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Third time lucky?

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GOF lives on the tropical tablelands, and his 6 kilometer long- and-winding road through the jungle has a human population density of one per lineal kilometer.
( no comments please about invalid units of measurement)Daughter Globet lives and works at the opposite end of Australia, in Melbourne, population 3.7 million.Now I am uncertain how anyone ever counted this number.
My experience is that for sheep and cattle you funnel them into fenced yards and then run them through a narrow “race,” and even then if 6 people are counting there will be 6 completely different totals.
As far as I am aware, Melbourne does not have human yards, although I would consider it a very great honor to be given the task of converting the central railway station into one, and droving the whole 3.7 million through it with the assistance of my electric cattle prodder.

I am also professionally qualified to provide ancillary services such as oral-drenching to treat any gastro-intestinal worm infections, and I have a perfectly functional surgical quality stainless elastrator with which to apply emasculation rubber bands to ensure that next year there will not be an even greater population of Melbournians to run through my yards.

But I have digressed yet again.

Twice during the last 4 years I have attempted to spend a week or two visiting Globet.  Each time I have failed to last the distance.

Firstly I have a reticence to travel because of the mind numbing boredom of sitting on my arse for 3 hours in an aeroplane breathing in recycled germs from all the coughers and splutterers.
Cabin staff should have the power to remove diseased passengers into the cargo hold, or, for those with more serious contagion infringing public health etiquette, into the wheel wells.

On both of my previous excursions to Melbourne, appalling weather, ( in Cairns, when the temperature drops below 20 degrees C, it is officially known as “bleak”)  and the culture shock of 3.7 million people in one place has seen me on a return flight to GOF’s paradise after only 48 hours.
Some family and friends view my behaviour as a source of mirth.

On the last occasion Mrs GOF, who had been looking forward to at least a week without me, (why?) almost refused to let me back in my own house when I unexpectedly boomeranged home in the middle of the night after only 2 days away.

I have since entertained the prospect that perhaps I should simply make day visits.  Globet could meet me at the airport terminal in Melbourne for a cup of coffee after which I could catch the return flight. But $300 per cup of coffee did seem a little over-indulgent in these testing economic times.

Tomorrow, early, at around a quarter past sparrow-fart, I am going to face my demons, and infectious fellow humans, for the third time.
As daughterly wisdom would have it, I am seriously leaving my comfort zone.

Globet is going to chauffeur me on a grande tour to all the places of my childhood in country Victoria, many of which I have not seen for 50 years.   GOF and Globs excellent nostalgic adventure.

I am also going to relive my greatest sporting achievement.
GOF and his young-adolescent friend Alan were an unbeatable partnership in every three-legged race ever conducted during 1961- 64  at the annual Bendigo Combined Protestant Sunday School Picnics.
The price of this athletic fame and glory, and our preference to avoid media attention, meant that we have had no contact with each other for the last 45 years.  We are going to rectify that sad state of affairs over some sort of beverage, which will hopefully not once again leave us with a deficiency in the leg department.

My Vox neighbors will be relieved to know that GOF will be absent for ten days, during which time their blogs will remain free of his unnecessary comment.

But then again, I might just be back in around 48 hours.



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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

18 responses »

  1. Have fun, GOF. This country boy finally overcame his repugnance of the big smoke in his sixties, so there's hope for you yet. I can even manage three hour flights without an overpowering urge to jump out of the plane. Twelve hour ones still leave me traumatised, especially after confrontations over seat recliners. If you go through Benalla, say "Hi" to Mrs Snowy's folks for me at the local cemetery.

  2. I am going to enjoy this one Snowy. There will not be any 12 hour flights for me though, not in my 60's or any other decade ;-)I may get back to my Dookie "seat of learning" near Benalla, and if so I will certainly remember Mrs Snowy's family.

  3. I hope you have an enjoyable trip.I've often wondered about population estimates myself. Every ten years we do a census, but even that doesn't completely count everyone, because people are always moving about! Then, when the 'official' figures come out, our local leaders will vociferously assert that they are skewed too low.On a personal note … I have about as much desire to see 3.7 million people concentrated in one space as I do to have 3.7 million mosquito bites concentrated on my backside …

  4. That would be Dookie agricultural college? I spent two years at it's equivalent, Gatton College. Hope your time was more productive than mine.We have one more prospect of a twelve hour return flight to Canada next year to see our son in Canada. Our superannuation will need to see a marked increase though if we are to make it.

  5. Hey, if you pass through Collingwood, give it a sage nod from me, and tell it I still miss its cobblestone alleys.
    While I understand the claustrophobia of going to a city, at least it's Melbourne and not Sydney.
    You're a Benalla boy? I once stopped over there on a lecture tour, of all things. lol. Not exactly what Benalla is famous for, I know. Must have been at the RSL or some such, I remember a big building.
    Anyhow, next time just send the plane ticket to Globet. She'll last the distance. Heck, send one to me, I could do with some time up there, it's been ages since I've visited the Atherton area (where I assume you are…?)
    Anyhow, see you in however many hours you manage to last this time.

