Thursday, April 10, 2008

ROW GENTLEMEN.

ACTUALLY, it’s “ROW YOU BASTADS, ROW”.

This rhyming BUSHY poem is full of Australiana, it has certain lingua franca that may offend, DO NOT TURN YOUR TV OFF.

Many years ago, we were competing in a Surf Carnival at Nth. Palm Beach, SYDNEY NSW. The surf turned ordinary, in fact it turned out s—h—1—t house, people and water craft were getting trashed at an alarming rate. I think the word was;

“The incredible attrition dynamic undergoing competitors’ and their life saving accouterments necessitated cancellation of the said contest”.

Quote: The Gallagambone Chronicle.

That’s right; it was shithouse.

My hero and older mentor, in fact, the “the hairy bugger” has suggested; “Well, since we’re up here we should give the general population a bit of a thrill, I’ve got a plan”. The plan included a Surf Boat.

“How about a wave at Palm Beach”?

Any body familiar with PALM BEACH, Northern Beaches NSW? You will know that a very pleasant ‘Rip’ runs out on the southern end of the beach. It will take you past the rock pool and beyond. Broadly speaking this is the essence of ; “I’ve got a plan”.

So. What are we on about here? OK, a 25 foot bondwood ply Surf Boat, 4 horesmen, (there are girls now, any suggestions?). The sweep / tiller man was the inimitable Brian Sheen, soon to become our enigma, and a friggen’ continuous set of waves coming in from the south east.

GENTLEMEN, PREPARE TO STROKE.

From the outset the task was fraught with extraordinary contrition.
There was ‘Bombhead’, Michael, Jackie, Me, and Big Brian the leader of the mission.

The world at large was watching us, mongrel Brian, YOU made this unprejudiced decision.
The boat was launched, we seemed prepared but with trepidation and derision.

At this point the intention must be clear and object made dispassionate.
“One wave is all we’ll catch, you blokes row I will steer, nature will help us fashin’ it”.

You will not believe how fast we traversed, 20 strokes took us from the beach way way to out the rear.
The Palm Beach Pool was just a blur, we’re out there folks, but why this impenden’ fear?

We settle and collect our senses, we are in the big wave zone.
Just get me home to QY’s, a beer and; why am I writing this watery tome.

Twenty foot, I recon was what we ups and flows.
We’re way way out the back, and we settle for Big Brian’s courteous request, “when I say youse rows, well you pricks youse rows”.

There green and vast, unrelenting fast and have tons and tons of clout.
Supremacy is their potential, and I ask myself, God how can I get out?

The beach is oh so distant, about a thousand yards, give a little take a mile.
I’m rowin’ bow and all I see is faceless hoary backs, the big man has this wry, this oh so complacent smile.

And then the command to “stroke boys” is heard by all so clearly.
“We get this one, home and hosed on the beach we’ll be, the place you want so dearly”.

Mongrel dogs we rowed, piss poor really, we mistrusted Big Brian’s brawn.
Backed off just in time, rowed backwards, and this was where the big blokes scorn was born.

“You gutless, mango dispossessed, bunch of pricks. You heartless mongrels, bananas are proud of their yellow skins compared to you. That’s an oar in your hands, not your prick, it won’t grow any bigger. Your hearts are like peas, you couldn’t run a shit fight.

You with me or agin’ me?, your not a crew, your a poor excuse for cowards. You couldin’ pull a skin of a custard, you are piss poor, weak as piss. If you had half a brain it would be friggen’ lonely, you have let me down, you’r as useless as Papier Mache pricks, the next wave is for us you dogs, or you will be here all night.

Possibly the longest display of analogy and adjectives in a poem this may be so.
But when ‘Big Brian’ gave the order row, you better bend your weakened backs, “row you bastards row”.

Every word the big bloke uttered rang in our piss poor brains, and might I say to this day still.
One more go Oh fearless one, one more chance you hairy bastard, we’ll show the world we’re got the will.

So like a new page openin’ the crew is ready for the grind.
Forget about impending gloom, new courage is what we’ll find.

He sets us up on a mountain way way out the back, and oh my God it’s monumental and it’s also bloody huge.
No more backin’ off, no more gutless piss poor wonders, this is time to end the subterfuge.

It’s two miles high and it’s three miles thick, it’s green and full of massiveness.
Colossal, vast, gigantic, well 18 foot we guess surmise, but now it’s time give this one our very best.

“Gentlemen prepare to stroke, give me what you’ve got.
Show the people on the beach a thrill or too, now you sheila’s it’s time give me your best shot.

“Row you bastards, row like men possessed, and then some if you will”.
We did just that, we bent them oars, and watch the mammoth begin’s to fill.

We’re on this colossus at a blinding pace and down the face we rushes.
Brian yells “trail them oars, come back boys, Jackie lend a hand don’t let the mongrel crush us”.

Fifteen foot of boat protrudes from our watery feat of nature, and we can feel the awesome hum of dominance.
“Stay in the middle, get right back, sit on the friggen’ floor, right now we are on our way to International prominence”.

I’m looking ‘round, the pace in frantic and in my memories eye.
Lookin’ back I see that bloody great sweep oar embedded in Big Brian’s thigh.

It seems just like eternity, well at least for some long time and then some more.
This bloody great wave is runnin’ green and then comes that awesome roar.

Way above our heads the monster’s cresting starts, cascading tumbling and spewing spume and foam.
But Big Brian knows the trial, the ultimate test is nigh, “hang on you scungie lot, I’ll get you bastards home”.

“Trust me boys, we’re not beat yet but this bastards got a punch, Jackie, push with me and soon we’ll all be high and dry.
The amount of energy this mammoth is expending has instilled us with a classic high.

With gargantuan proportions the wall of water on our stern has turned mortal men to awe, and more.
I will wager this all you ‘Boatie’ folk, you’ll have a fear or two ‘cause now you’ll be unsure.

WORK IN PROGRESS, ANY IDEAS?

But you have never heard a sound so beloved, precious, and filled with dear relief.
Of that of plywood plowing beach sand, now your back on deck your home is underneath.

Recollections of this trauma have been stretched and somewhat graphic.
You don’t believe me? well guess I’ll have to tell yer, on the beach was a camera crew from National Geographic.

Dedicated to; AVALON BEACH SURF CLUB, copyright John D. Farley 2008.

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