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 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:54 pm 
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Ex-BMS

Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 10:40 am
Posts: 48
Corio whiskey was found to be suitable for use in engineering & sheetmetal works as soldering flux.
This ensured the product continued to be manufactured for longer than would have otherwise been the case.

Sanity ultimately prevailed when less dangerous fluids were distilled & distributed for easing parched throats, and the Cario brand was relegated to history.

Today there are many, many brands of Australian whisky on the market for those who can afford them, because Jim Murray's whisky bible gave them (undeserved) praise & high marks.
Most Australian brands are thus overpriced - especially when compared to the dozens of Scotch names easily found on the shelves of Dan Murphy's and other purveyors of fine spirits.


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 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:48 pm 
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Ex-Kiap

Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:29 pm
Posts: 155
DOSS: 01 Jun 1971
Gary has had a large service and rebore ,out of the ICU he has already put nurses on a promise of chocolates and flowers.The pig had only one bad day but was not revived.His family are so relieved and look forward to Christmas.Prior to his operation he posted me a large Manilla envelope with MS.
As he is now back on deck I will let the great Australian novel return West,unless he requests me to fill in the blank spaces where he omitted names.
All the best ,gain strength and endure,no one can stop a happy reunion with Sprog his favourite grandchild this December.


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 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:57 pm
Posts: 64
DOSS: 01 Apr 1964
Have you noticed that fine dining and convivial company is very conducive to the development deep philosophical and meaningful debate on topics of great importance in the affairs of civilization as accepted by today’s moral and intellectual values?
I apologise if I have confused you, dear reader, with my opening remarks. So let me elucidate.
It was seafood night at the Gentlemen’s Club and the jolly good roll up of members had enjoyed the magnificent mouth watering smorgasbord that had been prepared by the kitchen staff. Fresh Abrolhos rock lobster, northern barramundi, coral trout, blue swimmer crabs, Eyre Peninsula oysters and Carpentaria tiger prawns along with mouth watering salads, sauces and side dishes. All of this was washed down with a fine assortment of crisp white wines from the nation’s very best vineyards to make a totally satisfying culinary experience.
It is said that seafood is a first class brain stimulant so it is not surprising that after such a meal, lively discussions on a multitude of topics took place. My only criticism of seafood night is that not nearly as many oysters worked as they used to. In fact it is rare occurrence nowadays that any of them actually work at all. But that is a topic for a more intimate tete a tete.
However on this particular occasion, I found myself ensconced amongst a party of seven or eight sterling chaps of like intellect and persuasion as myself. A decanter of excellent Hunter Valley tawny port circulated to accompany our after dinner coffee and cigars. All in all it was the perfect setting for the stimulation of lively and enriching conversation.
As the mood mellowed and communications broadened it became apparent that we appear to be living in the most interesting of times where international, national and local events provide an absolute treasure trove of conversational topics. On one hand we have a president running a country as if it is a beauty contest and only favoured contestants receive preferred patronage whilst on the other hand, locally, we have an ex prime minister running around like little Henry Chickenhawk whose sole “raison d’etre” is to destroy his replacement and the party that dethroned him.
Added to this we have a plethora of hack journalists and columnists representing the print and electronic media, continually endeavouring to emulate Warwick “the kingmaker” in contributing to the creation and destruction of political careers as fancy sways them.
