Thursday, September 25, 2008


Dangle Dingle, Jingle Bingle,
Thank the Lord I was single.

Around late November or early December the revered ever so jolly figure of Saint Nicholas would without fail put in an appearance at the Surf club house.
The reception hall would be swarming with all the noisy and constant dribbling ankle biters who were the progeny of the happily wed members and friends.
Red, white and green paper table clothes covered several tables on top of which would be bowls of teeth rotting lollies designed to turn the shyest and calmest of all children into a screaming hyper active whirling dervish. More than ample quantities of red and green coloured fizzy drink was available to wash down all the multi coloured gunk that was being consumed quicker than it would take a plague of locusts to strip bare a wheat field.
The festive season was rapidly approaching, so in one corner of the hall the large Xmas tree was erected and surrounded by the many gaudily wrapped items all waiting to be distributed amongst the raging children. It was the responsibility of Saint Nick to see to it that everyone received a suitable present after his arrival from the North Pole. The kids were given free rein and after approximately one hour of uncontrolled mayhem an announcement was forthcoming that Santa was about to arrive and distribute the prezzies. All the ankle biting male and female demons were taken onto the clubs front verandah and were told to look out to sea. Roughly two hundred metres out to sea and almost directly in front of the club house building the Avalon surf boat was seen approaching. Standing in the bow was a rather rotund chap sporting a white beard, all dressed in red and carrying a large red bag over his shoulder. It did not take our rowdy group of lolly filled urchins too long to recognise the fat bloke was none other than Santa himself and a deafening cheer followed almost immediately.
I had at my disposal a pair of binoculars and whilst observing the occupants of the surf boat as it drew closer, I became aware that Santa bore a strong resemblance to one of our revered senior members, namely Brian Daniel Sheehan. The boat stopped and waited for a suitable wave to catch around 80 metres off shore. The surf was running on average about 4 to 6 foot, with the occasional set providing the odd 8 to 10 footer. Whose idea it was to catch the wave of the day, God only knows. Four swells rolled in and the surf boat rose, then fell as they passed harmlessly by. Santa took a firm hold as the crew rowed like men possessed to catch number five, which eventually peaked at around 10 feet. The children along with their parents gave out a huge cheer as the about to break wave propelled the boat down its face. My first major surprise that day was noticing Santa’s resemblance to Mr Sheehan, the second surprise was why did the boat crew keep rowing until the bow buried itself into the shallow sandbank? An unfounded rumour persisted that this dastardly deed was done on purpose.
The cheers coming from the front verandah ceased and silence reigned supreme as Santa’s boat became vertical and the jolly old gent from the North Pole was catapulted through the air to eventually land in the boiling surf followed by a plywood boat, five oars and the five crew members.

 The silence was broken by cries of shock and despair from the horrified kids. “Mummy, Daddy, they’ve killed Santa,” became the new catchcry as all sorts of flotsam and jetsam slowly began washing ashore. Santa had survived without any noticeable injuries other than his pride and when finally washed ashore began wringing out his beard and clothing.

The faces of the ankle biters once again began to smile when it was announced that Santa would be entering through the main entrance of the club house. I was part of a guard of honour lined up on both sides of the steps leading to the hall. When Santa was passing, leaving a trail of salt water behind him, I asked quite politely, “How would you like an ice cold beer, or a scotch and dry Santa?” 

Noticeably moved by my kind offer and obviously overflowing with the spirit of the Festive season, Santa replied out loud, “YO! HO! HO! Fuck off Pogo, you prick.”
It was a Merry Xmas for us all.

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