Those of you who read last week's post will remember that my male staff, Boris, Baci and Paolo the budgie and I had foolishly been left to fend for ourselves by my female staff who had deserted us for five days while she went to a belly dance and drumming retreat somewhere in the Gold Coast hinterland. Well, she had such a dramatic, exciting time that she didn't seem to notice the fire brigade packing up their hoses outside our house when she returned. Mind you, it's really not that unusual for her to go away for a few days and return home to find the emergency services present. It so happens that it was the fire brigade on this occasion because my male staff misread the instructions on his frozen TV dinner. It wasn't supposed to be heated in the microwave on high for three hours and thirty minutes. It should have been three minutes and thirty seconds. Anyway, it only took one hour for the Thai green curry and rice to explode and redecorate the kitchen and start a small fire in his hair which thankfully my male staff had the presence of mind to prevent from spreading to our hay by pouring his beer onto it - his hair, not our hay I'm please to say.
Other emergency services to become all too familiar with our house are the police, (When male staff saw an incredibly ugly prowler outside on the deck one night. It turned out to be his reflection in the window.) the ambulance service twice in one night, (When my male staff decided that he couldn't breath. It turns out he was sleeping face down on his pillow the first time, then two hours later he fell asleep while reading and almost suffocated under Colleen McCullough, an incident that might have scarred him mentally for life.) and on one occasion the army, though to be fair that wasn't really his fault. He'd picked up my female staff's spectacles instead of his own and mistook an armoured personnel carrier for his Hyundai Getz. It was the army's fault for parking next to the Getz and leaving the key in the ignition. Anyway, the officer who came and asked for his armoured personnel carrier back - Major Cockup I think his name was - was quite reasonable about the whole thing and forgave my male staff when he offered to let the entire battalion give me a cuddle and feed me basil.
Anyway, as it happens, the fire brigade were not the first emergency service my female staff had encountered on her trip. Two days into the retreat, other participants started to get sick, at least my female staff assumed they were getting sick. It could just have been that the girls couldn't stand the snoring in the dormitory and decided to spend the night laying on the floor in the communal toilet while now and again crawling to their knees to call for their friends Ralph and Huey down the big white telephone. In any case an ambulance turned up the next day and carted half a dozen people off to hospital. Then some folk from the health department arrived to inspect the kitchen and make certain recommendations.
1. The chef should stop peeing in the sink.
2. Cockroaches should not be added to the muesli unless there is a shortage of sultanas.
3. The dishwasher should not be used to clean the resort manager's colostomy bag.
4. Mould killer should not be sprayed on cheese that has passed its use by date.
5. Kitchen staff should wash their hands properly after using the toilet,
not merely wipe them on a tea towel.
6. Kitchen knives should not be cleaned by spitting on them and wiping them on an apron.
As it happens none of these precautions were enough to prevent the ambulance being called a second time the next day. There were few male dances there, but the few that there were tended to be the macho body building, bicep kissing, reflection admiring, middle eastern type. Two of them had to do a dance routine which involved a stick fight. The dance teacher taught them the moves and told one of them he was to back down in submission at the end of the routine, but of course being the macho body building, bicep kissing, reflection admiring, middle eastern type that he was, he refused.
"No! There's no way I'm backing down." He said pointing at his foe with his stick. "He can back down. I'm not, no way, forget it."
"Look, it's just a dance." The teacher pointed out. "It's not a real fight." She turned to the other dancer. "Okay," she said. "Will you be the one to surrender?"
"Me!" The other dancer was outraged and started waving his stick aggressively at the first. "You asked him to back down. I'm not backing down, not in front of all these women."
"Don't wave your stick at me like that." Growled the first dancer.
"I'll wave my stick at whoever I like." Said the second, stepping forward and poking the first dancer in the chest with his stick.
Ten minutes later both were bruised and bleeding from thwacking each other with their sticks and had been separated and held back by a dozen middle aged ladies in belly dancing outfits. The teacher called the ambulance and they were trundled off to hospital to join those who had departed earlier for the gastro ward. It was generally agreed that the fight routine was one of the best performances of the entire five days.
Ich bin ein champion Schnuggle pig und ich bin lookink forvard to beink schnuggled by ein entire battalion of ze Australian Army. Ich only hope zat Herr Billy does not keep alles der schnuggling soldiers for himself.