WARNING: This is a pretty long entry. Like, about 3500 words. So if you have a short attention span, how about you read this over the course of four days or so, okay?
Day three- Friday
This was easily the best start to a day so far. When I woke, the college basketball was on the TV, and would be followed by another 2 games of NBA. Usually, I would have sat in front of the box for the next 7 hours, and not considered it a waste of time, but being on HOLIDAYS meant that this plan went out the window. Nevertheless, we managed to fit in the entire college game (and the first quarter of Cavs-Magic, in which LeBron and JJ Hickson were proving to be the most unstoppable duo since Jordan and Pippen). I then embarked on my first shower of the holiday, a fact that I should be ashamed to admit to anyone; however, I think I am the second person here to actually wash themselves in something other than the ocean, so please spare the judgement.
As I am sure you are chomping at the proverbial bit to know how my shower went, I’ll give the general gist of it. Essentially, I never get sunburnt, but when I do, it’s on really weird spots; the backs of my hands and the front of neck being two prime targets. Unfortunately, I managed to get burnt yesterday on my shins and feet, which didn’t bother me until I went for a shower. If you have ever been sprayed with a jet of hot water on sunburn, then I share your pain, because it really couldn’t have been more painful. If someone had given me the choice of hot water on my sunburn, or a kick in the nuts, well, I’d definitely choose the former, but I would at least think about it for a second.
Brucy arose to a smattering of interest at nearly midday. Apparently, he and Jess had shared a bed, but not done the bold thing: something that I have no qualms with whatsoever. I personally don’t see why members of opposite sexes cannot share a bed if they maintain a platonic relationship. It’s not in every hetero guy’s nature to jump any female thing within a 3 metre radius of him, so why should there be a different set of rules when it comes to sleeping? I can only think of one possible answer, a two-word phrase: morning wood.
As Brucy wished Jess a safe trip home from Shoal Bay, the rest of us watched intently to see if there was a proper goodbye in store. Unfortunately our tempers were tested after a couple of minutes of cat and mouse, and Joe decided to scream an obscene word at Brucy, instantly giving away our expertly covert spying positions. There were to be no final fireworks in store, as Jess felt too self-conscious in front of our prying eyes (and rightly so). I felt slightly guilty afterwards as I, either directly or indirectly, had contributed to the general awkwardness that engulfed these two. Oh well.
The night was truly splendid, the highlight being an incredibly intense D & M, the topics of which cannot be broached in such a literal form. The runner-up to this was undeniably Evan’s surprise theft of the combined Maggotron and Vomitron title from Brennan. To make it easier on ourselves, we simplified it to “Maggovomitron”, which I further abridged to “God”, the thought process bring that the previous title sounded like Tetragrammaton, a Hebrew word for God, and hence easier said as just God. Needless to say, no one else shared my enthusiasm for this. I believe that whilst I lay in bed reading, the rest of the guys may have engaged in some wrestling after being inspired by the televised mixed martial arts competition. Once or twice I heard my name thrown out as a potential champion of the sport, so I slept soundly, content in my knowledge that no one would dare shave my eyebrows in my sleep.
Sleep isn’t always that cut and dry, though. There is a black sheep residing in our bedroom; namely, the fact that Brucy’s handyman grandfather seems to have cut a few corners when he constructed these bunk beds. The only thing keeping two of the top ones up is a skimpy piece of dowel wood in each corner that connects the bottom half to the top. If Joe were to engage in some sort of vigorous activity that could possibly make the bunk move back and forth quickly, I think it could lead to Evan’s death by way of crushing.
Having a house full of guys, you may be prone to expecting that the place is a shambles, with rubbish decadently strewn everywhere. And you’d be partially right, but then at the same time surprised at how little mess there is (if that makes any sense). Sure, we have a large table entirely covered in beer bottles, and the recycling and rubbish bins have converged to become some sort of superbin, but for the most part the place is kind of clean. (We can still see the carpet.)
