Life Support

Ever since agreeing to have an interview I had been chastising myself for arranging to let people with cameras and microphones and questions into my house, and then point them all at me. But Life stepped in and decided to help me with my dread of public speaking this weekend.

I’ve spent the last few days worried I’ll say something so stupid I’ll forever end up on a blooper reel in the archives of the network. It’s a genuine concern based on my past performances. When we go to a party Tracey always gives the kids a lecture about their behaviour. She always gives me a lecture too.

“Now don’t say anything stupid,” she’ll advise me.

“Like I would!” I’ll complain.

“You always do.”

She’s right. I do. I have a habit of saying dumb stuff at inappropriate times. It’s my curse. At least when I write a blog post I can edit out the dumb. Well, the really dumb.

But there’s no hope of that when someone else has the footage.

So you know what Life did? It arranged to have my attention diverted. Way to go, Life.

The lovely lady I’d been communicating with from channel 10 suggested we not worry too much about cleaning up the house. She assured me the cameraman would crop a shot leaving all that out.

I wish.

Instead my wife decided she would crop the mess out and save him the trouble. Which meant my weekend was completely shot.

A list was made up and a timeline worked out. It was going to be tight and there were some marks which had to be hit, such as an appointment each Tracey and I had in our diaries and some sporting commitments, but we could do this.

Now despite what you read below, we did manage to complete the big items on our list. The house, while it wouldn’t make the insides of a Better Homes & Gardens magazine, at least didn’t reek of stale milk. We even found the tv remote stuck between two segments of our lounge, which was a real bonus.

“You know, some people do all these jobs all the time,” Tracey said to me when we made it to bed at one in the morning and reflected on all the little things around the house I’d been successfully putting off for years and which we’d managed to get to. “Now I know why people think we must be exhausted.”

First weekend job on the list was a much needed haircut for Master8 before his soccer match. Tracey headed off with him while I started carting all the lounge room furniture onto the balcony so we could get our carpets thoroughly cleaned. I’d just managed to disassemble our U shaped lounge into its four sections when the phone rang.

“Um,” Tracey began, “I may have just run out of fuel.”

“May have?’

“Okay. I have.” The fuel light, in an attempt to fit in with the rest of our car, has given up the ghost. FYI there is a good chance posts about running out of petrol will increase in regularity in the upcoming months.

Suddenly the only thing on my mind was how this little hiccup was going to effect the rest of the day and our carefully constructed timeline.

Thank you, Life.

“I’ll get his hair cut and then call RACQ,” Tracey told me and hung up.

It sounded like a plan. A revised plan, but a plan nonetheless.

Have I mentioned it was raining? Life left nothing to chance.

As anyone with a clapped out, junk box, good for nothing but scrap vehicle will tell you, the waits for a breakdown service mechanic on rainy days can be substantial. When the minutes ticked by and the kick off time was worryingly soon I switched on the Batsignal and called Grandma. She agreed to pick up Master8 and take him to his match while I waited at home for Tracey to return so I could head off to my appointment.

By the time I arrived back home Master8 had already stripped down to his undies and was eager to tell me about his game.

“I didn’t score today,” he told me.

In fact, he didn’t get to play at all. Someone, and I’m not pointing the finger at anyone but if I did I’d be feeling very sheepish, accidentally looked up last years time schedule.

“But the date would have been wrong,” said Tracey. Not if I looked it up after midnight without realizing it.

We didn’t have time to get fully into blaming me for Master8 missing his game because Tracey had to duck off to her appointment.

I looked at the list. We’d barely scrubbed off four items and the washing pile had actually grown since we’d woken up that morning.

Okay, Life, I see what you’re doing. I’m good now, but I really need to get this stuff done or my wife will kill me. Actually kill me, not figuratively speaking. So I’ll take it from here, eh?

Ten minutes later, Tracey was home again. Her appointment ended up being the one chore on the list where we actually made up time.

“They’d sent me a message saying they had to cancel today,” Tracey told me when she arrived home. “Apparently it came through while I was with the RACQ guy.”

So a great start to the lead up to our television debut. Just so you know, that was sarcasm.

“This better not be a sign of things to come,” Tracey said to me over coffee as we laughed about our morning.

“Nah,” I assured her. “If anything it’s a sign nothing’s going to change just because we get our mugs on the telly.”

So thank you, Life, you big lug, for taking my mind off the interview for a few hours. But you know, a substantial lotto win would have worked just as well.

Just saying.

Preparing to interview Master21
My chance to shine. Was very cloudy in our house. Unusually so. You’ll notice I’m wearing black because is slimming, although really making the shirt work hard in this shot.

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