Many years ago I was living in Canberra and used to watch commercial telly – Capital 7 and the local ABC were the only choice and Bellbird had stopped half a century earlier and if Minder or the Big Gig weren’t on, well, one had to watch Capital 7. There was a game they played there too that was more than a bit foreign to me. Lots of things were foreign to me then. Canberra drivers didn’t have right turn priority over left turners; a pot was put under the bed and was not for drinking beer from; the mere mention of Carlton United Breweries made me a Mexican troublemaker and the pipers used to drink schooners of Tooheys with whisky shots floating in the glass. I had a lot to learn.
But one of the ads on Capital 7 was the best: Two Asian tourists are wandering through the streets of Sydney and there’s nobody to be seen except the street sweepers after what looks like the leftovers of a street party. The tourists stop and ask a street sweeper in their broken English: “Please sir, where are all the people?”, to which the sweeper says “Mate – it’s State of Origin”, and continues sweeping. The two tourists both look at each other quizzically, and then at the empty streets. Me too. And I always just loved that ad.
Anyway, I wondered the same thing last Wednesday night. What a beautiful evening to be running around St Kilda – a central spot, well within the catchment area of Lakeside HHH. Good parking on Punt Road and a tram outside the door. But pray tell: Where were all the people?
The Briefing: Klingon briefed us all briefly right in the doorway of the Alehouse which we were apparently blocking. We realized that when an old codger barged out shouting to clear the way for his foul tongued, wheel chaired mate. Back to the briefing which was more on the lobbying for different arrows to be set by the Checkin’ Chicken and pack to those laid by the hare. In his lobbying, he needed support so he picked on this here scribe for that. What with that and then to be appointed scribe by the GM – it’s no wonder grrrrrrr
The run: If anyone had been later than me then there would’ve been a great chance to catch the pack as we were led south to the lights of the St Kilda junction, crossed the road, went down an underpass then back up to the street level, left onto Dande Road, faced with an onback; and then back to the original underpass which brought us up on the other side of the junction where we found a check. The pack separated and went in a few directions but mainly we enjoyed the wooded area and really wanted to find markings there. But alas – markings were found on the road side, heading over to Lakeside Drive, up to Barkly Street, up the side streets and back laneways, to the graffiti wall which the hare and his baby daughter signed a decade earlier, then down to the Esplanade, past the now sadly closed Espie Hotel, over the overpass to the pier, along the sea front, then into the park and the beautiful rotunda where I think it was at this stage that we lost Lubang Oz (or that’s where we noticed we’d lost him anyway). Prince found markings that led us over the road and into the suburb behind Udder’s city residence. And that’s where the confusion was at its height. The splendor of the residences and the streetscapes were just too much of a distraction for this scribe to be able to follow arrows. Fellow hounds, Big Ears, Sweaty and Prickly, had other excuses – mainly that the markings were difficult to follow (to say the least). But we eventually got home to the Alehouse which served a fine selection of local beers on tap with 14-hour- cooked square-cut tucker as well.
In the circle, the run was kindly described as “a trifle confusing with a great view of the city’s reflections on the lake”. It was also noted by Mummies Boy that Lakeside HHH has done 32.5 years of lake runs and the score of 7/10 was awarded.
Colors rated the walk 8/10, noting that fellow walkers followed arrows and chatted. Hmmm…nothing new there.
The circle started with Sweaty Box charging Klingon for the long-winded briefing and being in a yuppy pub that sells only quality, full strength beer on tap and the only low alcohol stuff was less than 1%.
Mummies Boy made us all aware of some important milestones that happened on this day:
- it was twenty years ago today that he was officially named by IBM in that very pub;
- it was 45 years ago today, over the road at the Power House, that Punch first met Kok Up in the barn dance;
- it was 50 years ago this month that Lethal’s uncle played for St Kilda, at the Junction Oval, in the age old “Battle of the Lake”;
- and that Klingon is about to solve world poverty when he presents his paper at the UN in October.
Peanuts was charged for not paying attention; Swingers for impersonating a runner; E&B for stealing the menu to right the scribe notes; Lethal for something to do with no more pooftas. And Mummies Boy also made a new rule for E&B that “thou shalt not covet real estate on the run”.