Hello out there!
Remember me, my name is Gary or Gaz, but we’ll get to that later.
So here we are in isolation, and with not much else to do I thought I’d write something that you would all find at least mildly interesting. So, I thought that while this situation is dire, and in so many cases tragic (and I don’t want to make light of this), I thought I’d try and see the lighter side of things. I am also going to throw in some questions for you to ponder, without using any electronic assistance (i.e. Google and the like), and then send me the answers.
My first thought about all this is, “well, there’s always a plus side”! Then I started to try and list things that actually are an advantage under the current restrictions.
The first one is obvious: Isolation
Some people prefer to stay away from others! I bet you can all think of people who would put their hand up here! Not social butterflies like myself of course, but you know the ones that don’t wave at, or say “hi” to others when out running or riding. (you know I did once, was completely ignored – so bugger that). The problem here is these FaceTime or Zoom type things which just basically spoil everything. Some of us don’t even like using the phone, so these video chats are just terrifying to people of this kind. It’s actually one of the things I like about phones these days, that you can see who is calling, or if the caller is unknown, and then not answer it. (For people who aren’t like me that is)
Q1: What is an Aglet?
Hint: All of you will have used one, and it could help in T2 (Transition – remember that)
OK, what about hygiene?
It’s taken a Pandemic to wake people up to the importance of washing your hands! For goodness sake!!! I don’t know what goes on in the girl’s bathrooms, (really, I don’t – complete mystery), but the boys set a pretty low standard here. Sometimes it takes me ages to get out of a public convenience because I try and wait for someone else to open the door then I quickly slide through. I mean I’m not touching it!
On this note I want to talk about hand dryers. Do you know the name Gary is dying out? True and I have evidence! Every time I use a communal bathroom facility and go to wash my hands, I am unable to get the hand dryer to work. It completely ignores me, I wave my hands about like Peter Garret on stage for Midnite Oil, but nothing! Occasionally there is a little spark of activity, but this is for only fractions of a second before complete inactivity resumes. It’s kind of like, the blower thinks to itself, “oh I’d better get to work”, then thinks, “oh it’s only you”, and goes back to sleep”. I feel the universe is just ignoring me and refusing to admit I exit, and so I end up leaving the bathroom with a heavy heart, and wet hands!
Having said that, let’s get back to my name! So, bearing this in my mind I thought, why not change my name? But I have a better idea, I could do what Sláine does and put that eyebrow thing over the letter a! So, it would be Gáry, pronounced Gory (probably)! Or even better, complete the eyebrow set; Gárÿ which could possibly be pronounced Gorag. I kind of like this!
Actor1 “Nothin. A handful of nothin. You stupid mullet head. He beat you with nothin. Just like today when he kept coming back at me – with nothin.”
Actor2 “Yeah well sometimes nothin can be a real **** ****
If I gave you the last two words, it would give it away.
So: Name the movie
Name the actor
Name the other actor talking to him
What is significant about the number 50
Hint: I guess if you can’t, then “What we have here, is a failure to communicate”.
As a side note to the hygiene thing, I think a lot of us need to own up to a few things. Let’s face it, if we aren’t going out, or going to work, or seeing other people, we tend to let our personal grooming standards fall a bit. Not shaving, or doing our hair, or using make up, or deodorant, wearing track suits or pyjamas, and then there’s the boys………. haha haha just kidding!
Here’s a good one – Queues
I don’t know about you, but the little lines and crosses in stores marking out the 1.5m separation we have to abide by are just wonderful. You may be surprised to know I have an issue with personal space. I can tell you stories of me in an airport lounge and someone sits right next to me when there are approximately 273 spare seats, or in a cafe enjoying my solitude with multiple empty tables and someone comes up and says, “mind if I join you”, and THEN they want to chat! I have been known to get up and walk out under such an assault and find another cafe.
So now thanks to the 1.5m rule people can’t stand so close to me so I feel their breath on my body. In fact, I’ve been thinking of sending Dan and Scott a message requesting it be extended to 2m. But I won’t push it.
Q3: “I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think a conscious entity can ever hope to do. Look ****, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.”
OK I want to know, -Who said this? And what is unusual about the name?
-Who was it said to?
-What was the movie called?
This movie is a cult classic, should be well known to you all!
Ironically, the next advantage I was thinking of is “togetherness”!
