Best laid plans
  |  First Published: May 2012

Young Tim who works with me was champing at the bit.

Seems he’d organised his holidays already with two weeks to go before he headed off camping with the wife and 3 billylids. Now why you’d be prepared to do that is probably something that shouldn’t be discussed in this family publication as it would involve quite a few “what the --e-mail address hidden-- anyway, that’s for another day.

So Young Tim packed the tents, checked the sleeping bags for leftover deposits the kids might have left last school hols, filled the gas bottle, got the clogging medicine organised in case of food issues and squirtybums and all the other little things that campers go through before they head off into the wild blue yonder. I’m not sure what those things would be since I’ve never been a camping type. Swag and a tarp is all I go with. And that generally leaves about a B-double of space for Skipper to include all the things he thinks we might need on two days away. Like four spare props, an angle grinder, and the complete works of Shakespeare. Leather bound. With three index volumes.

But Young Tim seems to need less than a container load. He reckons all he has to do now is pack the vehicle. But he’s made a big mistake. He’s made his move too early. There is a way to go about organising a trip, be it for camping, fishing or just a plain old western tour like the one the Dudds took last year out to Binbian. The way to go about it is to time the run perfectly.

There are always going to be stuff ups. It’s part of life. Well it’s definitely part of a Dudd’s life. Things will happen, as Murphy said, at the worst possible time and in the worst possible place. And what you do by getting organised early is allow those stuff-ups more time to occur. Why give fate a head start?

But Young Tim does not have the life experience of us Dudds. There are few that do. We are a very calm and collected bunch; like those war veterans in the movies that have been on the frontline for months, and tell the new kid to put out his cigarette, just before the sniper puts a bullet through the tin mug the new kid is holding. Us Dudd’s need to tell the new kids on the block, like Young Tim, how to get by on the front line of fishing and camping trips. Not that I’m comparing our life with that of a digger mind you. Don’t get me wrong. What I mean is, we are in a position to help countless numbers of newbies with the problems and pitfalls of being over-organised. Or in fact being organised at all.

But it’s one thing to tell ‘em, and it’s another thing to get ‘em to take any notice. I haven’t heard but I’m betting Young Tim scurried home from work to get the car packed, jammed everything in, including the three kids, and then either found the car wouldn’t start, or that he’d locked the car keys in the house, or the house keys in the car, the car in the house or the kids in the… whatever.

He has to learn that you can’t fool with nature, and you can’t fool with Murphy. ‘Man plans and God laughs’ someone once wrote, and that applies most of all to fishing trips. Dudds fishing trips anyway.

But that’s enough from me. I’ve got a fishing trip to organise. We’re going to Cape York for three weeks, and the car is leaving in…let me see…seven minutes. Nah, I think I’ll have a cuppa and a little lie down. Got five or maybe six minutes up my sleeve.

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