around us smiling with their white teeth and their arms raised, all wanting to be picked up and twirled around. A mass of kids had formed around me, after I had begun offering mass group spinning helicopters, and as absolutely buggered I was from the altitude/fecal matter/strenuous exercise, it was impossible to say “no more” and draw the line at somebody. I finished the day with a more strenuous anaerobic workout than I had ever had before.
After the orphanage playground calmed down and order was restored, I walked into a classroom of six year olds armed with a Dr. Seuss book, ‘Fox in Sox’.
I was struggling with the deliberately difficult sentence structure of this famous children’s book, let alone these little six year olds, most of whom were experiencing their first ever picture book. They took in as much of the story as they could possibly understand, and towards the back end of the story every page ended with the word ‘AND’, in capitals. After three or four pages of ‘AND’, I pointed at the word and asked the obedient class ‘what does this one say?’ They looked at each other nonplussed for a moment, until together in sync as though pre-rehearsed they all yelled ‘AND’ before myself as well as them jumped to the air in excitement as though our team had scored the winning goal in the world cup final. One of the most emotionally satisfying moments of my life, no Big Day Out boiler room state of mind, or any midsummer night’s moment with a hard bodied young female could ever come close.
One of my more awkward Kenyan moments came when I was reading a pop up version of the story ‘Cinderella’ to a class who were seeing and hearing this fairy tale for the very first time. On the page detailing Cinderella’s unsightly rags, I looked at the class and realised at least half of these students were wearing clothes in worse condition than those that Cinderella was originally dressed in. So I improvised and felt the need to emphasise how repugnant the smell from her clothes was, and that they were haunted, in order to put the more shabbier dressed kids in class at ease. Not that they probably cared.
Inner awkwardness was put on hold one or two pages later, when it showed the overweight stepsisters getting ready for the ball. A tab you pull down revealed a very voluptuous stepsister in a loose fitting bra with much side spillage. I smiled and asked the class what it was called in Kenya. One student with a cheeky grin that reminded me of myself at a similar age immediately and instinctively answered ‘BRA, for boobs…. Like him’; and pointed at the currently injured promising young Rats prop Glen Pritchard, who is a big bopper at the best of times, but now resembles the type of cuddly fellow one might gravitate towards for an honest snuggle when stuck in a ski lodge bereft of any blankets. Glen, who was perhaps in the top 3 wittiest men on tour, duly appreciated the well timed low blow from the boy in class. Which had evoked probably the biggest belly laugh I’d experienced the entire trip, which had so far been a country I felt it very difficult to laugh in.
Glen responded by cupping his chest “Oh gee thanks mate, and to think I was about to give you my hat!” Which seemed to create an adorable shock of horror and regret on the little one’s face. Glen later gave the budding comedian his hat, and it was lovely to know that friendly ‘banter’ is universal, and not just an Australian thing.
Finishing the story ‘Cinderella’ made me think that reading that particular story was one of the best decisions I had ever made. The prince desired Cinderella not for the elegance and glamour she had achieved via magic the night before, but for how interesting a person she had proved to be. Despite her underprivileged background. This seemed perfect for these kids, who come from what really is ‘a slum’, and are all eager to study endlessly as a way of hopefully making it out of the slum and making gains in life. As I slapped the book shut and showed them the cover once again so they knew what it looked like, I shed a tear or two. It was something I don’t think i had ever felt before, a feeling of absolute happiness from the experiences I’d just had in that dark classroom, mixed together with the constant feeling of pity that came with knowing what an uphill battle these delightful children’s lives were going to be.
After leaving the classroom I walked outside and found the lost little boy from the beginning of our time in the slums. Dave Feltscheer and a few other Warringah boys had seemed to become his joint carer for the day. He stood with his usual delirious and hazy expression on his button nosed face, and gave him a Chupa Chup. After picking him up so that he was at eye level while he enjoyed the sweet taste of a strawberry lollipop, he dropped it in the mud. I immediately replaced it with a second Chupa Chup, which he pocketed. Just like all the other times I had seen him, he seemed bereft of any emotion, and eventually pointed to the ground wanting to be put down. He then proceeded to pick the first Chupa Chup out of the mud and straight back into his mouth, before raising his hands wishing to be picked up again. It was an odd feeling, realizing all of the various human emotions I had experienced that day, most of which were with this child, yet he had produced the same blank stare the entire time. All jokes aside, I truly felt like I could understand how Madonna might have felt a few years ago when she felt the sudden urge to pluck ‘Chifundo ‘Mery’ James’ from her town in Malawi. I thought about the amazing life I could give this boy back home, which would far exceed anything above his or his friends wildest imaginations about what the outside world was like. I wasn’t even sure if he had somebody to care for him anymore in Kibera, it sure hadn’t seemed like it that entire day. I have never felt so strongly for someone I knew that I would never see again.
The next day, after a brief visit to the slum to work on a few things, it was time for one of our many Rugby clinics.
Many times I witnessed young shoeless Kenyan kids run around a witches hat on a field littered with rocks in the blistering heat. More often than not only to get absolutely crunched in the ribs from a bone jarring tackle courtesy of their eager tackling friend, only to be helped up and run together to join the line arm in arm ready to smash each other again playfully. Every single time beautifully displaying what the ‘spirit of rugby’ is all about.
This practice of belting the living daylights out of your schoolyard chums wasn’t restricted solely to the males either. I noticed many females under 15 who possessed hamstring muscles many male rugby players my age back in Australia would kill for, running in fearlessly and spearing their shoulders into their classmates, be it boy or girl. It was a joy to watch, and their Swahili speaking female teachers were a sight for sore eyes in full rugby match attire, head to toe. These female teachers absorbed every piece of rugby information we had to offer, so that they could put the knowledge to good use and use the correct technique to absolutely rattle their students in tackles.
Dignitary after dignitary made appalling speech after appalling speech before retreating to the marquee and sipping on cold refreshments whilst the kids sweating it out at the rugby clinic went basically waterless unless one of our touring party had some spare water to give out from back at the hotel. It was at this point that Ryan ‘Turbo’ Trbovich, my adorable roommate, bought out the entire ice cream cart for all the 200 children involved in the clinic.
During lunch I experienced one of my top 5 moments of the entire trip. I went and sat with my food under an old storage container with six or seven kids who had just finished their rugby clinic in the sweltering heat. While we engaged in a cheerful conversation, they gradually edged closer and closer to me as I ate, until eventually three kids were caressing my arms and legs whilst ‘umming and ahhing’. The boy on my left shoulder asked ‘Scotty, how do I get big?’
