Friday, January 20, 2012


 After I announced my blog awards recently and posted my seven random details about myself, I was asked in the comments section how I ended up naked and handcuffed in a bar with two bikers.

So here's the story.

To be fair to my ‘mates’, I was not quite an innocent victim. There was a tradition in the little country town, where I lived at that time, to commemorate each other’s birthdays with practical jokes. 

In the year leading up to my abduction, I had been fairly active in these celebrations. I guess it may have been my idea to paint Arnie’s cows pink; I was certainly present when we put a pink tu-tu on one of Andy’s sheep, threw him and the sheep in the cage on the back of his ute (tray top), and left him at the town shopping centre on the holiday weekend with a sign saying NEW ZEALAND WAR BRIDE hanging on the back; I confess now that it was me - as everyone suspected - that kidnapped Thommo’s garden gnome, photographed it in compromising positions with Barbie dolls and then sent Thommo ransom notes using letters cut out of the newspaper; I may have been there when we shackled a concrete block to Pelican’s ankle and left him in a mall parking lot in his underwear.

So I probably had it coming.

I never expected my wife to betray me though. She let my ‘mates’ in the house while I was in the shower; they had the Agran bag all ready. (This is a kind of sack that fertilizer is sold in.) They had cut a hole in the top to put my head through and it fitted very snug especially once my hands were tied behind my back with a ratchet strap. I was then blindfolded and transported naked in Andy’s ute. 

The blindfold was removed in the Animal's Bar of the local hotel.
Despite my somewhat devious turn of mind I thought this was to be the extent of the joke. 

photograph: David Shankbone

They bought me three double bourbons, lined them up on the bar and thoughtfully provided a straw for me to drink through as my hands were tied. They then wished me a Happy Birthday and toasted my future health and happiness.

I was halfway through my second bourbon when they finished their drinks. I looked around and discovered they had suddenly and surreptitiously disappeared. 

I was alone in the bar except for two local bikers, Harley and Dog, who were playing pool in the corner and smoking, stubbing their cigarettes out on their own forearms just for fun.

photograph: Roy Lister
It was a situation that was never covered in my Boy Scouts Survival Training course when I was a kid.

They looked at me. I looked at them. Then Dog winked at me and I decided it was time to leave.

To my credit I did finish my other bourbon first and then did the Penguin Walk out the door. (If you’ve ever been handcuffed inside an Agran bag you’ll know the Penguin Walk.) 

photograph: Michael Griffey II
It was Andy who took pity on me and was already headed back in his ute to rescue me. I jumped in and we headed off to the birthday party leaving Dog behind the eight-ball to dream of unrequited love.

So that's the story. And if Andy, Thommo, Woody, Arnie, Pelican, Bakes, or Wally are reading this; wherever you are, I still miss those days, fellas. Thanks for all the laughs. It really was a lot of fun.