22 Dec 2009

Angry Office Christmas Monkeys.

Every office has one. Ours is full of them. AOCMs refuse to be quiet and let every one else enjoy the festive season preferring to revel in stories of queuing, sunburn, expenses, crowds, hatred of Christmas Carols and unnecessary happy frivolity in general.

We festooned our AOCMs desk with Christmas lights and abundant glittery decorations and instead of being a sport about it; he had a tantrum and tore them down. To be honest our AOCM is an AOM the rest of the year anyway. He is constantly scowling and miserable and this tends to rub off on the people around him. Everyday he arrives at 7am, the same time as me and has something new to rubbish. As much as I enjoy a healthy debate and appreciate people with the gall to have an opinion to an age where no-one seems to care, it is easy to be negative. It takes much more courage to draw a line in the sand in support of something.

Here is a short piece of advice to AOCMs worldwide:

Life is what you make it. By simply putting a smile on your face, even a false one, you can trick your mind into being positive and feeling happy, and it is contagious to those around you. Go and buy a CD of Christmas songs and sing Boney-Ms "Mary's Boy Child" or the early nineties live aid combo by Bob Geldof, "Do they know its Christmas" as loud as possible on your way to work. It will change your life.

Feliz Navidad


Fishing 2

So it turns out perhaps there is a source for my utter uselessness on the fishing front. I am going to blame it on the genes.

Despite it absolutely blowing a friggen gale I responded in the affirmative when my father asked if I would like to go fishing with him yesterday. My father is a special breed. He refuses to read this blog for instance, treating it as some demonised public confessional where I shouldn’t be airing my dirty laundry. He still wont embrace the metric system, instead converting everything into inches, feet, furlongs, pints and gallons, despite having been introduced to regular units when they changed in NZ when he was 7. He is one of three boys raised on a farm in the same town where I grew up, and is known as the "townie" of the lot of them. His man-skills are few and far between.

After refusing to embrace cell phones until the early 00's my dad now carries one like it is a small child or a vital organ and feels the need to have one of those hideously irritating ringtones that are excessively loud and long and are played not only for phone calls but for instant messages as well. He also delights in the fact that everyone else finds it intrusive and suffers when the phone erupts into this violent digitised jingle which is near abuse to the ear. This hideous electronic nightmare and the reactions that follow usually result in my father breaking into a kind of special jig of excitement.

Upon arriving at the boat ramp to launch our wee runabout, it was apparent that the ramp was not in high demand and although the sun was having a cancer-party on my nose, there was a fairly strong breeze. I didn’t think much of it and clearly neither did my father (although he has been known to have the balls of Steve Irwin when it comes to commencing and/or continuing adventures in foul or hazardous conditions) or younger brother who was also brazen enough to come along.

The ride out beyond the safe calm waters of the harbour to our spot at 93ft was relatively uneventful, other than aforementioned younger sibling feeling seasick and several fully airborne moments over swell in the entrance. According to Dad its far better to hit the gas halfway up a swell and fly midair James Bond style whilst passengers are attempting to prevent bit lips, broken noses or concussion than to potter over at a reasonable speed like the boat we followed.

Upon arrival, my brother and I were enlisted to bait the long line hooks and did so with military precision. About 3/4 of the way through the ~25 hook process little brother and Dad somehow had a handling error which resulted in a hook through my father’s finger which was followed by a string of pirate language while my brother struggled to pull the hook out. After several minutes of profanity worthy of a soldier, my brother gave up and I got the task of relieving Dads finger from the foreign body - somewhat comparable to restling a crocodile mid death roll.

Next we dropped anchor and set up some boat rods. The weather got progressively more revolting. Here is a summary of the following hour;

• 2 x caught each others line

• 1 x caught the motor

• 0 bites

• 1 brother who lay in the cabin feeling seasick

• 1 brother who refused to ever fish again

• 3 x sunburn

• 3 x frustration

• 2 x swamped rear of boat by water

• 1 x anchor that was near impossible to retrieve even with 2 people due to extremely rough water which lead to 2 x drowned rats, 10 x hand blisters many bruises and lots of raised voices.

• 0 fish

• 1 x unretrieved long line which my poor mother was enlisted to go out and collect later that evening

Ride home was something out of an action film. But we made it. All said my father is a kind and generous man, who I love, admire and respect very much and I hope that one day he gives in and reads this and it makes him smile.