This beautifully innocent ego boosting question had instantly made my whole week, and got me thinking about just what equipment these impoverished kids would have access to. I then stood in front of them, like it were a Les Mills body pump class, while five of them lined up with a brick in each hand and followed my lead. We started off with some ‘front brick raises’ for the anterior deltoid muscle, which caused a few of them to chuckle and groan before saying ‘ahhhh my shoulder.. very sore!’ Which we followed up with some ‘lateral brick raises’ for the rotator cuffs.
I explained to them ‘when you get stronger, find heavier bricks for these exercises, and you will get even bigger, like this guy’. At which point I introduced expert personal trainer and first try scorer of the tour, Dylan Smouha. Who brought in some of his wisdom to the ‘Lemon Lime and Scotty tribal bodies gym class’, which was gradually increasing in numbers.
I then taught them the ‘plank’ for their abdominal muscles, and witnessed the excruciating but beneficial pain they put themselves through in order to win my pair of sunglasses I had on offer to whomever held the plank the longest. It was so refreshing to know that these kids were going to take in every single piece of information Smouha and yours truly had showed them in the world of pre-season brick hypertrophy training. They will no doubt work out diligently like they had been on this particular day, and in a few years time no doubt resemble the shirtless and physically imposing muscled African men you often see standing on the back of a ute with a machine gun slung around their neck as the cliche scary African bad guy in a ‘blood diamonds’ movie.
Another Lemon Lime high point of Kenya came a few day’s later at another coaching clinic, which was intended for perhaps 60 kids but eventually got mobbed for what seemed like a thousand children. The inclusion of a double decker bus with a DJ underneath the top deck dance floor perhaps contributed to this somewhat. Not to mention the number one song in Kenya ‘Bend Over’ by RDX http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j482ajpNEY which got the local kids absolutely riotous every time they heard it played, it toiled with my moral compass when I was in awe of a six year olds seductive dance moves up against a pole. The Rats boys were asked to join the host at the top of the bus’ dance floor for a dancing competition after we had just battled in the sun for hours during a rugby clinic. Most of the touring party were extremely hesitant, being the reserved jock types most rugby players are deep down. This was a terrible look for the proud and traditionally boisterous Warringah Rugby Club I realised. I tried to spur on the boys to dance with me, since there were a couple hundred school kids and orphans cheering us on, but it wasn’t happening. So I was to fly solo as I dance battled a six year old Kenyan kid who danced like a slightly more Africanised Michael Jackson, and I pulled out my big guns to try and avoid being shamed by this future Kenyan ‘So You Think You Can Dance Winner’. The worm followed by the splits leading in to a few casual lay backs did the trick, and I don’t mean to sound arrogant but watching me dance is like watching Jesus make love to a woman, just saying.
So I brought out all my memories from former days watching rentals of WWF wrestling, when I would emulate the tag team wrestler my year six teacher, Mr Tuckerman deservingly named me: Scotty Too Hotty, and cranked out the worm, which I mixed in with a tribal Masai leg shaking moves which I copied from the gentleman next to me in the photograph. I learnt a lot from those free spirited boys and I’d love to think they received the same from me.
That evening we held a party at the Masai lodge, where we invited a few Kenyan politicians and dignitaries, friends of the charity, some local Masai warriors who own the land the lodge was built on, and of course ‘Magda’ the hanger on. I likened Magda to a cross between Bert Newtown and a five year old girl, the type of female who would garner nought male attention apart from the 1 male in 50 who particularly enjoys the soft touch of a larger woman’s many extra ‘bits’, like Phil Reber.
The night went by swimmingly and the local food was an experience in itself. I strongly recommend eating crocodile for those of you reading this who aren’t naive enough to think it okay to eat one animal but draw the line at another.
‘El Presidente’ Mike Sheeran tapped me on the shoulder and advised me to ‘Mingle properly Killer’ when he noticed me getting to know a 50 something year old cougar American ex-pat. I politely excused myself from the enlightening conversation and made my way over to the side of the party, where the Masai warriors were standing and talking quietly.
After getting to know these particularly tall and lean traditionally dressed gentleman with big spacer earrings that our culture definitely borrows from, I went into a conversation with the most senior member of the three.
He went on to inform me in intricate detail about the Masai and their proud traditions. “The more cows a man owns.. the more wives he can have. I, have many cows .. Five wives.. This man next to me, poor. Not many cows, only one wife.” Which lead to him point at a rather disappointed looking man who seemed nowhere near as confident as the man I was in deep discussion with, who was husband to five very lucky women. I particularly enjoyed learning about the stealth tactics necessary to kill a lion with a spear, and he went in to great detail to describe the first lion he ever killed. “It takes two spears to kill a lion”. After having just been on a safari a few days earlier and driving long distances in a van to see three very reserved and wary lions, I acknowledged to him how difficult a task I imagined this to be, and he passed off this slight compliment like it was a walk in the park.
The things I was discussing with this man are some of the most intriguing things you could ever learn about on the National Geographic channel, let alone real life. After the long lion conversation, we somehow moved on to the topic of ‘women’. Which lead to him describing, in explicit detail- what happens to a female if they try to escape the tribe. There is no doubt in my mind that the men catch up to the women every time they try and sneak away, they are genuine warriors in every sense of the word. The first time a woman tries to leave, they are brought home and beaten within an inch of their life. If she should ever try to leave a second time, they proceed to heat rocks on a fire, before tying the rocks to the escapees legs, behind the knee. This leads to the muscles and bones bowing and mangling, causing the female to walk like a cerebral palsy sufferer for the rest of her life, and making it now physically impossible to try to escape ever again.
All of this in explicit detail, discussed nonchalantly and matter of factly, visceral.
Girls back in Sydney I talked to about this conversation I had were seething that I didn’t say or do anything to try and put a cease to this ‘barbaric behaviour’. I would try to explain the chances of this man high up in the Masai hierarchy suddenly coming to the realisation: “Oh, this polite white boy from across the other side of the world has a point, maybe I should put a stop to thousands of years of tradition after all, he seems like a very smart young man”.
On to the more pleasant topic of other animals he owns, we had soon started talking about the benefits of owning a donkey. I thought to myself if he has kindly opened me up to so much of his intriguing world, perhaps it was time in my slightly drunken confidence and worldliness for me to inform him of some interesting things from my ‘culture’.