Day four- Saturday
I’ve decided that Shoal Bay is stuck in a retro time-warp, possibly around the era of the mid 1990’s. Mocha coloured bricks, garish curtains, and corrugated plastic roofs take me back to a time when we could still quote Prince and say we would party like it is 1999. The lack of ventilation in the house is impressive, with two small fans providing us with the brunt of it. An analogue television provides us with much of the electrical entertainment, and Brennan’s Nintendo Wii seems oddly out of place. There are two microwaves in the kitchen, which is unjustifiable. Who really uses microwaves so much that they felt one was not sufficient? Having two of them, an oven and a full sized refrigerator jammed into a kitchen the size of a large shower just causes insane overcrowding issues.
Possibly my biggest problem here is the unavailability of Internet access. Since the house has none, I have none, and everyone else is too god damn lazy to drive down to an Internet café, I have not been online in four days, easily my longest stint of the past year or so. I feel that there is a developing disassociation between myself and the real world, as my other main link to modern day society, my mobile phone, has already died of battery. The irony is admittedly delicious, though, as not being able to connect to ultimately meaningless things like Facebook makes me believe the world is moving without me, that I have been relegated to a stationary pawn. You could make a case that I am overcoming my addiction to this virtual alternate reality, but who’s going to say that when you probably have the same problem?
I have invited the others to give their perspective on the Shoal experience, so I’ll hand it over to Chris.
My Two Cents: Chris
Alright, so I’m not the blog writing master that Brendan is, but I thought I’d give it a go. It’s currently 8.25pm, Viscera Eyes is playing through my dying speakers and Joe is serenading who I can only assume is himself outside. The beer bottle collection, which has been slowly growing over the last couple of days around this laptop, has now completely filled up the table and will probably end up covering every flat surface in the house by the end of the week. This will undoubtedly cause some stress to Brucy, who has already had to apologise to the next door neighbours for the apparently unholy raucous we caused a few nights back. Kind of makes me glad that I wasn’t the supplier of the holiday house. A bit selfish? Yeah, probably, but it’s just Brucy.
Today we played a round of golf at a par 3 course. Joe introduced the brilliant “10 second rule”, which meant that if you completely screwed up the tee shot, you could replay it – provided you could retrieve and replace your ball within 10 seconds. This led to several hilarious sprints, usually from Brennan. The game was surprisingly tight; Brendan only beat Joe by two shots, and last place was highly contested if not as sought after.
The afternoon was spent in pretty much the same way as the rest of the week – drinking beer, playing ping pong, drinking beer, playing bocce, drinking beer, watching TV, drinking beer and playing poker. I’m guessing that another round of King of Beers is imminent, so on that note I might hand the reins back to the guy who can actually write. Oh wait, apparently it’s Joe.
My Three Cents: Joseph
So I may not have the literary prowess of Brendan or even the ability to form a proper sentence like Chris, but what the hell, I’ve been drinking.
I’ve stopped serenading myself after the speakers were blasted at full volume, though I refuse to believe that had anything to do with my singing.
Shoal Bay has been an engaging experience for all involved. It’s included many nude moments, lots of alcohol and some surprisingly deep conversation.
The highlight of today was most definitely the Shoal Bay World Championship of Golf. It was a hotly contested prize, with Chris’ math skills almost convincing us he had won, when in actual fact he had grabbed second last from the filthy claws of Brennan Meyers Junior.
After we had emulated Tiger Woods it was time to head off to Salamander Bay for a spot of shopping. By this stage at least half the group were suffering the combined effects of sunstroke/hangover/dehydration, yours truly most definitely included. This resulted in us following whoever could still walk in a straight line, the lone wolf being Brendan Day. He proceeded to march us into Electronics Boutique, where we stood in a haze while he perused the second hand games. This ultimately resulted in the fantastic value purchase of Madden ’05 for the princely sum of $6, which we all agreed was an absolute steal.
The afternoon continued in a similar fashion to the previous ones, namely drinking beers and being ultra competitive at average sports, if you can call Bocce a sport.
