Australian Huckleberry Finn and DynamiteBefore I begin: Melbourne Supanova 2014 was extremely fun, I'm currently waiting for my write-up to be published (the editor is currently on a business trip in Milan) and the rundown is a pretty fun piece... Partially because there's video footage of me being electrocuted while trying a "Pain Belt". Stick with me, it'll be worth it.
I've mentioned my friend Griff a few times here as he's a very interesting character filled with tall stories that have the witnesses to back him up and these escapades have been occurring long before I even met him as a teenager in the Australian Cadets. There's a certain Huckleberry Finn quality to the man that makes him almost outlandish, adventurous, curious and surprisingly considerate. It's very hard to predict what he might do next; across three different conversations in the course of a month I heard that he was looking to enlist in the Army, trying to join up with the PSO's in the Victorian Police or go back to working for mining corporations in Queensland. Turns out he's doing the latter and I immediately remembered one of his stories from when I was last chatting with him at a mutual friend's party.Essentially Griff in a nutshell
Griff's mother, Jackie, moved up North a couple of years ago while her son was traveling around the country doing all sorts of work. I was well acquainted with Griff's mother, having had several chats with her during my visits to Griff's old house in Upwey, a place he fondly described as "Meth Addict Central"
(quite accurately so as one trip to his neighbourhood with friends resulted in us having to hide on the front lawns of stranger's homes in the middle of the night as a car belonging to a well known local drug dealer with a penchant for stabbing people came searching for us after having spotted us while breaking in a baseball bat on the local mailboxes), although the house was really more of a semi-furnished bungalow than anything else. Jackie was also very nice, very relaxed but seemed a little younger than her age and experience revealed her to be. There was also no doubt that she was Griff's mother given their shared "Bogan" vernacular and personality. Turns out she recently remarried after having moved up to the northern state and apparently to a man who is definitely more than a little compatible. Griff described the wedding as "The most redneck thing I have ever seen... Involving a pair of ATV's being driven up the aisle"
, accompanied by a bottle of Jack Daniels and Crocodile Dundee Hats - though I can't remember if it was the bride or the groom who wore the hat... Or both of them. I think this accurately sums up the whole affair.
Griff would commonly spend time at his mother and stepfather's house which was a fairly spacious property, although fairly unkempt and -being Australia- had the tendency to hide a few snakes. The land also had an old shed left over from the previous owner, so Jackie's husband collected Griff to help him clear out the shed one day, which he happily obliged and worked through the junk before he had to go to work. However when the time came for Griff to leave, his stepfather called him over after happening upon a discovery of a small wooden crate containing a collection of dusty tubes. Which Griff immediately recognized to be a supply of Dynamite sticks... Expired... Dynamite sticks. It was at this point that Griff told his stepfather to call the police for the dynamite to be properly disposed of and insisted that he had to go to work. The stepfather nonchalantly brushed it off, insisting that he would handle it and Griff went on his way to his job for a few hours. By the time he got back, it was night-time, a few extra cars were at the house and a campfire was burning out the back of the property. As he got closer he realized that his stepfather invited a few friends over, they were all drunk and jumping all over the place but they all seemed to be keeping their distance from the fire. Griff approached his stepfather and asked him what happened to the dynamite... At which point the fire roared with the burst of an explosion.
They had been throwing the dynamite sticks in to batches of fire and watching them explode because they didn't have any fireworks around... Because nothing can go wrong with that plan.