In my best simplified and slowed down English, I spoke: “You know computer.. the Internet? In my country I see video on the Internet, of an American woman. She.. having sex.. with donkey”
He was both curious and horrified, aghast and charmingly curious, and wanting to know why a woman would so such a thing when there’s normally many men more than willing to do the same deed. “Money”, I explained. “Also, American women are a little crazy….” We stood face to face nodding our heads in disapproval in our replica Masai blankets slung across our shoulders fresh out of a packet. My fingers were crossed behind my back, I was hoping dearly that I had not just provided him with enough information to start the trend for a new Masai ‘tradition’. Since those females of theirs seem to be suffering enough as it is.
Today also happened to be Rat’s winger Matt Bate’s (tour wet blanket) 23rd birthday. Phil Reber and myself had earlier in the evening devised a riotous plan to turn this good evening into a fuckin’ good evening. All of the Warringah Rats on tour were well behaved and reserved upstanding members of society, so I felt the need put my hand up for the brave gig about to take place.
Phil equipped me with the ‘Catwoman’ suit he had brought from Australia, his many years of experience on this planet providing him with the intuition to know that it may come in handy at some point. It came complete with PVC tights that felt like i was wearing nothing at all, a tight imitation leather crystal studded crop top, clawed gloves that went up to my elbow, and the cherry on top- a rubber Catwoman mask that covered the top half of my face. If I was to rendezvous again with the lovely ‘Amara’ from earlier in the week, I would have her wearing what I had on right now, in order to meticulously act out some dark-and-brooding-villainess-Catwoman Halle Berry fantasy.
For some additional ‘Dutch’ courage i polished off two more Smirnoff Double Blacks and advised Phil my loyal supervisor to sit Matt down in the middle of a circle of party goers along with another chair in front of him, and then have a song played.
My first song choice, and personal favourite to windmill to, was ‘Oh Yeah’ by Yello, from ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ fame. The young Kenyan DJ did not have this magical song on his laptop which mainly consisted of modern rap and pop, but I desperately needed a song to perform Batey’s upcoming birthday routine to. I then suggested ‘Rude Boy’ By Rihanna, which he indeed had.
I marched into a circle of around 100 onlookers, in the tight and unflattering Catwoman suit. Roars of laughter from the stunned onlookers almost drowned out my wail of “I hear Batey likes PUUUUSSSAY”, before nimbly riding a chair to the ground followed up by the front splits. Wolf whistles from hordes of much older women left me feeling momentarily objectified, until I whisked off the PVC tights and threw them at the aggressors. Now my only worry was Batey having a characteristic freak out, and perhaps ‘borrowing’ a spear from one of the puzzled looking nearby Masai, and spearing me in the chest like I were a lion. Full credit to Batey in the end though, he copped the entire homo-erotic feline lap dance on the chin, like any rugby playing birthday boy should.
Due to the presence of the many dignitaries and official people, I chose to keep on my final layer of clothing: A striped pair of Davenport underwear pulled right up my ass. Eamon Sullivan eat your heart out. I just wasn’t sure if being naked in public was a ‘stone him to death’ offence in Kenya. It however was not the sole reason for keeping on the final layer- because if anything the possibility of getting your wand out in front of the most important people in Kenya makes the thought even more enticing. I’ll now admit they were mostly kept ‘on’ due to the fact that there was a number of Masai warriors present. On this frosty Kenyan evening these large African men would probably have had their first laughs of the party at the expense of my shrunken package in comparison to their impressive slimy black sausages. This instant Kenyan penile anxiety was born during the post game showers of our first match, and it wasn’t until much later that many anxious Warringah boys were reassured that the locals were merely ‘showers’ and not growers.
One of the many well heeled cougars present sent a few adventurous propositions in my direction, along with her very polite and well spoken open minded husband. Being the reserved and well mannered Christian type Grant Gallant was grooming me in to though, I politely declined and kept on boogeying.
I was later repaid for this decision when a small huddle of loyal dancers who later had trouble sleeping were treated to a DJ Dalecki special: Darude - Sandstorm, being played at my highest state of consciousness that evening, whilst in an African national park. You couldn’t design a more perfect scenario to get your rocks off to, you really couldn’t.
The following day, accompanied by many sore heads and the beautiful people from the Oasis Africa charity we once again ventured towards the Kibera slum Oasis Africa orphanage school.
It is at this orphanage where we witnessed the most beautiful children you could ever imagine, little girls only six or seven who we’d later be informed are already victims of rape.
Embedded in Sub-Saharan African culture is the belief that your HIV/AIDS will be cured should you sleep with a virgin. This leads to girls sometimes under one year old being targeted. I was later teaching a class along with the kind hearted mostly female teachers of the Oasis Africa Orphanage school, paying attention to the sparkling eyes of the children who don’t have a single bad bone in their bodies. Scanning the class room it was relatively easy to tell which girls in particular the men in the slum may find particularly appealing and no doubt target, made me almost ashamed of being male.
47% of the females in this slum will have been raped by the time they turn 19.It would no doubt become a regular ordeal for some. Just like the AIDS epidemic which is a regular way of life for them, assuming everybody in the world must be exposed to it just like they are, where one in every 3 people suffer from HIV/AIDS. All these children in this orphanage are obviously parent-less and have to soldier on through all these horrors on a daily basis.
This time in the orphanage I pulled out the ‘Disney Great Big Book of Knowledge’ to show a class of bewildered 10 year olds.
It was the first time they had seen perhaps 90% of the things shown in this book- basically anything not from Africa. “Tell us more about Australia” was a comment heard by many of the Warringah boys throughout the week. It made me feel a little like Gulliver with the curious Lilliputtians describing his homeland, and therefore we were always more than happy to oblige. I turned the page to ‘dolphins’, and seeing the dropped jaws on every body in the class was priceless. This dolphin creature may as well have been from another planet, one student even asked "where are it’s legs??" Which made me then realise, that after living at 17 000 ft above ocean with no access to electricity or books until this point, that most of these children had no idea what the ocean was. Trying to explain ‘the ocean’ was a task in itself. I could think of nothing to even compare it to other than the moat full of fecal matter surrounding the slum. The only other thing that sprang to mind was a small creek we saw on safari which featured what seemed like one thousand zebras mostly knee deep in the water, along with a looming crocodile they weren’t aware of. I flipped to a photograph of a lake in U.S.A, and after having to explain what a ‘Beaver’ was, I eventually was able to explain the ocean.
