‘Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things’
That introduction was provided by The Sound of Music. To be honest, I have never seen a production or a movie for the show but I am fond of silver white winters melting into springs, they are bloody grouse mate! Actually, I have not seen snow but I can promise I would dominate the slopes if I got the chance. And cook up a wicked hot chocolate with a bunch of marshmallows melted to the perfect point as the subzero conditions drift past as if they were as inconspicuous as the sprouting of a new grass seedling. Pretty inconspicuous huh?!? As I slammed through the slopes I would wave to my new found friends of the winter and say something like ‘Bro, you are really shreddin’ the gnar today!’ The other guy would smile and give me the bronco (two thumbs up) and that would probably be the extent of our interaction during our respective lifetimes. Then I’d look at one of the other dudes and whimsically muse about how lame skiing is and then proceed to wipeout attempting a radical 360. Judging upon how well I adapted to the lingo, mastering the board couldn’t be too hard could it?
But then if I committed to that lifestyle what would happen to becoming a one man band? I’ve already learnt three chords on my guitar and I know the basics of electronically manipulating sounds as well as being able to belt out a solid tune so why not come up with an alias and begin producing some tracks? I could even invite some reasonably talented musical friends to join my band and play at a few festivals, maybe even sell a few records here or there. As the band grows we become more accustomed to supporting big acts. Arcade Fire come running for our services, the XX like our buzz and even John Legend thinks we have the guts to spice up his act. So as I strum away the two chords I know on my guitar in my bedroom, I start to envisage big things. Hey, I even know how to play the harmonica! If it’s good enough for Billy Joel then it is good enough for me! I miss a chord, my voice gives way to a high note, one of my potential band mates quits to start a job at a law firm. Maybe the dream is over…
But then I remember that it is politics that is my true calling. Hey, if Jaymes Diaz nearly got elected then surely I have a fair chance to gain a seat with my new political party. I’m thinking something that doesn’t tell the whole story. I mean, Slackers + Blog writers isn’t exactly the most compelling party name considering that Australians clearly don’t like dole bludgers and most people don’t have the attention span to take in anything more than a 7 second Vine video these days. So that settles it. We go with ‘Pending party name Party’ for now and work around that. Firstly we should probably settle on some principles. Something snappy about the environment and social issues, that seems to keep the kids happy. And then a bit of security for our ageing population; we don’t want the kids to be forgetting about Mum and Dad as they enter their twilight years. More money for the arts. More money for dental. Everyone likes pretty smiles even if it means we sacrifice a couple of billion on their education. Nah, just kidding, we’ve got plenty for EDUCATION! We’ve got plenty of vision, we’ve got plenty of enthusiasm, we’ve got plenty of guts! So how much funding will we get from the government? Because we definitely do not have plenty of money. And to be honest I am pretty frightened of the trolls on YouTube. Can we legislate a policy on stopping the trolls? Seriously, we’ve already stopped the boats, the coats, the gloats and we are firmly on the right path in regard to stopping the goats. We can’t have goats wandering around St Kilda’s backstreets and in the Rundle Mall!
Now that we’ve decided on our policies, we have to deal with publicity. An interview with 3AW. Beautiful. Just act natural, laugh and pay out the other parties. First question: Why is that you’ve liked Facebook pages that feature scantily clad women…. A: Ugh, well. Y’know, the funny thing is that I admire the female form and this page really displays females in the most compelling light. (Well answered buddy). Second question: What about your blog, why are the blogs so long? A: (mocking laugh) Because I’m THAT guy Neil, I’m that guy. The rest of the interview covers the irrelevant policies that I’ve been pushing around as a secondary priority for improving my media profile. But a spanner. Some lady is going on about how I barely waved to her when I was passing her in the supermarket. I didn’t realise she was waving at me. It creates a minor stir that increases and the implication begins to expand that I’m actually a rude bastard. A rude narcissist judging on my twitter feed. 140 characters continually dedicated to myself. What a selfish prick!
That’s it, I can’t be bothered putting up with this bullshit. I never wanted to be a politician anyway. I’d rather troll vulnerable people who have had the nerve to put their talent or lack thereof out there for the internet’s amusement.
williebee21 (former nominee for the Pending Party name Party):
‘Shut up mate, you’re shit. And you should have picked a lighter shade of lipstick. Dickhead.’
NO! I’m through with being negative and it’s actually a gorgeous cover. I’ve always wanted to be an athlete of some sort. Maybe a footballer. Maybe a sprinter. Maybe just a bench warmer at College level. So I start going to the gym. Eating raw eggs. Drinking protein shakes. I’m actually starting to look pretty good and even the gym instructor likes to slap my arse and refer to it as being as firm as a mango in November. I think he likes me. Then I start trying out for a few squads here or there. I pop down the freeway to Geelong and test myself out there. They won’t let me into train. Alright, I’ll just kick the footy a few times outside and I’m sure Jimmy Bartel will notice me. No dice. Three hours later and my ball is going flat. And if they think I’m going to do a year in the VFL they are dead wrong.