For now I shall bid you all goodbye and prime myself for the game of King of Beers which is sure to follow my attempt at the keyboard. Adios!
<obligatory cant write for shit excuse so don’t hate me> Shoal Bay has been a pretty sweet holiday, just a mad house for us to all chill at, but with Brucy having a somewhat less fun time due to his shift work at Eagle Boys. Because of this he has been unable to party hard with us, which has made him pissed off at us for leaving the house in disarray and causing a small political tug of war, his parents and grand parents leaning on him due to soft neighbours, and his mates, who are undoubtedly the best people he has ever met, getting somewhat rowdy due to a particularly hilarious play of a rule card in King of Beers (one must swear at least once in every sentence).
With the arrival of the police at the holiday house, Brucy was set off and has been spending the last few nights in a silent rage, making me feel that we should continue partying at accommodation where we can all be as mutually irresponsible as each other. Hoping that he cheers up again soon and parties the house down with us.
The great golf game of 2010 took place today, with myself taking a striking 3rd position as the underdog having never played before. The game was fairly consistent as a par 3, but I averaged mainly dee bangers and trips, (Double Bogeys and +3), and managed the Putt of the Day, scoring from a mere 14 yards (yes I measured it).
Tonight we were all meant to go for a walk but Brennan and Joe, being too cool for the rest of us, disappeared before we could even reach 50 metres down the pathway. I am sure this is for a reason mainly due to the male condition, or because they are too cool for us.
All in all a good time so far,
With work for the week culminating in a rather enjoyable 6.5 hour shift, I’m back at the house by 9:30 ready to party for the rest of the trip without having to worry about driving 45min from Shoal Bay to Mayfield to drive pizza around whilst the rest of the crew get messy and piss off the neighbours. Luckily enough I arrive home to get a dinner that was thoughtfully cooked for me… well at least that’s what I thought. It seems they ate out the house leaving a mere loaf of garlic bread, awesome! It also appears we are down two men as Brennan is off wingmanning Joe, likely in some dirty, dirty caravan park with my prediction of little success. We’ll have to wait and see.
Tonight is a noticeably reserved night. Brendan’s in bed reading, whilst Chris, Evan and I watch Star Wars and eat garlic bread (the breakfast, lunch and dinner of champions).
So Brennan and Joe return, without success but that’s because I was mistaken in my assumption. Rather than off trying to score they were instead untying dingies and pushing them out to sea. Clearly a better choice *note the sarcasm*.
It seems that me being last to write on here except for Brennan (who isn’t expected to write as he is yet to form a coherent sentence) that all topics have been covered, thus rather than ramble I’ll return to eating and drinking.
Day 5- Sunday
Ah, Sundays. Its reputation as laziest day of the week remains in tact, as I have achieved the following things today:
- Slept in
- Eaten leftovers for lunch
- Shopped for groceries
- Enquired at a book store whether they had any of Chuck Klosterman’s work
- Semi-watched the cricket
Given that it is now 6 in the evening, I’d say that is one hell of an underwhelming day. I think that everyone is suffering massively from a bit of an alcoholic burnout. Joe is noticeably quieter today, though that could be due to his being asleep. This whole lackadaisical attitude is no doubt beneficial to our health, both long and short term, as no one has really drunk more than one or two beers so far. An SOS for our livers has been answered by the introduction of shandies, a half lemonade half beer concoction. This allows us to still feel like we’re not degrading our own masculinity; the liquid retains a shade of cool amber, and it slows down the inebriation process greatly.
Question: At what point does an audience become a crowd?
At a certain point this week, I think several of my internal organs have ceased to work. Living off beer, Corn Flakes and pasta/noodles has killed our collective well-being, with Joe being reduced to a shadow of his hard-partying self today. I find myself craving the everyday balance of a five food group diet, and when eating a chocolate chip cookie this afternoon, wistfully imagined what it would be like had I invested in some fruit for the trip- a granny smith apple would be an absolute godsend right now. The group’s energy levels are plummeting rapidly, with Brennan and I only being able to sustain a run along the beach for a kilometre before it all got too much. There is a silver lining to this alcohol-filled cloud, though, and it is that I now have a re-appreciation for home cooking. Over a year since Schoolies, I had grown accustomed to Mum’s pesto chicken, Dad’s tikka masala; even Niamh’s….whatever she makes.
