March 14, 2007

# 125 aka The prestige of being a premature vegetable

Insight into the future, as it would be if I were a decrepit old man, came my way the other day. Here's the long and the short of it...

It was another gorgeous Sunday in the hills of Adelaide. My friend Edward III and his significant other made their way to the Kaufman abode amongst the gum trees from their 'hood in the eastern corner of Adelaide. Their chosen method of transportation was a trusty 4WD, not because of the treacherous terrain that awaited them across the 12 km stretch of bitumen up and over them hills nor because of the 100 km/h zones that were scattered in between points labelled "A" and "B", but because of the large kitchen table that they simply had to hand onto us, the Kaufmans, as a gift stemming from friendship and the need to clear a significant space from the confines of their front porch.

Following the transfer of said kitchen table from the back of Edward III's 4WD, Edward III says unto me, 'I've locked my damned keys in the cab of my 4WD squire.'

Blurts I in response with an index finger to the heavens, 'To the coat hanger room at once with you, dear sir!'

We tried and we pried and we tried again: zilch success in lifting the nob that secures the contents from would be thieves without a degree in unauthorised forceful entry. As the Gods of fate would have wanted, we (read: I) managed to align the makeshift metal lever so as to lift the door's nob. This stroke of combined brilliance occured some twenty minutes later.

Hearty backslapping was followed by a sickening dose of reality courtesy of none other than our respective partners, who, by way of astute logic, pointed out that Edward III's significant other had her set of keys on her person.

Calmly and somewhat begrudgingly we chopped the top off our respective first bottles of alcohol we would consume for the day.

As Mrs Kaufman, Bubba Kaufman and I positioned our bums in the Kaufman jalopy, while Edward III and his entourage of one followed suit in their 4WD, says I to the wife, 'What in the name of Beyelzibozo is that dreaded noise?'

It came from the rear of the car like a wake up call of unknown origin. I could see Edward III's headlights beaming into the rear view mirror.

'There's trouble afoot,' said I, adding with a wee twinkle in mine eyes, 'It feels like we have ourselves a flat tyre.'

Some several minutes later, as the Kaufman mobile was perched on a gadget which had lifted its rear left side towards heaven, I began the tedious process of exchanging the tyre which had been fucked by a two-inch screw with the good'un in the boot.

Crack went a part of my lower back that I had often used for more pleasurable aspects of life other than tyre changes.

As a wave of pain transcended through each side of my legs I stood up instinctively to enable the upper part of my body in on the unwanted trauma of having a nerve upended.

A few gasps were followed by the regular gamut of swear words. But the bigger picture remained clear: we had to get to the restaurant for pizza, vino and European Wasps.

Lunch was pleasant without being earth shattering.

The Adelaide Hills Wine Festival, aka Crush, was next on our list. We journeyed the remainder of the way to the blue chip town of Stirling where we parked our respective vehicular transportation devices and donned our ready-to-consume-liquor hats. I double checked with Mrs Kaufman that she'd be driving over yonder whence we came from. She handed two thumbs to me.

It was a go.

After our first glass of $9-a-pop bubbly red plonk from the swashbuckling year of '95, we decided to ease our feet on the brake pad of spending. A few other samples of locally grown, picked and manufactured grape products were enough to harness the limited power of the sun on the back of our necks until such a time came when our cheeks were as sparkling as the liquid we had consumed.

Edward III and his significant other waved as they departed for another urgent meeting involving friends and refreshments; the wife, bairn and I yawned as we were bound for the comfort of home aka sweet home.

I eased my rear into the sofa only to feel the pain of a thousand sharp tongues. 'Try this,' said Mrs Kaufman with a knowing heads-up command. I placed the hot water bottle betwixt lower back o' mine and two cushions. It was my first flawless magic trick in close to eleven years. And I did smile plenty.

Our eyes were transfixed on The Prestige until it was decided that sleep time it be. With what felt like a toe in the grave, I entered the sacred sanctum of sleep somewhat cautiously.

All was well until the chime of five when an unplanned turn to my left resulted in the most searing pain I have encountered since being halved by a car while pushing my bicycle up a steep incline. I broke out in a cold sweat as I made my discomfort known.

