b3ta.com user Ken Oath
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I am a fat Australian.

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» The Apocalypse

It’s long one....but worth telling.

My family lived in the bush, on a few cleared acres at the base of a mountain, surrounded by dense Eucalypt forest. A semi-rural, idyllic Australian life. I was one year old, still at home with my Mum, and on this particular day my elder siblings were all at school in the town and my Dad had gone to work in our only car.

Mum was at home with me, listening to the radio while cooking a saucepan of custard for my lunch.

The summer had been especially dry and hot. There were reports on the radio of fires all over the state, and as it turns out, a great number of them had been deliberately lit (some simpletons get a kick out of initiating mass destruction by fire).

The radio announcer had changed from giving updates on the bushfires, to telling everyone to evacuate to town...now!

Mum decided to get the hell out of our death-trap bushland house and into the safety of town...now!

Now what follows...

My Father’s version of events has always been this;
“The wife called me from home to come and get her. I rushed home, she took too long to get ready, mucking around the house, frigging around instead of leaving, cooking up some fucking custard. I grabbed her and baby Oath, jumped into the car and headed down the road. Thanks to her, we were were too late. The firestorm leapt the road ahead of us and behind us. I saw a stormwater drain down in the gully, we crawled into it and thanks to my quick thinking, and we all survived.”

Years later, my mother is visting my house and I am re-counting this story of paternal heroics to my wife. My Mother quietly said, “Actually, I remember it very differently”.

“Your Father was reluctant to leave town to come and get me, instead, telling me to hold tight and stay in the house. If it got really bad and the house caught on fire, I was to run across the paddock and jump into the dam with the baby, duck my head under the water when the fire hit.

Eventually I persuaded him to leave town and drive home to collect me and the baby. While I was waiting for him to arrive, I climbed onto the roof, cleared the sticks and leaves from the gutter, stuck a tennis ball in the gutter downpipe and filled the gutters with water, threw the wood stack away from the side of the house, sprayed the house down with water and finally let all the animals out of their pens (pigs, duck, goats, chooks).

When he finally arrived he was much panicked, not wanting to leave the car, revving the engine and yelling at us. We leapt into the car and by then the wind was searing hot and ferocious, the sky was orange with smoke and burning embers. Cinders were starting to land around us. Dad tore along the driveway, and turned onto the twisty road that led down the mountain into town. Progress was slow because of the dense smoke.

We could sense the fire all around us, the smoke was very thick, then it cleared suddenly, and all of a sudden a huge fireball flared up from the gully, cutting off the road in front. The road behind was ablaze too.

Your Father completely lost all sense, got out of the car, ran around to my door and wrenched it open. I thought he had a plan to escape, but in fact, he screamed to smash the baby’s head against the road thereby killing you instantly, then we were to plunge ourselves into the heart of the fire and die as quickly as possible.

He was beyond panic, simply gone mad with fear. We apparently had no means of escape and his only solution was to kill ourselves.

I pulled myself away from him, grabbed the baby and ran. I had to get away from him before he killed us. I slithered down a steep embankment with the intent to lie low in the ditch at the bottom and simply pray. Your Father followed, trying to grab the baby from me. At the base of the embankment was a large concrete pipe for stormwater, I shuffled inside to get away from him and kept moving along the pipe, further and further into the cool darkness. After a while, we realised that we might just survive inside the pipe.

There was a breeze coming up the pipe as the fire was sucking all the air through it from miles below, and despite the inferno outside, there was a small trickle of water running through it. We wet one of the baby’s blankets in the trickle of water and held it up to the entrance, and lay down as the fire raged outside. After what seemed like an eternity the fire moved through. We waited, and waited then finally crawled out to greet a scene of hell. Every house around us had exploded, there were no trees, only ash, the petrol in the tank in the car had boiled dry, and the tyres had completely melted. “

But, despite being surrounded by desolate smouldering carnage, my Mum felt safe. She knew everything had burned, and therefore the fire couldn’t come back to get us. They had survived, so Dad’s desire to kill everyone had dissipated somewhat. Then, my Mum suddenly realised that I hadn’t made a noise for quite some time. She had a cold chill of panic, fearing that I may have suffocated from smoke inhalation, or being smothered by her own body in the pipe.

She gave me a pinch.....and fucking woke me up.!

I’d slept through the entire thing.

Then she fetched the saucepan of custard from the car and we had lunch.

And she didn’t give any to Dad.
(Sat 16th Jun 2012, 2:46, More)

» Inflated Self-Importance

Airport Security Mouthbreathing Drone.
Slightly bizzare incident recently;

The Oath family was returning home from a fantastic Xmas holiday a few weeks ago, hire car returned, luggage checked in and we were heading to the departure "lounge" to board our flight home.

