Flotsam & Jetsam [54]

The Fishkiller Files

By Mark Pearson

Rock ‘n’ Roll 2003

Yes, a large team of Flotsam reporters was again let loose to bring you the stories that matter. The Flotsam Department Head told Flotsam, “I’d just like to thank the Committee for continuing to fund us, despite tough financial times for the Club, as we go into our ninth journalistic season. Anyhow I hope the members enjoy this edition of Flotsam, something for everyone I think…”

Spots Versus Socks

All paddlers turning up at Rock ‘n’ Roll HQ were immediately ‘branded’ a red spot, blue spot or yellow spot according to a plastic tag worn on their PFD, the colour depending on Rock ‘n’ Roll HQ’s assessment of the paddlers ability and experience. Reactions to the tag were mixed, some embarrassed to be given a red spot, others crushed to find they had only made yellow.

But the new system irked one veteran ex-committee member, who confided to Flotsam, “This new system may well be very efficient and computerised and all that, but it lacks something… I don’t know what. Like, in my day there were Bruisers and there were Cruisers, Bruisers wore a large sock or socks down their pants, Cruisers didn’t. That was the difference! What was wrong with that system? So why these tag things?”

Scare as Paddlers Reach Ocean

There was much consternation amongst event organisers on Saturday afternoon after Beach Marshall Max Brettargh was informed that two paddlers, one of them apparently inexperienced, had broken through the security cordon across Currarong Creek and made egress onto the open ocean! The paddlers, Mark Pearson and Matthew Turner, were later apprehended and brought in by the crack NSWSKC ORP (Ocean Rescue Pod). A Flotsam reporter later caught up with an apologetic Pearson who said, “Look, we didn’t mean to cause any trouble… honest, we were just going for a paddle, I mean I’ve got a red spot thing so I thought I was OK to go out, but I didn’t know Matt was only a blue spot… honest I didn’t!”

Les Miserables

A reporter from Flotsam’s Social Studies Department, who in his spare time is also writing a thesis that contends that there is more than a simple red spot/ blue spot divide in the Club, spent some time observing the accommodation demographics at the Currarong van park. He observed that if there was a sea kayak outside one of the expensive rented cabins, it was invariably a gleaming Nadgee or Mirage 580. Peeping through the windows of the luxurious accommodation our reporter even witnessed first hand the typical lifestyle of the owners of these sumptuous craft as they watched the latest DVDs, scoffed down lobster, sipped the finest wines, and all this while having their sensitive parts massaged by bikini model girlfriends and trophy wives.

Meanwhile back at the waterlogged camp area the reporter also observed the impoverished, sodden masses, typically the owners of scratched Pittaraks, much repaired Greenlanders or various plywood creations, endured a miserable existence in and around their flimsy, leaking tents. But nothing was more arresting than the sight of these desperates that Saturday evening, huddled in a pitiful line at the mercy of the rain squalls, patiently queuing for the meagre sustenance provided by the emergency Red Cross seafood buffet kitchen. A sad day for a once egalitarian NSWSKC.

Popular Decision

The announcement that Mr Vince Browning had easily won the prestigious Most Unpopular Paddler (MUP) award was well received by the majority of Club members.

MUP Committee chairman Alan Whiteman told Flotsam, “Mr Browning beat off a couple of challengers, notably last year’s winner Gary Edmond, who unsuccessfully tried to retain the award by not turning up at the event, and Andrew ‘Foghorn’ Watkinson, whose loud hailer voice was a test of endurance for hung over and teetotaller paddlers alike all weekend.” Mr Whiteman continued, “But Vince was the stand-out based on his record at this year’s event, and committee memories of his actions over the last couple of years.” In support of their decision, the committee observed the following behaviours and traits of Mr Browning over the weekend of Rock ‘n’ Roll 2003:

  • bringing along his jet ski, and using the abomination to repeatedly scatter groups of peace-loving sea kayakers, for the third year in a row;
  • reneging on several bets with paddling companions following the coastal paddle to Rock ‘n’ Roll;
  • an appalling display at the Rolling Competition, where he performed the same roll (right hand screw) no matter what he was asked to do, a devious tactic (given his frequently aired view that ‘All rolls look the same anyway’) aimed at confusing the inexperienced judging panel; and
  • his personality.

At the presentation while brandishing the MUP trophy high in the air, an visibly emotional Mr Browning said, “I thought the jet ski alone would have won this for me back in 2001, but realised then that the standard is high at this Club, and to be deemed more unpopular than the likes of Gary Edmond and Matt Turner you really have to work at it… I feel very humbled.”

Mouth to Mouth

Meanwhile, fireworks were expected and were delivered when Andrew Watkinson and livewire Elizabeth Thomson engaged in a lengthy bout of verbal intercourse at the Currarong Bowls Club. In a very public display sometimes reaching volumes of 110 Db, speeds of up to 330 words per minute, and with the Flirt Metre going off the scale, this conversation threatened to drown out much of the World Cup final atmosphere for the other punters. Thankfully, before full time the verbose couple left the public arena for whereabouts unknown. However, next morning a badly dishevelled and laryngitic Mr Watkinson emerged from his tent to croak to Flotsam, “Wow, what a woman, what a mouth, can’t believe she’s only a blue spot!”

AGM Transcript

For those members ‘up the back’ in the crowded AGM marquee who couldn’t hear much of the lengthy and lively exchange between former Vice President Dave Winkworth and former President Rob Mercer, Flotsam has decided to publish the recollection of a somewhat tired and emotional Flotsam reporter. Given the reporter had been getting into the red wine for some hours, Flotsam would like, in advance, to apologise for any inaccuracies in this transcript.

Rob Mercer (addressing Dave Winkworth): …and that, David, was basically the reason for the decision!!

Dave Winkworth (addressing Rob Mercer): You call that an answer! You, Sir, are about as useful as an olive cleat with no cord! As we say in Kalaru, I’ll bet you couldn’t pour piss out of a boot with instructions on the heel. You are a canker. A sore that won’t go away. You are a bleating foal, a curdled staggering mutant dwarf smeared richly with the effluvia and offal accompanying your alleged birth into this world. An insensate, blinking calf, meaningful to nobody, abandoned by the puke- drooling, giggling beasts who sired you and then killed themselves in recognition of what they had done…”

Rob Mercer (addressing Dave Winkworth): Fool! Would that a hawk pick you up, drive its beak into your brain, and upon finding it rancid set you loose to fly briefly before spattering the ocean rocks with the frothy pink shame of your ignoble blood. May you choke on the queasy, convulsing nausea of your own trite, foolish beliefs.

President McPhail (addressing the group): Gentleman please, let’s try and keep to the issue, err, insurance I think, or was it Ischial Tuberosities?

Dave Winkworth (ignoring President McPhail, addressing Rob Mercer): What a waste of flesh! On a good day you’re a half-wit. You are the moral equivalent of a leech. I would rather kiss a lawyer than be seen with you. You are a living emptiness, a meaningless void!

Rob Mercer (addressing Dave Winkworth): You, Sir, are sour and senile, a puerile one-handed slack-jawed drooling meatslapper. What fantasy do you hold that you would believe that your tiny-fisted tantrums would have more weight than that of a leprous desert rat, spinning rabidly in a circle, waiting for the bite of the snake?

President McPhail (addressing the group): Gentlemen! I think you’ve both made valid points, I move that these issues be held over for further discussion at the next AGM.

Ian Phillips: Seconded!