Friday, September 10, 2010

A thank you letter to my invisible friend

Dear Murphy, my invisible friend.

For some years now you have been my constant companion, through thick and thin.  It was lovely that you were there on the day I was born, conspiring with mother nature to create the most memorable birth date for me.  For over 40 years I have never been able to live it down, and been forced to laugh at its 'aptness' through gritted teeth,  reminded annually of my clumsiness and shortcomings.  I'm in therapy now. Thanks for that.

You were there with me on another of the most important days in my life: when I arrived at the police academy for my first day of training - late.  And not only that, you made sure that the sun was shining as I walked past the 300 men sitting inside the hall with glass windows - shining brightly, very brightly -  right through my white skirt. I appreciate that you might have thought I was just like Princess Diana and wanted everyone to notice me, and, granted, heads did turn, but I would have liked to be remembered for something else.  Thanks for that.

You were there with me on my first solo self-driving  holiday when I was 19 and proudly heading up North in my shiny black and gold pin-striped Suzuki Mighty Boy.  Admittedly it was my idea to get the puppy, but thanks for ensuring he got loose while I was doing 100km on the highway. I appreciate that I survived my less-than-Mighty Boy flipping end to end ten times like a Matchbox car off a dodgy plastic race track.  After I grovelled and pleadingly flapped my blood-stained eyelashes at the hot, Adonis-like ambulance driver he reluctantly agreed to take the puppy as well, against strict policy.  Thanks for ensuring said puppy shat an unpuppylike amount of poo all over the back of the ambulance.  Yep. Thanks for that.

You were there with me when my now husband asked me to marry him, by the pond outside our house at sunset amongst the hum of the insects and the croaking of the frogs, but you weren't really on top of your game that day, were you?  We managed to thwart the diarrhea and vomiting you thoughtfully bestowed on us that very morning with a wonderful series of painful butt injections from our local GP.  You were off your game that night, but you made up for it at our wedding, ensuring drought breaking monsoonal rain just as the ceremony started, sending my make-up fleeing down my face and my curls flat, and our guests bolting for cover. Thanks for that.

And I especially thank you for making sure that the mid-wife we had for the birth of our son was the wife of the milkman that my husband had accidentally run over with his concrete truck just a few months earlier.  We both know it was only his pride that was injured.  Still, I am sure you thought it would be a great opportunity for me to learn, and remember for eternity, the joys of a natural, epidural free child birth.  I did.  Oh, yes.  I did. Thanks for that.

Then there were the character building times you made sure that my pants ripped right down the butt when I was going in the door to my uni class, the time that I got stranded in China broke - at the most expensive time of year, the constant breakdown of vital electrical equipment at the time I need it most,  and the numerous occasions when I had the wrong notes for the right presentation, or the right notes for the wrong presentation.  And most particularly your help in ensuring I arrived late to an important meeting at one of the most secure military establishments in the world all flustered, sweaty, shaky and stressed, just days after the terrorist-threat was elevated, when trigger fingers on the AK47s were at their most tense and tenuous - I especially loved the angry Pakistani taxi-driver touch. Thanks for all of those.

But the piece-de-resistance, the crowning achievement of your life's work has been done.  I really appreciate waking up and finding a five figure sum miraculously in my bank account at a time when we are the poorest we have ever been.  I do, and I don't mean to sound ungrateful.  I really don't. I've been able to dream dreams about actually buying shoes that I can a: walk in and b: aren't thongs, and c: aren't made creatively from newspaper.

I've been salivating about buying another set of sheets to complement our one, threadbare pair.  About buying a bed that doesn't contain 18 years of bodily detritus and more lumps than a home-made custard made when you can't find the whisk after a few too many wines.  About actually buying a car that opens through the drivers side, instead of my current machine - you know it well Murphy - the one that got broken into after I charitably lent it to my son?  The one that now requires me to glance furtively around to make sure no one is watching me as I morph into some kind of stretchy super-hero, going through the back door, folding down the front seat and streeetcching to open the latch in an inhuman origami-like display of contortion, before flinging the door open with a triumphal and primal scream (only to have it slam shut and needing to do the whole process again)?  Ah! You remember now.  Thanks for that.

But, trust you Murphy, you teasing, spiteful pain in the arse, to make said five-figure sum, not a lotto win, not some much deserved backpay, but a payroll error.  A payroll error that we have to pay back, plus the portion that we didn't actually get, like tax paid and superannuation.  Thanks. For. That.

You have been a naughty boy and a dream-snatcher ... and I want you to kick you in your invisible nuts until your vans deferens dangle out your nostrils like quivering, gelatinous tapeworms and your eyes bulge larger than a 90 year old widow checking out Tony Abbott's budgie.

Your life's work is done.  Thanks for nothing.  Now bugger off.