My young daughter was proudly clutching a huge teddy bear that her grandma had given her for Xmas. Small Oathette doesn't see this particular Grandma very often, it was a very special, and a very big bear.

It had been a faithful companion to her for the past two weeks, used as a pillow at night, good for lolling on while watching tv, apparently waving vigorously at people out the car window. Now it was time to take it on the plane, and introduce it to the other stuffed animals back at home

We slowly shuffled along the queue, waiting our turn to walk through the metal detector, and have our bags x-rayed. The security drone shoving stuff into the x-ray machine was one of those deadshit looking blokes that you instantly know just loves their job, and the petty level of authority that goes with it. Older, plump, bikie goatee, faded crappy tats on forearm, long greasy lank hair in a pony tail. Loves having the faintest whiff of authority.

Anyway, Small Oathette reaches up to push the bear through the x-ray machine, it is so large that the security guy needs to shift himself from leaning on the machine, and give it an extra push to make it go through. As he does so, he dramatically rolls his eyes and loudly utters "Fucken Hell! Why didn't ya check it in as baggage!?"....directed fairly at Small Oathette.

Time. Stood. Still.

Small Oathette is shocked. She has that little kid respect for policemen, and anyone who looks vaguely policeman-ish, so it was very confronting a) to be sworn at, and b) to be sworn at by a security person. I am stunned. "What did you just fucking say?" I thought to myself.

A thousand thoughts raced through my head; this turd had the power to kick us out of the airport or get me arrested if I swore back at him, kicked up a fuss, or threatened him. Whatever. As I leaned forward, fixed my gaze upon his, and prepared to be kicked out of the airport for what was going to happen next, an elderly woman barged past, stood an inch away from this pig and in a rather plummy voice shouted "Foul Language! In Front Of Children! Such Foul Language! Get Your Superior Here, NOW!" A few seconds silence. A few muttered "Yeah" what she said" from the queue.

Mexican stand off.

By now the rest of the people in the queue were all staring at him in that "Yeah righto cunt, wotcha gonna do now?" sort of stance.

He stared for a few seconds at everyone, angry, piggy eyes glistening with hate. Finally he summed up the overall feeling of malice towards him, mumbled some more bogan expletives ("Farkin cunts the lotta youse") & wandered away to some back room, presumably to fetch the main security drone.

We didn't bother waiting for his return, just haughtily scanned our stuff in silence, assisted by the remaining very helpful, incredibly polite and somewhat apologetic security drones. We smiled nicely at the old biddy who was clearly relishing the opportunity to meet the security boss, she nodded firmly at us, as if to say "I'll take care of this, you go along" and then we ambled to the departure lounge to seek out a restorative tepid watery airport coffee and a stale pastry.

The large bear survived the x-ray and the flight home. He now has lots of new friends. My daughter now has a healthy disrespect for bogans masquerading as figures of authority, and secretly, one day I want to grow up to become some kind of feisty old moral guardian railing against surly airport security drones, or any self important quasi-authoritative drone who think's it's ok to belittle kids.
(Thu 24th Jan 2013, 14:18, More)

» Surprise!

Surprise Peas.
Many year ago, when I first moved out of home and was living in a lovely debauched semi-derelict share house with 4 other like-minded motor bike riding blokes, I was cooking dinner in the squalid room that passed as a "kitchen".

It was a Friday night. I was slowly moving away from the home-based rent-free lifestyle of going out the pubs and clubs and pissing my money up against the wall to the rent-reality lifestyle of staying indoors and gettng trashed in front of a nice warm fire with some mates.

We even had a video player! So, we wern't at the mercy of the 2 telly channels available in Tasmania which switched off at midnight. As I recall, we had rented Arnie's "Commando" video for the billionth time.

So, there we were in the wee hours, Enormous Bruce had smoked his usual friday night ration of dope, I had downed many,many beers as dope used to make me do something called a "white out". Beer was my thing. Enormous Bruce was a chronic pot head.

We were both stumbling around the kitchen, clumsily rustling up some sausages and gravy with mash, crashing into each other, swearing at the stove and generally taking 5 times as long to produce a simple meal. But...we needed green vegetables too, 'cos, as we reasoned at the time, green vegetables ward off all kinds of ills, like lung cancer, and cirrhosis of the liver.

Enormous Bruce gazed into the threadbare larder, brushed aside the mouse poo, reached in and prodcued a packet of something called "Surprise Peas".

Oh cool, peas. I like peas and mash. And gravy with sausages. But what are these things? These were weird peas, like little freeze-dried iguana testicles, not nice juicy fresh peas.

"No, cunt", says Bruce. "Ya gotta boil the buggery out of these little cunts".

