The rich were located in suburbs quite a distance from mine. Over the years the method of transport changed from walking, bike riding, skate boarding and then finally cars. When we got our machines it provided us for a new way to waste time and enable riskier trouble, just the way we liked it. We started out with an age old tradition, heading down to the local corner store or nearby supermarket and buying a dozen eggs. We’d drive. Drive around all night waiting for someone to be casually walking around the streets and the person who’s turn it was loaded and flung the egg out of window towards the victim… Over time our aim improved to almost near perfection. I’d like to add that this was not a once or twice event but something that we did most nights when not at work or the rare other commitment besides each other. Due to this frequency and the volume of missiles we had some close calls of course, one time we lined up a target, a huge man that was trapped in a glass phone booth unaware of the incoming projectile, talking to someone emotively using his hands. At the point of impact he turned around and chased after the car, laughing poring into the wind as it sped by then…silence… The road was a dead end. Turning around the man was in the center of the road, yelling and red with anger. The driver centred the steering wheel, aiming straight and floored the accelerator. The man covered with egg became the chicken, I’m not sure what it would have meant if he stood tall…
We needed more risk / excitement / damage / noise… something. We progressed from eggs to using baseball bats to knock of mirrors or smash windows. Then we moved on to bubbles. Bubbles were the light covers on the fences of the rich peoples houses. They unscrewed quite easily and were made of brittle plastic, these were thrown at oncoming busses, cars or other solid objects. The result was a loud explosion with glittering shrapnel appearing through the rear view mirror. Satisfying.
After our adrenalin accepted the new norm we moved on to finding empty or preferably full rubbish bins on wheels. The most memorable was a finding a big blue paper recycling model, full to the brim of books from the library it was parked out of the front of. The left rear passenger positioned it parralel to the car and signalled the driver to proceed. At around 80 km/h the passenger could not hold the weight any longer and the bin carried on towards its target, crumping a brand new white station wagon to half it’s size, the scale of the impact was beyond belief…
They say it goes in cycles, the good and the bad that is, a friend once told me that if you’re having a tough time with a phase your child is going through it would only last for two weeks, than some other shit, ideally easier will take over. I’m a proud dad who loves his one and only daughter more than anything else in the world….
One of the myths you heard growing up was around the effects of weed on your short term memory, surely this was yet another of those scare campaigns that was spread by parents to keep you out of trouble, like not eating cheese before bed or you’ll get cheese dreams (Are these real?) . It was around my mid twenties when I realized how much of an impact this had on my life, my short term memory is painfully problematic and hinders my absorption of lots of data and most noticeably studies and even remembering characters names in movies or bands.
I believe it was around the age of 14 or so I started on my quest with weed.
My first cigarette was around the same age skateboarding near a private girls school in the Inner West of Sydney with friends Matthew and Seamus. Seamus was a bloke who was always taking everything we did to the next level. He died in his early twenties from the damage of drugs and alcohol, this was not a surprise to hear. Last time I saw him was in our old teenage pub where he was trying to make small talk and seemed quite happy to see me after so many years. I pretty much ignored the guy and looked down at him. When I was about 16 or so he set me up in a train station tunnel to be rolled by a local gang, taking my frog green Nokia 5110… I never forgave him.
All my mum talked about was travel. She had about 5 – 10 stories in her repertoire, involving travels to various parts of the world: On a travel bus with only the one Neil diamond tape creating the soundtrack of the season – That one time she smoked hash (which did not effect her), after pressure from shady locals in Morocco with deviate plans and an almost lesbian camping experience. These stories would automatically come out whenever a series of related keywords including any that could be linked such as mode of travel, marijuana, gay / lesbian references, Neil Diamond, etc..
Despite how these stories made me cringe whether in public or not I inherited the urge to travel and explore, this has defined my motivations in life and I have been very lucky to land a career in a company with extensive travel and secondment opportunities.
My parents are working class parents, my dad’s trade was national manager of freight, warehousing and logistics for a textile and of fabric company, my mum’s was in a series of admin jobs usually obtained via my dad’s professional network. My greatest memories of my childhood were at the adventure-land that was his office. His company supplied material to the then large market of designer fashion firms across Australia. These days the majority of fabric items are pre-made overseas to meet corporate profit targets and the company, whilst still alive, the presence feels insignificant compared to the heaving empire it is in my memories.
After school I used to catch the train from the working class western suburbs into the city’s rough and run down Central station and excitedly wait to drop my bags off at his office, an elevated room with Windows covering 180 degrees of the room overlooking the docks and despatch where goods would be in various stages of loading or waiting for their turn to be distributed across the globe, his domain. He was in charge of a series of misfits, larrikens and questuinably sane individuals who all worked hard though their primary objective was clearly all to have a good time. Not a second seemed to go by without someone planning or acting on a practical joke, taking the Mickey out of someone else or generally getting into mischief. At young ages I was taught how to operate the aptly named ‘elephants foot’, various types of forklifts, the vatious manually operated lifts and numerous other toys that never once seemed like a chore or burden, certainly not a task someone would have to pay me to do. Admittedly I was not doing anything productive or of commercial benefit, mostly moving things around and trying to test the speed limits of each machine. There was machinery that could wrap anything in plastic, an industrial metal ice cold water filter dispensing the coldest liquid known to man. The toilets contained the required classic Australian toliet graffiti which at a minimum required someone’s phone number prefixed with ‘For a good time call…’ and the classic toilet wall ping pong (For those unfamiliar with the sport this required two opposing walls with text staying to look at the other wall, repeat, brilliant.).
At any given moment vicious sword fights could break out using cardboard rolls of various lengths and density, swords broke, bruises were common. These were great people, out for a good time at work and would define my working persona in the years to come.