After having done this, I thought perhaps they may be a little bored with the ocean, and that it may be time to move on. I progressed to trying to explain what a ‘wave’ was: “a wall of water, sometimes higher than this class room, rushing at running speed”. The class looked at me blankly, and I all of a sudden felt like the fellow who discovered that the world was round, and then painfully tried to explain it to everybody. I cut my losses and moved on, content with the fact that they previously didn’t know what the ocean was, but now they did.
These are all exceptionally hard working children, who are highly intelligent in anything that had been brought into their world so far, since they eagerly absorb every piece of information fed to them. It felt lovely knowing that the potential of their general knowledge capacity just improved ten fold due to the library we had just brought into their worlds, since they had almost exclusively before that been learning from chalkboards. This general knowledge deficiency was never more evident than when talking to kids about what they wanted to be when they were older. The answers never strayed from either Doctor - because they have all at some point spent time in make shift injury clinics, Teacher - since they see and admire their teachers every day. The jobs after the Doctor and teacher theme then went into the transport industry, with Pilot, a very regular answer amongst young males, because of the planes they would see overhead in the slums perhaps once a day. Always wishing to see what it must be like to be inside one. The final recurring answer was Bus Driver, due to the many ‘Citi Hoppa’ buses they see on the roads in the distance. “Hey, I got an idea for you.” I said to one young lad who told me of his bus driver ambitions. “If you drive for a bus company you will be working for the man, making a respectable but modest wage. How about cutting the middle man, and even perhaps one day having a few people working for you, on your own bus. What’s your name?”
“Akimbo” he answered, confused yet excited.
“Okay, that sounds beautiful, how does ‘Akimbo’s Party bus sound? With dancing girls on poles, tourists will pay a lot of money to see beautiful Kenyan women, along with a licensed bar with music and flashing lights. It will be the talk of Kenya!”
He nodded for a while, a bit nonplussed and not sure what he made of my exciting career advice before he yelled “I love this! ‘Akimbo’s party bus’, yeah man!”
After seemingly haven blown his mind I was now almost certain he had received the most valuable and knowledgeable career advice he could ever possibly receive. In 15 years time if I return to Kenya, I hope to see a whole chain of ‘Akimbo’s Party Buses’ flooding Nairobi city with well paid exotic Kenyan women keeping every body’s ebony fantasies living on forever and ever.
On Saturday, our second last game on tour, we played our match against Kenya ‘A’. After an eventful lunch time which featured ‘tour wet blanket’ Matt Bate be a great big primadonna over a few measly peanuts, we finally arrived ready to play. A couple of hundred orphans had been bused over to cheer us on, a rare occasion for them to be outside the slum. No one was more motivated by this than my roommate mentioned at the beginning of the story, loose head prop Ryan ‘gorilla face’ Trbojevich, who made an inspired barnstorming run whilst dragging five Kenyan defenders along with him to score our second try.
Our first try was one of the most serendipitous sights in rugby, a 10 man rolling maul off a line out. Being a prop I was at the front of this beautiful surging mass of human bodies, and choked my opposing prop to lessen their chances of destabilising or collapsing this rolling maul. Which provided a feeling of excitement when we crashed over to score our first try surpassed on this trip only by a few other moments, like seeing Scott Bradley attempt to talk with females.
Once again the altitude got to our inferior Australian lungs towards the end of the match, when the Kenyans finally did away with the early lead we had accumulated to put on some late points.
It was towards the end of the match when I experienced a rugby moment almost as heart breaking as some of the things from the slum. There was 5 minutes to go, and we were 5 metres out, just electing to have a scrum after they had a forward yellow carded, we were at this stage 4 points down. ‘Pushover boys, pushover try!’ Was the only words being mentioned, and we were hell bent on making this happen. The Scrum was packed, we pushed them back about four metres, one short of the try line, with my head tucked in to the scrum nestles against a sweaty Africans head, I heard a cheer from the crowd. Natural instincts assume that our number 8 must have dived over from the back of the scrum. As I looked behind me, I see the Kenyan halfback getting tackled about 30 metres down field. Apparently he had illegally plucked the ball from our second row’s feet, whilst the referee was totally oblivious. Many burly footballers lack any type of feelings or human emotions whatsoever, but it is these moments that water the eyes of the most sadistic meat heads the world over.
A fracas was started by our 5/8 and notorious Northern Beaches bad boy, ‘boom colt’ Ed Doyle with about 10 minutes to go. This proved to be a big highlight for the blood thirsty local fans on the sideline, who craved for more blood and violence. A lot of the crowd yelling insults towards our team had ‘Homeboyz Rugby’ singlets on, and were obviously enjoying some alcoholic beverages after their victorious 2nd division grand final win 2 matches before ours.
Being homosexual must be incredibly frowned upon in Kenya, because I was about five metres infield during a stop in play, and yelled ‘Homeboyz are gay!’ before putting a thumb inside my mouth and poking the walls of my mouth with my tongue to simulate fellatio. All of a sudden many death threats and a barrage of insults were sent my way, along with the odd beer can and small pebble. It was hard to feel threatened at all though, when there’s a few guards with AK-47s standing in between the field and the furious African crowd. That and the ‘power slamming priest’ Grant Gallant ready to lay the smack down.
After the match it was good to see that gear swapping in rugby was a universal language, and I accumulated a Kenyan rugby jersey which will go straight to the pool room. I was then one of two Warringah boys who went one step further and stripped down to acquire some Kenyan shorts too, which I must say looked much better on the Kenyan winger with glossy black chiseled legs than they did on my pasty prop thighs of power. My team mates are to this day jealous of my extra acquisition, and that’s all that really matters.
The match was followed by one final night out in town, with the first club on our agenda being a place we had looked forward to all week- Florida Discotheque 2000.
After inadvertently causing the bus into town to be delayed due to getting distracted after drinking with sponsors, I was now on a head start on the rest of the players, drinking wise. If I was a lion this evening, this Discotheque dance floor was my lair. There was an abundance of ‘bootylicious’ African women everywhere, that made Beyonce Knowles resemble Calista Flockhart circa the late 90s. They were bouncing their delectable backsides like it was a basketball about to be shot for a free throw. Luckily there wasn’t any potentially dangerous looking African men in sight. I dutifully strutted up and slapped these basketballs, much to the dismay of my fellow tour members. ‘Stop it Killer, you’re going to get us shot!!!’