"Oh, righto cunt" I says. "Better fucken read the packet hadn't I".

I held the packet in both hands, held it close to my face and read the instructions, gently swaying to the movement of the kitchen, lips silently moving. "Boil in water, cunt" it said.

Yeah ok, sounds easy enough.

So I get a saucepan of water up to the boil, and I'm about to rip open the pack when Enormous Bruce shouts "STOP, CUNT, STOP".

"Whassa matter cunt?" I drool, packet of peas poised over the stove.

"Fuck man, these are Surprise Peas, you gotta do it right".

"Wha? Yeah ok cunt, you do it then"

Enormous Bruces lurches towards me, grabs the packet out of my hands, produces a razer sharp knife from his within his bike boot and surprisingy carefully, considering his state of body and mind, gently slits open the packet across the top.

I lean closer to watch, frowning, slightly puzzled with this delicate operation.

Enormous Bruce slowly turns to look me directly in the eye, his countenance is deapan, calm. He slowly return his gaze to the packet, peers inside, narrows his eyes into a mask of hate and whispers in a low evil voice "surprise, peas", then tips the lot into the boiling water, cackling madly.

I don't think I have ever laughed so hard for so long at something so fucking stupid. I almost wet myself. We recovered sufficiently to pick ourselves up off the floor and enjoy a slightly burnt late night dinner, accompanied by a badly blurred version of one of Arnie's most wooden performances.

Sadly, I vomited most of it out the upstairs window sometime later, including the peas.

(Fri 5th Apr 2013, 13:17, More)

» Tantrums

Not quite a tantrum...
...on the weekend my wife went out with her old school friends for a "get together".

"we'll just have a few, I'm not a sad alcoholic like you"

She stumbled home about 2:00 am, chundered all over the toilet floor, pissed herself, then fell into bed and snored like a pig.

I was so fucking annoyed at being woken up, cleaning up her vomit, put up with the stink of piss, booze and farts all night, knowing she'd be hungover in bed all the next day, unable to help look after kids.

I got out of bed, walked around to her side of the bed and wanked into her hair as she slept.

Fucking ruin my sleep, you get cummy hair.
(Thu 19th Jul 2012, 13:52, More)

» Down on the Farm

Farm Sledding.
Ross-on-Wye, middle of winter, lots of snow. Mr. Farmer and I have fed the hanimals, and there's not much else to do, so we spend the afternoon having a competition to build the best sled. Rules are simple: it must be able to transport two grown men. Fastest sled wins a carton of beer.

Mr. Farmer gets all serious and builds a very pretty timber sled with runners and a bizarre steering mechanism. He is quite the craftsman.

I'm not, (Australian, you see) I opted for the low tech version; found a long sheet of sharp, rusty corrugated roofing iron, clubbed one end until it curled up in the air, nailed a timber pallet to the other end, tied baling twine from the pallet to the curly front, to ensure the curly front wouldn't dig into the snow and impede forward motion. So, with all the weight toward the back, there was a good amount of "rocker" (think surfboard) to the whole shape. And it took about 10 minutes and 40 nails.

Anyway, we drag our respective sleds up to the summit of the steepest field. Mr. Farmer makes a lot of derisive comments about my sled's aesthetics. I make lots of derisive comments about his fancy-boy sled.

The slope looks a lot steeper from the top, with the steely cold Wye River below. Mr. Farmer's sled was up first, he sits in the driving seat, and I sit behind in the navigator's seat and shove off.


Another shove.

Nothing again. The runners are too skinny and merely sink into the snow. It doesn't even move with 1 person aboard. He sulks.

No worries, let's hop on mine. I sit up the front of the pallet, Mr. Farmer sit on the back, shoves off and FUCKING WHOOOSH, we are very quickly sliding down the slope with very little control. There is so much velocity the wind is getting under the sled, making the front flail around and slap the snow, throwing up a blinding snow cloud. I realise we have no way to stop the contraption, but what the fuck, we are really moving!

We are nearing the bottom of the slope, and Mr. Farmer screams something incomprehensible in my ear, but the wind is too loud. I then feel the sled lighten and realise he has bailed, tumbling down the slope behind me.

I turn around and yell abuse at him for being a big poof, just as the previously unseen single strand of barbed wire catches me fair across the chest.

Fucking. Ouch.

Apparently I briefly resembled a pole-axed teddy bear, arms and legs briefly pointed forward, cheeks puffed out in a big OOF as every bit of air was driven from my lungs. Tore the shit out of my jacket too.

I still won the beer. Couldn't drink it for a few days, hurt to raise my arms. Also, had to wait 2 days for Mr. Farmer to stop laughing.
(Sun 27th May 2012, 13:14, More)
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