The Christmas blues
  |  First Published: December 2014

I have a love-hate relationship with a lot of things; boats, fishing, fish, cast nets, yabby pumps, soft plastics, but Christmas would have to be top of the list.

I’m not sure if the hate side of Christmas has come about because of years of not getting the present I was hoping for (see above note on boats), or because of the multiple other impacts Christmas has on my life. I mean, forget getting away for a decent fishing trip anytime between late October and early January. The endless list of functions that I have to go to would make Prince Harry feel like a good lie down. On his own I mean. If that’s possible.

Every man and his dog and his dog’s friends and even some of his dog’s distant cousins on his mother’s side wants to have some sort of knees up (again, come on, no association there with Prince Harry intended) because they once went to school with you for a couple of days back in 1960s, and they feel that this Christmas is just the time to have that long talked about (by them) catch up. Why I don’t just say sorry, can’t make it, I’m going fishing I can’t tell you. Probably because of the free party pies and sausage rolls and dingo dicks with tomato sauce that they always seem to have at those parties. Sometimes I can even strike it lucky with something battered and oily at a party. Again, no reference to Harry intended.

And once you get through those before-Christmas days, you have to get through the day itself. Unless I’m organised and have pressies ready to go (these are pretty much second-hand ones that I’ve tried and don’t like, especially jocks) the days just before Christmas are spent in my idea of hell. That is walking through tens of thousands of sweating, talking, barging, pushing, wandering, rude people trying to get what they want, right now. And that’s just midnight mass. Don’t even start me on shopping.

So the hate part of Christmas is easy to imagine. On the plus side, each day leading up to and past Chrissie gets us closer to the annual Dudds trip to Somewhere in Central Queensland. Where we go usually depends on how many fish we caught last year, how many crabs we caught, how many props were busted, and of course, whether we’re allowed back into that particular town because Pommers verbally abused the shopkeeper/publican/real estate agent/postman/milkman/neighbour/neighbour’s neighbour/neighbour’s neighbour’s dog after a few too many cans having been smashed.

And the best part of the trip to somewhere in Central Queensland is the journey there. Not having a boat for the last few years means I’ve been able to drive up with Doughers and Boobies, while we spend four to six hours taking the personalities, spending and drinking habits of the other non present Dudds to absolute pieces. It’s generally half a day of rude, crude and uncalled for hilarity as we rip those absent friends to pieces, like only true mates can do. It’s the best part of a great week that I will have to miss this year because I’ll have to tow my own boat up on my own.

Unless I give it away for Chrissy of course. Wonder whether Doughers wants a little boat this Chrissy. Nice thought. Boobs and I will have another absent Dudd to discuss if that works out…

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