'Darling,' said I, 'would you be a dear and fetch me the bucket? I think I'm going to hurl.'

Several minutes later, as the terminal velocity of my innermost liquids changed course from exiting my mouth to exiting my rear, I was bent over leaning against the walls as I made my way to the trusted lavatory.

Without going into too much detail, I stayed there for but a brief period although I venture that I lost more than 2.5 % of my entire body weight.

A day off work and a $62 trip to the chiropractor later, it was revealed without mirrors or squashed canaries that I had indeed caused damage to a nerve in my lower back.

I guess the planned regime of dumb bells and pulleys will have to wait until Monday.

Good show, old chap!

PS I'm currently penning a fictitious version of these events with substantially more radical elements of bending the truth like Beckham. At this point in space and time I'm uncertain whether to publish.


Mob said...

I live in morbid fear of the dumbells and pulleys as of late, I've been quite lax in any form of exercise, I have a nagging feeling that any sort of sweat inducing endeavors will be met with torn somethings and abject failure.

Kaufman said...

Well, Mob, I shared your fear for about three years, when I lived in Japan with the real likelihood of getting a harpoon through my arse and in disected pieces on a styrofoam slab with only cling wrap to prevent an escape attempt.

It's been a change of attitude that has got me thinking more positively about my shape and fitness, although I can't stand minor setbacks to blunt the level of determination.

My chiro reckons my back has recovered 50% of the damage I caused. All I know is the spasms have ceased. That's the main thing.


Captain Berk said...


(Repeat that, and again)

If you have a back injury, you should be very carefull, especially if you have been vomitting as a result of your affliction.

But if your Chiro says it's okay, then, obviously, take his/her word over mine.

After all, I might be a Gym Hound, but that don't necessarily mean I am in possesion of a pedigree background.

I'm rambling again.

p.s - Apart from the vomitting and back pain, this was a nice post. Wine festivals? 4x4's? How very Middle-Class.

Kaufman said...

O Cap'n my Cap'n: There has been talk of vomit though nothing more. I blamed the shift of my spinal cord on that brief interlude in what could've been then shat one out for the team (described in less colourful language in the post) instead. I have taken your recommendation an done as you recommended, staying as clear of dead weights and cables as I have done up to now with U2 concerts (nil to date) and Vegemite sandwiches (I'd rather eat freshly raked gravel over a lapinya of hot coals).

My chiro said I should stay off the gym equipment until she swivels her OK/Don't be a fool visual aid to the OK side. I'm still waiting for that to happen.

I see my references to wine, 4WDs, jolly good shows and men with a number as part of their first name has brought you into my fantasy world where I am hoitier and toitier than reality would care to agree with.

For clarity: the fourbees driven by Edward III and I are Japanese made (an old school Toyota and a Nissan X-Trail respectively) and not of the Bentley and Lamborghini mould; the wine, although expensive for our respective wallets, was the product from local growers (ie within about 30 km of where the annual festival takes place), whom we try to "support" as much as our lady bosses allow (likewise with Cooper's Brewery products, although West End Brewery can tip their product straight into my dunny for it belongs there.

Middle-Class? Us? You'd have to ask the richies who tilt their noses at our working class appearance whether they agree. We're so obviously not Middle-Class that we don't even see the point in pretending to be.

Over time, and through consultation with those who have training in the art, I've grasped that a red is different from a white due to its colour.

'Educated the expensive way, he knows his claret from his Beaujolais...'

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

...he would like to have been Ronnie Kray, but then nature didn't make him that way.

Your grass roots approach is to be applauded. Apologies for tarring with the brush they got me with...

Ah, the mighty X-Trail.

I drove one of these once. I nearly backed it into an AMG Mercedes. The Ride-and-Drive fellow who was overseeing the event was most unimpressed, as the vehicle was pristine, and there were 20 sales rep's waiting to have a go in it.

An Accident Management Administration goon like me had no place amongst a bunch of metal-horny tin-floggers, but I figured some flexibility with the truth was necessary for me to get a go in it, as it was when I sneaked a go in the 130mph (self-guaranteed) Saab 900 Aero I red-lined at the behest of partially insane boss a few weeks earlier.