My loyal lioness’ however, had no grievance at all with their lion king’s confident behaviour. Which did seem to worry a few tour organisers, and eventually resulted in a certain hungry lioness being reimbursed a few Kenyan shillings to convince her to refrain from coming back to my lair for feeding time. The aura of ‘fun sponge’ was obviously a very transferable trait.
After coming across what I first thought was ‘free’ chicken had me nearly murdered in the final nightclub, in what would have been a great story opportunity for tour Manly Daily journalist Jason ‘Mr Bean’ Aveddisian, it was finally time to go back to the lodge, at 7am. Not for sleep just yet however, but for some hedonism and debauchery at ‘Club 21’, the room of Ben ‘Bruno Mars’ Adams and Dave Feltscheer. The proprietors of the Mona Vale Hotel could learn ALOT from these two young males on how to throw a social event, I must say.
Some of the sorest heads ever known to man came out of the wood works once the sun rose. For some reason I had been swept up by the white hot spirit of Kenya the night before, and found it hard to justify going to sleep on what was my final Kenyan evening.
I was eternally grateful to notice that there wasn’t many ‘Kenyan’ nationals on the Air Kenya staff for our flight to Bangkok. For if there had been I feared we may never have gotten off the ground for take off. They were just far too laid back and relaxed to be classified anywhere near ‘remotely efficient’ when it came to organisational work. This nonchalant Kenyan attitude towards anything us panicky westerners may deem important was never more paramount than whilst being driven somewhere. Our drivers would fling our vehicle head first into oncoming traffic for the sake of over taking one car. Meanwhile all of our jaws would be slapping the floor in shock while the driver sits calm like Michael Schumacher, cold as ice. There was one instance on our way back from the aptly named restaurant ‘Carnivores’ in a pimped out Hip Hop themed ‘taxi’ with decals of famous rappers and flashing neon lights. We soon found ourselves on a one lane highway, the other lane travelling in the opposite direction. There was dust absolutely everywhere on what was an already dimly lit dirt road late in the evening, when all of a sudden a large speeding truck came flaring towards us in our line, their opposite direction.
Just before impact and inevitable death to some of Australia’s most promising rugby players, the driver calmly veered off on to the bumpy dirt paddock on the side of the road before redirecting back on, as though it were a normal everyday driving manouver, and we weren’t just half a second from resembling tomato sauce the next morning when stray dogs eat our remains. All four of the Australian passengers in the car yelped helplessly like chickens in a coup who had just discovered a nearby fox. “Ahhh!… What the!!!… Just happened.. Is this normal? FUCK!” The driver chuckled smoothly and kept his eyes focused on the eyes ahead, before he replied “eh, is okay. Truck drivers try to get us all the time because they only got trucks and they get jealous.”
“Oh.. okay, makes sense bro”
After a brief hiccup at Bangkok airport which required some very anxious moments whilst wondering whether something may have been planted in my carry on, and featuring my best poker face, I finally got to progress out of the baggage scanning area.
The connecting flight from Thailand to Sydney provided one of the more jovial experiences of the past two weeks. Many pleasant beverages were enjoyed in the Bangkok Qantas lounge who were exceptionally good sports in letting us in this time around too. I sweet talked my way into the first class section of the plane to get a complementary glass of Moet, a ‘Catch Me If You Can’ moment if I say so myself. I all of a sudden, thanks to ‘Fun Sponge’, became the beholder of two examples of Leo Sternbach’s greatest inventions, wonderful white little pieces of instant happiness. Using the resourcefulness I had acquired from my time in Kenya, I made the most of them and they entered my system via a different, more effective route.
The new found ‘Hustlin Kenyan’ inside of me who was all of a sudden feeling on top of the world and invincible, proceeded to sneak into the cabin crew’s lock up. I ‘borrowed’ a bottle of Bundaberg Rum and snuck back out into the passenger area, every curious onlooker gasping at my marvellous deed I had just performed. I made a subtle ‘shhhh dont dob’ sound with my finger to my mouth and sat down. What resulted next was one of the merriest plane trips home there had ever been, ever. I Felt slightly different in Sydney this time around. knowing full well that later that night I would indeed have a hot bath and a luscious home cooked meal with my mother who had missed me, it seemed almost rude to an extent. It was as though I’d acquired some sort of feeling to always want to ‘hook a brotha up’ who may not have been born into the same priviliged world we naively assume everyone gets to enjoy from day one. Not to mention being pleasantly surprised that customs at Sydney Airport let in the country my trusty slingshot I purchased in Kenya. After having run amok with this device for the past week, I was in disbelief that one of the strictest airports in the world gave my weapon the green light. I’m sure all the occupants of my street feel the same way too. Since they have had their tin roofs of their large homes which are blocking daddie’s balconies view of the water constantly barraged with pebbles for the past few weeks, whenever I wake up at night.
Oasis Africa Australia is a totally non-profit organisation, established in 2005 by Sydney logistics executive who happened to be in Nairobi on business at the time. Oasis Africa Australia registered with and audited by the the NSW Govt, committed to providing a better life for the over 1000 orphans of the Kibera Slum through the School it helped set up. The slum is 4 square kilometres square and is the home for over a million people. You can directly sponsor a child here http://www.oasisafrica.net/child-sponsorship.php . All funds raised are used to provide primary education, food, security for over 100 children at the school. Children who graduate to secondary school are placed in well researched local boarding schools and all aspects of their care and development are managed by OAA. OAA has no political or religious affiliations and strives to provide these under priviliged kids with an equal opportunity at a start in life they would not otherwise have. OAA regularly lead donor/sponsor trips to Kenya so that supporters can see the school and meet the kids/community. If you have read this entire blog, and failed to sponsor at least one child, for what is just one dollar a day, then you sir or ma’am, are a bad person.
One Sunday evening, I was enduring the monotonous process of writing an essay about a subject of which I knew nothing about, when I decided to take a breather. I put on my comfiest underwear, which was the leopard skin g-string, and begun to analyse myself in the mirror. To my dismay, I immediately noticed the lateral head of my triceps brachii was not as defined as it usually is. It didn’t have the same distinct fullness, and for some reason didn’t give off the impression that it’s carved out of granite by Michelangelo, a trait it usually tends to possess.
I began to panic. I wouldn’t be able to continue sleep, let alone write this essay, without acting swiftly on this dilemma. I looked down at my watch and saw that there was 45 minutes until the gym closed. Adorning myself with any ragged, damp and worn gym clothes which were in my immediate vicinity and hastily departed.
