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» Stuff I've found

When I was young, our place backed on to a large paddock which sloped down the hill and joined the wasteland behind a large pub/ hotel
complex. We had neighbourhood friends whose back yard also backed on to this grassy playground.

As kids we found many things around that pub and the vast network of paddocks, grassland and ovals that stretched beyond it. There was always some new treasure to find, I barely know where to begin. For the most part the things we'd discover were usually junk and of no real interest to anyone accept pre teen boys out mucking about, but year round we would have a ball.

One regular treasure hunt, taught to me by my sister who was by now too old to bother, was to head down to the car park on a summer evening and gather change dropped from the pockets of the more jolly punters as they fumbled for their keys. This was before the strict drink driving laws we currently enjoy and it was not unusual for the regulars to wobble their way home after a session at the bar. A good haul could net you a dollar or more. easily enough for an icypole or a bag of the milk bars finest mixed.

Now one day we were on our way down to see what lucre awaited to sedate our sweet teeth. The pub was bordered on our side by steep and thickly treed banks and It was through these trees we were to make our way to the car park. So often a great source of discarded whatnot and leftover porn from older and wiser lads than us, we picked our way through carefully in the hope of something new. Balls, wheels and Busted radios. coins, keys and car parts. Once we'd stared in horror and wonderment at the used condoms and home made bongs, links to a scary and strange new world beyond our own. But not on this day. Today we spied something else. Something cylindrical, shiny and green. It was beer. Lots of beer. In the hedge where the long grass and the leaves met someone has secreted numerous slabs of cans. We gazed in delight. Checking for safety, confirming we were alone we approached the glistening stack of frothy chops. They were still cold, wrapped in glistening plastic. We did what any kids would; we grabbed one and ran. Ran as fast as we could lugging 24 cans of VB all the way back to the safety of our paddock and gardens.

What to do. what to do. Within only a few short years, we would have known exactly what to do. But all in our party were too young to drink, or see any fun in alcohol. As the eldest myself and my mate were elected to tentatively try it after much pushing and taunts of 'you do it..no YOU do it'. As daring as it seemed to us, it proved a disappointment. A sip provided a vile taste, and completely failed to make us drunk. Oh well. We tried to make one explode, we tried to launch a beer powered rocket, we threw one at a rock. We had a brief beer fight that left us sticky and smelly. We gave the last of the open one to the dog who turned his nose up at it. And so that was that. Adults were fools and beer was boring. We went off to play war.

Come dinner time I hiked back up home with the remainder of the slab in my arms. My mate had refused it on the basis that his dad drank sherry and would tip it down the sink, probably blaming him for stealing it as he did so. My dad drinks beer, so the cans were mine. I paddled in the back door and presented our find to dad.... he looked bemused as his 9 year old son handed over a slab of beer.

'where did you get that!' he demanded in a stern and accusational tone.
'we found it, down the pub. theres lots of them!'
'you found beer at the pub?' I could feel the skepticism in his voice. This was not going as well as I had imagined.
I explained how they had been hidden in the trees. He looked at me carefully, then at the 20 odd beers now sitting on the bench. then back at me.
'where are the rest?'
I explained that we opened one each to see if they were ok and had tipped them out, thrown some around.
He seemed to ponder for a moment. I suppose I didn't seem drunk enough to have downed four beers. And I'd hardly have bought them home if I'd stolen it. Sensing I was in trouble and desperate to placate my dad, I offered that there were lots more there and we could go and get the rest. Then more desperately offered to return what we had taken. As I waited for dads anger he opened one up and sniffed it, then took a sip. Then finally he spoke: 'Nah mate. its orright. You can leave it here, I'l take care of it'. Beer in hand he headed back to the couch to watch the cricket, pausing at the door.
'We'd Best leave the rest there though ay?'

Edit: a bit long for a simple story. sorry.
(Fri 7th Nov 2008, 3:15, More)

» My most treasured possession

Never, ever
go back into the flames for the cat. It left of its own accord shortly after the fire started and is now sitting outside wondering why you haven't turned up with its dinner.
(Fri 9th May 2008, 5:28, More)

» Tightwads

My girlfriends group would regularly head out for a get together at a brilliant little Vietnamese place. The sort of restaurant that would do a vast array of stir fries, noodles and rice dishes all for less that $10 each. The decor wasn't much to look at and the service a little brisk, but everyone would order a main, the food would come all at once and huge feast would be had for very little money.

