Saturday, 27 November 2010

Having Fun When Young

After reading about a young man who had been killed by a 'mate' (always something of a double-edged word, it seems to me), I was feeling a little bleak. The deed was done in the Belanglo State Forest, and the murder weapon, oddly enough, was a double-edged axe. The victim and the alleged killer both came from a small town, where, apparently, there was 'nothing much to do.'

Wouldn't reading Proust in the original have been a better response than murder? Or was the education system at fault? Perhaps poor book distribution had caused the killing - French texts were probably hard to come by in Wollondilly Shire.

I was distracted from these musings by a hot water pipe bursting and torrents of scalding water rushing towards me across the floor. The event reminded me that my own education was sadly lacking in major areas, most particularly how the hell you turn off the water at the mains.

But help was on hand in the shape of a very young plumber, who came to my assistance almost within the blinking of an eye (although possibly enough outside the margins of that time frame to allow three or four figures to be added to our water bill, damn it). Like the Belanglo boys, my plumber was little more than a kid and, just as they had done, he'd grown up in a sleepy country town. But there the similarities appeared to end.

With his head under the sink, my plumber began describing the novel he was writing and the large-scale painting of Africa he was hoping to finish over the Christmas break. 'A challenge, that's what makes you happy,' he said, emerging with his spanners. 'I've only managed 45,000 words so far, but I'm getting it done.'

What a relief. We're not going to hell in a hand basket entirely. There are still some under-20s who don't need a double-sided axe to have fun.

9 comments:

  1. Whew - thank christ for a happy ending. That story about the axe is chilling isn't it?

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  2. Blimey, and there's us Brits imagining (still) that Oz = Neighbours. I never understood the 'bored, nothing to do' complaint either. But then I grew up in a village not only within easy striking distance of both London's bright lights and some soul-restoring countryside but also with a disco at the Methodist church every Friday evening, so I suppose I can't really comment can I.

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  3. It's funny because Neighbours isn't watched here nearly as much as in Britain. I love the idea of a disco at the Methodist church every Friday evening.

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  4. Nurse - it's the axe element that makes it particularly awful, don't you think?

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  5. That double-headed axe ... I was going to say "is a double-edged sword", but I stopped myself. Ahem.

    That double-headed axe (properly called a labrys) seems to have been adopted in our society as a symbol by both lesbians (implications of strength with connection to the Ancient Greeks and Lesbos, presumably) and to a lesser extent by death-metal fans (which is probably what these boys/men were) as a symbol of violence. Very strange stuff.

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  6. Yes indeed zmkc. I just watched Winter's Bone today and when a character grabbed an axe and walked towards some people I actually screamed aloud in the theatre.

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  7. Bloody hell, M-H, I've led a sheltered life.
    Was Winter's Bone worth seeing, Nurse, barring axes?

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  8. I'm not sure if worthwhile is a recommendation - sounds too close to 'worthy'

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