Bum-cracks, Bats and Bloggers
I was lucky enough to be invited as a Melbourne Blogger to the Zoo's 'Earth Hour: Unplugged on the Rug' concert. We told to arrive an hour earlier than the public to enjoy a tour of the zoo, sign in for our freebie hamper and sit in our special roped-off-from-the-great-unwashed section before our dinner was served:
Naturally I insisted that my entourage were also included....
.... and I was mighty glad of their company as I shyly checked out the other bloggers present. There was around 40 of us - a Bugger of Bloggers? A Bunch of bloggers? A Blerk of Bloggers? and most looked as though they were serious foodies or stylish young fashionistas. There were perma-tanned, model-slash-PR types, street culture magazine writers, new-wave hand-made craft artists, jewellery designers, sophisticated travel writers, food stylists and gorgeously talented home chefs.
And me, the daggiest of the bunch. As usual.
This reality was soon forgotten. Our tummies started to rumble as we languidly explored the zoo and saw what our animal friends were getting for din-dins.
The meerkats were let back into their enclosure. When their look-out gave the 'Coast is Clear' signal, they all started digging industriously for the hard-boiled eggs the keepers had buried in the sand.
The giraffes were eating sticks hung up the top of palm trees. Yes, sticks, not leaves, and they seemed very content about it, even wandering over to get a closer look at us when they were finished.
The lions, on the other hand, hadn't yet finished their (very) late afternoon nap.
'Hey Barry...? Bazza! Are you awake yet?'
'Stop tickling, Nigel, you're killin' me!'
'I swear, Nige, if you don't stop I'm gunna piss me --- oh, bugger.'
'Well looky here. Could it be.....
...... my evening meal, hanging from a tree?'
On our way back to the flagged-off area I spotted Tim Rogers having a smoke by the wheelie bin. This is possibly my first papparazzi shot ever.
Sadly, it went to my head, and as the general human populace were scoffing beers, BBQ shapes and brie, the inevitable bum-crack appeared.
Sapphire's mouth formed her usual cats'-bum of disapproval before she noted, "Hmm yes with a view like that ahead of us, we're not really VIPs, we're SIPS: slightly important perverts."
The Wagons band started as the evening light grew dim and bats began to fly overhead, but Henry's red wine and gravel-marinated vocals didn't impress everyone.
The rain started to drizzle down, putting even the cordoned-off SIPs in danger of dampness:
.....whilst the sheltered and dry Henry Wagons looked for all the world like the new Aussie cast member of MythBusters but with a voice that surely came out of the Louisiana struggle-towns of the 1930s.
His groupies braved the rain and a fair bit of banter to stake their claim right at the front of the stage, er, rotunda. We could hear the roar of the lions and the buzz of the hospital helicopters in the quiet bits and Henry proved that he could also score a spot in the Comedy Festival with his semi-autobiographical song about his childhood suburb, Waverley.
Tim Rogers was next, explaining that he turned the front of his hat up so that he could kiss people without jabbing their eyes out.
His groupies consisted of slightly swaying mums wearing babies on their fronts, all misty-eyed about their mid-90s carefree 'You Am I' live gigging days. A brave couple, clearly emboldened by the 'Earth Hour' darkness and the wine, stood up to dance to the jangling, country-inspired music. Both made Elaine from Seinfeld - and myself, when sober or drunk - look like Bolshoi ballet contenders.
Still, you can take all of these observations with a fistful of salt considering that they were made by me, a Potato in Poncho.