Battle of Wills
2018 certainly has plenty of fight still left in her… You’ll see once you reach the bottom…
(This is just a story… But you are allowed to buy me cuppa if you feel like it – I’m not saying that it is not based on fact, but embellishments have been made in parts 🙂
Embellishments are not far fetched…
Please, if you haven’t read this before, take a trip through my year, it’s been a blast so far.
‘What the frack was that?’ I thought to myself as I lay in the warmth of my bed trying to go back to sleep.
‘Get of my foot,’ I said to the monster that lives on my bed and pulled my doonie up over my head… and feet…
Don’t ask me how my feet got up next my head cause I don’t know, the main point I’m trying to make is that my feet were covered. I lay under the doonie trying to go back to sleep, thinking, ‘It’s safe and warm here, and its dark, cold and depressing out there.’
Eventually, 2 minutes later, I admitted to myself that sleep was not going to happen. I sat up and slid around to sit on the edge of the bed. My sunless, fleshy thigh was shivering under the intense scrutiny of the monsters gaze. I knew I should cover it, I was just hoping I was fast enough.
Now at this point in a Disney story, some happy helpful forest creatures; blue birds and butterflies, would sweep in through an open wooded shuttered window; get me my robe; dance it across the room to the sweet melody of their song, as they drape the robe around my shoulders. Then I would stand up, have a nice long stretch and welcome the beauty of the day.
Not bloody likely.
I’ve got the wood shuttered window all right, cause I can’t afford to replace the glass; and the only things that would come into my house would be crows and wedgies fighting over my old tattered dressing gown for their nests; while the forest creatures would be tearing away at my flesh, fighting over the shiny thing around my neck.
Back to my reality, cause this is what this story is all about, me!
Every muscle screamed as I stood up. Little eyes were watching my every move. I turned back to the too close to the floor bed, and stared one of my monsters down.
It wasn’t easy, Caesar can be a real prick when he wants to be. Molly sat on the mantle that hangs, literally, over the fire place slash stove, and gave me that, ‘What! Where the furry frack are the cat bickies,’ look.
She’s so sweet, at least I know why Caesar tried to eat me now. Molly just shit’s in the sink when she’s pissed at me…
‘…excuse me while I get the toilet roll, spray and wipe and a puppy pad…’
Keeping my eye on both little monsters, I pack my bags and edge my way out of the house slash cave, to my magnificent car.
What a wonder she is… the car that is.
She got a little pissed this year, literally, not just at me.
I think she went to a New Years Eve party and made some messed up new year’s resolution to have a beauty make-over in 2017.
Give her a new pair of pads, and there’s no pleasing her. Not a day had passed. On January 1st she began to demand attention. If I ever find the bastard who took her to that party? I’m gonna burr his nuts and bolts for him!
It began with demands for rear pads too. Then she wanted all five wheels changed. The fourth and fifth are having a Hell of a time trying to convince me. Have air pump, will travel is my philosophy.
So then do you know what the bitch did? She refused to send a charge to the battery. An easy fix some might say, not for me! There she sat, dead as a door nail for three days, refusing to budge and threatening to demand a new starter motor if I continued to tweak her ignition. I eventually promised to get her a new battery.
I charged the old battery overnight. She allowed me to lift her bonnet the next morning, she has no shame watsofuckinever, and then allowed me to connect the clamps and rev her engine. I began the 100 kilometre dash, no stopping at the pre-mapped toilet spots that day, to get her a new battery.
Wiping my brow as I handed the keys to the nice man, who just so happened to have the new battery waiting to slip straight in. Was she impressed? No fracking way.
The man came wondering into the office where I was partaking of some lovely tea and bickies. I could see the sweat glistening on his forehead, and my heart sank. Thinking to myself, ‘What the frack now!’ the man approached me and asked if I had the code?
‘The code,’ I was thinking, ‘Is there a secret code that I am required to speak to him before I get my car back?’
I was racking my brain, thinking, ‘I never got the magic decoder ring, what do I do?’
I looked him in the eye, he had leaned down to my height, and asked, ‘Code for what?’
‘Your radio has a security code to re-initialise it. Do you have a car manual with the code in it?’
I replied, ‘I’m sorry, I am a bit deaf in that ear, did you just ask me for a security code for my cars radio?’
He said, ‘Yes, do you know it?’
I thought that I thought, ‘That bitch!’ but apparently I used my words and spoke out loud, because the girl behind the counter was standing with her mouth open, and the man seemed to have a look of, ‘Does she know… I don’t think we’ve met before?’
Laughing the laugh of, ‘I’m never going to have a car radio again,’ I sweetly said, ‘No.’
