note: if you haven't read Part 1 click here or this will make even less sense than it actually does)
Next thing we know it's Australia Day and we're hungover.
Each year we celebrate all that is Australia Day by being hungover, blowing up the mini outdoor pool, filling it with water as we cook the bbq, restock the Esky (chilly bin, cooler, box to keep the beer cold), shoo some flies, paint our faces with zinc, apply fake Australian sticker tattoos and turn on the radio to listen to the inaugural Triple J Hottest 100.
Eleven of us sit in the 4-(wo)man pool, listening to the unusual sounds coming out of the radio, drinking, and eating. When I first enter the pool I am quick to relieve my liver in it as I know how these days pan out and I would much rather be sitting in my own urine than someone else's.
|Cartoon: There's a lot that goes in to erecting a backyard|
pool: water, hot air, hardwork, sweat, urine, sausages,
hot dogs, corn chips, dead flies. No better place to chill
out, listen to the countdown and sleep off the hangover.
Unfortunately, I hadn't yet commenced filling the pool with water. My Mother-in-law looks in my direction and shakes away more flies.
A quick clean of the pool, and myself, later and we fill the pool with water and sit on in it. I immediately urinate again as, despite my error in the previous paragraph, my feelings on wading in another person's urine remain.
Listening to the countdown is a tradition that many Australians share and enjoy. Being a 30-something year old*
...as I am a semi-fictional character, it is important to be not too specific to give away any link to my creators identity. That, and the author of this is also very lazy and poor at character creation...
as the countdown continues I find I recognise few, if any*,
...I can't be sure, I'm very drunk by this stage...
of the songs. Moreso, to me it is like listening to a monotoned cat being played like a bagpipe for hours on end.
While this description may sound a little and unnecessarily macabre, it is important to note that I am not a cat lover, per se, and it should be read as such. Perhaps, if you are a cat lover you could substitute a llama or cane toad or any animal of your (un)liking.
We continue drinking and sweating and shooing and eating and urinating well into the day. Some of our skin has burnt into welts that will make for good conversation fodder upon our returns to work.
There are now plenty of partial sausages, bread, sauce, party pies and corn chips floating in the shallow pool, which is gross. Finally, a dim sim floats my way and I eat it. Could've done with sweet chilli sauce, but beggars can't be choosers.
Some of us are semi-conscious as Darryl Bowen's surprise hit of 2014 - "Alex (Day By Day)" - is announced as the Triple J 2014 Hottest 100's number one song, beating Triple J favourite Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off".
The morning afters arrival wakes us all from our slumber in various patches across the yard. We look at each other sheepishly (ie. on all fours, and woolly) as we try to piece together the patches of memory that remain of Australia Day. My mother in-law appears, looks at me and shakes away more of those pesky flies. I help her out and throw a boot.
I jump straight into the time machine without cleaning up as I figure I'm just going to be doing it all again in a week's time when I return.
I stop en route to the present for some greasy takeaway at your choice at any of those disgusting fast food restaurants, and look forward to doing it all again in real-time. As God, and Stephen Hawkings, had intended.