The comedy equation
  |  First Published: March 2013

Someone once said that tragedy plus time equals comedy. What they were trying to say is that if something bad happens today, you’ll probably be laughing about it in a few days time. But the delay between something happening and laughing about it is a fine line.

It really depends on the severity of the mistake. For example, if your mate tears his favourite cast net, you might wait for a little longer than if he breaks up with his girlfriend. Except of course, if you’re a Dudd…

There was I at the start of our annual Dudds' trip, getting ahead of the pack and setting up my favourite rod and reel on the concrete at Turkey, when ‘twang’ – there goes the top 3 runners of my favourite rod, attached to about 150mm of graphite.

Being an understanding bunch of blokes, I’m guessing it would have been less than half a second before the guffaws broke out. In fact, I think Skipper started laughing even before I broke it. And it didn’t stop there. You see, unfortunately, I’d bought the same rod for all the Dudds, so the next 24 hours were full of comments like “Gosh, my rod seems a little longer than yours, and yet they were the same last trip,” and great gags like that.

Anyway, the boys always need someone to pick on, and I knew that they wouldn’t turn their attention away from me until something else happened that turned their subtle wit elsewhere. Luckily for me, something did happen the next day. Unluckily for me, it was me it happened to.

You see, Skipper likes his boat to be clean, in the same way that Ozzy Osborne doesn’t mind the odd tablet. So rather than risk putting dirt on the carpet or letting his precious boat come within a metre of the dirty, dirty jetty, I made a jump for the deck. The feet caught on some strategically placed rod holders which were, of course, lying on the front casting deck (where else do you keep your feckin rod holders) and over I went.

Now I don’t know if you’ve ever had a fall where you see it coming, and you twist your body and amazingly, like a circus acrobat, get your hands underneath yourself to magically break your fall. Yeah, well this wasn’t one of those times. Now I’ve been in a good paddock for a couple of years now, so I’ve almost got the Fat Dudd award, and when I hit the deck, I really hit the deck. No hands, no arms, no knees, just feet out from underneath and face first into the seat down the back of the boat.

Now Skipper was in the driver’s seat, and so he saw and felt the full force of the fall. He knew it was a nasty one. Doughers and Boobs meanwhile, were a few metres away in Boobie’s boat. Now normally, as I said earlier, you’d take a bit of time to see whether there were any injuries. But normal and the Dudds don’t go together. Before my face was off the seat, I could hear Boobies and Doughers laughing. Although laughing doesn’t seem to be a strong enough word for what they were doing.

“They’re laughing at you Jimmy,” said Skipper. At least I think that’s what he said. I couldn’t be sure, as his hand was over his mouth, as if he was trying to hide something. My ribs ached, I had carpet burn on my shoulder and two loose teeth. Worst of all, my ego was severely bruised. Personally, I think that’s severe enough to warrant a little bit of respect. A couple of seconds even. Not instant hilarity. But not this mob. Oh no.

But things will even up. I just can’t wait for the next trip when someone else does something stupid. I’m sure I won’t have to wait for ever. As long as it’s not me again I suppose. But I have to stop being a pessimist. I’m sure one of the other Dudds will hurt themselves at some stage. Especially with some… ah… help. Boy, will I laugh when the motor falls off the back of Boobies boat, or all of Doughers bourbon leaks on the trip up, or Skipper’s boat gets some mud on it. I won’t laugh too hard though. I’m a much more sensitive person than some others that I won’t name. And also, those two teeth are still a little bit loose too…

Reads: 1973

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