Avant garde, no?

To quote William Shatner in Episode 7 of Star Trek - The Original Series: I'mmmmmmm BAAAAAAAACCKKKKKKK!

Yet again I triumph over the rabid Patrick Swayze lobby. Despite raging fever, and... okay, just a raging fever, I have emerged victorious and no longer feverous now, in case you were wondering.

Good grief. What an action packed few days.

We shall never speak of them again.

And then Friday came, and it was time to evade train fares and invite the negatively-aligned curiousity of the Police (normal) and the Navy (not as normal).

Beating the Drum, not neccesarily some fruity masturbationary phrase, but a competition put on by the good folk at Triple J. A competition which includes the close-minded condition of not breaking the law.

Anyway, the point is, International Readers, to get the JJJ logo out and about in a creative way with mass saturation.

A few weeks ago, Vegie came up with the idea of canoeing down the Yarra with some sort of raft ensemble towed behind. I said it was crazy. SteveSteve said it was crazy, but it might just work. Vegie shouted, "Then it shall be done." SteveSteve screamed, "It MUST be done." I sighed, "Ahoy-hoy, Canoe-ho."

Of course, no amount of money will get me into such close proximity to the Yarra River as that canoe would have warranted, so I elected to accept the role of secret financier guy, and photo-taking dude, and radio talking cat.

Anyway, they went down to Melbourne yesterday morning (SteveSteve buying me a concession train ticket and leaving it at my house on the way) and I followed them by train upon the completion of work.

I arrived at the train station, and slunk across the platform, much to the amusement of some vapid teens, whose vapidity shrunk away in my eyes, mere moments later, when they began singing songs from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I briefly considered sitting with them on the train to Melbourne.

You know how you go on a train, and there's always that one crazy guy sitting across from you, and he's just a crazy, wild, wacky guy.

For example, he shows you all his fake I.D.'s. Or he gives you a long polemic on some massive government conspiracy to keep the toast "firmly in the toaster, man. I was astounded when I found out." I LOVE THOSE GUYS. And I was going to be one. I intended to call them Brad and Janet. All of them.

But fate got in the way, and I found myself boarding a different carriage. And then... and then... we were on the same carriage. But I was sitting a few seats up from them.

Which in the end was for the best BECAUSE: I was evading my full fare, by using an illegally purchased concession ticket (a heinously violent crime that carries a $200 fine), but as it turned out... they hadn't even bought tickets, and got thrown off at the next stop. Which, as it turned out, had been their intention - more power to them, I say. However, if I'd been sitting with them, I would have come under more ticket related scrutiny.

Anyway, I got to Melbourne... FARE EVASION SUCCESSFUL. And walked over to Southbank and was only offered one religious pamphlet on the way (there was an Elvis impersonator also, though whether he was affiliated with the Xtians remains to be seen). I got to the bridge, and looked down. There they were. To the bemusement of passersby, I screamed at the top of my lungs, "HEEEYYYY!!! STEVESTEVE!"

Then my phone rang.

Me: "Hello?"
Sha: "Hey, come down here."

So, I worked out how to get down there, and met Sha and Sha's little sister Danielle (11, but with the murderous ferocity of a 28 year old).

More later. There are bags of money and dismembered heads to come.

Later: Anyway, Vegie and SteveSteve moored their canoe at a public mooring place, and I heard all about the preceding adventures of the day.

They'd arrived at around ten, and built the raft, they'd then gone out for a bit of a paddle, whereupon they'd been informed of the river rules by a passing rower - and had subsequently been paddling about for most of the day - attracting the attention of a River Cop -

We'd had a discussion about the legality of such a venture, we weren't sure if you needed any sort of boating license or what.

Vegie: We shouldn't have any trouble from the Water Rats.
Me: I'd hope not, they cancelled that show years ago.

But apparently they hadn't cancelled the real thing, and one of them watched the gents for some time, before leaving, apparently convinced that they weren't criminal masterminds determined to pack ALL THE BRIDGES with explosives, which they would detonate at the exact same moment, causing CHAOS as ALL THE BRIDGES collapsed. ALL THE BRIDGES, MAN!

Another person who had shown more than a passing interest in their terrorism-related activities was the NAVY cat in his fancy-ass Navy helicopter, who followed them for several hours (probably as part of his Grand Final anti-terrorism procedures).

The big question, though, after all these people had gotten bored and gone away, was whether we were still being watched. If I was an ASIO ratfucker, I know that I'd be watching the guys in the canoe talking about packing bridges with explosives.

Anyway, at around 8:50, they set off again, and Sha went to go buy duct tape, which would be needed later for duct-taping things to roof racks (a task that she failed spectacularly.) At 9, I managed to get through to Triple J, and gave Robbie Buck some brilliant sound-bites, referring to Vegie and SteveSteve as gad-abouts, you know, ragamuffins, rapscallions. And making reference to the Navy's anti-terrorism initiative earlier in the afternoon, with the comment that terrorism under the auspices of beating the drum was probably a pretty popular concept.

Anyway, Sha eventually returned (without duct-tape, but with packing tape) and we set off down-stream to catch up with the lads and witnessing, on the way, some ETHNIC GANG VIOLENCE. Or rather, discussion about ETHNIC GANG VIOLENCE.

Some VIOLENT ETHNIC GANGmembers were arguing with some different VIOLENT ETHNIC GANGmembers about ETHNIC GANG VIOLENCE being perpetrated against them by the other VIOLENT ETHNIC GANG and vice versa.

One young cad from ETHNIC GANG A asked of a rapscallion from ETHNIC GANG B: Why are your fellows attacking our chaps?

Or something along those lines.

This question was met with an identical question from the other side. They kind of shied away from us as we walked past - what with Sha and I looking like fucking badasses in our long coats, with an 11 year old in tow. Plus, I was carrying an ominous black bag full of contraband. It was ominous.

We then started talking about mugging someone, as we came up behind this businessman. I said to Danielle, "You should fucking shivv this guy in the back." She says, "Okay." He turns around, kind of startled, and the relief that spread across his face as he saw the 11 year old girl was hilarious. I grinned at him and he scurried away to exploit the labour power of the masses. We finally caught up with them around Crown Casino, and then it was time for the arduous journey back up-stream. We were almost back to the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, where the car was parked, when Vegie made a sudden course change. He and SteveSteve spun the boat around, and went back a few metres, whereupon Vegie pulled a large, dripping briefcase from the water. They came over to the bank, and put the large, dripping briefcase on the ground. We all stood around it.

Vegie said, "It could be full of money."
We all moved in closer.
Steve said, "It could be a dismembered head."
We all moved in even closer.
I said, "It could be documents."
We all moved away a bit.
I said, "It could be documents pertaining to tax law."
We all moved away further.
Danielle said, "But it could be a head."
We opened it.

Documents.

Or so it seemed. When we tried to pull a sodden page from the mess, we discovered they were bound in the manner of a book. In fact, the briefcase was full of schoolbooks. In fact, it was a teacher's briefcase. Also included in the briefcase was the teacher's keys - to their house, to their classrooms, to their car. Stay tuned for further developments in tracking down the owner of the briefcase.

In the meantime, though, the rest of the evening wasn't particularly exciting. We left Melbourne at around 2 or so, and SteveSteve failed spectacularly in his front passenger seat role of engaging in conversation with the driver in order to prevent DEATH. He fell asleep, because he's a fucking pansy. I did my best, despite having been awake since 5. In the end, there was a total lack of DEATH and everyone was happy.

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