Croc Advice and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

I like to swim in the Pacific. Unfortunately there have been recent crocodile sightings near my favourite playground so swimming there is frowned upon. I mentioned this to one of my Solomon friends who insisted on giving me the advice that (according to him) had worked for generations in his village. A sound “tradition” if you like! He told me that if I was to throw a 20 cent piece into the water prior to swimming, no crocodile would ever harm me. He insisted that it had to be a 20 cent piece, “not a 10 or 50 cent piece…only a 20.” 

Knowing my mind, I politely thanked him and continued with my day pondering one question after another as they manifested themselves. 

“That’s ridiculous….isn’t it?”

“He did say none of the children in his village were ever taken….coincidence?”

“Did his village have a large jar of 20 cent pieces strategically located at the swimming hole?”

“Was he joking (whilst playing with my life)?”

The most powerful question that developed however was “When were 20 cent pieces introduced to this developing country and how much tradition was actually linked to his claims?”

In the mean time I decided to go for a swim anyhow. Bugger it. A man cannot let fear rule his life, so I went to Kakambona beach, pulled my 20 cent piece from my pocket and threw it in with an eerie “plop”. 

As it flew through the air, I knew that this one small action was a mistake. Not because I didn’t believe the tradition; not because I had found out that coins were only introduced in 1977; not even because I knew there were crocs around but because I know that if I doodle on paper, I MUST balance that doodle left to right. I know that if I scratch my left thumb, I MUST scratch the right. I know that if one of my kids pushes the hair on my arms the wrong way I MUST smooth it down the other way (then do the same to the other arm). I cannot rest until it is done. Until now not many people know about my mild yet frustrating OCD affliction. And now? For the rest of my time swimming in Pacific waters, I must precede each plunge with an eerie, yet relatively cheap “plop.”Image


Old Bulls


At 3 am this morning the world welcomed the arrival of my first grandchild. I had flown back over to Australia for the event and was thrilled to lay my eyes upon this little ball of new life. My wife however had to stay in the Solomons as she couldn’t get the time off to accompany me.

When I got back home it was still dark. The morning birds were beginning to sing, the air was cool and crisp and the world was nurtured in that early morning silence I find so intoxicating.

I “texted” my wife to give her the details and found myself overwhelmed with desire for her. I mentioned this to her and laughed it off as a subconscious survival-of-the-fittest scenario between the young bull (my son who has now created a child) and the old bull (me) threatened by a possible take over of the herd.

I also made mention that my thoughts were detailed and x-rated. Like all old (and young) bulls, my mind rapidly facilitated an obvious text-sex situation as I awaited my wife’s saucy reply. What would she say? How would she instigate such a passionate feast? What delightful evil would she embrace? 

My phone signalled.

I prepared myself. Her reply?


The old bull slept.