This one time I left my car door open overnight and the battery went flat. When the AA came and started it for me in the morning he told me my battery was old and needed replacing that day.
The previous year I had taken an old car battery to the metal recylers I knew that they were worth about $5 each, and just a week previous I had noticed a really big old car battery under the house left here by the previous owner.
I went to the dump the next day, and what do you know, there were 2 more car batteries sitting right beside the pit! So I put them in the car and took them home (one leaked a bit of acid and burnt a whole in the concrete in my garage).
I now had 4 batteries – about $20 worth!
With a smug look on my face, I drove to work the next day with the batteries in the back of the car, and took them in during my lunch break.
How much did I get?
Not $8 each. $8 total!
Despite the increase in lead price over the last few years (driven by an increase in demand for motorbikes and cars in China), the metal recyclers had decided to decrease their payout.
$20 is a decent bit of cash, but $8 was an insult for all the time and effort I had put into this project.
Next time, I will just bury my old car battery in the garden.
This one time I got so fed up with the high prices in the neighbourhood supermarket (Woolworths), that I abandoned my half-full shopping trolley in the middle of an isle and drove 10km to the nearest Pak ‘n’ Save instead.
I ended up saving about $15, but spent $4 extra in petrol and 25 minutes commuting.
But I just hate being ripped off, no matter what the cost.
I wonder how long it took for the Woolworths staff to decide that the trolley was abandoned and I wasn’t coming back?
Maybe they checked all the freezers just in case it belonged to an old lady who had fallen into one and couldn’t get out?
The one time I was walking around the back of my Dads house when I noticed a large patch of dead grass just outside his bedroom window.
It was almost a perfect circle about 40cm in diameter.
I thought it was curious but I didn’t think much of it, until I walked around to the other side of the house and saw a similar, but smaller patch of dead grass.
This window was in the hallway just accross from my dads bedroom…
This really got me thinking.
The answer came to me out of the blue. Piss.
My dads house is actually an old office building that used to have about 10 people working in it. It is very long and between his bedroom and the toilet there are 2 hallways and 2 large open spaces which are at opposite ends. One of the hallways has a cold linolium floor and is lined with concrete block so it can be very cold in the middle of the night.
So Dad was saving himself the walk by pissing out his bedroom window.
I challenged him and he confessed.
“Dad, one thing I can’t figure out though – why the secondary patch?”
He explained “Ah, yes, well I noticed that the primary patch was becoming quite large and thought I better give it a rest so every alternate night I piss out the window in the hallway opposite the bedroom”.
This one time I burst my eardrum on a hydroslide and it hurt like hell.
(Also known as “perforated eardrum” or “ruptured eardrum”)
I was careening down the hydroslide at Waimarino Adventure Park during a Christmas party at work – head first, on a hydroslide mat.
The hydroslide ends with a 1.5 metre drop into the river.
As I was in mid-air I turned my head to the right just before I hit the water (foolish!).
The water shot into my ear at high velocity, I heard a “BANG!!” as I entered the water.
Thank god I was wearing a life-jacket because when I bobbed back to the surface I was in such pain I couldn’t even doggy-paddle.
The world was spinning. It felt like someone was pushing on my head to try and dunk me back into the water.
All I could do was hold my head in my hands and try not to spew.
I yelled to one of my workmates for help, thankfully he was close by on the river bank.
I’m known for my pranks and office shenanigans but thank goodness he took me seriously and jumped in immediately to rescue me.
Perhaps it was the blood that was trickling from my ear that told him I was serious.
Another workmate jumped in too (he’s a part-time surf lifesaver) and they pulled me to the bank.
It took about 15 minutes for the vertigo to subside to the point where I could walk. But I still felt too sick to eat the huge BBQ dinner that was now ready to eat. I also have a reputation for a big appetite – especially for free food – so it was sad to let the team down on that one.
A trip to the A&E confirmed a perforated eardrum. But thankfully I healed fast and there was no permanent damage.
A few months later I was in the surf when I turned my head at just the wrong moment when a wave was crashing down on me and “BANG!” I burst it again!
I stumbled back to my wife on the beach holding my head. I still felt sick this time, but the perforation must have been very small because I recovered in 10 minutes and didn’t feel the need to see a doctor this time.
To prevent this from happening again I always tuck my chin and and “head-butt” waves. It works. Try it.
This one time I shoplifted a keyring from the souvenir shop at the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua.
(I couldn’t find a photo of the NZ version, but the American equivalent is shown on the right)
I was about 10 years old at the time.
While I was waiting for the rest of the family to finish getting changed, I was staring at this particular keyring which had all the NZ bank notes as miniture plastic versions.
I think the price was about $4, which was way out of my league (my weekly pocket money was about $2). So after 10 minutes of sweating and stressing and checking to see if I was being watched, I put it in my pocket and took off.
I kept it hidden in a drawer beside my bed. I couldn’t show anyone, because they might ask where I got it and I think I would crack under the pressure and confess.
I was racked with guilt for weeks. Until, finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I buried it deep in the rubbish bin, and tried to forget about it.
But I couldn’t forget.
10 years later, I still felt guilty.
I was about 20 years old when I went back to the Polynesian Spa. I went straight up to the souvenir counter and said “Hello. Ten years ago I stole a keyring from here. Please accept my apology and my payment of $10.” I handed over a $10 note and walked away.
The person at the counter just said “oh… thank you!”
Finally, I was free.
Are you carrying around any guilt?
Don’t let it eat at you for 10 years.
Make it right. Pay for it and ask for forgiveness. Be free.