“He’s really gone mad now”, I can hear you all thinking, but for those that are spending their time at home with their partner it is now a 24hour, 7 day a week thing! I guess to some this may not be such a joyous outcome, but at least you’re really going to get to know one another! M and I have been living and working together for over 30 years, although come to think of it, she really is VERY fond of the 1.5m thing. Anyway, this can be fun and leads to my next advantage and that is we have the opportunity to learn new skills.
For example (and particularly in my case) cooking, or sewing, or bike maintenance, gardening, painting, reading …… anything, and we can do it together. Families are doing things together, playing games, doing jigsaw’s, riding, walking, enjoying fresher air…………Yes, fresher air! Go for a walk or a ride. Less people out, less cars on the road. Did I say less people?
You can explore new places, whether walking or riding. Why not go down that road you always wondered where it might lead to. This is a very obtuse way to lead me on to the subject of maps, and a little snapshot from the Queenscliff camp!
Maps are handy things aren’t they!
Well proper ones are! They show you: where you are, where you want to go, where you’ll end up if you go the wrong way, the relationships of the right way to the wrong way, the various roads that you’ll encounter, not just the right one, the relative distances and scale of all these landmarks, towns and roads, and lots lots more.
Now when I say “proper” maps, I mean paper ones! You know, the one’s that once you’ve unfolded them, you can NEVER refold them again properly. Not electronic ones. These are useless! OK they’re fine if you have the voice telling you to take the second exit at the next roundabout and to continue for the next 400metres then turn right. Other than that, they show you a picture of a road with you on it, which is nice and colourful but gives you no perspective of actually where you are! If you are on a bike, e.g. going from Queenscliff to Torquay and are instructed to just, “stick to the coast”, and you haven’t ridden the roads before and therefore have no idea of the positional relationship of yourself and the coast, and then you ask other members of the ride group who each have a different idea of both where you are, and the proposed route you are supposed to take, then anyone of less patience than myself may have been inclined to become a bit grumpy! It was lucky we came back via a circuitous route adding 25km to our trip which gave me an extra hour or so to settle down. Janine can attest to my calmness at this point being the lucky one to come across me near the end of this ride!
I had to get that in, some things bug me in case you didn’t realise, like maps and light bulbs and grub screws, and people, and planes, and heights and people …….
Education, yes, this disaster has taught us things, most notably we now know a lot more about viruses!
These little buggers cause the cold, flu and of course the pneumonia we are now trying to deal with. Once you know how they work you start to get an idea why they are so hard to fight. So, here’s a question for you and I’ve already asked Greg this and as usual got no reply of any substance! I mean, he’s just all doom and gloom at the moment unlike your scrivener.
Q4: If we suppress this virus to the point of non-existence, will we have also eliminated the common cold, the flu, and other contagious respiratory illnesses?
I guess there’s no set answer to this so feel free to be imaginative!
Maintenance, you know all those jobs round the house you keep putting off.
Now you’ve done just about as much to your bike as you can think of, like cleaning it, replacing its chain, putting together a new wheel, complete with cassette, rim tape, tube extenders, brake pads, cause you bought it before you had your …….oh hang on that’s me! Anyway, you get the picture, so things like clean gutters, or replace light bulbs!!!!! Light bulbs, geez do these give me the irates! Have you ever tried to buy them?
Seriously, this is like an episode of Jumanji, you’re sent down the “lighting” aisle where you enter another world from which there is little chance of return. I mean there are walls of them, when all you want is one that actually lights up the fu——- room, rather than one that takes 10 minutes to reach approximately one candle power.
I eventually decided on my purchase the other day (at Bunnings – it’s allowed) got back, installed them, to find the two in one light were a completely different colour to the two in the other (in the same room) (the lights had to have different sized globes hence my confusion)! GRRRR, they can just stay like that! Hmmm think I’ll get a new saddle!
Q5: Who is Luca Brasi?
Hint: there are two answers, and if you’ve got that you can tell me where they are?
Well I’m just about done, but this thing has taught us some really valuable lessons.
Sometimes you don’t realise what you’ve got till it’s taken away. We don’t need planes, and overseas holidays, and we can make do at home, we can use the car less, we can find joy in a game of cards, or cooking something new. What we do need is each other, this is what hurts and there is no substitute.
I know this sounds strange coming from me, and I hope you were sitting down when you read that.
I believe the camaraderie in our club is unshakable!
So, hang in there,
Miss you all
I mean Gárÿ!
One day I must get time to talk about bees, because they are my fav you know, but they are patient, it’s one of their strengths! After I’ve done my saddle, maybe!
Also, if you want to send me answers to the questions:
I’ll have to think of a prize for the best answers, after I’ve put a new chain on my other bike, and ………