Monday, April 30, 2007

My Stephen King moment

Oh those sneaky neighbors and their suspiciously named stream. They only pretended to listen to my apology. As it turns out they sent some lackey, probably from the suburb of Hovea or some such place, after me on the roads.

For those of you who do not know I was involved in a car accident today. I was minding my own business, stopped at a set of lights when suddenly, out of nowhere comes this maniac lady in a grey hatch-back. She looks ahead of me to the glaringly red street light and grins maniacally. She knows now there is no escape for her prey.

Howling with delight she stamps her foot down on the accelerator, lurching her vehicular missile into top speed. Time for a moment stops. The universe holds it's breath. This is going to be good. The nano-seconds start to slip by slowly....The Mark hasn't seen her.....BOOOOOOOM!

At this point I'm lying down. I wasn't expecting this as I waited for the light to turn green. It doesn't usually happen. Usually the light turns green and I sail gently closer to work. Today I seem to be lying down. It's weird.

Where are my glasses? Why are there CDs in my lap? Where did that mark on the ceiling come from? Why am I staring at the ceiling again?

I sit up slowly and see the wrecked car in the rear vision mirror. I get out of the car swiftly and hurry back to check on the driver. I seem to be OK and I need to make sure no-one has been injured.

As the sounds of the universe slowly seep back into my adrenaline-addled brain I notice that she's still clutching half a cigarette. How did she manage to keep hold of that thing?

I ask and she's apparently OK and no she doesn't need me to call anyone as she's got a phone. There's a paramedic there which is weird because I didn't hear sirens. Apparently there is a crash down the road and he is stopped at the same intersection. It still seems to be red but there is no cars in front of us now.

I assure him that we are OK and go about the grisly business of examining the cars. Mine seems fine. Nothing can keep the good old girl down. Hers is a mess. My tow-ball has totally smashed in her radiator. I can see green liquid seeping onto the road like thin blood.

I offer to help her push her car onto the curb but she says it'll be fine. She hops in and miraculously the engine starts. She pushes up and onto the center isle. I push the back of my chair back up and hop in. I turn the key and look ahead.

The light is green. This is what I was waiting for. Without a single thought, I glide ahead.

Would that that were the end of the story. Her car is wrecked but she apparently caused the accident so I'm not sure about the Karmic balance there. I seem to be OK and I am generally OK with this development. I don't need to worry about the car. The lady was fine physically. Gotta get to work now because I was already running late.

I get across the intersection and about 20 metres down the road and stop. Not because there is anything wrong with the car but because the car ahead of me stops. Of course, the paramedic was attending an accident and so the traffic is backed up. Perfect! What else can go...Whap!!!

I'm lying down again. This seems to be happening to me a lot today. I generally like lying down but this is not the time nor is it the place. I sit up and immediately check the rear-vision mirror. Who has hit me this time? I wonder.

But no-one hit me. My seat had collapsed. Something in the accident (probably my weight) had irreparably broken my drivers side seat. I suddenly realize that I'm facing uphill and I have no back support. My back starts to ache and so does my right hand. I look at it and see a massive black bruise on the back of my hand.

The back of my hand? When did I hit the back of my hand? My heart rate is up. Way to go body! You've finally caught up with the situation. Not far behind my body is my brain. Wait a second! It seems to cry. I'm not fine at all. And neither is my car.

But now I'm stuck in traffic. It takes me fully 25 minutes to get far enough up the highway and passed the road accident so that I can turn. And then that is onto another highway and it's another 10 minutes before I get back to the site of the accident.

The lady is gone, and so is her car. Did I imagine the whole thing? I don't think so. At least, I have been typing this for a good hour because my right hand doesn't work so well just at the moment. And I have a heat pack strapped to my back.

Yes today has been a terrible day and I cannot wait for it to end. This was just one of many incidents which led this day to totally suck. Among others, I also broke my shower head. I don't fit into the kids bath so now I'm going to have to shower at work tomorrow.

