As the wise, all knowing and seeing Forrest Gump said “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get!” he was also the inspiration for a bumper sticker and custom t-shirt idea of “Shit Happens”. OK, yes he is a fictional character in a “slightly” far-fetched movie but all the same, it is one of the great movies of my generation. Forrest Gump is a movie about taking opportunities and just letting life happen, even when you are in over your head.
Forrest Gump is born slightly left of centre to say the least, with back problems that prevent him from walking without leg braces. Perhaps Autistic, or maybe just a little behind the 8 ball, he goes through life just DOING what life put’s in front of him and achieves riches and fulfillment. Just like any story ever told it doesn’t come without his fair share of adversity, living in in the moment, diving in head first and not letting life’s curve ball’s take his teeth out.
Everyone is different whether it be by an inch or mile, each person on this planet is shaped into who they are by a number of factor’s such as childhood, parent’s IQ, parents EQ and experiences just to name a few. What remains the same for everyone whether they know it or not is regret, pain, and disappointment. We’ve all had our own variation of it, whether you are willing to admit it or not. Some worse than other’s but each can relate to pain or perhaps destruction it has caused. Even those that are born in a sea of gold find their difficulties.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain!”
As the quote suggests “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain!” This quote reminds me of a time myself and four friends jumped in the 4×4 and headed south for the 800-acre farm. We normally went to take a few pot shot at some kangaroos because they are considered vermin by the Australian government for ruining the farmland and eating other native species food, lowering the numbers of endangered species in the process. So we do our part to lower the ever growing numbers of the feared and highly dangerous gray kangaroo. (Bullshit Dictionary Definition: For Fun)
It had rained recently and we were just going down for something to do, perhaps drink beers and have a good time. Normally we would have a couple of cars and camp for a night or two in the shack that was out there. Up until this point, we had a 100% strike rate for kills, fun, and nothing normally went wrong.
This night was unlike any other, as we would find out. Half way through the night after a mate stepping into a pothole and the barrel swinging towards him nearly shooting himself in the head and “ole mate” Pauly looking for a better leaning post for his gun which happens to be in front of Jon looking through his scope at a kangaroo. Can’t forget Justin Telling everyone that he had been shooting for years and taking his eye socket out with the scope because the rifle wasn’t snug against his shoulder (oh, I laughed!). We found ourselves bogged in mud almost stopping the doors of our only land cruiser with a lift kit from opening.
Miles from anywhere and no phone reception, we literally worked through the night. You could only imagine the kind of things we were saying about how shitty the night was and who’s fault it was. Eventually, we gave up and walked back to our shack to call it a night.
Shenanigans wouldn’t end there…
Eventually, we would make it back to camp and crack open the beverages. As the drinks were flowing hard and fast so were our abilities to make good decision’s (We struggled enough as it was when we were sober). We had a game of darts which eventually turned into jumping around like ninja’s dodging darts thrown by one another at each other. All fun and games until Paul cops a dart in the quad to let you know you’re playing a dangerous game. (Honestly tho, who would have known this cheaply made dart would pierce through the skin so easily. They look harmless…WRONG!!!)
As we grew tired and the night seemed to be drawing to a close, Jon decided no better way to end the night off than to sit by the campfire and yell abuse at one another until we fell asleep. As I had mentioned before it had been raining (hence why we were bogged).
It was proving difficult to start a fire with newspaper and wet logs. So as any upstanding citizen would do, Jones made the right decision and grabbed the Jerry can filled with diesel for the generator (as you do) he stumbled over to the fire and semi-intelligently dispersed the diesel over the fire pit. Still, the fire was proving hard to get started. Jon tried everything, pouring a trail of diesel and then lighting it to no avail. He then tried throwing in an old phone directory worth of paper in along with a few litres of diesel and then most importantly adding a cheesy Arnold Schwarzenegger (YouTube) one-liner while he flicked his cigarette into the diesel and…Too wet!
We sat there watching for a good 20 minutes until finally, he resorted to up ending Jerry can with more than the necessary amount of diesel. He used a branch to light the fire. In the time it took me to say “just give up Dickhead” the fumes finally built up so much that a mini inferno engulfed the area along with a scary woof sound (youtube) and not the dog kind, the oops kind! If he hadn’t of been so drunk he would have filled his pants, he was lucky that he lit the fire with a long branch otherwise..who knows!
He walked off giggling to himself.
After an hour or two we had lost a couple of soldiers. There was just 3 of us left, myself Stuey and Jon. Only one possible option left given the state we were in….12 Guage Shotgun anyone? I know what your thinking…don’t worry, We’re smarter than that….
After a few minutes of trying to shoot cans, sticks and whatever else we could get our hands on myself and Stuey decided in a mutual agreement that we would up the stakes and shoot something worthwhile. Stuey’s a smart guy so I’m thinking it was my idea to throw my newly bought, latest, top of the range Samsung smartphone up in the air as a target but the details are still a little hazy and the truth may never be known (No matter what Stuey says).
The first attempt was a fail as it was deep into the night with nothing but the camp fire giving off small amounts of light. Just as Stuey was about to say it’s a stupid idea anyway, I suggested that I would push the button to start the light so that my phone may be easier for him to see. Yep, exactly what I was thinking, problem-solving skills are on point…
Now for those of you that don’t know anything about guns, a 12 gauge shotgun (This is what we thought we would look like! Youtube) within close range ain’t exactly a challenge, even if it is a moving target. Low and behold I throw my phone with the screen lit up and as I watch Stuey take aim I think to myself “hmmm, he looks like he might actually get this.” also “I only just got this phone on a 24-month plan 2 months ago.” and then KA Fucking BOOM! The light and my phone drift off slightly from original flight path as my brand new phones once pristine body hit’s the ground, lifeless.
Now Bill Burr has a bit/joke about it, where he mentions about shotguns having a good spread, It’s actually true as I found out…the hard way! Didn’t matter how bad a shot Stuey could have been that phone was fucked!
Now to cut a long story short I punched what looked like some poly pipe which actually turned out to be steel pipe and broke my hand. (My hand was out of action for 3-4 months. Never missed a day of work tho because I didn’t want to let my boss down which eventually proved to be a waste of time as I would later find out. We all faded off to bed that. Oh, What a night!
A lesson to be taken from this? Perhaps a few!
OK, so we are at the part where I somehow link a lesson to a long ramble!
Now as the title suggests at least for me the best stories and the best times are had when the struggle is real! To briefly recap the night, we got bogged, few of us nearly died (one person twice), a dart was pulled out of a leg, we learned a little about combustion, learned that phones aren’t bullet proof, learned that steel pipes although look plastic still break bones in your hand if you punch them, last but not least I found out that 12 gauge pellet from a shotgun shell lodged in the middle of your phone screen is not covered by warranty. (22 months of paying for a phone that doesn’t work….not recommended!)
Now I would like to think the night I described briefly was an eventful one! We still talk about some these stories 5 years on and laugh about how much fun we had even though at the time we didn’t realize it. I mean being bogged and thinking how the hell are we getting home tomorrow let alone poor Stuey’s 4×4 literally stuck in the mud (could only imagine the excuses he was preparing for his unaware wife).
Where I am going with this is, no matter how bad your life is at the moment you will literally look back at the tough times and laugh to yourself. No matter how hard you have it right now, It will pass, you will get through it and look back on it as a fond memory of how you trudged through adversity with mud up to your knees and somehow made it home limping, with a broken hand and a bleeding eye socket.
The 4×4 also made it home too. It was pulled out by a tractor borrowed from a farmer that we flagged down on the not very busy road the next day.