Arriving swiftly, I shouldered my way past the vertically challenged Middle Eastern man who was painfully trying to smooth talk the cute, yet frumpy receptionist. She seemed very excited by my presence. I’m not sure whether this was due to the fact that I was interrupting her unwanted conversation, or because she obviously has a crush on me. Leaving these two to their budding romance, I made my way to the free weights section area and grabbed the heaviest dumbbells available, which to my horror only go up to fifty kilograms. Nowhere near heavy enough for my liking, but they would do for now. I placed them horizontally to the passageway so that every passerby can notice that I’m using the fifties, and not a lesser weight that a man of a lesser hypertrophic value might use. Not many people seemed to be paying me attention, so I grunted slightly, hopped on the ground and slapped myself in the face. Sure enough, two underweight and nerdy regular Joes begun to look out of the corner of their eyes, and it was now time to begin the first set.
After this initial flawlessly performed set of incline dumbbell chest press, I looked up at the TV screen to commence my rest period of exactly sixty seconds, and watched a replay of the previous evening’s rugby test match. I couldn’t help but notice that quite a few members of the New Zealand All Blacks had slightly larger muscles in the chest and shoulder area than I did, maybe six percent bigger at the very most. As a consequence of the rushing testosterone flowing through my body due to a combination of the creatine and Triandrobol I consumed beforehand, I began to go into survival mode. I thought about the possibility of finding myself walking home with a girl at 4am on a Sunday morning and coming into contact with the player on television. Being a drunken professional athlete, chances are he would try and grope the woman I was partnered of with for the evening. Being the well mannered red blooded male that I am, I would be forced to dig deep and defend my honour against this said professional athlete, who possesses a bigger and more powerful chest and shoulders than me. These muscles are a pretty important factor in a fight to the death. Would I be able to perform a career ending Kimura arm lock on the gentleman with my shoulders in the condition they’re in now? That daunting thought lingered in my head for the next few sets, spurring me on for more repetitions than I would normally settle for. For every careful repetition the only thought in my mind was if this compromising situation should ever occur, I need to be more than ready.
This matter of life and death was put to the back of my mind when a new health club nemesis was discovered. Standing confidently like a Buckingham Palace guard protecting the multi- purpose machine was a blonde fringed gentleman. He had an enviable golden brown complexion and was in his low twenties just like your humble narrator, dressed in just shorts and a white Stussy singlet yet still managing to look impeccably dressed.
The singlet he had adorned himself with seemed to pronounce his highly vascular arms. I’m comfortable enough with my own sexuality to say: he was a very sexy boy. He had an impressive physique, not like the muscle bound rugby player like the All Blacks on the television, but in a shredded and meticulously detailed, bereft of a single ounce of body fat- Brad Pitt in Fight club kind of way. His impressive lack of body fat made me doubt my what I once deemed respectable 11%, and I really didn’t appreciate it whatsoever. I started studying him from the corner of my eye, partially because I wanted to learn some of his workout techniques to add to my repertoire, but mostly because I was contemplating exactly how I’d like to harm him so he never embarrasses me again in my domain.
He seemed to be wiping the sweat from his brow a little too often for my liking, every thirty seconds pulling up his top to wipe his face which consequentially revealed the perfectly aligned abdominal muscles which seemed to protrude like golf balls. I knew I could man handle him, since part of the reason behind his impressive physique was his meagre body weight, which was around the low seventy kilogram mark.
He was now unknowingly distracting me from my workout. In between my decline chest flys where I emphasised the eccentric contraction once again all I could think about was casually walking over to his corner of the gym, and tying him to the ground with the nearest pair of knotted ropes. I developed the idea to drop dumbbells onto his prized abdominal muscles, and test how strong they really are. Calculating mathematical estimates on my head I concluded that from a 1.55m drop which is roughly my arm spans height would take an 8kg dumbbell when pointed at his chest, to crush his sternum and shatter it completely. The width of the dumbbell spreading the impact would mean that there is no visible damage on the outside, apart from the deep sag in his chest due to the lack of support underneath from all the broken rib bones; the perfect crime.
As I sat on the T-bar row salivating over the harm I could potentially do to my worthy adversary, he seemed to have slipped away somewhere and I was now the last person in the gym. Two minutes until closing time and I was frantically trying to make the most of the time I had left before doors shut. The receptionist pointed at her watch, and a minute later told me she wanted to go home, as well as the personal trainer on duty who had to help her pack up. As I was walking out, the receptionist joked that she was about to get the security guard to wrestle me off the bench press. The security guard was waiting at the desk too; it was his duty to lock up. He seemed rather chuffed with her remark which alluded to his supposed physical superiority over me. I however was genuinely offended. He was extremely short with a stereotypical tough guy goatie beard and nylon security jacket combo. Everything about him screamed ‘small man syndrome’. I remarked that that would be dangerous, since the security guard was the smallest person in the whole gym. His short ears pricked up, and I could notice his brow trembling somewhat. When you’re getting paid to appear tough and imposing, your first reaction when you’re in his shoes is to throttle the kid that just made fun of you. I simply grinned at him with my eyebrows raised and flexed my arms. He backed off somewhat, conceding defeat to a superior human male specimen. I felt whole again for the first time that evening, like I was worth something. It is these instances that make the toilsome hours in the gym, and burning stretched out muscles in pain the next day all worthwhile. I knew that if the human race was once again all of a sudden reduced to a mere jungle, that only the strong survive, and I would at least live longer than that unfortunate looking gentleman.
Every day the jockeys of Flemington Racecourse walked past Avril the pony and could not help but wonder just what a magnificent Pony she would be to ride. She possessed a silvery mane that produced an ethereal glow unmatched by all the other horses at Flemington Raceway. Whoever took the time to talk to Avril the pony learnt that she was mature and confident well beyond her years.
The rules for the Melbourne Cup stated that a pony had to be no less than three years old, but Avril the pony was just two years old, barely a filly. She looked just as old as all the other ponies, she also happened to speak in a manner much more articulate than the majority of the ponies and horses that were competing at the legal age to compete in the Melbourne Cup. The jockeys all knew of this pony named Avril. They knew how mature she was since she was always subtly flaunting her beautiful mane and legs. She would shake her tail and derriere as the jockeys walked past, showing off her powerful rear end which was powerful well beyond her years.
