I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that this is my first blog post in some time. How much time is some time? Well, about six months in this case… oops!
But I do have an excuse. Some of you might have noticed that I’VE GOT A NEW BOOK OUT! I’ve been crazy busy since October, putting the finishing touches to ‘Kamikaze Kangaroos!’ – and I finally stopped obsessing over every sentence, cutting them out, re-writing them, deleting them, and adding the original bit back in again – and released the damn thing on Valentine’s Day.
It’s done pretty well, selling 500 copies in the first two weeks, and should break the first-thousand barrier any day now. As you can imagine, I’m doing the jellyfish dance. (This is my happy dance – also, my only dance. Its name originates from a comment that I apparently ‘just stand in one spot wiggling my whole body like there’s no bones left in it’.)
By way of celebration, I thought I’d say a big thank-you to someone who the book literally couldn’t have been written without: my baby sister Gillian!
Not only did Gill participate in all the adventures in Kamikaze Kangaroos (well okay, not ALL of them :0) – she also made the supreme sacrifice, and actually lent me her own journals to help me write the thing! Imagine letting your big brother or sister read your private diary – and then letting them include its juiciest contents in a comedy book for all the world to see! Pretty terrifying, eh? Luckily for Gill, I only expect to sell about 20,000 copies of Kamikaze Kangaroos, so it won’t be the entire world that learns her secrets…
Anyway, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank her for being such a good sport.
She hasn’t complained once about what I’ve written in the book. Of course, she hasn’t read it yet, but I feel I know her well enough to know she’ll be understanding.
And if not, I now live five thousand miles away from her, so I reckon I’m safe in saying, “Unlucky, dude!
So, by way of… celebrating her uniqueness, here’s a tiny snippet that never made it into Kamikaze Kangaroos. Enjoy!
Gill lost three drinking mugs in the first two weeks of our travels with Rusty. She kept leaving them behind in campsite kitchens, and every time she had to buy a new one. Finally, she bought one she didn’t lose – but only because she drove Rusty over it. It’s fair to say she was a bit pissed off about that.
Her fifth mug was a really nice one – so when she returned from the kitchen stomping and swearing, I already feared the worst.
“Bollocks! Some arsehole’s robbed my brand new mug!”
She pulled open our plastic rubbish bag rummaged through it furiously.
“It won’t be in there,” I told her. “You left it on the sink again, didn’t you?”
She didn’t bother denying it. Instead she pulled something from the bin bag and brandished it in my face.
“Screw it. I’m going to drink out of this jar.”
“Gill, that’s a curry jar.”
“I know. At least no bugger will steal it.”
“Yes, because no-one in their right mind would drink out of it.”
“Well, I’m going to. And sod the lot of them.”
“Fair enough. Are you at least going to wash it out first?”
“I’m thinking about it.”
Fruity Lexia, the sweet white wine we’d been drinking since we first discovered you could get four litres of it in a cardboard box for $10, was a delicate, pale yellow in colour. Poured into a wine glass, it was indistinguishable from something far more expensive. But when Gill poured into a clear glass curry jar with the label washed off, it looked… well, it looked like she was on her way to the hospital with a urine sample. She never noticed the disgusted looks she was getting from people, eyeing her jar as she carried it down the street. Why would she? She was too busy drinking from it.
Being a particularly generous individual, Gill often asked people around the campsite if they’d like a sip of her drink.
Not a single person ever took one.
They were more than happy to take the piss, of course, but they seemed to draw the line at actually drinking the stuff…
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to play Sod’s Law at its own game, but this is what happens: that frigging jar lasted Gill for nearly two years.