‘Alright then,’ he said, ‘I’ll just call the manufacturer and get it from them.’
He did, he called the manufacturer who happily gave him the code to put into the radio, so that I could finally use my brand spanking new, ‘I’ve been begging for one of these cigarette lighter Bluetooth players forever.’
I watched him walk to the car, sit on the passengers front seat, and proceeded to enter the code, and guess what happened, you guessed it, car said ‘Frack off’
Writing down the directions for inserting the code and memorising the, ‘For the number 4 button you must stand on one leg and tilt your head to the left while hopping up and down on the other leg.’
I smiled, said, ‘Thank you,’ and drove away thinking all I have to do is disconnect the battery for an hour when I get home, then re-connect it and turn the key to accessory for an hour, I would just follow the directions and I will have radio again.’
That was four months ago. It won’t accept any more than 3 numbers out of the 12, and my new wiz bang cigarette lighter Bluetooth player hasn’t seen the light of day since.
‘What a Bitch! What is she angling for now,’ I couldn’t help thinking to myself.
Well, true to form, it wasn’t very long before I found out. She’d been saving a doozy for me: She blew the top plastic tank of the radiator.
Not just a little crack in some steel that could be mended with gaffa tape and a prayer, no not my beast, she insisted on the works.
See at this point, I think that it is important for you to know that my wonderful car has the ability to hold me to ransom, and she knows it. Every time there is a major problem; I have only just arrived in town, over a hundred kilometres away from my home, over hill, and over dale, between 11-am and 1-pm.
If something major occurs, I either need it fixed that afternoon with money I don’t have, or I have to stay in a motel until it is fixed, with money I don’t have, because it is cheaper than getting a taxi home and back out again, if a taxi would even drive out into the sticks and accept monopoly money.
Anyway, while I’m fighting off her insistence over more new tires, she keeps letting the air out of the other ones. Now, just to spite me, she’s gone and had a hissy fit and blown out a hole in the exhaust piping.
It’s a battle of wills and so far I’m losing.
She’s probably blown it out in that one particular spot that will require an entire new exhaust system.
But beauty is not the first car that has tried to get one up on me.
Christine’s Sister… or something very similar
I once had another beautiful car…
She would spit boiling water up onto the windscreen in the middle of summer, after five minutes of driving. I knew why she was complaining, but ‘No mon, no fun,’ is another of my philosophies.
Did I let her get to me?
No fracking way.
I just put the wipers on.
That might give a little insight into who the universe is fucking with at the moment.
Sea Anchors Galore!
Hit me with your best shot…
We have a delicate balance here; there are no lights unless there has been sun in my misty valley home. The fridge is fracked, the stove is fracked, and I look around the room at the sea anchors just taking up space. Then I get a letter from the man.
The man says, ‘Dance for me wench.’
Do you know what I say to the man?
Go get someone else to dance for you. Someone with enough cash to afford that new fangled thing called electricity. Someone who has the cash to have a fracking fridge that works and someone who already has a fracking working stove, or even had enough time, energy or strength to move the sea anchors from the house.
Now you want me to cough up cash to have some huge fucking trees removed or you’ll cut off my power…?
Empty threat mate… empty threat!
For the last couple of weeks it has been pissing down with rain.
That’s a good thing because we had already run out of water for the year.
It’s bad because now the car sinks in spots around the drive way and its much worse when the she beast lets the air out of her tires without telling anyone.
To add to the lack of funds, someone sent out a memo that told ever wayward creature that I’m a soft touch. Every time I exit the house there are 40 Peacocks, hens and chicks who run to me begging for food. I pull my rubber knee high boots on, and wade through 3 feet of mud and shit to the feed bin, located about 30 feet from the house.
As I arrive at the bin, in one of the 3 water containers, now overflowing with new rains stands a wild hen, old Red. He was thinking, ‘Human! Don’t worry Red, here’s to hoping her visual acuity is based on movement, otherwise I’m fracked.’
I knew exactly what old Red was thinking, because I found myself in the exact situation a few years back, although I wasn’t standing in the water bucket.
If I thought that would have saved me, I would have.
I once had some chooks and a Rooster, Rodney was his name.
They were bloody lovely.
They were like little raptors running at me thinking I had food for them, every single time I left the house slash cave.
Of Rodney, ‘What a lovely boy,’ I would think to myself.
So you can imagine my surprise the first time he ran headlong into my legs. It felt like some dear little forest creature was trying to bludgeon my calves. The force of the impact almost sent me face first into the clay and granite, and all because I was being a good host by walking the chooks back to their hen house one evening.