The younger sister of a very prestigious race horse that had won many prizes, Avril seemed to possess a lot of confidence in her own body. She was desperate for one of these jockeys to ride her. She once neighed the words: “Please, nobody will find out. Just use a separate identity for me, give me a chance. I am ready. I’m not like the other two year old horses, you all know that!” Each time falling on deaf ears; as much as they wanted to ride her, they knew it was against the rules and would get them in a lot of trouble. No jockey wanted bad publicity coming in to Melbourne Cup month. However it was always in the back of their mind, and every now and then Avril the young filly would rate a mention in the showers, or the billiards room of the race track stables.
The Melbourne Cup was around the corner and a few of the jockeys were without a horse to ride. They knew of the possible talent and glory behind Avril, the potential she possessed. However they were also scared of possibly losing their jockeys licence forever. This was their livelihoods at stake, and some of the jockeys had wives and families to feed back home.
There was one jockey named Errol who was unlike all the others, he was a swashbuckling cowboy that enjoyed starting trouble and mischief. He had a mysterious bravado and aura about him the jockeys couldn’t quite put their boyish fingers on to explain properly. He was similar to them in that he was short, and had the voice of a nine year old girl who had just sucked on helium balloons all day, yet there was still something different about him. He was known to explain why he behaved accordingly with the catch phrase “I don’t want to die without a few stories to tell.”
Errol told Avril that he appreciated the talent she possessed and he was going to do everything he could to ride her and somehow get away with it. Errol had a few practice runs where he never finished the entire race, only getting half way to the finish line, and never ever any more than three quarters of the distance. A few of the other jockeys became jealous and started to gossip. Their horses were of the legal age, but none of theirs looked as magnificent as Avril did when she was running full speed across the track. Their ponies were slightly overweight, and required a lot of maintenance. They knew that young ponies kept to themselves and didn’t neigh without a very good reason.
It was Melbourne Cup Day, Errol had devised a back story for Avril to confuse and mislead the media. She was now ‘Isabelle’ from Peru: a five year old Dartmoor Pony. He finished off the cover up by aging her slightly with a permanent marker, making her beautiful hind legs appear slightly less lean and fresh. The race begun, a few of the other jockeys during the race yelled to him, “We’re going to report you Errol!” They were very jealous that they didn’t have the bravery to go and put their hand up to ride Avril. Even though it was the first time Errol had completed the whole racecourse with Avril, he won. He said it was the most amazing ride he had ever experienced. In the post race speech Errol came clean; he was a new national hero.
He told the media that “It’s not about how many nights the pony has slept on the hay stack, it’s more important than that. There’s more to it than that, who is a balding old man to make these types of rules, if the pony is ready, then it’s ready. Isobel’s performance today has proved that, has it not?” This made the other jockeys realise that they should have perhaps disregarded some of the jockey laws, and instead given in to their immediate instincts. Now that Errol had broken in Avril, all of the jockeys wanted a ride. They seemed to have lost their chance it seemed; she had now progressed beyond her original desires for the jockeys to steer her along the racetrack, for more adventurous aspirations of Olympic showjumping.
Ansel Adams, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico. 1941
This piece is dedicated to Pingi Talaapitaga, Sydney’s leadng Notorious B.I.G impersonator at children’s parties, and Laura Bloomer- who taught me that all people- even bimbos, are capable of achieving anything. Even studying med, and finally Robert “Tornado Fists” Kelly, because he deserves to have been born 60 years ago, when men were men.
People tend to think that immaculate physical specimens of Australian men such as myself exercise solely for aesthetic purposes; in order to appear visually appealing. These people couldn’t be further from the truth. Males such as yours truly go to the gym for survival reasons: to increase the potential damage I can inflict on my fellow man, should the situation ever arise. If becoming really really really impossibly sexy comes as a consequence of this fight specific training, then so be it.
Words cannot explain the sense of self worth one feels when sidestepping the fellows in the gym vainly crunching their abdominal muscles, to adorn myself with the tattered leather head gear belonging to the ‘neck press’ a long superseded exercise machine designed to thicken the width of my neck- therefore lessening the chances of being knocked out in a good ol’ fashioned bar fight. The never ending journey of self improvement involved in becoming more capable of mass destruction using solely bare hands is something every man should strive toward. The idea of the character from Johnny Cash’s song ‘Boy Named Sue’ springs to mind, getting tougher and tougher with age after fighting anybody that teases his feminine name. For our dark skinned brothers out there, Ice-T sums it up with his beautiful song “Gotta Lotta Love” with the lyrics
“I seen the greatest thing I seen in my life
Two brothers in a straight up fist fight
Nobody pulled a gat, nobody jumped in
Nobody pulled a knife, nobody got done in”
Nothing comes close to the adrenaline felt within when it’s ‘Mano-a-mano’, two men reduced to just their bodies, and more importantly their fists- their bank accounts and social status thrown out the window momentarily, the great leveller. It’s important to stay good humoured and well natured in these scenarios, maybe even sharing a beer afterwards, reminiscing about that right hook you landed that sent blood spraying off in a beautiful mist of crimson red, rendering his nose sideways.
Gone are the strangely appealing, effortlessly romantic, desirable bad boy types under the Ned Kelly mould, who typified the age old idea of the rugged Australian male, the object of desire for the everyday woman; long gone are the times when the standard default image for appealing Australian men was the physically imposing logo of the chesty bonds man. The world travelling, womanizing, rugged and bearded icon of Alby Mangels has been replaced by camp, wholesome types one might find on Getaway (aside from Jason Dundas whom i admire- his body is rockin’). Don’t even get me started on the absence of dominant and masculine romantic swashbuckling types like Errol Flynn, who once deservingly reached the greatest pinnacle of Hollywood movie stardom, or very similarly to Errol another of my personal favourites- Ken Kesey, the writer of ‘One Flew over The Cuckoo’s Nest’. Kesey had it all: formerly an all American collegiate wrestling champion, he once found himself on the run from the American federal police, escaping to Mexico for LSD related misdemeanours; he managed to enjoy months of hedonism and debauchery while on the run from the law, to eventually return to America dressed as a lost cowboy amongst a blaze of public glory.
