All Things Being Equal

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I woke up in LA feeling like the left side of my head was about to explode. [Ed – That totally sounds like the start of a scene from The Wolf of Wall Street. But no, drugs and alcohol were not involved. Nor was colossal financial fraud]. The pain was searing, starting from the base of the skull behind my ear and consuming a large patch that extended to my jaw and eye-socket.

It was about 6am; instead of waking my hypochondriac wife I thought it would be easier to deal with it alone, so I gingerly put on some clothes and ventured down to the hotel concierge. “I need a doctor, fast please.” She nodded slowly, her contorted face suggesting that I looked like something out of Dawn of the Dead.

“I’ll call one right away sir.”

I had no painkillers and no idea what the problem was. We’d had a few drinks the night before, but it hadn’t been one of those nights out. You know, one of those nights that you can’t remember but plenty of people are queuing at your front door the next day to remind you that you were walking down the street with your pants around your ankles and half a palm tree hanging out of your ear. No, it hadn’t been one of those. A lovely dinner, a couple of glasses of wine, that was it.

At first I thought a ninja must have entered our hotel room during the night, bludgeoned me with nunchucks and then quietly left without stealing anything. But the bathroom mirror didn’t back up the theory – although I looked like a bit of a freak with my face twisted in pain, there was no bruising, no blood, no obvious wounds. So I knew that it must have been serious. Like a brain tumour.

About an hour later the room phone rang, and the concierge advised that the doctor was on his way up. My wife was stirring and I gently woke her. I told her not to panic, that a doctor was coming up to look at my head. She quickly put some clothes on, looking a bit sleepy-confused.

The doctor arrived. Doctor Bob. He was in his late fifties, and looked like he’d just come from the golf course. Pleated shorts and a polo top. He gave me his card. I had a quick glance, and noticed that his office was in Beverly Hills. Holy shit, I thought, this will cost a fortune.

My wife was now fully awake and I could see panic setting in. Doctor Bob looked in my left ear. “Look at me,” he then said. He grabbed the lobe of my left ear, and yanked it down. I recoiled in agony. “Okay, what you have is an ear infection. Nothing to be worried about. It’s sometimes called Swimmer’s Ear.”

I noticed that my wife’s panic had eased. In fact, it seemed that she was now trying to hide a smirk. “It’s agonising,” I said, trying to make sure everyone in the room was suitably aware of how serious this actually was.

“Oh yes,” said Doctor Bob. “They can be very painful.”

I looked at my wife: See.

“But it’s nothing to worry about. I’m going to drop this antibiotic into your ear, and within about half an hour the pain will ease.”

“We’re supposed to be on a long-haul flight tomorrow.”

“That’s fine,” he said, “You can fly. Just remember to equalise regularly, especially on the descent.”

Doctor Bob headed back out to the golf course, leaving me with a prescription and a call-out fee of $500 that I prayed my travel insurance would cover.

“Swimmer’s Ear!” My wife burst out laughing the moment the doctor left. “My little nephew gets that all the time!”

So unfair. And my ear has never been the same since. After returning from that trip, the infection came back several times, but fortunately I always had my ear medicine on hand to avoid the onset of agonising pain.

I am now obsessive about equalising. I do it on planes, underwater, and at one-metre above sea level. I do it coming out of the shower, walking to work, reading a book, and on the toilet. I visited my local doctor to insist that there was something seriously wrong with my ear; after all, why were the infections continually coming back? He said there was nothing wrong with it, so I went for a second opinion. The next doctor said the same thing. I told him that when I clean my ears, I find an inordinate amount of wax in the left one.

“The one thing that doctors don’t like to hear is that you’re sticking things in your ear,” he said.

“But what about the wax?” I asked. “There’s tonnes of it in my left ear. It’s not normal.”

“Ear wax is normal, just stop cleaning your ears. The wax will come out naturally, as the skin in your ear canal grows out.”

So there was my future, right there. I’m sitting in an important meeting one day at work, and at a critical juncture in negotiations with senior management a large lump of yellow wax spontaneously drops onto my shoulder.

Nothing to worry about, indeed.