In fact our times, like those of Charles Dickens, are so boringly reflective of how things have always been that any debate on anything at all is surely pointless.
But all that notwithstanding Harold Thrustbuttock Frogmorton, a man of some standing whose world travels make him an authority on all matters foreign and alien that represent a real and present threat to the cultural heritage of the sea girt homeland of Sir Les Patterson.
“It’s time to draw the line on letting any more of these foreign blighters into the wonderful Land of Oz. We are being overrun by foreigners and drowned in their foreign ways. Culture as we know it will soon cease to exist!”
Now if ever there was a statement to raise eyebrows amongst members of the Gentlemen’s Club; then comment on culture was surely it.
By and large our membership is widely travelled and has experienced foreign cultures, both couth and uncouth.
In my youth I personally absorbed the cultural delights of such locales as Soho, De Wallen District and the Reeperbahn. In Cairo I once experienced the exotic mysteries and pleasures of Fatima the Egyptian belly dancer, although in all honesty I suspect that Fatima was actually Beryl from Paisley; and of course who hasn’t treated a working girl from East 42nd Street to the edifying experience of a moonlit horse drawn open carriage ride through Central Park.
Travel does broaden the mind and memories are such beautiful things.
But back to the subject of foreigners and the acceptability of allowing more of them into our homeland.
I am personally very open minded about foreigners; that is so long as they remain in their foreign climes. After all it is only fair. Our British based civilization has been forcibly expelled from dozens of countries since the cessation of hostilities in 1945 and that being so it is only right that we protect our way of life by sealing our borders.
The outside world is full of foreigners; they start at Calais and end at Darwin; and they should be content to remain amongst their own pursuing their unique idiosyncrasies and lifestyles.
I was about to express my well considered opinion on the matter to the assembly when proceedings were brought to a sudden and abrupt halt by the booming Gaelic foghorn vocals of Bishop Patrick FitzRamsbottom.
Allow me to digress for a moment and I shall introduce the good bishop.
Patrick FitzRamsbottom’s antecedents hail from somewhere in the vicinity of County Cork and he is a fanatical believer of the philosophy of ad extirpanda and deeply regrets that it is a practice no longer enforced by the “Mother Church”. He is totally opposed to the reforms of Vatican 2 and blankly refuses to implement any of those doctrines in his diocese.
Such is the traditional delivery of his fire and brimstone sermons; that even in this modern age of protest and challenge to authority; one glance from him stifles any offense to the olfactory senses caused by voluntary or involuntary borborygmus rumblings or expulsions from members of his congregation during matins or vespers.
On one occasion during a funeral service that he was conducting, after generously partaking of a pre wake libation for the deceased, the genteel sobbing of the grieving widow so annoyed him that he pointed at her with an accusing finger and quoted the old Irish music hall ditty
“Let's not have a sniffle, let's have a bloody-good cry
And always remember: The longer you live
The sooner you'll bloody-well die”
I thought that it was quite a sensitive and comforting expression of condolence at the time.
On another occasion during a recent conversation between the bishop and Ebeneezer Whirtsnerdel, a member in good standing, on the topical subject of same sex marriage he, Ebeneezer, happened to mention that whilst he was quite odd he was in no way queer and neither were the young men that he slept with.
Well the bishop’s reaction to this admission was totally out of all proportion to the profoundness of the statement.
The fiery torrent of profanity that issued from his mouth could very well have had its source in the furnaces of Hell itself. He called on all of the Archangels, Angels, semi Gods, demi Gods and the combined host of heaven to join forces to hurl Ebeneezer and all of his kind into the darkest recesses of purgatory and there confine their souls for all eternity.
