Kids, yelling ‘You Dirty Pigs!’ outside the Police Station was not the smartest thing I’ve ever done.
Little mates, there’s a lot of things your granddad doesn’t understand. Like, why do slow drivers only ever speed up when the overtaking lane appears? Why does one jellyfish have enough poison to kill hundreds of humans when all it lives on is tiny fish? And, why do I often say the wrong thing at the wrong time?
I honestly don’t know.
But, your grandfather has a long track record of unintentionally stuffing up in dramatic ways. In fact it happens so often I wear social humiliation like an old, comfortable jacket.
I’ve pretty much given up trying to explain to an unbelieving world why my latest bungle was not all it seems, yet I am going to share this story with you to give you some idea of how these things happen.
You see, I was out for my daily stroll and happened to see a lot of rubbish on the lawn outside the Police Station. Now, for some reason, a few people who go to court each day like to dress up in their nicest clothes, arrive early, then clean out all the rubbish from the floors of their cars onto the footpath.
Don’t ask me why they do this, they just do…
Kids, Grandad’s 1st Rule of Rubbish is: If you don’t pick up rubbish, then you might as well have thrown it yourself.
So, I made a little sighing noise (which you’ll probably become familiar with) then picked it up. It’s not rocket science, but if you leave it, I guarantee there will be more on the pile later on.
Grandads’ 2nd Rule of Rubbish: Rubbish, always attract more rubbish.
With both hands full of litter, I strolled up to the Auckland Hill lookout and put it in the bin. After washing my hands in one of the waterfall pools I carried on with the rest of my walk feeling a little smug.
Thanks to my civic mindedness, Gladstone was a little bit tidier. Strike up the band! Hand out the badges! And give that man a Freddo Frog!
So, you can imagine my dismay an hour later when I rounded the corner near home and discovered some thoughtless dropkick had dumped a heap of fast food wrappers and drink containers on the very spot I’d cleaned up earlier.
Which was why the words, ‘You Dirty Pigs!’ blurted from my mouth.
(Note: Kids, this is a PG blog, so what I actually yelled was quite a lot cruder than that. I’m not proud of it, but I just want you to know that sometimes Granddad has his little ‘moments’).
Anyway, as the echoes of my yell bounced off the Police Station and Court House walls it dawned on me what I’d just said, and where….
Happily, a team of Gladstone’s uniformed finest didn’t materialise from the front door of the Police Station and test drive their new truncheons and handcuffs on me.
So, I quickly gathered up the new pile of litter and scooted home.
Stuff happens, like litter, accidents, a lucky run of green lights or getting away with saying (or doing) something outrageously stupid, or inappropriate, at the wrong time. Heaven knows I’ve had a lot of good and bad luck over the years. And, as you’ve just read, some unbelievably wonderful luck when it counted most.
Even the times when it seemed like I’d copped the rough end of another one of Fate’s extra spiky pineapples, things have worked out just fine in the end (but that’s another story for later).
Kids, good things happen to bad people, and sometimes bad things happen to good people, that’s the way it is. I don’t make the rules… in fact, I still don’t know what most of the rules are, but like most folk, I’m just bumbling through my years on this planet, doing my best to have a little fun before the final curtain drops onto me with a clanging ‘thud’.
Sometimes I do or say dumb things. Sometimes I get away with it. Your life will be filled with lots of similar events and the only advice I can give you is:
Shit Stuff Happens. Accept it. Live with it. Learn from it. Try not to repeat your mistakes.
And when you’re feeling particularly embarrassed, ashamed or humiliated, remember this; you’re walking along a very well trodden path, because nobody is perfect.
Not even your Granddad…. yet.