  6. Thank you GOM. When I was drafting this story I made a guess that perhaps Melbourne had maybe 2 million population…..then when I looked it up….sheesh! the little breeders have been at it like rabbits since I left.I was going to say it would be good to see some evidence of your 3.7 million mosquito bites to compare with my problem…..but on reflection perhaps it would be better to keep it to yourself, considering the location.

  7. Thats it Snowy. DAC, where the little boy grew into a bigger little boy. Three years which completely shaped the direction my adult life would take.We learned what physical work was all about. We learned that without agriculture the world would come to a grinding halt, and we were proud of the fairly insignificant professional qualification we gained.I can understand though that it would not be for everyone, as you discovered.We might have learned even more if Dookie had female students, as it does these days.;-)I would dearly love to visit Canada too….everything I see and read about the Rockies and scenic railway journeys. Hope you get there my friend, so I can read more about it on your blog.

  8. I will think of you LOM when I pass through Collingwood. Fitzroy football supporters are not supposed to even think about Collingwood, but I will make a big exception for you.;-)I'm actually a Castlemaine/Bendigo boy, but my second biggest sporting achievement occurred at Benalla when I scored 26 for the DAC cricket team. It was all downhill after that as I resented being hit in the head with half pound cricket balls (in the days before helmets were mandatory).Globet manages to fly home a couple of times a year, although I am beginning to worry a bit about her….she seems to be acquiring a few too many of her old mans reclusive habits.And just keep checking your mailbox you might find a plane ticket to Atherton.Ah, wot the heck……I'll send a ticket to everyone in my 'hood and we can all get together. I think I have to stay away for the entire period this time, for Mrs GOF is threatening severe retribution if I fail yet again.

  9. Ohhhh, I've spent many a happy time at Bendigo! I have an excellent friend there, you don't happen to know Colin James do you? He plays the local music scene there. Older guy, uses an electric wheelchair, gorgeous eyes, ahem.
    lol. I shall check my mailbox diligently. I know how slippery them plane ticketses can be. Have a fun trip, and thank you for the sacrifice of saying hi to Collingwood for me. You should spit afterwards and add "and THIS to your footy team!" – that won't bother me at all, it's the suburb I loved living in, not the football team that I followed. 😛

  10. Bon voyage-y! -as Bugs Bunny saysI don't mind cities, so long as my handlers are on full alert. I do things like walk out in front of cars, -where'd that come from? never know where I am, -What do you mean there are more than one coffee houses on 1st St.? Who needs more than one? and generally frighten the population by talking to them in queues, -hi! I'm MT. I'm from the Ozarks! Do you live here? Boy, there's a press of people, isn't there? Lovely day, we're heading to…Where are you going?Have fun with daughter!

  11. Thanks m-t for your advice…..I need all the help I can get.You sound like Mrs GOF… a train carriage full of non-communicating commuters she will talk to every single one of them given 10 minutes or so. 😉

  12. I suspect this ticketses might be especially slippery….blame Australia Post;-)Its 45 years since I last spent much time in Bendigo, but I will ask my friend about Mr James……just never know….sometimes it is a small world.

  13. Ack! Christ, did I give advice? 1,000 apologies…I'm always saying something and I rarely reckon anyone's listening. ;pYour wife and I could probably bring about world peace! If monkeys in a room full of typewriters can write the Great American Novel, an Aussie and an Ozarker surely can cure the world its ills 🙂

  14. Wow. If you add Mrs Mc to the group World Peace is quite possible.On our last trip to Sydney, a week after the bikie trouble, we were waiting for our flight when a shouting match erupted between a Dad and his stroppy daughter. Frantic calls were made and security ran from everywhere.After watching tension levels go through the roof Liz walked over to the Feds and said it's just a parental situation that got a bit noisy. Eventually the "social worker" types went back to their jobs and no one was needlessly arrested.Mind you I was all for keeping out of it. I had visions of the movie Anger Management. I guess chicks can have their say without the world feeling threatened.

  15. chicks can have their say without the world feeling threatenedCould be! On the other hand, I've a temper and might be the one doing the threatening. You just never know with me. I'm mental.

  16. That's the best thing. You can sneak under their guard and scare the bejesus outta them.

  17. I hope you are having a wonderful time. Seriously though, as one gets older shouldn't the offspring come to the parents? 🙂 I am so with you on all that germ sharing – most unpleasant!

  18. Thanks Emjay……I had a fantastic time, and Globet does come and see us a couple of times a year too, so its all good. I think I escaped the germs.;-)


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