Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"I Don't Think It's Broken" or: How I said Hi to Mitts, Farewell to a Favourite Co-Worker, and Injured My Wing in front of Many Many People

I woke up Saturday morning with my head feeling like it'd been knocked around by the fists of Steven Segal. My mouth was drier than if I'd eaten a Weet-Bix whole without milk. My legs and neck ached. I barely noticed all of that though, for the fact that I'd rolled onto my right arm in my sleep and now I was in more excruciating pain than I had been when I'd collapsed into bed. Mitch - still fully clothed, apart from the shoes he'd managed to kick off before passing out - stirred out of sleepland.

"Fuck off. It hurts."

I stared at the ceiling and wondered where on earth the night that preceded the morning should be filed. Should it be "Rollicking Success" or "Resounding Failure"?  "McConaughey for the Ages" or "Goddamn..."?

I'm not entirely sure.

Certainly, if you'd spoken to me Saturday afternoon you'd have found me looking pretty sullen and despondent. About to head to a friend's engagement soiree, I couldn't even get dressed or brush my teeth properly. I'd tried to drive Mitch to the station earlier and barely got around the corner before conceding that one can't drive a manual car with one hand. I'll tell you this much, my left paw isn't exactly cut out for day-to-day activities. I felt completely defeated by the weekend, and it hadn't even properly begun yet. With that in mind, I'm really, really glad I did drag myself to Tom and Robyn's party. For even though it got pretty old pretty quickly explaining how exactly I'd ended up with my arm in a sling, by the end of a night spent with pals I had well and truly remembered how funny the goddamn situation was. The night was a comedy of errors, yet one more arrow of "Reb Falls Over and Hilarity Ensues" to add to my quiver of lulz.

It started off normal enough.

It was Staf's - he who is up there as one of my favourite people at work - last day. Thus, the beers did begin to flow as 5pm rolled around. To provide you with a bit of context, upon starting at my current place of employment it soon became clear that I was to rehash my ol' be-an-honourary-guy schtick. Which is more than fine, as it's my schtick (read: default state) for a reason. The office's design duo quickly soon became my favourites, offering them coffees whenever I feel even slightly bored, spending my spare moments in their lair, getting into wrestling matches. I have to admit, my days will be a great deal less entertaining without Staf constantly stopping by reception to harass me, pull my hair, or hurl shitty jokes at me.

Anyway, after a few drinks at work (and after bestowing Staf with the black, wooden carved penis bottle opener I'd purchased for him in Bali) I hauled my backpack on (let it never be said that I'm not dainty as fuck) and headed off to meet Mitch and the guys. Which, just quietly, was great. I mean, there's not much in the way of me falling over in this bit of the story, so I won't go into that much detail. Suffice to say though, that being reunited Mitts was lovely as hell. I hadn't seen him for a few months, so you can imagine the hugs, hair ruffling and loving insults that ensued. We immediately set about catching up on each others' adventures in work, sexy times, and woes. Which, given how good (questionable?) we are at things, was more enough to chat about for a long while. There's no describing how much I miss Mitch now that he's in Perth. Without getting sappy, it was fucking great to see him and the other guys, most of whom I hadn't seen in around six months at the least, at most a couple of years.

Anyway, I got a message from Staf declaring the work crew had moved to Cherry. I suggested this to the guys, and we trouped over, a herd of long-haired guys in skinny jeans, and one girl wearing a backpack to off-set any femininity brought on by a pretty dress. We got to Cherry, and that's where things began to degenerate.

I dragged Mitch through the sweaty crowd to where the band was playing and limbs were flying. I "introduced" Mitts to Staf and Dane (read: gesticulated wildly at them), then ran back to the bar to shriek hysterically in greeting at the other guys from work (Matt: "You have a lot of friends with long hair"), attempt to nipple cripple them, then head back to the Film Guys. I spent the next hour or so running between the Film Guys, chatting, catching up, lol-ing, then running back to Work Pals, nipple crippling them, dancing, getting my beer spilt on me, then being very surprised at how tasty Jagermeister in ginger beer is (it's pretty tasty).

SO. I'll skip through the bit where Work Crew left, then the bit where The Film Boys and I walked down Flinders Lane, past the ladies clad in skin-tight dresses, the bit where I felt at once frumpy and bad-ass in my boots and backpack, the lulz in which we sniggered in disgust/delight at the striped-shirt guys loitering in front of the many clubs lining the street. Oh boy, that was a long sentence. I'll skip ahead to the bit where I ran into Matt, Staf and Dane in front of Flinders Street. Immediately after which they announced they were on their way to get food, and Staf chased Dane across the street.