To my mind that opinion is a tad extreme. I am totally impartial when it comes to another man’s sexual preferences. It takes all sorts to make this great big wonderful world that we live in.
Anyone who has served in the Middle East will be familiar with the old Arab philosophy of “A woman for business, a boy for pleasure and a goat for choice”.
There is a very interesting couple of minutes of U tube film taken from a spy drone recording a couple of Pakistanis gents giving in to their lustful cravings with a nanny goat on the roof of a house that warrants a second look.
However all that notwithstanding; attendances at Bishop FitzRamsbottom’s Good Friday and Christmas Eve midnight mass services always draw enormous crowds. The celebrations following these religious ceremonies almost inevitably degenerate into Romanesque bacchanalian revels that go on for days.
But I digress. The actual topic of general conversation at hand was that of foreigners and the place that they play in contemporary Australian society.
As you can expect, the good bishop holds very strong views on this matter and is never backward in expressing his opinions which he now gave vent to.
In the interests of brevity I will therefore give an abridged version of the Bishop’s speech rather that a full transcript thereto.
In his opinion we should throw open our borders to all with the exception of those who adhere to the tenets of the heretical occupant of Lambeth Palace and who have a well deserved reservation in the darkest pits of purgatory. Others to be excluded from entry would be any descendents from “the other isle” who were the issue of members of the Black and Tans as well as any form of Protestant, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, coloureds.
He then moved on to the ridiculous situation that has become an issue in Canberra regarding the eligibility of people to represent electors because of dual citizenship circumstances.
Even I, simple unlettered fellow that I am, can relate in part to the good bishop’s philosophy. Do you remember up until the early 70’s I think it was that our passports affirmed that we were all British subjects although we were Australian citizens. That did sort of imply dual nationality and citizenship.
In the early 60s arrivals at Heathrow were welcomed by two signs at the immigration entrance. There was one entry gate for British subjects and a second gate for foreign subjects.
I clearly recall on one occasion an aggressive American chap loudly remonstrating that he wasn’t foreign, he was a citizen of the United States. Never the less his protestations fell on the deaf ears of Her Majesty’s immigration official and he was dealt with as a foreigner while the rest of us proceeded through the gate reserved for loyal servants of the crown.
Which brings me back to the subject at hand; what a load of codswallop is this debate over section 44 of the constitution. At the time of writing the constitution there was no such thing as an Australian citizen. Everybody was a British subject therefore the initial federal government was illegal by virtue of dual citizenship and so on and so forth to the present day.
Does this mean that every piece of legislation enacted by the Federal Parliament since Federation is invalid?
This will keep our little group of gentlemen debaters burbling on for months.
But far bit it for me to say any more. The army of lawyers, pollies and bureaucrats all funded by Joe taxpayer are at least keeping out of our faces for the duration, and the media vultures have something to occupy their petty minds.
So! Where do we go from here?
Do you remember when Papua New Guinea became independent and foreigners who wished to apply for PNG citizenship were forced to hand in their foreign passports and renounce the country of their birth?
At the time there was a flurry of expatriate applications for PNG citizenship to protect their investments and business holdings. On the face of it; there was no reverting to original birthrights if the process went pear shaped. However UK citizens kept their citizenship no matter how many foreign allegiances they swore to.
In Australia a very powerful political lobby acted behind the scenes and obtained guarantees that revoked Australian citizenships would be restored for Australians wishing to return to the sea girt land of OZ.
Which all boils down to the fact that the world is much the same as it has always been; a total mess with humanity stumbling from crisis to crisis.