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“Few writers can be as funny about total haplessness…” –Eric Levin

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Bracket Creep

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It’s funny how little, seemingly innocuous events, can sometimes have a large psychological impact on us. There were two such moments in my life that starkly drove home the fact that I was no longer a spring chicken.

The first was when I was completing a survey back in 2010. There was a question that asked for my age bracket; my hand naturally moved to check the ’26-35′ box. It made sense; after all, I had been hanging around that bracket for ten years. We’d party all night, me and that bracket. We’d get drunk together, take pills together, and wake up together in the corner of seedy nightclubs, having been robbed of our possessions. But I faltered as it dawned on me that those days were gone. As my eyes shifted to the ’36-45’ option, I was consumed by a wave of realisation. I was in the same age bracket as Robert Downey Jr.

That was harsh, but there was worse to come. Not long after that I had to visit a foot doctor, as I was experiencing pain in my heels. As I sat in the waiting room I looked around the dated office. There were posters on the walls of couples in their sixties and seventies, with beaming smiles, like they had just completed successful colonoscopies. There was a display stand that held a range of orthopaedic shoes. They had thick, impenetrable rubber soles, and looked like they were designed exclusively for wading through human excrement in a retirement village. And there were a couple of other patients in the waiting room. They were old as fuck.

I was called into the doctor’s office, and was surprised to see that he was a young guy, in his mid-twenties. He was constantly sniffling, just like I used to when I was hanging with that bracket. After examining my feet, he told me that I probably had heel spurs. “It’s a calcium deposit that deforms the bone, caused when the foot is under stress.”

He talked about plantar fasciitis, tight calf muscles, and bad footwear. “What can I do about it?” I asked hesitantly. He had the same rack of excrement shoes next to his desk.

“There are a few things we can do. First, you need to stretch your calf muscles several times each day. You should also massage underneath your foot with a golf ball. And finally, you need to get some decent shoes, particularly to wear to the office. Those things will be doing you no good.”

I pulled a face. He paused, seemingly aware of my concerns. I noted under the desk that his shoes were fine. He could see me struggling with my bracket transition, and it was acknowledged by a moment of solemn silence. “They’re fucking ugly,” he finally proffered. It was the extension of an olive branch, from one bracket to another.

I’m still not entirely comfortable with my fate. But my acceptance of old age will need to grow as the innocuous inevitably makes way for the obnoxious. Still, I pity the first person to offer me their seat on public transport. They’re more likely to receive a blow to the head, than a thank-you.

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“Few writers can be as funny about total haplessness…” –Eric Levin

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Underworld Dalliances

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I was in the Philippines with my wife last year, where she had to attend a minor legal procedure in court relating to property that her family owns. Her job was to sit in the dock, answer a few simple, pre-arranged questions from her lawyer, and that would be it. We met her lawyer a couple of days prior for coffee to run through the process. She was lovely. There was nothing about her that struck me as a candidate for assassination.

Anyway, I went along to court, and when we found our assigned courtroom I was surprised to see a few people in orange jumpsuits and chains. The room was small, and we were sitting right next to a prisoner that had a desperate glint of homicide in his eye. I was expecting a queue of box-ticking administrative proceedings for our courtroom, but instead it seemed that in the Philippines, attempted murder followed the same legal process as the lodgement of patents.

As we were waiting, a couple of young, attractive females were marched into the courtroom in prison outfits. They looked like the type of girls you’d see in a nightclub; early twenties, stylish haircuts, nice make-up. I figured they’d probably been busted with a couple of ecstasy tablets, and started shaking my head at the unfairness of the local legal system. Bastards. How dare they lock up these two beautiful girls. I felt so sorry for them, I just wanted to give them a hug, to try and let them know that it was gonna be alright…

Their case was up. The judge started talking in the local dialect, but I kept hearing the English word ‘trafficking’. I knew it, I thought to myself. I made a comment to my wife (I didn’t mention the hugging thing). She agreed it was harsh. “Oh, actually, wait a minute,” she said, listening intently to her native tongue. “Okay,” she started to explain, “it’s for human trafficking.”

It was like a punch in the face.

“They were trafficking children to American paedophiles.”

Okay, so lock up those ugly moles*. It was an eerie feeling to be so close to such horror, to be confronted with the brutal reality of something that was usually no more than an uncomfortable concept, shrouded by distance and unfamiliarity.