This is where everything kind of goes slow motion. Never one to back away from a potential tackle and stacks-on, I sprinted after the guys. It was one of those, "OH! PEOPLE RUNNING! I WANT TO RUN TOO!!" moments. I don't know what it is exactly, but I just get full of energy when I drink. Climbing things, chasing things. I'm sure you know this by now though. I closed in on Staf and leapt up to kick him in the derriere. In slow-motion, mid-air, I saw a lightning-quick reflex, his foot suddenly sticking out.

Artist's rendition. Clown shoes probably false.

I went flying. I landed on the road, in the middle of Flinders Street. The middle of Flinders Street and Swanston Street. My skirt went flying up (Wearing ugly underwear. I WAS GOING TO DO MY WASHING ON THE WEEKEND OKAY). My backpack hit the back of my head. I was on the ground. I lay there for a moment. After a moment of shock, I began to laugh hysterically, that maniac "HAHAHAHAHAHHA OH MY GOD THAT'S SO FUNNY I FELL OVER!" type rambling that one does when one makes a giant ass of themselves in front of a large crowd. A large crowd which, just quietly, seemed to go "OOOOOOOOOOHHHHH" in unison as I crumpled onto the ground. The type of "OOOOOOHHHH" that pretty much means, "Oh god. That poor girl. I am pretty fucking glad I am NOT her right now" the kind of collective noise of "ooooooh" that means, "Oh boy. There goes some drunk girl falling over. Christ, it's like, not even midnight. She's your mate."

Note the splayed legs and squeal.
'The Scorpion'

Author's note: my legs are not actually that long.

The guys immediately ran over and asked if I was alright in between exclamations of "ooohhhshit!". Through the hysterical giggles, all I could manage was, "YESIMFINE! Oh MAAAAN this is going to FUCKING HURT TOMORROW!" I stared at my right arm, which didn't so much hurt as it seemed to look back at me slightly dazed, almost forewarning me: "You have about half and hour's worth of use to get out of me. Then I'm tapping out. We had a good run tonight. But I'm out. Shotgun not. It's up to you and Lefty tonight. Soz bro." Then Lefty's all like, "DERP."

I'll say this much, I'm glad I wasn't sober.

We wandered over to Subway, where the guys bought provisions and I tried to judge how badly I was hurt. Pretty sure Staf felt pretty darn badly at that stage though. But you know? I kind of didn't care. I was still having a great time, if you can believe that.  Probably testament to the company I was keeping. Aww. Nice, no? But seriously, if you're in the market for injuring yourself on a night out, make sure you do it around them. You'll be distracted from the imminent pain and scrapes by hilarity. 

To be honest, the pain in my arm wasn't so much painful as it was annoying. As movement seemed to deteriorate, irritation grew. I couldn't participate in a bout of wrestling/frolicking on the lawns next to the Arts Centre. Couldn't pull my tights up properly, when I went to the bathroom, couldn't fix my hair, couldn't really even take my backpack off. HNNNNGGGGG. Derp. Derp. Derp.

I'm going to do a bit more fast-forwarding fast-forwarding now. Past the bit where we couldn't find our friend at the Speigeltent, past the bit where we briefly considered heading into that pub across the street from Flinders Street to 'laugh at the bogans'. Fast-forward to Strange Wolf, the very pretty, very hip, and quite expensive bar just off Collins Street. I thought it was somewhat appropriate, given the bar's name, and Staf's vast and sprawling collection of wolf t-shirts/paraphernalia. Anyway, it's at this point in the night that the pain in my arm turned from amusing-yet-slightly-irritating-vaguely-sore-injury to oh-fuck-me-I-can't-even-move-it. I struggled in a one-armed battle with my tights in the bathrooms for a what felt like hours, with my injured limb whimpering pathetically in a position I like to call the "T-Rex".

I actually ended up roaring in rage and frustration.
Good thing there was no one else in the bathrooms.
And yes, I know I drew the wrong arm as being injured.

My game fell a few notches. Not that I had even really brought my "Game" (as it were), but I'm afraid I mostly ignored the beer in front of me, as well as the tall and attractive guy from Boston Staf and Dane had "found" at the bar in favour of staring at my arm in wonder as it began to hrt more and more. Stories swapped, insightful comments bandied around and all I could manage was the occasional "Oh, cool." or "Rad..." and a very unimpressive story about vomming on a girl's leg at Lounge when I was a teen dudd (facepalm, one for the ages). The dancing and uproarious laughter and nipple cripples of Cherry seemed a lifetime ago.

