“Instant Karma’s gonna get you”…
It happened at 2130 last night with all the force and grace of jumper leads attached to my testicles (some people pay for that shit) and cracked to 110% with the manic scream of black and white horror flicks.
And as a result, here I sit wasting my time talking to you…three and a half hours ago (always looking to the past) NZ887 departed CHCH bound for Sydney, and it may occur to someone sitting on the flight that the two seats next to his (or her) fine self are conspicuously empty. That’s because me and my manacled road-kill should have been there…
After getting home from work the better half went over her folk’s place to put out two kids to bed while I cooked myself some dinner and had a few drinks while packing. She got home about nine and proceeded to pack, excitement reigned in the house, we were to fly to Sydney for my Grandma’s 90th birthday, the first time the clan were to be together in about 20 years by all accounts. And, with a little poetic license, it went like this…
Her; Where’s the passports?
Me; Not sure…were they with all the ’emergency pack’?
The ’emergency pack’ was a collection of all our precious photos, insurance docos, mortgage papers, birth certs etc etc which were kept in a bag that we could just snatch and take with us should we be required to flee the area in case of another earthquake, or drugs bust, or Communist invasion.
Me; Cool, its in the Fairlane. Both of our cars have a survival kit, necessary food, water, nappies etc if we had to abandon the house.
Her (from the garage); Ha! You passport has expired!
Me; Yeah, Right!
Me (feeling a sudden dread); What?
She came back into the kitchen where I was still scoffing my potatoes and lamb chops, and she was whiter than me with a full body tan…yep, THAT white! She placed my passport on the bench, and
My ticket out of this hell hole had gone past its use-by date a few weeks before. Hers was due to pay out the following week.
A lifetime’s library of expletives that would make Billy Connelly look like an altar-boy, it was hands to action stations. Chaos reigned, phones were sought after, web sites perused, all based on the glimmer of hope of securing some sort of reprieve, the type witnessed on scores of faces as they hand their Lotto tickets across the counter…that look of “I don;t really care if I win, and my face will show nonchalance when you point out that I’m still a loser”.
Dialling Internal Affairs at close to 2200 (ten o’clock in normal parlance) advised that emergency passports could be issued provided a cost close to the value of a kidney, and the person on the end, who was very helpful offered some hope…as quickly crushed when I pointed out I was in CHCH instead of AKLD…
“Oh,” they said in that tone that informs you that your kids aren’t really yours, “since the earthquake, we don’t have an office in CHCH.”
“However, let me transfer you to someone in Wellington, they can assist I’m sure.”
“Certainly, Sir,” (Sir?), “If you can get to Wellington we can try to have one for you by the afternoon.”
Mrs. Alfmeister has found bookings to Wellington…$200. Flights out of Wellington to Sydney direct, $750…cost of urgent passport, somewhere in no-man’s land between $300 and $1200…
To her credit (Susan, lovely girl, hope she doesn’t mind her name here?) gave me her cell and asked me to TXT her anytime through the night if I was going to make it into Wellington, and could get a flight to Aussie…but
“…I can’t guarantee we can get your passport ready in time.”
After a bout of Tourette’s, sculling my last Speights, and a Menthol sucked down in one gasp, the fight was over…
Defeat, as tragic and final as Vietnam.
So excited to see you! When do you get in?
TXT, right at that moment from my fave cousin who had just arrived in Sydney from Brisbane.
A quick TXT to my younger brother (who had his flight cancelled out of CHCH that morning and due to fly out this morning via AKLD; Bro, can you take Grandma’s gift and photos with you?
No sweat man. Gutted.
And to top it off, sort of like hearing “no” when your future bride is at the altar with you, he missed my TXT and I missed his call at the airport this morning…so Grandma’s gift, 21st birthday card, and personalised champagne flute are seated on the back seat of the Commodore.
PiS…it may be that my rants and raves over the years have come back for their final payment in the manner a huge fuck-off of a repo man with a bulldog on a chain turns up on your front doorstep. If I find out that Bishop Brian Tamaki, or Hone Harawira, or Phil Goof have put some sort of ‘tapu’ on me, so be it. But now you can take it off. Wasn;t 2011 a bad enough year for us? The theme is wearing a bit thin now guys.
PiSS…this does not mean I will recant my atheism (sic).
PiSSS…what is the Lotto jackpot this week?