Another thing I’ve learnt: the glamorisation of that alcoholic literati type is way off kilter. I really cannot write after having a few drinks, as my inbuilt thesaurus turns to mush, and typing becomes much too cumbersome a task.
I have nothing more to write about today that wouldn’t break the “What happens in Shoal, stays in Shoal” mantra, which disappoints, as the funniest event of the trip occurred tonight. Oh well, perhaps YOU should have come with us.
Day six- Monday
I’d love to live on the beach. There’s nothing like the soothing noise of the tide coming in to inspire me, to imbibe me with the naturalistic relationship Wordsworth had. Granted, it still doesn’t make me want to go out and wander amongst clouds, though this could just be because I’m not smoking some wicked drugs that WW must have been. But to quote The Castle: “The serenity. Serenity. Ah, serenity. Serenity.” And so on.
Having said this, there are some things about beaches that do annoy me. One of them is other people. Now, I’m not some kind of secluded hermit who thinks that the only good beach is one where there are no people; if this were to be the case, I’d be a little bit freaked out, as my Woody Allen neurosis would make me wonder why I was the only one there. (Is there a killer rip? Is there a shark? IS THERE A SHARK?) No, when I say people, I am referring purely to idiots who don’t know what personal space is. Having escaped to the beach for a dusting of solitude, I was happily reading my book in the shade-covered sand, as far away from all others as I could be without climbing into a tree. It was just my luck, then, when an elderly couple decided that I had chosen the perfect spot to rest, and proceeded to sit down no more than 2 metres away from me. Immediately, they struck up one of those dreadfully boring, let’s-point-out-the-obvious-because-I-have-nothing-interesting-to-say kind of conversations, except this one was about thrice as loud as normal. With reading now an impossibility, I chose to lay there seething, occasionally giving the couple an evil eye (that was greatly reduced in effectiveness by my ultra-fashionable sunglasses. Oh, the price you pay to look good.) Thankfully they left after fifteen drawn-out minutes, and I was free to resume my book. However, no sooner had I reopened the front cover, than I was accosted by more people. Luckily, these people were friends, a few of them (Renee, Erin and Vanessa) having come down (up? I have no idea) to visit us for a couple of days, so I was really rather thankful.
The afternoon soon turned into night, and hydrating liquids turned into alcohol. Bill and Britt decided to grace us with their venerable presence, and a night full of merriment was had. The highlight of the party was definitely the night time swim, though this strangely also contained the lowlight: Brucy taking off his Speedo’s and going in naked. He was complaining about someone giving him wedgies, but it was really just an excuse for him to do his thing, which unfortunately consists entirely of being nude.
This being essentially my last day at Shoal, I think it is time for some reminiscing. Actually, scratch that- how about some anti-reminiscing? And by that, I mean looking at the future. Odds are that we will all rarely hang out together in the future; Chris is moving to Sydney, Brucy lives in Newcastle, I don’t like Brennan, and so on. We’ll all probably get real jobs in a couple of years, taking us to different places, perhaps on different sides of the world. Once or twice, for potential weddings and the likes, we’ll all meet up again and get incredibly drunk, have more deep and meaningful conversations, and drive a car into a hotel pool. But as we wake the next morning, our view of the world clouded by world-class hangovers, we will ask ourselves: is this the last time? Will I ever see these friends again? Will we ever bond like this again?
And as we lie contemplating the definite length of our lives, we may shed a silent tear, wiped away only when we are mercilessly teased about it. But hey- that’s life. We’ve been through it before, we’ll go through it again, and on the way, we’ll eat at MacDonald’s about 4000 times.