How good is this?


After I got back from Hawaii, there were fireworks

for New Year, then the cricket, not that I’m complaining,

it’s always a busy time of year – a family time.

I was having a look at the business pages one evening

when the wife said look outside at that will ya?

To be honest I couldn’t see anything much.

The horizon was a lovely pink colour, or perhaps maroon

or red. The sun was a ball of fire sinking into it.

How good is this? I said to her. But she was

on the iPad, frowning. Uh-oh I thought.

I went into the kitchen and turned up the air con.

I can read a room! Sure enough she followed me through

and said what about this fire then? Haven’t heard anything

I said, looking at my phone – of course it was flat.

But then her iPad rang. It was Gladys on Skype.

Where the bloody hell are ya? I heard her crackle.

We’ve all got to get out of town!

I’ve just got back I shouted, people will start talking if I head off again.

But Gladys told me to look out the window and sure enough

there were these big flames coming over the back fence.

Fuck, said the wife, the joint is going up!

I didn’t say anything but I really can’t bear it

when a woman uses language like that. I’m old fashioned

at heart. But she was off like the clappers so I went down

after her, and the security bloke who sits at the gate

was waiting for us in the SUV, in fact he was already

off down the drive but the wife waved him down

(the poor bugger nearly ran her over.)

I got in the front and gave him a wink

and said brakes a bit sticky on her mate?

You’ve got to use a bit of humour to break the ice.

So we were all in snug and I was fiddling around

with the door when this little compartment opened

and a can of lemonade popped out. Cold as.

I said how good is this! but the wife was still on the iPad.

There was this smell, it was pretty disgusting actually,

and I said to the driver someone’s burned the prawns

but he said nothing, just turned on the lights and sped up.

I knew then he was a quiet Australian – one of my people.

Anyway we ended up down at Bondi. How good is that?

Everyone was down there. Gladys was waving a torch

and came up with a couple of special branch on either side.

Afternoon boys! I said. For God’s sake what are you doing here

she hissed at me. I don’t like the Lord’s name taken in vain

but she was upset and I didn’t take it personally.

I could see a few of the punters pointing to me,

they were waving and yelling G’day I think.

But I couldn’t see much with all the smoke.

They must have put on more fireworks because

there were all these bangs – very loud actually,

some of the ladies screamed a bit – then a big cloud

of burning stuff went flying overhead.

I thought it might be a good time to call it a night

but that bloody driver had gone off.

It all got a bit confused after that. We ended up going

for a bit of a paddle and more people started arriving.

I said, is that Kylie Minogue over there?

But the wife was in a lather and had started crying

so I tried to give her a cuddle to cheer her up,

but she was being difficult about it to be honest,

so I had to really try hard to get my arms around her

to give her a big squeeze. Women can be a bit like that.

God, get us out of here, I thought to myself.

Then just like that the waters opened.

I mean the ocean went out like the plug had been pulled

and I thought someone up there likes you, fella.

I yelled out come on everyone, follow me!

So we walked over the sand and the rock and the mud

where the sea had been, and to be honest

it wasn’t that pleasant since there were all the plastic bags

and an oil platform lying on its side and the dead fish,

although not as many as you might think.

At one point all these kangaroos went racing past.

But the flames kept following us, it was like

the fire knew where we were going. Then all the

grey dead coral sitting on the mud went up like kindling

and it was quite hot so I started running

and when I stopped I was on my own. What to do?

I’m a simple man of faith. So I stood there

and raised my hands to the burning clouds far above

and beseeched O Lord give your humble servant a hand

in his hour of need. Sure enough when I opened my eyes

this big crack in the ground had appeared before me.

I thought to myself, twice in one day! How good is this?

So I clambered down into the black crevice

but it was warm and quiet so I kept on

and felt my way and finally came around a corner

and there spreading out in front of me

was an endless plain of fire.


It was the whole world burning.


I turned around because it would have been good

to talk to someone else or get a hug, or just even

shake someone’s hand, but there was no one there:

just the darkness and the fire.


One thought on “How good is this?

  1. Gees Mate….wherega go????…nutten to worry bout…if ya gotta beer we can just sit ere n watch all this warmth…..carnt waste it……Mate? Hey…..M.A.A.A.T.E…


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