One of my many brothers phoned the other night and said he was in Gundagai. Five miles from the dog. Could he stay with us tomorrow night on his way up to Byron Bay? Could I text him directions to our place?
Gundagai to Forest Lodge? ‘Turn left at Bexley Road off the M5…’
‘That’ll do,’ he declared. ‘I’ll recognise things when I get to the bottom of the hill near your place.’
Needless to say he got lost, but only when he got to the bottom of the hill near our place. He missed the last turn and drove into Sydney peak hour for a peak hour or so. Bloody hilarious.
Edsall men are spatial. We navigate by the sun and the stars and hills and that pub on the corner – and our fuel is bullshit and failure.
That’s not the story we normally tell but now that a terrorist attack is likely here in Australia it’s something I want to get off my chest. I’d hate to die with people thinking that I knew where I was at the time. Wrong place, wrong time, wrong government, hapless and mapless and hopeless.
I thought I was in a hammock in the back garden.
Before we went overseas recently we bought a TomTom and downloaded maps for the UK. To get the hang of how the buttons worked and how to change things in a panic I suggested we use it to visit my nephew in Leichardt, a few miles away.
We piled into the car and Wallington turned on the fandango.
‘What’s the street name?’
Um. ‘It’s off Norton Street just after the zebra crossing. There’s a pub on the corner.’
‘Actual street name? You know, address.’
‘It’s the first house after the laneway. It’s white.’
Wallington put the fandango back into the glovebox.
‘Patrick lives there,’ I said loud and clear, as if the GPS might turn itself back on and say ‘turn right at the end of the street’. It didn’t happen. So it goes.
Back in Forest Lodge at the tucker box 367 kilometres from Gundagai my brother announced that he needed directions to Urunga for tomorrow where another brother lives, en-route to Byron Bay.
‘You’ll need to go over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and get onto the Pacific Highway,’ I said.
‘That’ll do, ‘ he said. ‘I can find my way from there.’
Men are from space. Lost in space.