Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stress lessened by cordial, increased by sunburn, lessened by MGMT

I don't think it's an oversight to say a bottle of slightly mutated mango cordial is saving my life right now. It's proving an outlet at work when I feel lousy, due to my illness obviously, not due to emotional problems because sandwich white female hasn't been at work the last few days and I've had to eat, god help me, sausage rolls with extra burnt bits, an excuse to go out the back and say I need a cordial break. I'm far from superstitious, but I know this isn't the first time I've relied on an inanimate object to get me through tough times - although cordial isn't an inanimate object, since it's a liquid, but shut up, you don't know me, throw my hands up in blatant posturing etc - as my tonsil surgery when I was 5ive was entirely brightened up by having a Ju Jitsu Heman figure purchased for me to stop my whinging. His karate chopping hand and amusingly sculpted beard certainly kept me sane when the doctor was going to drain my ears in a hilarious operational mix up that's for sure. When Dad, having driven for 2wo hours after work to see me politely asked how I felt I'm rumoured to have pulled a face and screamed how do you think I feel, but I suspect that's my Dads mythology kicking in. After all, he loves a good moan, and if he's sick, all the better. He even has a favourite brand of grape for you to bring him. My friend, the one with the husband who uses her credit card to buy fat girl porn, is sending me e-mails making that my support of Britney Spears through the dark times is some sort of tremendously cool statement of individuality I should be proud of. Well, buying fat girl porn on a credit card is a statement of individuality. I hadn't thought about it - I certainly don't feel like any kind of radical free thinker, especially given my lunch routine is now so predictable a girl in a hat jumps out from the shadows to provide my daily rations like Jesus without the fish. Certainly dizzy from the heat, reliant on cordial to prop me up and in a job that requires the mental capacity of a promotions model to do, I can hardly claim to be charting my own course, but it's nice people think of me in that way from time to time. Certainly, in times of stress, simple thinking and taking a moment to enjoy the simple things in life like an appreciative if flawed e-mail or a glass of sparkling cordial can just about get me through the day as long as I don't end up sounding like some kind of hippy with a tattoo of the sun on my foot.

When I was 8eight, I got badly sunburned during an athletics carnival. I was in the genetically superior yellow house, whipped into a Soviet style frenzy of patriotism and devotion to my colour through the power of one coloured skivvy being handed out from a pile by a surly janitor at random as opposed to another coloured skivvy. We would sit on the hill all day and cheer nominally for our house, at least in theory, because after an hour it felt like it a grass based internment camp, although at least our interest lasted an hour, it was 10en minutes in secondary school before I was working the moves on the more lithe javelin throwers and then going to the shops to buy a chocolate milk. The fact I couldn't move and was essentially was engrossed in egg and spoon warfare meant that one of my rare salad days in athletics - alas I soon discovered cynicism and cake - when I could run properly without looking like a benny ended in skin reddening horror. Even though I won my race, and would later run in front of the Queen (the real one, not our camp PE teacher) that wasn't what everyone remembered about me from that day. I certainly think that the trauma of being turned into a lobster stymied my thoughts of athletic glory, as the visual representation of the phrase if you can't stand the heat get out of the internment camp marked off by ropes and strict teachers wanting to now where you are going. When I went home that night, my Mum immediately plunged me into a cold bath and said nothing, just shaking her head and saving her lectures on wearing a hat for another day. My girlfriend at the time, Sarah, my girlfriend in that you like pencil cases me too lets get married kind of way, wasn't so terribly stoic in the face of my burnt visage. She took one look at me and asked in a manner which bespoke over theatrical text speak if I was going to die. It probably seems a more relevant question now in the skin cancer era, all we knew back then was those birds telling us to slip slop slap sure could hold a tune. Although she was ahead of her time, I felt our relationship never really recovered from a superficial moment. If she couldn't love me in times of crisis when I had a big red bawface, then all the mutual pencil case appreciation in the world couldn't dig us out of the hole. Considering that in the space of roughly a week I had my first memorable experience with genuine pain, not to mention an outright question about my own mortality, been thrown physically into an ice bath and ended up with my first heartbreak (pretty apathetic as it was - we just stopped meeting in the pipe at recess), it was a pretty effective mental lesson that I should cover up in the sun lest bad things happen. Of course, it never sunk in, and to this day I still lumber home, burned to bits, my Mum still lectures me, and I'm still plunging into ice baths...form an orderly queue ladies...

Interestingly, this was my first brush with honest to goodness adult stress. Sure, I hadn't managed to find an egg on an Easter egg hunt, there was that whole debacle when Wide World Of Sports wasn't on one week because some junk called Live Aid was on, and I had probably thrown a hissy fit or two about football cards, but being plunged into singles life and being something of a playground outcast on account of my giant red face was a stressful week - I mean, even Peter Gilligans recap of local football getting the axe for the lead singer of Ultravox wouldn't compare. It was worse than comedy tennis. I couldn't help but feel it was my fault somehow. If only I had stayed pristine and faintly tanned, I'd still be in the pencil case relationship. I had a friend called Nick - somewhere in Risdon now if lore and reputation held up - who was a bit of a scammer, a wheeler dealer. He also told it like it was - and if you needed a man to parody a popular song with a reference to bogeys or snot, he was your go to guy, a Weird Al of the nose and nose related products. He was firm though as we queued for Bubble O Bills in the assembly hall that my social standing was fading and by the way what did I think of his new song, Snot In The First Degree? Amusing as the song parody was, I still wasn't convinced that simply being red made me the social equivalent of comedy tennis, but I took it on board. I shone as hard as I possibly could at Footy Maths - cop that Pilkington - and I tried to impress new ladies with some impressively hard tugs of their pigtails, but I still felt a frost, which while cooling towards my sunburn did little to warm my ill begotten socially adrift heart. As it happened, a girl who's name is lost to history, a Lauren or a Karen or some generic mid 80s Burnie name, fell over and showed most of the playground her knickers, and eventually an entire generation of people would say I was there on the fateful day as she stumbled for loose change and dignity on a bare patch of neatly mowed grass. As my woe passed and she became the story of the day, I was left realising that I didn't understand the game, couldn't play the game, and tried to affect an air that since I didn't understand social rules or playground lore, I would be above them. I wish I had stuck to that, but of course, for the rest of my school days I was always one bout of sunburn away from stress and nervousness...heh, Snot in the First Degree, that's killer material, the inmates must love him...

