Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One Brick Today.

I woke up one morning in 1994 and felt like it was going to be a pretty bad day. Moping along the corridor to the bathroom, I stumbled into the shower and blasted the hot water. Standing under the spray, the steam seemed to clear my head a little. "Hang on a minute," I thought to myself, "If I go into this day thinking that it's going to suck, then there's a fair chance it will suck. I gotta stop thinking like that. This day is going to rule!"

Rarely has a change of heart been so prescient. The day was beginning to warm up. I arrived at school midway through second period, just enough time to catch up with my friends before recess. For some reason James 'Gibbo' Gibson, who was supposed to be at the senior campus, was wandering around, and he suggested that Nat Graf, Dom Horvat and I would have a better time back at my house, rather than in double Maths. It never took too much convincing for me to skip Maths class.

Back at my house the sun was shining. I don't remember much of what we did for that hour or two, other than making some shorts for Gibbo by cutting the legs off his schoolpants. We must've done was teenage boys usually do - talk about girls - but that doesn't seem right. Eventually we decided to head up to the main street of Stawell, which was, at that point, still a pedestrian mall.

In the photo above you can see two of the three great things that happened that day. I found that shirt in the St Vincent De Paul Op Shop, and purchased it for the princely sum of fifty cents. It had a green apple on the front pocket and a bigger picture of the same apple on the back. The day was thereafter known as the Apple Shirt day. I think I eventually gave the shirt to some girl, but by the time I did it was almost threadbare, I'd worn it that much.

Before long we realized there was something going on in the mall. The St George Bank people were setting up some kind of display. There was food. There were games. There was free stuff. In hindsight I probably shouldn't have run up to the dragon, put him in a headlock and given him a noogie, but he seemed to take it in the right spirit. We ate, we claimed, we pushed our luck. That's what teenage boys do.

As we lined up for the photo Dom and I were a little nervous. We were certain that they wouldn't let us go through with it, but the photographer was either bored or appreciated our youthful hijinks. As he worked us into position the dragon started to speak to us. Dom and I both craned our necks in to hear him better, which is why we look like we're about to kiss in that photo. "Not so funny now, is it boys? Maybe you should know better than to wrestle with dragons."

He didn't throw us off, or hit us, or breath fire at us, or anything, but the threat was enough. We got the hell out of there.

They still let us have the photo though.

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