I know I said ‘One evening,’ but it was every bloody evening.
Anyway, I turned to see a dazed Rodney sitting oddly on the ground for a Rooster. Thinking it was all a big mistake, I laughed as one does in the face of unrealised danger, and said, ‘What a silly bugger you are.’ He seemed to think I was talking in Klingon, bellowing some type of rallying War cry, because he righted himself, then took another stab at me with his talons and his beak.
His beak was small, but get one of those stabbed into your leg at speed and that fuckers gonna hurt. So I picked up my pace, while maintaining some semblance of dominance…
All right! I was trying to run away without angering him further…
Anyway, not to be bested by a bird, every day I thought up new and exciting ways to out fox Rodney, because this day was the beginning of a War without end. I started to carry a big stick with me, not to hit him, but to gently push him away from me as he came in at ramming speed. This worked well enough to get him up to the cage, but getting him into the cage took much more finesse, and a better tool.
That took special tool number three hundred and sixty five, that’s right, the beach umbrella.
Found lying under some old left over rubbish from previous owners, was a slightly decaying beach umbrella. I would beat Rodney to the cage door; open the umbrella; hide behind it; and slowly edge him carefully into the cage.
I was so busy congratulating myself on my cleverness, that I out manoeuvred myself one afternoon.
I was in the cage, laying down new straw, shoveling out the shit and refreshing their water, cause that’s the type of person I am, God damn it! I had just finished and turned to exit the cage, when there he was. My ears were assailed with the sound of the Psycho shower scene music, and my eyes had become time tunnels, with scientists Tony Newman and Doug Phillips peering out from them, cursing the fact that the tunnels were only one way.
Rodney was leading the charge and his harem was coming up the rear.
I had no place to go.
The umbrella was outside of the cage and he was already at the door.
I stood tight up against the nesting wall, thinking, hoping, that Rodney’s visual acuity was based on movement.
He strutted his stuff like a tarred and feathered John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, as he walked through the door. I sucked in my gut, held my breath and looked over my bottom lashes to see where he was.
He hadn’t seen me, but it wasn’t over yet.
I had to wait for all the girls to enter, otherwise Rodney would exit the cage again until the girls were all inside. It was a hope against hope that he would stay at the water cooler long enough for the gossiping, bitching, and strolling hens to get inside the cage.
Ten minutes later and two pounds thinne
r, sweat was dripping from me, as the last girl wriggled her feathery arse through the door. I slipped out of that doorway like butter on a hot knife: it wasn’t pretty, I didn’t land on the bread, but I was quick.
Flour from Seed
Back to the now, there’s old Red standing in the water, all the while thinking that I am unable to see him, and I make this allowance for him.
I toss barrel loads of seed into the air; watch it rain down on Peacocks, chooks, Reds, Crows and Wild ducks with the occasional Corella or Eagle spying at the seed eaters waiting to pick the smallest of them off, for their own feed.
It’s like animal planet at feeding time. It’s every bird for themselves.
The seed barely hits the ground as it streams down into hundreds of hungry beaks, and I can’t help thinking to myself, ‘At least I can crush some of this wheat and make flour.’
With the open fire for my stove; and a piece of year old straightened, and re-straightened, al-foil as a wrapper for the fire. I was thinking that I could use the birds left over seed to make myself some flour to make dough to wrap in al-foil to throw into the fire and make a lovely nutritious Damper.
Things have been bad before, and I like to think that, ‘No matter how bad today is, tomorrow will still come. There’s plenty of time for more shit to land on my head, just get in line.’
So of course, the lack of electricity and water can be worked around, but one evening I collected all the clothing that required mending. On to my third pair of knickers, I began to feel disheartened and decided that when things have become so bad, that underwear needs mending, that’s where I will draw the line.
Slip Sliding Ratty rat rat…
Having reached the point where I found myself with knickers in one hand, and needle and thread in the other, I mentally put my foot down and decided to splurge on one pair of knickers for going out.
Sort of like my Sunday knickers.
I scoured the Internet and found some cheap, but pretty knickers, and bra set… ‘Well frack me.’ I said to myself, ‘I’m havin’ a party, an getting me some of those.’
I made the order, paid my $5, and 8 weeks later they arrived. Just in time too, cause I had just run out of thread and was about to start mending with fishing line… I can only tell you how much I was not looking forward to wearing those knickers.
So I eagerly opened the small package from China. They were lovely and the knickers were frilly. I haven’t had frilly knickers in years. I put the underwear into the wash straight away. I hung them with care undercover, so they could dry over night, and ‘Tomorrow,’ I thought, ‘I will wear underwear that I have not, nor will I anytime soon, need to mend.’