These heroic, all male types are a dying breed, giving way to sensitive and polite librarian type males playing fiddle to these immature unrealistic Hollywood feminine desires of a dream man. Spineless men like this are kidding themselves if they think they will ever lead a fruitful and fulfilling life, not to mention the fact that they would possess the fighting abilities of Betty White or Doris Haddock. By continuing to play into the ever increasing female quest for power, these boys are consequentially reinventing themselves in order to appease the new breed of women, by turning into effeminate, overly polite, non-threatening, homosexual in every single way except for sexual preference weak pussies. Popular identities like Jake Gyllenhaal, Zac Efron and Robert Pattinson have all of a sudden become the object of desire for many females. These girlie men have gradually taken the place of the masculine and adventurous hard men of yesteryear. Psychology Today reported that USA in 1910: The Boy Scouts was founded “to rescue boys from the feminizing clutches of mothers and Sunday School teachers, and to get them out into the woods to learn how to be men.”
Men need to realise, the only thing one takes to his grave is his legacy, the stories he has accumulated. I need to look only two doors down the hallway of my humble abode in Newcastle to realise the importance in staying a dominant and strong modern man, not affected in any way by ‘the whip’. Here, my visually and mentally treacherous housemate’s long broken boyfriend as gradually transformed him into a pathetic excuse for a male. He has let his unintelligent and demanding girlfriend break him down to the point where he has lost the glorious traits that defines us as males, the ability to act rationally, as well as the ability to think logically in order to overcome problems and invent things- after all name me five female inventions off the top of your head. Exactly mate, don’t shoot the messenger.
Since he no longer has a voice, his input is rendered obsolete, and together as a couple they are now steered by the irrational and delusional mind of a six year old girl in a whining 20 year olds body, towards activities and life plans that kill me inside to hear about, let alone willingly play out, like he does every single fucking time, that poor tortured soul.
It’s absolutely crucial that men who find themselves trapped in these restricting domestic environments get to cleanse their broken, whipped and shameful selves and get back to their primitive and barbaric roots, to reminisce about the golden times when men were men, and engage in some ‘BOIZFUN’.
During times of ‘BOIZFUN’ it is possible to be so straight, that the concepts of sexual preference become uncertain to the untrained eye, and you appear queer. Let me assure you there is nothing in the world more beautifully masculine than engaging in a sword fight off your balcony with your best mate, relaxing in the crisp evening air as you soil your neighbour’s prized vegetable garden, a simple light hearted comment appreciating your friends willy never goes astray either. There is nothing homosexual about this behaviour whatsoever, and it hurts me when people uneducated on these matters may think so. The ultimate test of machismo bravado is the gay frigit test. The male sexuality psyche revolving in a circle is never more relevant than this scenario, the most frivolous and homo erotic behaviour a man can partake in really is the straightest thing imaginable. Only the most sexually comfortable and dominant alpha males would be able to bring themselves to enter the back door of their cellmate in prison as well as having the confidence to give him a reach around. A straight man could never bring himself to commit this act if he doubted himself even the slightest. Same goes for the Hell’s Angels bikies from the 1960s that Hunter S. Thompson reported on in his book, “Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs” when he wrote about the roaming bikies, who owned no material possessions other than their bikes, who would accept money from San Fransisco local homosexuals who were eager to feed off their male pride and masculinity by paying money to give them an adoring blow job. More power to these bikies, they really don’t give a shit, and there is nothing more manly than that.
The male bonding sessions mentioned earlier, or “BOIZFUN” as I put it, are essential towards staying true to yourself and your gender for evolution purposes; be it on a simple fishing trip, a football bus trip which involves exposing your phallus to any females the bus drives past, perhaps even taking a leaf out of Errol Flynn’s book every once in a while, and using your acting and quick thinking in order to get into bed with a desirable young bonny lass. Even something as left field as taming a wild brumby in the outback or learning a martial art- all of these are manly activities that every modern male needs to dabble in every once in a while, in order to stay well rounded and well trained for whatever curve ball life throws at you. You never know when you’re going to be walking to the grocery store when one of those good looking yet freakkkky, horse loving young women we sometimes see riding on the road on the northern beaches horse starts bucking profusely and it’s up to you to tame the beast, and go home with the gal. Stay prepared.
Now don’t get me wrong, as a cultured young fine arts student, I’m the first to acknowledge the importance of realising the difference of some claret from a Beaujolais, point out the significance that post-impressionism had towards the creation of a true modernism in art or appreciate the beautiful sonic delights involved in the modern composer Ennio Morricone’s music. That be said, it is the frivolous he-man barbaric activities we will truly remember and fondly look back upon when we’re at the unavoidable stage of our life when we’re forced to urinate into a steel bowl under our bed sheets, fed by a tube and the highlight of our day is the slight glimpse of the nurse’s cleavage. Our accomplishment’s and mad man activities enjoyed in our youths are what makes being a dependant and frail wreck all worth it. Keeping up with the Hunter theme today, it can all be summed up by this glorious quote of his:
“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”
Being well grounded, refined and secure is all well and good, but this just heightens the insignificant problems that the human being never fails to discover in their life, to add purpose and meaning. Be it the dilemmas your school p&c committee comes across, getting your beloved daughter in their representative netball team, finding out what divorcee your from the local surf club is sleeping with your ex husband, or being distraught over the fact that you saw a fellow hipster at a cafe in Leichardt sporting the same obscure brand of chinos that you purchased from an online Norwegian fashion store. It is these little twists and turns which provide meaning and purpose to the banality of middle class modern life. It’s disgusting to see how content some people are with their humble and mediocre existence, whose lives are moving so slowly that they let the most pointless of problems consume them entirely. I feel guilty in knowing that the saddest part of my weekend was when i found myself at the dairy section of the supermarket, grieving over the fact that they didn’t seem to sell ‘Smooth Caramel’ flavoured Le Rice anymore.
Why should I give a shit about what flavour of rice pudding I am no longer able to purchase? I all of a sudden felt like one of the sorry excuses for a human being that writes into column 8 of the Sydney Morning Herald pointing out ‘hilarious’ typos, or ‘interesting’ coincidental numeral facts and dates, or one of the people who petitions and campaigns tirelessly because they are adamant that their suburb will be ruined should their local supermarket extend by 25ft.
The pathetic grievances and dilemmas are only ever rendered obsolete and temporarily washed away by the aforementioned boisterous machismo activities. One’s greatest fear in life should be the possibility of finding themselves stuck in obscurity, and leading a pathetic existence. One must never let any ‘morals’ or law get in the way of a good hearty adventure. Be it to an exotic corner of the Galapagos Islands aboard a vintage yacht, living amongst a rare tribe of Amazonian rainforest jungle villagers, or getting your sword out at a hen’s night entertaining some intoxicated middle aged women.
— Newell Harry
Kid Rock: “Bawitdaba”