One hanger on would also attend. At the end of the meal everyone pitched in a tenner and the leftover change was a tip for the staff. Mr hanger on would never contribute the ten dollars with everyone else, instead would count out exact change for the dish ordered, less the amount he'd estimated others had eaten from his plate. He was also keen to be the one to settle the bill. It was a while before they realised he was demanding change at the till and pocketing the tip too. Eight to ten people each tipping a dollar on meals worth an average of nine dollars each. That tight arse ate for free and made a profit every time.
(Fri 24th Oct 2008, 4:04, More)

» Stalked

Make your own stalker
Many years ago when i was young and naive and young, I was sitting at the bar downing many a pint when the girl i was to be suddenly and madly in love with tapped me on the shoulder. Wheels turned and it wasnt long before i was hers and she was mine. Joy. When we first started going out, she shared her dark and terrible secret: she was being stalked by her previous beau, a and strange and dangerous man. The signs were there, it all made sense. He was violent, a freak and a weirdo. She couldnt explain why shed ever dated him, but now she had me and the world was almost perfect. So I gave him the hard time he rightly deserved. I was hard and tough and manly but without being too forceful, at her insistence. "please, he means no harm" she pleaded. And so it was that i protected my new found love from this terrible menace.

Time moved on, as time likes to do and after much of the usual anguish that goes with these things it all came to a slow and ugly end. There was of course one last emotion charged meeting which saw me vow that she would never hear from me again and that I would very much like to receive the same. She had cut me to the soul and i meant my words. I never did go near her again.

More time passes. Sun rises and flowers grow. A couple of years later i became good friends with the brother of the now ex's stalker ex. from here I learned many things. First on the list was that the new freinds brother was not the unhinged maniac I had been sold. He was in fact a shy, gentle and affable bloke, and it turns out when we first started going out he was at the time the current boyfriend of my now distant ex . He'd never been told he was sacked, she'd just chosen and moved on to me, promoting him to the role of mad killer stalker #1 in the process. It also comes out that shed also given me the sack some time before I finally cracked, my efforts to straighten out our relationship being sold to bloke #3 as the deranged actions of a mad stalker #2, a promotion for me! So to this bloke the poor girl had two loons after her. Fortunately, I never met him. The last and best piece is that I found out at a gathering of mutual acquaintances that it seems I continued to stalk her some time after id said my last good byes. Despite the fact I never saw/spoke or heard from her again. Not a bad effort on my behalf id say.
(Fri 1st Feb 2008, 2:40, More)

» My most gullible moment

Dingo: wild dog native to northern Australia.

Shortly after starting high school in a southern australian city I was walking to school with two mates. Our path took us through the local park behind the main street, through the alleyways between the shops, round some back streets and out onto the main road to school. It was earlyish, a little foggy. Not many people about with all the shops closed. Suddenly, there came an eerie sound; a dog howling some distance off, somewhere in the back streets. Strange, we think. I'm a little spooked as I'm shy, quiet and generally a little afraid of the world. We walk on, but again a lonesome dogs howl breaks our natter, closer this time. Possibly up the alleyway back the way we came. We walk on a little faster. Then, from around the corner ahead, a battered ute pulls up and a bloke leans out the window. "Hey mate, you seen the dingo?" he enquires with an aussy drawl to make Russell Crow hang his head. "DINGO?!!" we gasp "shit!"
"yep", says the bloke "came down on a truck from Darwin, were here to catch it. give us a hand and keep an eye out woodja?". With that, they burn off down the street. Well we were hooked. Bugger school, there was a wild dog to catch! What proceeded was half an hour of three fools running down lanes and back streets in pursuit of the mysterious howling creature. It seemed to move faster than our leggs could run. One of our party packed it in declaring he didn't want to be late, but the last two of us were totally convinced. We were tracking a real live dingo! The adventure, the strangeness and the percieved danger had me totaly captivated. Realisation only dawned appon us as we were searching in earnest and the beast was heard howling just up the street. We turn as one to see the ute boys roll past, the bloke in the passenger seat leaning out the window howling like a dog, and the driver just howling with laughter.... bastards. What possessed a couple of guys who must have been in their 20's to prank three 11 year olds on their way to school with such a drawn out and elaborate scheme is beyond me! I can still recall the sinking feeling as i instantaneously realised how silly we'd been, and that we'd been had so mercilessly. We were now over half an hour late for school. The greatest humiliation coming when we had to explain to the teacher why. Of course, our mate who had bailed on the hunt had already spread the word of a dingo loose in the main street and been laughed down and now denied he had ever believed it, but it left us no room for face or arse saving lies.
(Fri 22nd Aug 2008, 4:46, More)
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