The guys called it a night, first Dane then Staf. I briefly considered catching the Nightrider back to the 'burbs, then decided against it. Firstly, I'd have to head all the way back into the city to pick up my car in the morning. Secondly, I knew that if I left at that moment, I'd most likely end up listening to something vaguely glum on the ride home, then wake up in the morning only to travel back to the city to pick up my car. No good. So I decided to head to where Mitch and co were. HOWEVER. Before that occurred, Staf felt the need to assure me that my arm was not broken. Perhaps for his own peace of mind also? I know not. What I do know is thus; his chosen way to test the brokenness of my arm was to yank it down as hard as possible, while declaring "See? It's not broken!" through a devilish grin. My reply was to shriek, then start flailing at him with my good arm. Tell you what, it's a good thing I'm so fond of Staf, or he'd have gotten a swift kick to the snout.

So. Needless to say, I got to Workshop feeling pretty defeated. Mitts described my entrance later on as something along the lines of, "Hey guys. What's going on? I can't move my arm. I hate things." ... which is pretty much correct, after having not been able to close the door of the taxi I'd just struggled to pay for because I couldn't really get into my backpack. I was so unenthusiastic about things, I couldn't even be bothered getting ice. So Mitch did, in a tea towel. I sat there looking despondent, and the ice melted, and my dress got all wet and cold. The night soon ended. And even though Mitch and I knew we'd have to sleep in my car because our couch options were rendered null because of various friends getting laid (seriously, EVERYONE was getting some), it was okay. My arm was raging at me and the world, I was bummed out and exhausted. It's at this point in the story however, that Mitts leapt into Rad Pal mode. We got into a cab to where my car was, and Mitch gave my good hand a squeeze. 

"How you doing, Rebby?"
"Are you crying?"
"Good. Cause you're no pussy."
"Who's my REEEBBBB?"

Back in the car, the seats were lowered. Mitch patted me on the head. "Its okay Rebby."

He then started laughing. "I can't believe you broke your arm!"
"I didn't break my arm!" I replied.

I thought about it for a moment, about the situation we were in, how the night had panned out. I began to laugh, to giggle kind of hysterically. I thought about how long ago the beginning of the night felt, how all the ingredients of a McConaughey were present, but in the weirdest, most warped way possible. There was an epic journey, there were hilarious sidekicks, there were love interests, there were injuries (nipple cripples, fractured arms and otherwise), frolicking in the grass, dancing to a band. There was accosting and beer, a journey across the city, then back across the city. Fuck me gently with a chainsaw, I couldn't move my arm! And we were about to spend the night in my car, parked outside my work, because our friends were busy getting their lay on. It was like, four in the morning. Mitch and I were drinking the apple juice that'd been in my car for days, and stale rice cakes. Hell, Mitch was in Melbourne! The fuck! This was like, a McConaughey adventure directed by a less-twisted David Lynch. Or, if I were a little cooler, Jim Jarmusch. Maybe it's a McConaughey directed by .... I dunno ... Bruce Robinson? Or something? A McConaughey directed by The Coen Brothers? Maybe. I'm tired.

And so, if you're wondering about the treasure ... it was this: the fact that Mitch opted to drive us home. At 4am. Exhausted. After an entire day of beers. It took 40 minutes, it felt like at least three hours. It was a bridge too far, with Mitch raging at the distance and time and effort. It was an ordeal. Truly an ordeal, one in which Mitch yelled at the radio for playing a song as happy as Van Morrison's "Bright Side of the Road". We were on the verge of giving up by the time we reached Waverley Road (about halfway through the journey). It wasn't so much Sahara as it was The Way Back. We staggered into the Reb Cave, and the night ended in a bed in place of a car seat. Treasure. Glorious, victorious treasure.

Anyway. That's the story of how I ended up in a sling, and why I was so tired on Saturday. Saturday morning I stared at the ceiling and tried to ignore the throbbing in my arm, and tried to arrange the thoughts trundling hungoverly around my brain regarding the night before. Was it awesome? Was it shitty? Was it lots of Column A and a smattering of Column B? Was it hilarious? Ridiculous? Yes. All of the above. Most of all though, it makes for a really, really long blog post, and a sling, and some amusing as hell scenes in the ol' memory bank.

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