Monday, 13 March 2017

Random Facts

A few weeks ago at a work conference, I was asked to provide a "random fact" about myself for some getting-to-know-your-colleagues exercise.

I wrote back with two random facts. The first was that I have a blog, on the long shot that I might go viral via the public service, like those budding actors from the Department of Finance. Then I also added that I once shared a lift with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, back in early 2008. Not talked to him. Just was in the corner of what his security detail thought was an empty lift.
Up there with my life story.
The conference organiser went with Rudd. I shouldn't have been surprised. History has shown the Australian people always go with Rudd, even when it is repeatedly the wrong choice.

Anyway, here are some other random facts about me:

Stupid Injuries I Have Suffered, Part One

I have had two concussions. The first time was when I was 10 years old and I tripped over at the Wollongong Science Centre, falling headfirst into a steel telescope stand.

The second time I was 16 and was accidentally hit in the face with a bat while playing cricket with friends in the park. The bat also broke my nose and I had to get it straightened under anaesthetic, partially for vain cosmetic reasons, but mostly so I could breathe properly again. Before going under, they asked me if I wore glasses. For some reason I said no, even though I had them for reading. I should have said yes, not just because it was the truth, but because since I said I don't wear glasses they put a full plaster across my face. It was something like the Phantom of the Opera. Except he went into hiding, and I had to go to high school.

Previous to the nose break, I'd only ever broken my little toe in a backyard trampoline accident. But I did it twice.
Old school trampolines were responsible for
 approximately 117% of all childhood accidents
I also once ripped a toenail out after tripping over and dragging the top of my bare foot along concrete.

Following the nose break, I have only broken my left foot and a few teeth. By jumping off a balcony while drunk. Out of respect for my current and future employment prospects I'll leave it at that.

Radio Competitions I Have Won, Part One

When I was nine, a local radio station had a breakfast phone-in called "birthday balls". They'd ask you to ring in if you were born in the nominated month, then pick a date in that month at random, and if it was your birthday you won the jackpot. So when it was November my mum called, got through, and handed me the phone. It was just before I had to head to school, and I probably barely had time to pause the Sega Master System! Anyway, the random date was my birthdate and the jackpot was $360. I spent most of it buying a bike with gears!

Stupid Injuries I Have Suffered, Part Two

Four years later, my foot slipped off the pedal on the bike and my calf got mangled in those gears. Because of all the grease they had to cut away some skin and stretch what was left to stitch it, so it looks like I have a miniature shark bite on my leg.
Or was this guy responsible?

Radio Competitions I Have Won, Part Two

Back in early 2012, my partner (now wife) needed to fly to Canberra for work very early in the morning. Her alarm clock went off at about 500am - it played ABC 702, because we are old - and when she jumped in the shower, it was still playing. As I lay there without the energy or co-ordination to reach over and switch it off, the breakfast presenter Adam Spencer played an audio clip. He said it happened 25 years ago on this day, and to ring in if you knew what it was to win a prize.

I instantly knew that it was Jesse "The Body" Ventura running through the body part measurements of Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant, at the start of their epic main event match at Wrestlemania 3.
Pictured: Hogan slams the Giant, one of the
greatest achievements in human history.
Over the next ten minutes, four people called in and got it wrong. As I lay face first in my pillow yelling at the people on the radio for being idiots, it was suggested that I phone in. So I did. And I won. Then I had to attempt to banter with Adam Spencer at 535am about professional wrestling, which did not go well for me or his radio show.

After getting off the air but staying on the line, the producer gave me a choice of ABC DVDs as a prize, because as a public broadcaster they can't waste taxpayers money on prizes of value. I chose the television show Shameless, over David Attenborough and something else. We watched one episode and couldn't always understand their accents, and there was no subtitles option, so we didn't watch any further.

The Places I Have Been

2006: Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, France, and Monaco. United Kingdom (England and Scotland) and Hong Kong.

2011: New Zealand (South Island).

2012: France (Paris, Bordeaux, Normandy), Italy (Rome), and Spain (San Sebastian).

2012: United States (Las Vegas and New York).

2013: United States (Hawaii).

2015: Fiji.

My Greatest Sporting Achievements

I was playing in the final of a rugby league knockout carnival in the under 8's. We were winning when the final whistle was blown. I stopped tackling to celebrate. The other team scored and we lost.

In a primary school cricket match, I was bowling off-spinners and called out to our wicket-keeper to get ready for the stumping. The batsmen from the other school took the bait - he charged and missed, but the wicketkeeper dropped the ball. 
I understand how the Aussie spinners feel
whenever Matthew Wade is picked.
I played competition volleyball in year nine for my school, because I had some mates in the team, but mostly because I wasn't good enough to play competition touch footy or basketball. In one game I won 12 consecutive points on my serve to win the set, by lobbing it in underarm to a kid on the other team that clearly had a mental disability. I periodically feel guilt about it to this day. I also wonder why none of the teachers stopped me from being a terrible human being.

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