Last thursday saw me and 32 others who play at The Pool Room in Upper Ferntree Gully (Just south of the end of the earth) set out for a journey of epic proportions. Well, not really, but I've never had any sense of proportion, so it felt pretty epic in the lead up. We all had to play Elite league first (Where my team, the Premier Pussies (charming name, I know) had their FIRST EVER Elite win. HURRAH!!!) so we ended up leaving the Room at around 11.30pm. After a stop at Safeway to get the necessaries (Batteries, a camera, Multi-V Juice (my saviour), pringles and Natural Confectionary Company Dinosaurs), and a stop so Vroom could take a highly unneccesary amount of time to clean his car, we set off properly. All was going well, and some spirited rounds of Twenty Questions ensued. Although as we'd all been up from times varying between 5am and 7am in the morning and it was 3am the next day, it turned into more like 120 questions.
But I digress. Where things got interesting (And I say interesting in the context of exceptionally frsutrating and teeth-grindingly incompetant) was when we reached St. Arnards. Vroom turns to Crackers (My ex, a good freind, and an exceptional pool player and thouroughly acomplished drinker) and utters a phrase I'd been dreading -
Vroom:"How far is it to Mildura?"
Crackers:"Oh, about 400 kilometres"
Me: "Ahem. WHY?"
Vroom:"Oh, nothing really. It's just that we have 130 k's of petrol left"
Vroom: "Um, yeah. Where's the next open Servo?"
Crackers: "Ah. Bendigo...."
Vroom: "And how far is Bendigo?"
Cracker: "About 135 kilometres..... in the OTHER DIRECTION"
Vroom: "Ah..... well..... we can have rest there anyway"
Me: "Turn around, shut up, and keep your fucking hand off the Red Bull from now on, would you?"
Well, turned out Vroom's fancy new car's fancy petrol gauge isn't entirely accurate. We got as far as Bridgewater before the petrol ran out. We literally rolled into the servo (Which was conveniently closed for another three hours) as we ran out of petrol. So we had a fun filled three hours waiting for the servo to open, and wondering if we could smuggle the large box of pies that had been delivered sometime earlier into the car without inciting a riot (Which, we assumed, would take the form of pitchforks and burning torches) There was also speculation as to whether to car would run on Jack Daniels, but we decided that mine and Crackers medicinal needs in that area took precedence, and the theory went untested.
The upshot of all this was that an eight hour drive took us a touch over thirteen hours. Now, thirteen hours in a car with two ex boyfreinds (one very recent) and Vrooms new girlfreind (Her status, however, by the end of the weekend had rapidly been demoted to "Fuck Buddy" and an insecure one at that) with the only entertainment being "Spot the Tumbleweed", by the time I got out of the car, I was well and truly ready to have a drink.
And drink we did. In large, stupifying quantities. To the point where we gave up on Uno. To the point where one of the guys from work, who had called for advice on a piece of work I'd given him, made comment on the Monday after as to how many times I stumbled over and "Do you realise that you can tell when someone is skolling from a can over the phone?" To the point where only four of us won more than one frame, and water bombing random strangers seemed like a great idea, as did handcuffing all in sundry, stealing flags from golf-courses, and playing Night Bocce on the springiest, most uneven surface in history also seemed like a good idea. To the point where the two people I was rooming with (Tiger and Justa) thought that the first thing I wanted to see on a Sunday morning half and hour after I'd gone to bed was them having sex in a bed less than a foot from my head.
But it all ended up okay. But for those who decide to veture to Berri for the Pool Tournament next year (And I'm sure that's none of you, but I'd highly recommend it) I have the following advice:
- Don't set off at night. Everyone will be grumpy at the lack of sleep, and you end up spending more time sitting on the side of the road waiting for the drivers to wake up from a power nap or sitting in a closed servo forecourt than on the road. It's just not worth it.
- Don't expect to get ANY quality sleep, and if you do, sleep outside. It's your best option.
- Beware of handcuffs.
- Look up when approaching balcony's water-bombing is not out of the question.
- Take a water-proof jacket. And several changes of clothes more than you think you could possibly need.
- Go nowhere near a pool unless you want to end up in it, fully clothed (thankfully I had learned my lesson the hard way with a spa and a jelly pool three weeks previous at Lee's party. But there were those who clearly didn't get the memo)
- Don't room with anyone who have a history of casual sex unless you want to be woken up in the most brain-jarring of manners.
- Don't expect to be able to run at a golf flag, pull it out as you keep running and it will come with you. It won't, and you'll end up flat on your back with three pissed people with cameras collapsing around laughing and taking photos.
- Take a day off either side. You'll need it.
- Don't be the token female. I made that mistake a few years back and ended up losing a series of bets that culminated in a white t-shirt/pool lapping incident that will serve always as a reminder that no matter your intellect, it will be compromised after several drinks.
- Make freinds with the owners and security, as they'll be round to your room quite often telling you to shut the fuck up if you don't.
And don't go on any kind of tournament weekend expecting to win. If you do have those expectations, and they don't come to fruition, then you'll be left with a weekend feeling like crap while everyone else is living it up. And enjoy yourself. You're only young enough to go on these kind of trips with no feelings of guilt for so long, so take advantage of it while you can!