Dodged A Bullet

“You dodged a bullet by staying in Lismore”, my friend Graeme commented the other day. Of course, he was referring to the growing COVID-19 problem in Sydney, and the associated lockdown.

Things are obviously going much better here. There have been (to date) no cases or close contacts, and the restrictions (facemasks indoors, compulsory sign-in) are minimal. Nonetheless, people are taking things seriously, and people are wearing facemasks, even outdoors, where they’re not actually required by law.

A few things have been cancelled/postponed. For example, there was going to be an Aboriginal market held today at The Quad, as part of NAIDOC Week. And last night, there was going to be a one-woman comedy show at The Civic which I had hoped to attend.

There was, however, a comedy show which wasn’t canceled, which I went to on Wednesday night at the Northern Rivers Hotel. According to the MC, most of the fourteen or so people doing stand-up were preparing to participate in the Raw Comedy competition.

They all had about five minutes to speak, and they were all reasonably funny,

Comedy night at the Northern Rivers Hotel in North Lismore

The one thing I did notice, though, were recurrent themes amongst the male comedians. A number of them referred to themselves as having small penises. A number of them also referred to their discomfort with non-binary definitions of gender and sexuality. By the time the third had come along with a routine along these lines, I’d lost interest and had gone to the bar.

I was sitting in the front row, by the way, and thus became the subject/target of interaction from the host comedian. In Sydney, I would never sit in the front row (keen to avoid the interaction), but on this occasion I did.

“Where are you from?”, she said. “Two places”, I replied, “South Lismore and Surry Hills”. For the rest of the show, I became known as “Mr Surry Hills”. I didn’t mind so much, it was fun. I couldn’t stay for the whole night. though, as it became pretty cold in the pub’s beer garden.

For the sake of my role as “guy in the front row”, they gave me a t-shirt.

Aside from that, it’s been a reasonably ordinary week of getting up, working, and hanging out with my family.

One of the very cool things about being home with family is enjoying treats like this chocolate roll from the South Lismore Bakery. It’s been years and years since I’ve had a chocolate roll.
I also received a lovely gift from some colleagues in ABC Pride, in recognition of Nancy’s recent death. The flowers smelled fabulous, and the whole family has been really appreciative of the gifts, and the sentiment behind them.

The only major “drama” of the week was having to make a few alternative arrangements for my forthcoming holiday to Tasmania. Thankfully, I can still (currently) travel there, so long as I don’t leave Sydney Airport in transit. I have enough evidence that I haven’t been in Sydney anytime recently, which is good. However, the direct flight from Sydney to Hobart has now been cancelled, and has been replaced with a stop-over in Melbourne. But fingers crossed all should be okay.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying being away from the lockdown in Sydney, and wishing all the best to friends back there.

Lovely sunset, leaving work at the ABC in Lismore yesterday afternoon.

Author: James O'Brien

Born / Currently : Lismore / Widjabul Wia-Bal - Bundjalung Live : Sydney / Gadigal - Eora Also : Brisbane, Bourke, Renmark, Wagga, Perth Pronouns : He/him/his.

4 thoughts

  1. I’ve noticed this small penis obsession and is BBC pron making them feel insecure? Lol, it should.

    Oh, didn’t you make yourself a target by mentioning Surry Hills.

    Flowers sent to a grieving relative after a loved one’s death is usually a sign that the receiver of the flowers is a very nice person. I’ll leave it at that.

    1. In hindsight, I should have referred only to South Lismore.

      My nieces wrote a couple of thankyou notes to my colleagues for the flowers, in memory of their nan.
      Too cute for words!

  2. You certainly did dodge that bullet! At the rate we’re going, you’ll be about 70 by the time it’s safe to come back.

    These Retiring to Lismore adventures would make an excellent television series :)

    The thank you notes are adorable, how lovely!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.