The next morning I rose and raced out to the line like an excited toddler on some new concoction prescribed by a pharmaceutically owned doctor trialling a new medication to contain misbehaviour.
Yeah! Like that’s gonna work.
Anyway, I digress, I got to the line, saw the bra straight away and looked through all the clothes hanging there for my new frilly knickers, but they were gone.
I was in shock.
I looked around in fear.
I checked the garden bed; the tool shed; and the cracks and crevices around the house where the Water Rats climb and hide. But my frilly knickers were gone. I walked back into the house. My bottom lip dropped and was dragging along between my legs sweeping the floor.
I put my kettle on, back when I had one, made myself a cup of home brand coffee, which actually spoiled me for other coffee brands by becoming my brand of choice, and sat on the old lounge when it started.
An eerie noise began to filter from the roof down into my ears. It was a strange noise, one that I was unaccustomed too. After 5 minutes of it, the penny dropped and I knew exactly what was going on. Those rats had stolen my new frilly knickers, and the kids were now slip sliding away on their silky newness that are now their ill gotten gains.
It went on for months just to taunt me.
While I made coffee, they did it.
As I threaded the fishing line into the needle, they did it.
As I hung out other clothes, they touched nothing else.
They took my frilly knickers and they flouted them in my face, so guess what I did… that’s right, I bought a big bucket of neon pink rat poison. There was neon shit all over the outside area. But not one trail led me to my frilly knickers.
Would you like to know how big these freaking rats are?
2-years prior… In the heat of the day, the front door was wide open.
The flywire door was closed, because I wasn’t leaving an open invitation for Sydney to come into the house to rest in the cool, that’s another story.
Around 4 that afternoon, the dog and I were on the lounge when we heard something odd outside the front door. My puppy got off the lounge and sat at my feet. I like to think he was guarding me from whatever it was, but it was more likely he was staying close so I could protect him.
We both had leaned our heads forward, and tilted them to the right to look outside the door.
There was something strange. It was as big as a 600ml bottle of Coke. It was just lying on the front step, squirming around. The dog looked at me, and I at him, we were both thinking the same thing:
‘What the fuck is that!’
I was about to get out of my seat to take a closer look, when a giant head, the size of rock melon/Honey Dew, in slow motion, moved close to the wriggling thing.
The dog and I recoiled and altered the question to: ‘No. What the fuck is that!
The head picked up the wriggling thing, which we eventually assumed was one of its babies, then, again as if in slow motion, for effect? It slowly pulled back again. Not once did we see the body of this rat, its head was so big, that it’s body most likely could not fit into frame.
The puppy got up and pushed the front door until he couldn’t push it no more.
Here she goes again
So here in the present I sit, with the end of the month ominously looming, thanks to an inspection on the property by some unknown stranger flitting from tree to tree, bush to bush, for an old shack that I had asked several times for wires and poles to disconnect. They even came out here one night and day because…
Three years ago at 1am…
It was a new moon and the sky could not be seen through the dense cloud cover. I had probably been sleeping for around 3 hours, when all of a sudden the house began to shake.
Then three loud explosions occurred one after the other.
My eyes flung open. Looking into the darkness, I was thinking that we had just had an earthquake when the dog jumped up onto the bed saying; ‘What was that mummy… What the fuck was that mummy… I’ll save you, just lie there and I’ll lie there with you where it is safe and warm.’
Yes! You heard me correctly, I am fluent in quite a range of animal dialectology.
Pushing the 60 pound dog off my chest, I was able to turn on my battery powered bedside lamp.
Looking around the room I saw that everything was still in place. Some might think it would be hard to tell, seeing as it always looked like an earthquake had hit it. Getting out of bed was a bit of a trial because even though the dog had moved, my 5 cats had not.
They had learned to go with the flow.
When I start to move, it’s like the they know just as the Earth rotates around a bubbling mix of lava, for the most part, the Earth’s crust remains steady, so too does the Doonie maintain stability, as the body moves beneath it.
Finally animal free, I made my way to the electric light switch, but there was no power. Not an unusual occurrence but one that was more concerning due to the explosion I heard 5 minutes earlier. I made my way to the breaker box, but some nong, in all their wisdom, decided that, ‘Tha only be giants that live ere.’
How wrong they were.
With my beanie headlight on, I dragged my three legged chair to the wall and wedged it into the corner. I climbed up and teetered on its edge and prayed that the wall would do the rest.
