Big Macs, Rolled Ankles, and Drunk English Teachers

Today’s post is by @RealJiveTurkey, a talented, witty Australian writer.

You can read more of his work at The Armory.

When I was in high school we were always told by our English teachers that anyone can write. Dumb people, ugly people, armless people, the French, absolutely anyone. But the thing about public high school teachers is that they’re usually wrong. Especially the maths teachers. Telling me that the alphabet has anything at all to do with numbers and calling it “algebra”? That is pure fiction, lady. You can stand there with your little white-board marker and your exasperated look all you want, it ain’t happening. But there was always something in what my English teacher said that stuck in my mind. (Actually there were two things; she also said that drinking on the job was a necessity.) After she spilled whiskey on my school uniform she told me to write. Aside from a blog post here and there I never really thought about doing something with words, besides spraying nasty ones at celebrities over Twitter. But one day it struck me.

The idea to write my own autobiography came to me in the same way most writers get their ideas; sitting on the toilet after a traditional Australian lunch of Maggi two-minute noodles and a hot Milo. While I was sitting there with my jeans around my ankles I began to ponder life and reminisce on all the good and bad times I’ve had, like when my best friend Claire rolled her ankle outside McDonalds on the way to indoor soccer, a perfect example on an incident that falls into both of those categories. Let me explain; when someone rolls their ankle or stubs their toe within my eye-line, an uncontrollable force inside me begins to take a hold of my primary functions. The organ that controls laughter, I think it’s the spleen, forces me to break down with little regard of the poor victim that is both injured and humiliated on the floor in front of me. I point, I laugh, I pee a little, it’s all very undignified. But unfortunately for me, Claire has suffered her whole life with a terrible illness known as ‘Relatively Weak Ankle Syndrome’. If either of her ankles roll to an angle of more than 5 degrees she falls to ground and whimpers like a puppy that’s been left outside too long. (It’s strange having to think of an analogy for that, I usually just write ‘whimpers like Claire with a rolled ankle.’)

I like to think of myself as calm under pressure, but that self-analysis is thrown to the thought-eating mud people from Mars when it comes to my dealing with the injured. Especially Claire. She’s like a Claire with a rolled ankle when she’s rolled her ankle, and she’ll quite literally charge anyone who gets too close to her when she’s in even the slightest amount of physical pain. (She says she charges people that threaten her safety because she’s a Taurus, but I think it’s because she has five credit cards. Ba-dum-tssss.) That fateful day when she was screaming in agony holding a half eaten Big Mac in one hand and with her leg clutched in the other, I was faced with a tremendous moral dilemma. Do I scream in her face and laugh until I pass out or do I calmly nurse her back to health? Unfortunately I tried to do both.

I hysterically begged her to calm down before screaming to Pascal, another member of our indoor soccer team, to run cross 4 lanes of traffic as quickly and carelessly as she could back toward us so I could palm the responsibility of the situation off onto someone who had extensive people skills and a pet ferret that constantly needed emotional stimulation. (I constantly compare real-life situations to the dynamic between ferrets and their owners.) When Pascal finally took control of the scene I’d eaten the rest of Claire’s burger and called the team to inform them that without Claire we were about to experience of harshest defeat in the history of the sport of semi-regional casual/amateur indoor soccer. And if you’d class a loss of 25 points as a crushing defeat then I was dead on. But that probably had something to do with the fact that drinking on the field is a necessity. And we did. Hard.

Maybe one day I’ll actually get around to writing that autobiography, I really do like talking about myself, but usually when I write for extended periods of time I end up trailing off on bender’s about other people rolling their ankles and me eating Big Mac’s. I think that has something to do with the fact that my English teacher always classified writing as ‘work’.

If you’d like to on guest post on and do my work for me, send me a message on Twitter and we’ll go from there.

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