Monthly Archives: February 2013

Beware the Library Police!

Don't mess with 'em!

Don’t mess with ’em!

 Dear Library Ladies:  I just got home from the best library in Queensland and informed Long Suffering Wife that I’m going on a blind date!  She seemed overjoyed at first, but looked disappointed when I showed her the plain wrapped book I’d borrowed from your ‘Blind Date with a Book’ display.  While she spent the afternoon crying, I started reading my Blind Date book.  It is very good.  Gb

Dear Greg:  We are glad you liked the Blind Date book, and hope that it has inspired you to push your literary boundaries.  After reviewing your reading record, we think it’ll make a pleasant change from the many self-help, western, fantasy and comic books you seem to read.  Our records also indicate you have several overdue books, could you please return them ASAP?  Library Ladies

 Dear Library Ladies:  You seem to have a lot of books for ‘Dummies’.  Why?  Gb

Dear Greg:  We try to cater for all tastes, and often remark on your fondness for ‘Dummies’ books.  Perhaps you should borrow ‘Responsibility for Dummies’?  BTW, the book your wife reserved has been returned.  We think she may be quite looking forward to reading ‘Divorce for Dummies’.  Ask her to return your overdue books when she comes up. LL

 Dear Library Ladies:  What happens if I can’t find my overdue books?  Gb

Dear Greg:  We will hand over your details to the Library Police, at which point the following titles may come in handy:  Coping with Loss, and Living with Pain.  Seriously Greg, you don’t want to mess with these people.  Please, return your overdue books now! LL

Dear Library Ladies:  Some large people with bolt cutters are banging on my front door and claiming to be from the Library Police.  Once I have dealt with them, I will pop by and enjoy a good laugh at the little prank you have played on me!  LOL!! Gb

Dear Mrs Bray:  Thank you for returning your husband’s books, did he know you had ‘misplaced’ them?  We hope he gets well soon.  LL

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Good Ol’ Country Music

"Hey Roadie!  Set up two more mic's and find three hairbrushes, NOW!"

“Hey Roadie! Set up two more mic’s and find three hairbrushes, NOW!”

Last weekend the Gladstone Country Music Club hosted its’ fifth annual Country Music Festival, and they gave me another gig as a roadie.  Which, considering they’d already seen me in action at previous festivals, was very kind of them.

So I spent the weekend onstage, moving microphones, tripping over leads, mixing up the music sheets, explaining to the band how I would have played each song, and telling the sound tech’s what they were doing wrong.  Even though my advice was politely ignored, the show still managed to run smoothly!

It’s great standing in the wings watching the contestants give their all, whether they’re eight or eighty.  But the real magic happens when things don’t quite go to plan; particularly when it isn’t my fault.

The first time I saw that magic was a couple of years ago when a woman stepped up to the microphone, warbled the first verse of her song, then forgot the rest of the words.  Horror stricken, she stood mute in front of a crowd of hundreds, tears filling her eyes.  Then someone in the front row started singing, and one by one, the rest of the audience joined in until we were all yodelling along.

Now, I can’t recall the song, or the lady’s name, but I certainly remember the look of relief on her face, and how the atmosphere in the hall wondrously changed.  Suddenly no one was thinking of judging her song, what she was wearing, or how she compared to the other contestants.  As a group we had helped a friend in distress, and in doing so, had gone from watching a competition to participating in a special event.

And this year there were a couple of similar memorable magical moments; it’s the only contest I know of where just participating makes you feel like a winner.

And speaking of winners, thanks to my enthusiastic efforts this year, I’ve been promoted to the role of Backstage Director of Static Porcelain Systems; I’m not sure what that is yet, but I’ve been equipped with a long handled brush and a free can of air freshener!

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Farewell Flicks!

Hollywood comes to Gladstone... and 40 years later gets torn down :)

Hollywood comes to Gladstone… and 40 years later gets torn down 🙂

The old cinema is gone! Sure, it was little more than a glorified tin shed, but I saw some great movies there. Some were so good that I’d forget all about the spine wrecking canvas seats, and the stifling heat which could melt the Cherry Ripe in your shirt pocket.

Mr. Upton was Gladstone’s unofficial babysitter. Each Saturday afternoon, parents would dump their brats into his care, then speed off home to do whatever it was parents did when left alone for a couple of child-free hours.

Meanwhile we’d be imprisoned in a poorly lit confined space, watching two movies and a cartoon. And without fail some clown would either roll bottles down the aisles, or throw half chewed Mintie’s at the big screen. Quite often they’d get caught in the act, lit up like a rabbit in the spotlight of Mr. Upton’s big silver torch. “You! OUT!” he’d holler.

Faced with the boredom, and social shame, of standing alone outside the cinema, he’d point at the people sitting nearby and squeal, “They were doing it too!” As a result, the rest of us would be frogmarched past tutting patrons, to the footpath outside.

Later, when our parents asked if the movie was any good, we’d lie like crazy, hoping they wouldn’t ask how the show ended.

As a teenager, I once made the mistake of asking a girl to the movies without first checking what was screening. It turned out to be a particularly shocking horror movie. Fellas, screaming like a little girl and spraying soft drink all over your date’s dress, is seriously going to wreck your chances of a second date with her; or anyone else.

Nowadays my children have only ever known soft, upholstered seating in air-conditioned shoeboxes with amazing surround sound. The modern multiplex killed the old cinema and the Saturday afternoon matinees, which is a real pity. Because one movie is barely enough time to dump off the kids, and race home to indulge in a certain adult activity that we parents enjoy while the nippers are out; sleep!

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