It lasted long enough to tell me that it was not a breaker box problem, that something much more sinister had occurred. I made my way through the dark house. Ran my fingers along the edge of the rock and block wall ridges. When I reached the lounge, I made a right turn until I reached the front door. Not one of my brave animals was to be seen. I bet if I shone a torch into the bedroom wide shining eyes would be peering out of the darkness, with warm fluffy bodies keeping my spot on the bed warm.
I pulled my rubber boots on as I opened the front door. Turning my glove flash light on, I exited the house. Even with my beanie and glove lights on, the darkness was all consuming. It was as if the light was being absorbed by the night. I sloshed my way over to the car and pulled the big flood light from the glove compartment. As it turns out, there were no gloves in it…
Feeling more than a little perplexed as to why there were no gloves in the glove compartment, I turned the flood light on and spanned it around the area closest to the house. ‘Ah.’ I said to myself, ‘Tha be the problem.’
A dirty great 30 foot tree had just fallen over taking all the power lines, three in total, with it.
I’m sure had the dog walked out of the house with me that that would have been another, ‘What the fuck,’ moment.
He’s quite fluent in all forms of expletives.
I suppose due to my remote location and lack of essential amenities, such as Mobile connectivity, I was lucky that I still had an underground land line. However, it only worked for 3 months out of a year, and thankfully, because the power disappears so often, I knew the emergency power outage number by heart.
Picking up the ear piece of the land line, there was a dial tone. ‘A good start,’ I thought to myself. I dialled the number for emergencies.
I was advised not to walk any closer than 65 feet from the power line that had been ripped from the wall of the house and was now being held down by a 3-ton tree. Of course it was a bit late for that advice, considering the house itself was only 60 feet away from the power line and metre box, and I had been walking around close to 10 feet from the box before calling them.
Standing alone in the darkness by torch light, I turned the torches off to make sure that I was not now some neon sign that will forever not need to pay for power again
Emergency crews arrived around 3am to assess the damage, saying, ‘We’ll be back around 7-am to reconnect the wires, can you cut down some of these smaller trees from around the area?’
My thought was, ‘What the fuck!’ and I am still not sure if I used my words to relate that fact.
So, in the pitch darkness of a moonless night with only one flood light and a beanie torch to guide my chain saw, I began to cut down anything in my way. As the Earth revolved and sunlight started to light up the horizon, I could see the tips of the trees and had cut down ten to twelve small trees before the emergency crew arrive at 7-am on the dot.
With trees still needing to come down, they made an executive decision to not wait until they were cut, strung the wire back up and left by 8-am. It took 5 days to get the power back on because of course, poles and wires will only hang the wire back to the metre box. Unless you have insurance, you’re pretty fracked in rural Tasmania.
Mind you, it was day 5 when the insurance company offered other accommodation for us.
I believe my thoughts ran from, ‘Fuck you very much,’ to ‘Eat shit and die.’
Empty Threat Mate, Empty Threat
So, now, here we go again. This time they want to just take my power or have me declare bankruptcy, because my beautiful car has siphoned the buffer, in her efforts to keep up with the Holden’s. So I say, take the power. It’s not as if we really use it and when we do decide to splurge and have an electricity night, you cut the power anyway.
Who do you think I am some special person who requires all the newest and coolest things…? Well you’re right, it’s just the old things like fridges, lights and stoves that I don’t need. I’ll light the fire, put the BBQ plate on top and keep the kettle full and on the boil, it’s not like food is a necessity, and almost everything is battery powered these days. What I can’t charge in the car, I will charge from the single solar panel and battery we set up years ago.
The very fact that I turned my battery powered bedside lamp on when the tree came down, should tell you that the electricity supply is not something many people in rural areas rely on. I’m already downloading the specs on how to jack yourself into your modem without the need for electricity…
I’m sure there’s one out there somewhere…
It’s not as if I get mobile connectivity for calls, nor for data usage.
So, anyway, I’m stocked for Jaffles in the fire place. Baked potatoes, Corn on the cob, and Damper in the coals, a griddle for grilling and a plate for cooking.
We won’t miss television because the signal never works for the free to air…
Under estimate me… That’ll be Fun!
So? That’ll be a cuppa then?
Day 170… I checked the oil in the car…
Day… whatever the fuck today is…
- The car blew the rear tire last week, the spare was worse than the one that blew. The she beast got a ride on the back of a Tow Truck.
- The computer hard drive just became corrupted and I lost all my photos
- The Television, just this moment said, ‘Frack off!’ and fizzled out
- Oh… and I checked the oil in the car again… this morning as I did yesterday morning and every other morning and I now carry around 8-lts of motor everywhere I go.
- The muffler still has a whopping great hole in it