dalekboy (dalekboy) wrote,

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100 days of Love and Hate - Day 3

Lots of words below the cuts...

Piss on people's floors
I was reminded of this recently. I went to use the loo in a room party and noticed a fairly wet, slightly yellow, floor around the dunny. Some bloke, or a few different blokes, had managed to get a fair amount of their urine on the floor rather than in the bowl. If there had been alcohol at the party I may have been marginally more forgiving, but there wasn't. There were four guys at the party.

I'm a guy. I don't get what is so hard about being aware of where your stream of piss is going. Now, I know there are all sorts of weird variables. You can go to take a leak and there can be a minor fine spray shooting off on an angle, including back towards you, even as the main flow is consistent; there's the surprise drip that starts halfway through; the irregular sprinkler that starts and stops, again, even as the main flow is constant; that point when you first start, the lottery wheel spins, and you usually get the nice, straight forward stream, but occasionally it suddenly comes out at a weird, unexpected angle; I've even had a couple of clearly bifurcated streams.

So yes, taking a leak can be a surprise experience for a guy, that's fine. But it's not hard to pay the extra bit of attention to what's going on, especially if it's a toilet with carpeting or a mat. Just take notice of what's happening and if it's one of the weird, aberrant wees, you can change what you're doing. Pause for a moment to remove the hair or underwear fluff stuck to the front, or just stop and run your thumb over the eye or give the head a quick squeeze to try and deal with any subtle blockage, or even just cup your hands around it so the liquid isn't spraying outside the bowl.

What's that? You don't want to get wee on your hands? Well no-one else wants step in, look at, or clean up yours!

And that's the thing I find the most offensive about the attitude that goes with this - I can forgive the unexpected mess - what I can't forgive is that most guys seem to then ignore it. It takes an extra 20 seconds to tear off some dunny roll and wipe up your piss, then flush the paper with the rest. If you drip on the floor, clean it up!

I'm talking about showing a little consideration and respect when you're in other people's homes or hotel rooms. You want to piss on the floor, walls and ceiling in your own space, go for it, but if someone spills a drink in another person's house, they usually make an attempt to clean it. What, coffee or soft-drink is bad, but wee is okay to leave around for others to deal with?

Clean up after yourselves you fucking children! This is the sort of behaviour I expect from five-year olds! Think a little bit. If someone needs sit down after you've been in there, do you think they want their pants resting on the floor in a puddle your urine? Would you? No?

Then show some bloody consideration!

The Belwood
I love my car. For those that don't know, I drive a 1970 Holden Belmont. It's the car that dad and I used when we were drovers.

Well, sort of.

Bits of it are.

It's 'grandfather's axe' syndrome - This is my grandfather's axe, it's had three new heads and two new handles, but it's my grandfather's axe. The car needed a major amount of work to get it back on the road, we bought a second Belmont, they were merged but that still didn't get rid of all the panel work that needed doing. There were panels on both cars that needed replacing if it was to get the roadworthy.

That's why I call it the Belwood, because some of the Belmont panels were replaced by Kingswood panels, complete with badges. We also lucked into a gorgeous Holden Premier interior. Given the bitsa nature of the vehicle, I have seriously considered the expense of getting badges custom made for it that say 'Belwood' or 'Frankenstein'. I can point to the wheels and the steering wheel and say with certainty that they were on the original, once you get beyond that, it gets a bit fuzzy.

It looks beautiful. It's rare that I walk out, see it and don't smile. It's just a car, but what it represents is what's important to me. Captain Jack Sparrow said a ship was freedom, that's what that car is to me. Not any car, not even my car, but a Holden from the late sixties/early seventies.

I like it also because it's solid and mechanical. The parts are large and clunky, you can sit inside the engine bay to work on it, if you get a hole in a smaller water hose it's a few minutes work to bypass the heater and come up with an instant replacement, if you run out of brake fluid, liquid detergent will work in its place, and it will still run with a minimum of oil or water. It's a car made to cope with Australian conditions. The only electronics in mine are in the MP3/CD player and the immobiliser. In this day and age where cars need to be hooked up to diagnostic computers as part of their service, any halfway decent mechanic can fix it. I know fuck-all about cars, but I've bodged together a few work-arounds in my time because I can see what's wrong.

We were never one of those families who showed their allegiance to a car brand. We had Valiants, Holdens and a Ford F-100 (the car I learnt to drive in). But this is the car I associate with my dad. We went bush in that car. When I lived in Fitzroy, I would drive out to South Oakleigh, pick up dad and then we'd head out to Dandenong Abattoirs. I did that trip every day, and loved it.

I've taken it to Uluru, driven 50km of corrugated road to visit the Henbury meteorite craters, 12km of corrugated road to see whales off the Great Australian Bight, and been down to Eucla's old telegraph station I-don't-know-how-many times in it... Only two of my many Nullabor trips were not done in this car. I've eaten, slept, had sex in this car, and done over 186,000 miles behind the wheel - my own personal light second.

It's only took 18 years, too!

It's a part of my identity, we go together - the traveler, ocker, drover... and his old Holden. Karno summed it up beautifully when he wrote about driving from Perth to Melbourne with me - 'It's like driving across America with a cowboy in a Cadillac' - I would never have thought of it like that, but can't help smiling knowing he was right.

It also has the inbuilt Doctor Who reference, the TYPE-40 number plate. A present from Sharon, it's another little part of my identity tied to the vehicle. Going to have to lose it once we move. It costs $2000 to get a personalised plate in the A.C.T. and I'm seriously considering putting aside a percentage of what I earn through the business towards paying for one.

Of course the 60's/70's Holden isn't just part my identity, it's part of this country's collective memory - most people from my era remember Kingswood Country - this sort of car was ubiquitous and iconic. There's a style to them, they're pretty reliable, and they all smell the same inside! It's one of the most regular comments I get from people when they get into it - "Oh that's right, they all smell like this," said with a hint of comfort and familiarity.

And then there's the more enthusiastic responses. More than once I've been stuck talking with someone who used to have one, or their dad or granddad had one. When I got it cleaned recently, the older guy working there proceeded to rave to his younger employee - 'Dese cars? Greatest in vorld! Vill run fo'ever! Nuting vill kill dem! Nuting! Mine I drive for years, never shtop vorking!' - he went on like that for about ten minutes, non-stop.

I think my favourite response was while driving in Perth a few years back. The car next to me honked a few times then the passenger, a young guy, leaned out the window, pointed to the car and screamed, "Now *that's* what I'm talking about! Keeping the dream alive man! Woooooooo!"

And, of course, I have driven around in it while dressed as Father Christmas. Nothing makes me happier that the thought of those people who glanced up to see Santa driving a Holden - it just feels right for an Australian Christmas.

I really love my car. I hope one day to have a daughter to pass it on to.
Tags: belwood, dad, love & hate, travel
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