I leave you with a quote attributed to Gaius Petronius a Roman Senator in 210 BC but in actual fact written by Charlton Ogburn and published in Harpers Magazine in 1957.

“We trained hard....but it seemed that every time
we were beginning to form up into teams we
would be reorganised.
I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet
any new situation by re-organising, and a
wonderful method it can be for creating the
Illusion of progress while producing nothing but
confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation.....”

So dear reader with those profound words of wisdom I shall have another shot or six of this excellent port and say farewell until we meet again.
God Bless!!


Last edited by Garry Luhrs on Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:35 pm 
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Ex-Kiap
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2003 10:23 am
Posts: 94
Location: Tumby Bay South Australia
DOSS: 11 Sep 1967
On a more serious note Garry.

I went into my local bottle shop the other day looking for a bottle of cheap Australian port. My intention was to use it for the fruit cake I was going to make for Christmas.

I was duly informed you can no longer buy port unless it comes from Portugal. The Australian stuff is now called 'tawny', or something along those lines.

I can understand the people of Champagne objecting to the use of their name on Australian bubbly but what red-blooded bloke buys it anyway?

I'd suggest that the sneaky renaming of port has all the hallmarks of a constitutional crisis far in excess of anything to do with queer foreigners breeching our borders.


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 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:30 pm 
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Ex-Kiap

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:57 pm
Posts: 64
DOSS: 01 Apr 1964
By God Phil you are right.
I just checked the label on my bottle of 12 year old Galway Pipe and it says Grand Tawny.
Wine naming seems to have gotten quite anal. Burgundy is now Pinot Noir.
What do you suggest. Should we invade?


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 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:02 pm 
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Ex-Kiap
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 9:33 pm
Posts: 635
Location: Cardiff Wales
DOSS: 24 Aug 1970
As usual I enjoyed your post Garry.
The quote about reorganisation reminded me of the six months in 1969 I was waiting for immigration clearance to West Australia where I was about to improve education there by generously offering my services as a teacher. I had found temporary employment in the UK’s Department of Social Services as a lowly filing clerk and general odd-bod.
One day I was given two rubber stamps. One was fashioned to blank out the old name of the letter headed official stationery while the other was a pristine tool which was used to print the new name of the department.
Carrying out this intellectual task took a few days and I was amazed to find out that some of the lesser used forms had already had a change of name stamped on them. The most amazing example highlighted by your quote was one that had two name changes in its long unused life. I was stamping its 3rd reorganisation name.
No staff disappeared or arrived in our small office to complete this great leap forward organised from the depths of Whitehall. Sadly my country of birth failed to honour me for my dedication to the vital reorganisation.
Harim tok tasol
arthur


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 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:41 am 
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Ex-Didiman

Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:50 pm
Posts: 19
DOSS: 13 Mar 1966
One wonders whether Arthur's UK employer should be either complemented on their frugality and sense of conservation or whether they should be condemned for their lack of consideration to the paper making and print industries.
The PNG Government and Australian Government at least have apparently always considered the cause of industry over conservation as the frequent name changes of Government department and requirement for new letterheads attests.


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 Post subject: Re: Gary Luhrs
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:36 pm 
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Ex-Kiap

Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:57 pm
Posts: 64
DOSS: 01 Apr 1964
Dear reader, you are probably wondering why I am sitting here at the presidents table in the trophy room with Ebeneezer Whirtsnerdel, the Gentlemen’s Club Treasurer, sipping Bollinger instead of quaffing stiff single malts with the regular fellows in hog corner of the smoking room. Let’s face it Bollinger is something you only use if you run out of your regular mouthwash and nothing else is available.

Drinking absolute swill like this, it’s little wonder the Froggies were soundly thrashed at Agincourt and Waterloo.

Ebeneezer is not the sort of chap that one normally wishes to associate with or in fact be seen associating with by one’s peers. Amongst his many quirky habits is that of taking a cup of tea and cucumber sandwiches at precisely three thirty every afternoon. This occurs every day come rain or hail or shine. He has an annoying habit of sipping his tea with his pinky cocked just like that and he dries the sides of his mouth with a silk handkerchief that he tucks into his sleeve.
And the drivel that comes out of his mouth is unbelievable. He talks about growing roses and raising aspidistras and keeping them flying. He has never even castrated a tiger snake with his bare teeth. I truly believe that he is an original three dollar note. So there!!
Believe me when I say that it is not by choice that I find myself here in these circumstances “drinking no longer water, but using a little wine for mine stomach's sake and mine often infirmities” as recommended by the good book.

Allow me to elucidate.

