It’s all in the planning
  |  First Published: September 2012

I know when the mango trees start flowering that it’s about time I began organising the annual Dudds’ fishing trip.

Firstly, I have to send out an email to let everyone know there’s a trip being planned and expressions of interest are invited. This is required because I need to know how many are going so I can organise a house where, a) they haven’t heard of us before, and b) there used to be fish.

Luckily, I don’t have to actually do any research on finding fishless spots, because they follow us around. Or we follow them around, I’m not sure which. Either way, as I said, the end result is the same; come January there’s a place somewhere in Queensland devoid of fish for about a week. I don’t have to spend hours doing research, it just occurs naturally. Which is great, because any reduction in organising is a good thing. And Dudds’ trips are a nightmare. I seem to spend half my year getting things sorted out so we have a trouble-free, smooth and stress-less fishing trip.

Also there’s food to think of. It’s not easy to plan food intake for six reasonably large (but super fit) fishing athletes. As we’re getting older, we are becoming more aware of our health so we’ve become a bit picky about our diet. We need to have a range of provisions from all the food groups that start with meat, and also those that start with beer. If only they have meat tasting beer…or beer tasting steak.

Anyway, I have to organise the steak. I do this by calling up Manboobs the day before we’re going and asking him whether he can buy some steak for the trip. I like to be organised.

Then the beer food group. I’m the non drinker of the Dudds and the other five are the opposite.

Actually, that’s not quite true. The opposite of someone who hardly ever drinks on a Dudds’ trip is someone who hardly ever stops drinking on a Dudds’ trip. Do you see what I mean? I go to bed earlier usually and get up to fish early. When I go to bed they’re smashing cans of various colours, and when I get back from my early trip they’re smashing cans of various colours. Judging by their rooms, I’m pretty sure they’re smashing cans while they’re sleeping to save time the next day.

So I don’t actually see them stop during the entire week. So they’re not the opposite of me. Unless I don’t see, smell or definitely not taste beer for the entire week. Then they’d be the opposite.

As Pommers says, “Smashing cans is the national sport of the Dudds.” And it takes a lot of preparation and training, as well as dedication to achieve your PB year after year. But they keep doing it. And they start training again pretty much the day they get back from the annual Dudds’ trip. What athletes!

Therefore, I let the boys manage their own beer food group. They can get snakey too if you get the wrong stuff, or have it at the wrong temperature (anywhere above -4ºC is frowned on.) Luckily, three of them have boats, which are mainly used to ferry the enormous eskies full of beer to the holiday house. If they didn’t have boats, they’d need to invest in a body truck each. And it probably explains why we go on a fishing trip every year, rather than a motorbike trip. So anyway, I let them buy their own beer and chill it how they want.

As for fishing gear, there’s not much I can do about that. The more prepared you are with spares, the more Dudd’s fishing gear is going to break. I’d take a couple of spare boats if I could but that’s out of our price range. Mind you, if we converted our empty cans into aluminium sheets we’d have a pretty sizeable hull every year. I just try to keep a heap of zip ties available. They fix most things. Sometimes I’m so well prepared I take two sizes. Once I took three!

Anyway, I sent out that email to let everyone know there’s a trip being planned and asking for expressions of interest. I did that two weeks ago now; there’s been no reply from anyone. But that’s standard. I’d be getting worried if someone actually returned an email. I would be suspicious; like they’ve started fishing with another group and are trying too hard. Like the person who has flowers delivered from their partner and immediately suspects an affair.

Luckily, once again, it seems the Dudds are too bone lazy to have a fishaffair. So I can safely book for Pommers, Doughers, Skipper, Stuffer and Manboobs. And probably me. Depends whether I still have the energy to do anything after doing all that planning and preparation. But someone’s got to do it, and I can’t see anyone else putting up their hands to take it on. The things I do…

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