Most Likely Survivor

My friend Clarissa is the only person I know who’d be capable of looking after themselves in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Not that I think there’s one on the horizon, but it’s a fun thought experiment to scan your social circles for the most likely survivor. Clarissa wins the title on account of her skillset, which includes building and carpentry, archery, edible weed identification, navigation by the stars and Brazilian jiu jitsu.

I was thinking about this because, as of recently, she’s added fishing to her list of practical accomplishments. In fact, she’s so into it that she’s now in the market for a small boat that she can use for the purpose, and is firmly fixated on comparing rod holders, snapper racks and bait boards.

If anything, I’m surprised she’s not taking up custom marine welding herself, although I’m guessing that part of her secret to being so prolific is dedicating herself to one thing at a time. Many people I know run around picking up little bits of this and that – just enough to distract from their inner knowing that, come the apocalypse, they’ll be completely unprepared. Clarissa, on the other hand, takes the time to become proficient in a craft before looking around for the next thing.

As I understand it, she’s still in the process of becoming a fishing master. That’s the way she sees it, at least, but I think her standards must be pretty high because she seems to be doing pretty well at it. I mean, how much better at fishing can you really get past a certain point? It’s all a bit of a game of chance, isn’t it?

She did tell me that she sees fishing as inhabiting the role of ‘fish whisperer’. I’m assuming that ‘fish whispering’ is about maximising the odds of landing the type of catch you want in the most efficient way. Then again, we’re talking about someone who’s been known to spend the day engaged in conversation with a field of dandelions, so who knows?

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The Wonderful Sounds of the Docklands

I might have said that places of artistic wonder give me the necessary inspiration for my tunes, but recently I’ve been trying out some new locations, and wow…you can be inspired by so many things!

I found a nice little spot just outside my local car mechanic, and that seemed to work pretty well for a while. The guys didn’t know I was there, and I realised that different cars vary in their melodic engine hums. That was how I came up with my 26-part symphonic poem, entitled ‘MMM’.

It was mostly just that sounds, but there was also an ‘urRURR’ in there at one point. I think that was coming from the old Ford with the V8 engine. And then the people in the garage found me and asked me to leave, so now I’m here at the docks!

Boats and stainless steel marine welding make such a different sound to cars, and it just tickles my ears. It’s less of a low, undulating hum, and more of a loud, obnoxious grinding from all the welding noises. Obviously when we’re talking marine welding, that’s a LOT of welding, sometimes underwater. I had to add a whole extra two verses to ‘Song of the Ocean Marine Welding People of Melbourne Bay in the year of Great Celebration’, because I could see some people preparing themselves for underwater welding and I had no idea what that sounds like. I speculated, fortunately…although making the noise of flaming bubbles with your mouth is NOT easy. That’s why I’m an auteur. I’m going to try and purchase an underwater housing for my audio equipment so I can lower them into the great blue beyond.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll totally luck out and see someone installing a snapper rack, or fitting a boat  for rod holders, or maybe installing a new motor, OH that would be AMAZING. A symphony for the ears, the mind and my banjo!


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One Man, One Boat, One Indeterminate Fish

Everyone is busy getting their five seconds of fame. When is it going to be my turn, I wonder?? So much reality TV, but no one has thought to create a show called The World’s Greatest Fisherman, or Catch of the Millennium. I don’t think they have, anyway. I should probably google it. Then I’d find out that it’s already been a thing on some obscure American channel, but that’s not good enough because I don’t live in America.

That’s why I’m trying my hand at a documentary instead. It’ll be a thrilling account of me and Bessie (that’s my boat) and our journey down the Yarra to catch the biggest fish ever caught in Melbourne, if not Victoria. I’ve only got my phone camera and no one else to hold it, but whatever. Found-footage is all the rage nowadays.

Obviously I need to get Bessie seaworthy first, since she’s seen better days at the moment. Need to fix the hole, and the oar-holders have snapped off. Funnily enough, couldn’t find any outboard motor repair people in Melbourne who were willing to work for the exposure, even with my promises of documentary stardom. I can’t row AND film AND fish at the same time, so that outboard motor is going to need servicing at some point. Still, this is exactly the type of setback that’ll add twists and turns to my documentary. How will he get the motor fixed? Is this the end of the quest for the greatest catch in Melburnian history??

It’s not; if need be I can just walk along the bank and fish at random intervals. I just don’t think it’ll be quite as interesting though. Also, it totally ruins my ultimate tagline: One Man, One Boat, One Monster Trout.

Obviously the name of the fish is variable, depending on what I catch. But if my search for very affordable outboard motor servicing in Melbourne keeps going the way it’s going, then Bessie will just have to languish in the front garden. I can’t think of another tagline; it took me long enough to just come up with that one!


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The Desert Island Chronicles

Day 42 on the island: Finally got the boat to work! Only for a few seconds, but I was able to fire up the motor using a combination of coconut juice, sand, tree sap and this weird moss I found on the underside of a rock. It took me weeks to gather the materials, and this attempt failed…but at least I know it works. If I get rescued and get back to Melbourne, outboard motor servicing is going to be revolutionised by this discovery. Probably. I know I’ll certainly be taking better care of my boat in the future, and maybe I’ll get some navigation lessons.

Day 75 on the island: You know, there are worse places to be stranded. This is a much nicer and more spacious place than those islands you often see in pictures, with the one palm tree and about four square feet of room. No, this one has a little jungle and some cliffs, plenty of really lovely beaches. I’m surprised a place this close to Melbourne hasn’t had a summer home built on it by some rich holidaymaker. Maybe when i get back, I’ll claim it as compensation. For my own stupidity.

Day 112 on the island: Alright…I think I managed to fix my anchor winch. It’s been broken for a while, but there was so much to fix that I’ve been neglecting it. Eventually it spoke up and told me, in the voice of a single mother from New Jersey, that the anchor winch is actually a vital part of keeping a boat in ship-shape. Silly me.

Day 174 on the island: Not only am I revolutionizing Melbourne’s outboard motor repair; I’m also advancing the cause of anchor winches. I’ve managed to fix mine with a bit of bamboo, and after all that nagging. The gangplank has been giving me lip, but I managed to fix that problem by fixing it a nice mossy stew. And Jeremy, my coconut friend? We’ve finally settled our political views and become fast friends. I’m not even sure I WANT to be rescued; I’ve made some GREAT companions on this island.

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