About a year ago I awoke around about ten o’clock after a raucous smokey night at the Gentlemen’s Club that had included a couple of scantily clad belly dancers and the consumption of who knows how many single malts and Gurkha Black Dragons. I would have only drunk to excess and no more. At the most I may have looked upon the wine when it was red, when it gaveth its colour in the cup, and moved itself aright and at the last it biteth like a serpent, and stungeth like an adder. After all at my age one has to be a responsible drinker.
But back to my story. I was feeling a little woozy and suffering bouts of dizziness and a little more shortness of breath than normal. As I sat down at the breakfast table waiting for Horace, my gentleman’s gentleman, to serve me my morning cup of tea; white one sugar stirred seven times in an anti clockwise direction; I noticed the war office eying me over the brim of her Earl Grey breakfast tea cup. She had a peculiar look in her eyes. One eye was filled with venom the other appeared to be filled with anticipation.
She didn’t speak; she never speaks; in fact hasn’t spoken to me for over twenty years. In actual fact we haven’t had anything to do with each other in all that time. I normally only become aware of her continued presence by examining my monthly bank statement and noting withdrawals not made by me from the bank account. In all respects an ideal marriage.
Horace, my gentleman’s gentleman spoke.
“Are you feeling alright sir?”
“Just feeling a bit woozy’ I replied “Probably a touch of the old malaria surfacing.”
The world span and I came back to light lying on the flat of my back on a stretcher in an ambulance with an oxygen mask over my face.
Shortly thereafter I found myself in the emergency room of the local hospital being surrounded by doctors, nurses, cleaners and lollypop men. Quick consultations and I was whisked off to the cardiology ward where I was given a zillion tests of different sorts that included eco cardiograms, angiograms, stripper grams, gorilla grams and telegrams just to name a few.
The immediate decision was to implant a pacemaker to keep the old ticker ticking.
Then came the inevitable sit down with the cardiologist who looked me straight in the eye and said,
“We! That is you, have a couple of serious issues that have to be addressed. The first being that the aorta valve is leaking quite seriously and secondly the aorta itself has a severe aneurysm.”
I blinked and I supposed that I looked stupidly at him for he continued.
“Your aorta should have a diameter of 2.2 to 2.5 centimetres. Your aorta has a diameter of 5.7 centimetres which means that at any moment it could pop and you will be dead before you hit the ground.”
“Is that serious or a record?” I queried.
The cardiologist ignored me and continued. “I am referring you to one of our cardiac surgeons for urgent attention.”
And so without further ado I found myself undergoing and re-undergoing every conceivable test and wottigram associated with cardiac matters, eventually winding up in a chair opposite an anaesthetist having the ins and outs of cardiac surgery explained to me.
Firstly he explained his part in the proceedings.
“Apart from putting you to sleep, I am the man who keeps you alive during the operation. You will be connected to a by-pass machine and I will be monitoring all of your vital signs whilst the surgeons remove and replace your aorta and the aorta valve with a Dacron patch. Dacron is a non rejectable material made from bovine sources.”
No piggy or roo valves for me. My patch is cowhide. Sort of more manly isn’t it?
He continued. “After the operation you may suffer some of these side effects.”
He then proceeded to list them and they included cognitive dysfunction – which is the ability to think and speak logically. No problem there I already suffer from that.
Next in all likelihood i would suffer loss of memory, short and long term. That would be comforting as there is much in my life I would like to forget. However unfortunately that would only be a temporary affliction.
On and on he prattled about severe haemorrhaging, stroke, kidney and liver failure and permanent organ damage throughout the body beautiful. It reached a point where I totally lost interest. If all of this was going to happen why bother operating. But apparently one of the surgeons’ wives wanted a new BMW.
All that explained and understood I patiently awaited the time and place for the surgery to be performed to be announced.