You know what, I’ll just book a flight to the USA and rock up to Harvard or USC and get myself a sports scholarship. I don’t think Harvard goes with the whole sporting scholarship thing but I’m an Aussie and Americans love Aussies. I get myself a job as a janitor at Harvard. I flunk the maths question on the blackboard which cancels out the opportunity to get myself an academic scholarship and in doing so I anger the Dean. Crusty old Dean. Despite this I still pursue a spot on the football team. I head to the vacant field and begin punting. With every kick I improve until the coach actually notices me.
‘WHO, ME COACH?’
‘YEAH, YOU. YOU’RE THE ONE’
‘YEAH, YOU’RE THE ONE WHO ABUSED THAT POOR GIRL’S COVER ON YOUTUBE, GET OUTTA HERE!’
Alas, the dream is over. I try Princeton, I try USC and I try Yale to no avail. I wouldn’t dare go any lower than that. Brown? Not in this lifetime honey. So I pack my bags, I rein in my ocha-Aussie accent that I thought would grab the attention of a few delightful American lasses and I head home.
While I’m on the way home I pop into a few offices in Japan to get myself a job as a economic advisor or a marketing guru. Unfortunately they didn’t like my idea about pet whales as a viable domesticated pet. And they certainly didn’t enjoy my idea to reinvest in nuclear reactors. Something about bad memories. So I said sayonara to that dream as well, booked a place for a couple of nights by the beach and I slumped into my couch. ‘What am I doing wrong?’ I wonder. ‘Does anybody really care if I achieve anything in this lifetime?’ I hear an answer. It sounds like God. I really can’t be bothered becoming an evangelist so I ignore it and continue to slip into a deep blue rut. I notice a typewriter on the bench with some fresh paper stored within its clasping hands.
So I begin to write a book. A book about my adventures to become the best I can possibly be. A book that maybe others will enjoy. But wait, that’s where I’ve gone wrong. I don’t need to please anyone anymore. That’s only pushed me into bad positions where my every move becomes a poisoned chalice. So I write for me. I write and I write until my hands bleed. I don’t need a publicist or the inspiration of anyone bar a few dozen bottles of glorious Pinot Noir. I have my characters, I have the scenarios, I have the verendah with the light blue skies that extend to Zion and I have my sanity. Nothing will distract me from finishing this book! Nothing will stop me from achieving something that I have set out to do! Wait a second…
A pause. There she lies. A blonde girl across the road is slowly undressing. She knows I am watching. She bites her bottom lip and holds her gaze. I awkwardly look at my watch and pretend to continue typing. She’s entered my world though and all my concrete observations have become fractured. ‘As Andrew leapt into another bottle of Jack Daniel’s he begin to wonder what his life would have become if he had never met Sophia. Beautiful, honest Sophia. With the one lock of hair that fell just below her left eye and her soft dimple that crinkled every time she unlocked her perfect smile. The way that she slowly removed her pantyhose in such a conceited way. She knew he would begin to uncomfortably shift in his chair as a bead of sweat trickled down his brow.’
‘COULD YOU PLEASE CLOSE THE BLIND SOPHIA, I’M FINALLY ACHIEVING SOMETHING!’ I yell. She looks at me blankly as she opens the window and yells, ‘MY NAME IS NOT SOPHIA’. It doesn’t really matter. My mind has wandered again. I could persist and return to my story but the moment has passed. So I decide to pursue Sophia.
I motor across the road to her front door. Her mother answers. I stumble through a few words. I get to the point. Basically something like ‘I’m not good at most things but I’ll be good to your daughter’ comes out of my gaping mouth. Her mother studies me. She considers my offer. ‘You do know my daughter is 17 years old. You have a dodgy beard and your breath stinks of cheezels. And I do believe you were the one who abused her on YouTube…’ She slams the door in my face. I walk away from the house ashen-faced. As I turn back to have one last legal look at Sophia’s face I notice she is playing the piano. She’s pretty good. She blows me a kiss. I’m not good with commitment so I don’t return one of my own strawberry kisses. I can’t even impress a 17 year old with my romanticism anymore.
I walk into the house, sit on the couch and open a bag of Doritos. I spill some salsa on my favourite shirt. I laugh at my own mediocrity. I imagine receiving laughs for my mediocre jokes. It finally comes to me. I can be a mediocre stand up comedian. Then I remember that I am terrified of bombing out on stage. But who cares what people think of me! What about a mediocre life coach! As I dip my hand back into the packet of Doritos I smile at the hundreds of possibilities before me now that I am content with being mediocre, passable or even just okay.