Employers. They never learn.

They're like Freddie on a Pedalo.

geoff said...

Think of the pain those poor little grapes go through to soothe your cravings for refreshment. I wonder what pressed seal pup tatstes like?

Ms Smack said...

Sounds like it was going to be a fantastic day until your back cracked.

Those Adelaide festivals are spreading faster than a cancer and I couldnt be happier.

benjibopper said...

just don't tell anyone it's fiction, especially oprah. let someone else tell her once she's let you in her club. then watch your sales climb. or plummet. anyway you'll be on tv, and why else does anyone write anything these days?

Kaufman said...

Toast: No need to apologise. The hues eventually nerge into a mottled grey-lavender-almond colour where we're all equal under several dozen gods.

Your driving experiences banished mine to the corner of the room where they're presently being laughed at. It isn't the unspeakably foul-mouthed language of theirs nor the rotten vegetables piercing their thick hides; the prestige, however, of having sat in the driver's seat of what used to be part of cow royalty AND having the decency to test the dorsi flex (sp?) limitation of the accelerator pedal puts you in a league of gentlemen (add to that: 'which I cannot lend my own name to.')

If it's any consolation, which it could never possibly be, I overtook a Saab 900 Aero on the weekend. Had to find one first and then overtake it; success x 2 my friend.

PS Na-na-na-na-na-na-na... (repeat)

Geoff: Grapes have feelings too... Interesting. I'll ponder that and get back to you with something mildly amusing when I think of something along those lines.*

Pressed seal pup probably tastes like chicken. On that note, chicken is my least favourite meat. I ate crayfish last weekend. It would be an untruth to add articles of any kind, be they definite, indefinite, or even confused, to that previous statement.

* Not a promise.

Ms Smack: It was a ripper of a day even though the back packed up and went on vacation. Not including those few years I spent in Afghanistan honing my suicide bombing skills, I've never lived in the hills before.

Being back in Adelaide, floating on a jet stream of air each day thanks largely to a baby with unprejudiced love in her eyes each time I gaze into them, and spreading myself in between family and friends like the proverbial mustard between two bookends, has done me a world of good. If only there were thrice as many public holidays.

BB: Oprah has wanted me back on her show since I promised to reveal to her my secret to losing 100kg in a day. She went the colour purple on me when I mentioned it wasn't a diet. I've been screening calls for fifteen years. She's been deep frying Camembert.

PS My back has been given the green light. All systems are go.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...


No such unnecessary rapidness for me these days. Back then, I had a penchant for irresponsibility behind the wheel. No more, and for the best, methinks.

Hooray for being 100% back!

Kaufman said...

I know all about that now that a bub is usually in the back of the motorised family cart.

I used to be irresposible in other ways. Then a cop car followed a mate (who was driving his car) and I down a no through road after several hours on the mental juice which in turn became a haven for u-turns and scrambling through back streets.

Both guilty parties escaped capture but only one of those parties learnt from the experience and has never repeated such adolescent behaviour behind the wheel.

My father-in-law owns a Skyline GTR. I have been in it at 220 km/h but only as a passenger.

Kelly said...

Ah cronic back pain. It helps to spice up life. One day you are trying to lift one end of a friends car (for reasons which seemed perfectly fine at the time) with no ill effect and then weeks later you turn off your alarm for 10 minutes more kip and you cant walk for a week. Keeps things interesting.

Kaufman said...

Kelly: Moments in time ai?

Lifting a friend's car at one end has its pros and cons. However, it's the image of a blond (avatar) Herculean Irishman tampering with forces of nature that gets me brain firing anecdotes at me mouth.

The incident with the alarm clock sounds like nature's sweet revenge to me. Did you counter her hilarity by waving a hammer in front of the blasted time piece?

Kelly said...

Its all fun and games until someone loses a bumper. Then it's bitterness and regret.
My solution to the alarm clock problem has been to turn it down so it wakes me but it is low enough to fall back asleep. This however has made me late for everything, but back pain free... Its a work in progress.