A couple of minor hiccups and I presented myself for the procedure. A quick shower and chest shave by a nurse and we were ready to go. I was wheeled in to the theatre and one of the masked and hooded registrars informed me that the procedure would take about four hours. I would then be moved to recovery where I would be woken up and then to ICU until it was deemed fit for me to go to the cardiac ward for basic physio.
“Righto” says I “Let’s get on with it”
And without further ado I was knocked out and entered the deep sleep of the anaesthetised.
At some time during this deep sleep I found myself flapping through the eternal darkness of time and space with a pair of the most ungainly wings protruding from where my scapula should have been.
Do you remember the ungainly flapping that the New Guinea Hornbill made as it flapped from tree perch to tree perch? Well that was what I sounded like as I progressed towards eternity and beyond. Not quite like Buzz Lightyear but you get the message.
In the distance I saw a bright light and so I angled myself towards it, and as I neared I saw the bright white marble of the Pearly Gates.
I aimed for a two legged touch down between the two great pillars but as fortune would have it my navigation was a little astray and I went splot right into the left hand pillar.
As I picked myself up an old fellow who had been raking up leaves or something ambled over and asked me my name and purpose for being there.
“Hang on a moment” he said “I’ll check and see if we are expecting you”
He then opened an enormous tome and ran his ancient claw like finger down the latest column of names. As he was checking his book I looked through the gate and spied a tall figure pacing back and forwards mumbling in a tongue that was totally alien to me.
“Nope, you are not listed for arrival today” he said
Intrigued I asked him his name and who was the other fellow inside the gates.
He replied “My name is Peter, I am the gatekeeper, that is God. He is having a bad day. He thinks that he is a cardiac surgeon”
With that God turned and looked at me with his baleful All Seeing Eye and he blinked once and I found myself flapping back through time and space once and darkness once again enveloped me.
How long I lay in that state of darkness I know not but before you could say put a fiver on Farnarkel running in the Fifth at Flemington on the Fourteenth I found myself flappity flap flapping through time and space once more. Believe it or not it doesn’t take a lot to master the art of avian locomotion once you let it all hang out and go with the flow.
There in the distance were the brightly illuminated pearly gates and I guided my flight path to land right in the middle between the two pillars with a perfect three point landing.
Ah! How often the plans of mice and men. As I made my perfect approach one of my wings clipped a pillar and my three point landing became an undignified slithering belly flop. Were I in a corporeal rather than an ethereal form I should have suffered extensive gravel rash to say the least. But there to assist me to my feet was good old gatekeeper Pete.
“What are you doing back here?” he queried.
“Blowed if I know. I just seem to be flapping to and fro for no apparent reason” I replied.
“I suppose we better do a preliminary questionnaire in case you are going to stay this time”
With that he opened his enormous tome and began to question me regarding possible breaches of the Ten Commandments. I bore false witness all the way through until we reached the one about stealing. I thought that I’d better confess to one or two things there.
“I only stole from the Government; but in my defence the government is of the people by the people for the people so I was only stealing from myself. Therefore that can’t be classed as theft. Don’t you agree?”
Peter looked at me strangely and replied “A moot point. We will get back to that shortly.”
He continued with his questions.
“Have you coveted your neighbour’s ass, his donkey, his camels or his wife?”
This was a tricky one to answer so I called on my kiap legal training to reply. My neighbour was a tall scrawny fellow with a thin boney ass and I certainly didn’t covert that. I wasn’t that way inclined anyhow. I wasn’t aware that he owned a donkey so that was irrelevant. I didn’t covert his camels because I had given up smoking years before. Now the part about his wife, Rosa, was another matter. I decided to fess up and come clean.
Peter raised an eyebrow “Do tell”
“Well it was like this” I said.