The stressful day continues - I have to have a nanna nap just to take the pain from my eyes, which I think was a Smiths B Side in the 80s. The trendy radio DJs are blethering empty sentences about tennis, while when I drive home a fight nearly breaks out when a motorbike rides in the same lane as a car, and they exchange jabbing fingers through the window until the motorbike rider has a Harley Davidson cliche seminar to attend and wheels away with his beard fluttering in the breeze. If I lived at home still, Dad would have made me a tasty cup of tea and Mum would have asked an abundance of gently probing but ultimately annoying questions until I could steer the conversation towards great comedy moments. Alas, I come home to an empty house, but there are outlets. Not least of which, the opportunity to make a delicious lime spider, rock in the hammock listening to now apparently acceptable music, the chance to yell at a football manager who doesn't know what a clown I think he is, and shoo a dog out of my front yard with comedy one sided intensity. That is, I'm intense, the dog couldn't give a shit, which is good for my lawn I guess. Most of all though, an advert comes on television - a radio station promo which flashes up the names of three allegedly trendy bands and then the station logo, as some sort of socially acceptable look at us we can name the same 3hree bands as everyone else banner hung over the rafters. Which is how I find myself holding a 1/2 drunk lime spider, doped up on Codril and whatever the hell that blue pill was in the basket (no, it wasn't that one) in my cupboard, screaming at the TV obscenities about MGMT, a band who's noodling I find inoffensive and meh at most stages, but for some reason, and it is my theories wars start because a dictator didn't have his juice in the morning, it has inspired a solitary hulk smash rampage against the machine that had it been recorded would have amused all and sundry with it's over use of the word noodlings (it's been twice in this blog post and it's amused me). For some reason though, it's a cathartic yelling, and I feel immediately better and am able to get some rest. My Mum, if she was here, apart from calling me a twat, would call me on a strange character trait - she always thinks any time I'm angry, it's an act, and soon I'll just get over whats bothering me and carry on with my day. She never really believed my huffs, even after a stint at acting class. Naturally, this comes into my head as I stand in my living room puffed but happy, having unloaded both barrels on an inoffensive advert. Is that all it takes for me to get over stress? A good yell and a lime drink? I'm quite happy if that's the case, I'm quite pleased with myself...

I'm just glad it wasn't the ESPN ad and a mention of Beyonce...I don't want to test the theory to it's outer limits...

10 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Some kinds of individuality aren't all they are cracked up to be.

sparsely kate said...

I'm a big fan of the lime spider too.

Get well soon!

Kris said...

Ian Thorpe looks quite stressed at the moment.

Kath Lockett said...

Nothing wrong with yelling at adverts whilst holding a childish favourite drink; I do it all the time.

And "the dog couldn't give a shit, which is good for my lawn I guess," - brilliant.

Baino said...

You were right to yell at MGMT . . .all you need is a nice glass of Lucozade and some vegimite soldier boys . . and stay away from the blue pills, it's either phenergan which will knock you stupid or something better saved for the Prodigy tour.

Georgie B said...

I'm impressed.

Being able to get "mellow" without getting into trouble.

Also, it kind of bites when someone you're used to seeing suddenly stops coming around.

A "white noise" if you will.

Jack Dorf said...

I'm a Bickfords Cordial man myself.

Probably the only good thing to come out of Adelaide. Well, apart from the pot and the roads of course.

Miles McClagan said...

At least I'm not wearing a wedding dress and wandering around Irvine challenging people to fights, that'd be bed...

Thanks, I'm doing my best! Lots of sleep...

He does look stressed - I wish he would find a good man and settle down...

You should see this ESPN ad, it's SO patronising...it ends with "we're sports fans just like you!" - not since Channel 9s "we are just like you" has an ad so annoyed me...stupid adverts...

No one seems to have read the clip notes that MGMT are a practical joke. Lucozade and blue pills, that's a good album name...

I do what I can, it mostly just involves yelling at the TV. Or napping. And yeah, it really does. It's happened a lot to me with all the moving and stuff. I chalk it up to regime change now

The last time I was in Adelaide, I went on the jet boats, and there was a bad review of the jet boats by Nicole Cornes that was used as a positive thing by the owners. I didn't have any Bickfords though...just some strange chicken late at night...

squib said...

Bickfords cordial is okay - esp their posh lemon barley - but I sure hope you're not drinking Cottees Miles. No one over 12 should drink Cottees cordial

I always resent the fact that the doctors took my tonsils - I mean what if they suddenly find out they are essential for something?

Miles McClagan said...

I don't know what it is - but I was put off Cottees by both the ad jingle and the playground nose picking version. As for my tonsils, they had to be removed, they hurt like hell. As you say though, no one has explained just why they existed, what they were for and why they are gone. Still don't know...