I wasn't hit by a truck but maybe this will be my Stephen King moment. i.e. I was good before and I'm even better now. The only thing makes me think this is because I am reading The Gunslinger series at the moment. Whether he's insane or genius, this series proves it.

And so I go to bed. If I don't wake in the morning, let this be last thing I ever say:

SCMPF (Christian knows what it means and he will never read it)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Drowing in Envy

This is a story crossing the boundaries of time. Not in a Back to the Future style containing the pumping rhythms of Johnny B. Goode in the unlikely arena of a 1950s gymnasium. Nor in the style of a liquidic (It is so a word!) police officer a la Robert Patrick in the classic Terminator 2. No, this is a story set in two time periods with basically nothing holding them together except for the powerful glue of Hollywood legends. The Suspension of Disbelief.

If it were a movie, it would be that one where Keanu is in the past writing love letters to that chick in the future who buys his house on the river only to discover that they had actually met on several occasions and were spiritually connected in some deep and meaningful way. Except that it would be good and I wouldn't fall asleep.

It all starts many years ago and earlier this week. My brother, my sister and myself were discussing some crap in a Seinfeldian style, as we were want to do on a Tuesday, when suddenly and without warning, the subject turned to global warming.

We were living in Mundaring at the time and we were high up, perched on the top of the Darling Range. Below us, in all it's sprawling misery, was the metropolis known as Midland. We knew of other, larger cities, but they were far, far away. Humbled as it were by distance and lack of experience.

No, Midland was the cesspool of crime and violence in our spheres of influence. It was a place which had good shops that you rushed into and hoped like crazy that you could get home without being mugged, murdered, or worse.

Back to the story. We were discussing global warming and we had decided that it would be best if some higher being were to allow global warming, that they ensure that Midland end up under water. We were safe in our quiet mountain town. and we lived an hour or so from the beach as well. This would be a fine development.

Skip forward to this last week. Note that I'm telling the story chronologically because of the textual medium. If this were actually a movie, we would have interspersed bits of back story with the current one to make it more like an episode of Lost and increase the level of dramatic tension in a steady arc toward the spectacular finale.

So earlier this week, I was having a conversation with a colleague at work. I happened to mention that where I was living in Stratton (now at the bottom of that fearsome hill), it practically never rains. In fact, whenever it looks like it might, causing us to rush around bringing in the kids, the dog, the cat and the washing, the clouds tend to pass harmlessly over us, shower lightly on Jane Brook (the next suburb over) and then go on their merry way.

I hated those smug Jane Brookers. They get Broadband2+, they get rain, they get a brook. What do I get? I get petty street crime and a maze of roundabouts so intense, I heard the Rubiks guy is still lost in them. Oh yes, I hated them and I made sure that I said so.

So now we reach the end of the tale. It is now Sunday afternoon. I guess those Jane Brookers must have some sway with the big guys upstairs because it is raining so hard right now that I fear I may be fishing at that fabled fictional beach of my siblings overactive imaginations soon enough.

I apologise Janey's! I'm sorry! Please, I have not the skills to build an ark. I did not know what I was doing. The lord of deceit, he whispered quietly in my ear and told me I wasn't getting enough rain. He said I shouldn't need to water my lawn. He was wrong do you hear me?! I denounce him!

And now it stops. The clan of Jane Brook have heard my impassioned plea. They have lifted the curtain of wet death that had drawn so close and shown me the sun once more. As I look to the sky I see the mark of their promise.

They will not do this again, it seems the bright bands of color say. Except for Indigo. Indigo is saying that I had better not make them do it again. Or else.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Strange Brain Habits

Does anyone else have a brain which randomly shouts things at you at inappropriate times? It's like my own subconscious is constantly looking for weird (and potentially funny) stuff to say. Very odd.

As an example, I was doing one of those Getting to Know you emails which my bro forwarded on to me this evening. You know the ones which circulate around starting from some smart-assed spammer who eventually gets it back chocked full of peoples buying habits and email addresses.