“One autumn I was up on a ladder cleaning the gutters before the first rains. As I was working a bit like David on the rooftop a couple of thousand years ago when he gazed about him and observed Bathsheba bathing naked a couple of houses away. I too gazed about me and spied my neighbours wife, Rosa, sun bathing stark bollicky naked alongside their below ground swimming pool. Like David I was overcome with lust and desire to possess that voluptuous creature.
Whereas David disposed of poor old Uriel, Bathsheba’s unfortunate husband, by placing him in the forefront of battle where fighting was the hottest; I had to rely on more subtle means of persuasion if I was to fulfil my desires.
So with speed of a startled wombat I armed myself with a bottle of bubbly,, the effrontery of a lounge room lizard, and leapt the dividing fence where I did liberally apply alcoholic encouragement to the said beauty. As hubby had been absent on a business trip for some time it was not a really challenging chore to gain her agreement to participating in a quick round of the horizontal tango.
We made our way to the boudoir and with all due lack of decorum like Tarquin with desires unruly led I did advance, not on Lucretia’s but, on fair Rosa’s bed.
However before the contract could be filled; the sound of the garage roller door opening and a voice crying with anticipation
“Honey I’m home”
Well just for a moment I stood there in silence, stunned by the foul evil deed I’d nearly done. Then gathering up my clothes, out through the back door of Rosa’s I ran, out where the poolside was tiled. Up and across the boundary fence went I and into the sanctuary of my own humble abode where I settled my nerves with a couple of stiff single malts.”
Peter eyed me sceptically and the unblinking, forbidding All Seeing Eye appeared briefly then Poof.
There I was hurtling back through time and space and found myself flat on my back in a hospital bed with a nurse holding up her hand before me saying
“Wake up. What is your name? How many fingers do you see? Are you in pain? In a measure of one to ten, how severe is the pain?”
Pain, yes there was pain and plenty to spare. Women talk about the pain of childbirth but as any red blooded man knows that the pain of child birth is as nothing compared to that of man flu. Well let me tell you that the pain of having your sternum chopped open with a chain saw and then wired back together with rusty fencing wire is worse even than man flu. It is sheer agony to cough, sneeze, flatulate or even breathe deeply. But I get ahead of myself.
Over my feeble protests, bottles of pills and capsules were forced down my gullet. All for my own good I was assured.
“Don’t move or you will disturb the tubes.” Came an instruction from somewhere. It was then that I became aware that I had more tubes protruding from my torso than an octopus has tentacles. There was no way I was going to move at all. The slightest tremor was agony.
I slept.
Came a morning. I know not which when I was woken by a nurse who had come to change my dressing.
As the wound was uncovered she produced a mirror of sorts and said.
“Look at your scar. It is healing beautifully.”
I gazed at the reflection. The scar showed that I had been slit from gizzard to gullet. It was red raw and disgusting. The sight of all of those tubes protruding from my abdomen gave the impression that I was an Azimov creation. It was a quite disturbing sight.
I dozed off, slept, awoke to find my surgical team standing around the foot of my bed.
The senior registrar spoke
“Well you gave us a bit of a fright. We thought that we had lost you a couple of times.”
I didn’t say anything. I knew the truth. I had been tried and rejected by the highest authority; not once but twice.
The registrar continued.
“We got rid of that troublesome aneurysm and the leaky valve and you now have a spanking new Dacron patch.”
Dear reader I won’t bore you with further details of how my chest was opened twice more over the following fortnight to drain accumulated fluid around the heart apart to say the pain was and still is bloody murder.
Neither will I bore you with an account of the hallucinations and the belief that a little Shitzu dog visited and sat with me every night that I was in hospital. The side effects of open heart surgery are quite weird and can really only be understood by those who have undergone this procedure.
Now I am reduced to sitting here with the likes of Ebeneezer Whirtsnerdel sipping one or two flutes of this disgusting Bollinger each day listening to him and his mates waffle on about their totally innocuous and uninspiring lives.
Though as I sit here my mind wanders back through time and space to another occasion that I experienced pain far worse than child birth or man flu although not as severe as open heart surgery.
Let me explain.