Now, I usually go a little silly with these sorts of things but when i got to question 40 I just started going off the rails. If you have more than one train on the track then this is probably okay I guess. So what was question 40 then? It was:

Do you make friends easily?
OK. Nothing too crazy right? Except that my brain immediately goes

"No. Robotics is difficult. I can usually create some kind of contraption which can walk a few steps on flat ground. Of course it isn't very energy efficient so I wind up walking next to it and carrying the power supply. This is OK though, I don't mind walking hand-in-hand because isn't that really what friends are for.

All of which is great and all but sometimes I want to climb a gentle gradient. And some shops have little steps in front of them. And sometimes I just want to sit and chat. My robotic friends make great listening partners but they rarely have an idea of their own. At least I assume that they never have an idea of their own. If they did they would probably have a hard time expressing it as they are just a pair of robotic legs which can't even carry their own power supply.

That's another thing. Do you know how embarrassing it is to take a friend to a party and have it run out of batteries. Even those of you whose friends are not made of Popsicle sticks and rubber bands have probably had to suffer the embarrassment of carrying a friend home from a party.

My friend never gets any of my subtle hints either. Whenever I want to be alone with a chick he just sticks around no matter how many times I yell at him "DUDE I NEED SOME QUALITY TIME WITH MY WOMAN!". Eventually I have to carry him out of the room and by then the shampoo commercial is usually over.

I've tried to improve my skills but there is very little instructional material on making your own friends on the back of Wheat-Boxes, which as we all know is the encyclopedia of the masses. If anyone has tried to make a companion using techniques found from a different kind of early morning snack box then I would be most grateful for the help."

At that point I read the whole email. Giggled my ass off and decided to remove it. I felt that it deserved more exposure than the 9 people I forwarded the email to. Even though it would have helped people to Get to know me, I'm not entirely convinced that it's such a good idea. I love it. It's a masterpiece. But it detracted from the email.

But it deserved to live. It needed to be read. And so, dear reader I leave you wondering, "is this guy mental, or is he just one of us?"

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Let me tell you a tale

I feel like a new man. I could probably get one looking as I do at the moment. Pretty sharp, let me tell you.

For those that see me relatively regularly, next time you see me you will note that I have removed my Olympic Bear-Swallower style beard. Cost me a pretty penny too.

Normally when you undertake such a crazy plan, you'd trim the beard down first and then go the razor. Bugger that, I thought to myself and immediately started hacking away at it with a ShickFX Quattro razor.

Three disposable razors later I am now smooth again. Three! At four blades a a head. That's twelve razors bluntened by my 5 weeks of growth. I'm not sure that I earned enough money in that time to cover the cost.

There are other things going on in my life at the moment which make me feel refreshed but as I'm under a blood oath not to talk about them... let me tell you a cautionary tale of stupidity. In this way I hope to educate you all about stupidity so that you can avoid my mistakes in your own lives.

It was a cold winter morning way back in my early teens. My itty bitty book light, the pride and joy of my toy collection at the time, had stopped responding to my "on" requests. Instead of suspecting the bulb (the most likely culprit), your intrepid hero decided to attack the problem armed with a screw-driver.

Now, I'm not a complete marshmallow. I know that you don't jam a screwdriver directly into an electrical device if it's plugged into the wall. So I calmly extracted the power cable and rested it gently between my teeth.

Go back and read that paragraph again. I kid you not, I placed a power cable IN MY MOUTH! But all is not over for our fearless protagonist. Because of the way these kinds of power cables was constructed I did not immediately meet my fate.

You see, this cable was constructed of two metal cylinders, one inside the other. They were separated by a thin sheet of, presumably, resistant plastic. So as long as my teeth and lips stayed away from the inner core, I would be ok.

Well, it would have been a good idea for someone to tell me that before I tried to adjust it's position with my tongue.

I woke up on the floor several minutes later with a killer headache, sore teeth and jaws, and a numb tongue.

I have never since owned an itty bitty book light. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if that one remained. Sitting in my old room at my parents house. Just waiting.