I was conducting a census patrol out of Ambunti.
The weather had been pretty inclement and most of the patrol gear was either soaked through or was uncomfortably damp. I was within two days of returning to station when for whatever reason the cap of the kerosene container came loose or was not fastened correctly and the container was topped up with water rendering the fuel useless.
As a result of this I lost the use of my primus stove and more importantly the use of my Petromax pressure lantern.
As always happens when sod’s law kicks in my patrol boxes were scattered haphazardly around the entrance to the haus kiap. After night fell I found that I had occasion to fossick through one of the patrol boxes in search of my toiletries in order that I could take a hot shower. As fate would have it the patrol box that I required was under and behind a couple of other patrol boxes.
With fading torch under my chin I started to move the boxes and lo and behold I tripped on the black palm floor and the box slipped from my grasp and my foot caught on a second or third box and with no further adieu the big toe nail of my left foot caught on the edge of a box and was ripped half out.
I screamed “Murder! Bloody murder!” and the troops came a running.
To cut a long story short; the aid post orderly extracted the toe nail out applied liberal amounts of antiseptic powder and a dry dressing, patted me on the head and left me to my pain and agony.
Two days later after bravely completing the census my patrol made it’s way back to Ambunti by motorised canoe. We made land fall at the landing stage which was at the end of the Ambunti airstrip.
My first order of business, after dispatching my policemen to organise the station’s tractor and trailer to collect the patrol gear and request the didiman come and collect me on his motorbike, was to proceed to the Ambunti Aid Post to have my wound redressed. A twin engine aircraft had just touched down and was being met by a large crowd of locals as well as the entire expat population of the station.
“What is going on?” I enquired of a local who was standing away from the crowd.
“Hetman bilong Moresby I kam” was the reply.
Intrigued, I wandered or rather hobbled closer to have a look. There he was; The Honourable David Osborne Hay, His Honour the Administrator of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea, himself. Complete with Bombay bloomers long white socks and his Distinguished Service Order suspended from his scrawny neck. All he needed to complete the picture of perfect imperialism at its best was a plumed pith helmet and a swagger stick.
As fortune would have it; the crowd parted and I found myself face to face with HHA.
I felt quite inadequate, unshaven, my khakis rumpled and heavily sweat stained around the armpits and my footwear flip flop thongs because I couldn’t get my feet into my patrol boots.
“Who are you?” demanded HHA.
When I introduced myself he became positively apoplectic.
How dare I come to meet the countries’ highest official, unshaved, dressed in that dishevelled attire. I was a disgrace to the service and when my patrol policeman, dressed in the old lap lap and sulu, appeared by my side just as this was going down the fury intensified. Not only was I a disgrace but how dare I allow a member of the constabulary appear in a uniform that had been discarded four years earlier.
Suitably chastised and belittled, I slunk off to have my toe re-dressed at the aid post and then made my way as a pillion passenger on the back of the didiman’s motor bike to the house on the top of the hill to lick my battered ego.
Shortly thereafter when I had shaved showered and attired myself in clean clothing nursing my now throbbing toe and contemplating, with my didiman friend, whether it was time to declare the bar open when, unannounced, the ADC appeared.
This particular ADC is the one whose name I do not speak unless I am standing inside a pentacle made of Aeroplane Jelly crystals with a clove of garlic around my neck making the sign of the cross to ward off evil.
He spoke
“Well you certainly know how to upset the big boys. The DC wants to see you in the office at 5 pm.”
Without further adieu he stormed out.
At 5 pm I presented myself to the DC who demanded an explanation from me. When I explained the circumstances of my arrival and the reason for my footwear, my ignorance of the VIP visit etc ...; the DC expressed his understanding of my situation and remarked.
“I will tell His Honour that I have dealt with you severely and I suggest that you do not attend the official reception this evening at the ADC’s residence. So off you go”
As in many instances during my lifetime I couldn’t resist one last quip.
“He does look ridiculous in his Bombay bloomers and his imitation Imperial demeanour, doesn’t he?” I remarked.
The DC sort of choked back a half grin half scowl.
“Get out of here before I have you flogged”
Needless to say I got rather rapidly, throbbing nail less toe notwithstanding.
And that dear reader is my story and I am sticking to it.
Oh drats! Ebeneezer Whirtsnerdel has ordered another round of Bollinger and it has arrived.

Bottoms up until we meet again

Stay well and God bless.

Post Script.
I would like to express my thanks to those kind persons who sent me their best wishes for a speedy recovery after my recent heart surgery.
My especial thanks go to Harvey Mack who smuggled a Jamaica Blue coffee into me every evening during my stay in Fiona Stanley Hospital. You are a true friend.


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