A few weeks later my wife’s lawyer was driving in Cebu, when three motorcycles pulled up next to her car. Machine guns sprayed her with bullets. It has caused a bit of inconvenience with my wife’s paperwork unfortunately.

*Mole: You need to have grown up in Australia in the 1980’s to understand this slang.

Tram Maggots

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There is something about tram ticket inspectors that hits a raw nerve in Melburnians. The seething hatred reserved for them surpasses even that of city parking inspectors. They’re perceived as the worst of the worst, sort of like the reporters that work for A Current Affair.

When I was in my early twenties I lived bayside of Melbourne for a couple of years, in St Kilda. I worked in the CBD, which meant that every weekday I needed to catch a tram into the city, either down the long stretch of St Kilda Road, or via the light rail through South Melbourne. In those two years I never once purchased a tram ticket. At the time I had convinced myself that I was sticking it to the man, by taking back what should have been free to begin with. But in reality I was just another broke-arse derelict who spent his entire pay check on ecstasy tablets.

Not getting caught took a great deal of effort. I had to analyse the tram carriage like Jason Bourne. I would study passengers intently, looking for the tell-tale signs of undercover inspectors. Typically, a male and female would hop on together, in equally drab clothing. Once onboard, they would separate, one staying at the front of the tram, the other moving towards the rear. But the biggest giveaway was that they would not validate tickets, just like me. Once I had spotted them, I would immediately jump off at the next stop (I always made sure I was right next to the door just in case). But simply getting the next tram along the same line would not completely alleviate the danger; the inspectors would be doing the same thing, as soon as they had done their sweep of the first tram. So there would be a lot of hopping on and off, trying to avoid the dragnet. All this made for a rather stressful trip into the office.

Back then I hated tram inspectors, but mostly because they made me feel like a dirty hobo. Yes, I can’t afford a two-dollar ticket. But these days it’s different. Sure, they’re just doing their job, and I do agree that if there were no inspectors, the whole tram system would simply collapse under a mountain of debt (us Melburnians are not a very trustworthy bunch). But it’s the way they do their job that’s the problem. They hunt in large packs, surrounding their targets with all the subtlety of ten guys in a Croatian nightclub trying to woo the only Western girl on the dance floor.

Now I always buy my tram tickets, mostly because I’m no longer addicted to ecstasy. But also because I’m just too old to stress about getting caught; when I take a seat, my preference is to relax, rather than mentally map out escape routes. So I don’t give too much thought to the ticket inspectors any more. Which is why I was surprised when I was driving home from dinner with my wife the other night; by the side of the road I noticed that a number of inspectors had surrounded two young individuals who had just alighted a tram. Something overcame me, and as I immediately wound my window down I summoned the jailbird within: “Leave ‘em alone you maggots!!!”

I wound up my window, a bit perplexed at my impulsive outburst. I noticed my wife’s look of utter bewilderment. She has only lived in Melbourne for eight years…she just doesn’t understand.

Putting Hair on Your Chest

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I have always had the mixed fortune of looking younger than I actually am. From the age of about 16 to 25 it was a real pain in the butt. My primary objective in life back then was to get drunk, but suspicious security guards kept trying to stop me. If a group of ten of us were entering a venue, everyone would be waved through except me. I’d be picked out for looking like I should have been at home watching Hey Hey It’s Saturday.

“Can I see some ID mate?” I’d hand over my licence, which would be carefully scrutinised for any signs that it had been hand-crafted by a Panamanian forger, while my heavily stubbled mates moaned about the delay.

Once I hit my late twenties the suspicions thinned out, but there was still always the odd query that surprised me. I was on a flight from Perth to Melbourne when I ordered a beer, and the young flight attendant hesitated before handing it over. “Oh, can I see some ID please?”

“I don’t have any,” I said.  “And I’m thirty.”

“Oh sorry!” she said, immediately giving me the drink.

Did I really look like I was still in high school at the age of thirty? It was a possible explanation for a strange phenomenon I’d been experiencing in the office, where colleagues who were probably my age kept referring to me as ‘young Simon.’ Young Simon has done an outstanding job with the analysis. Young Simon will be driving that piece of work. Young Simon got his head stuck in the staircase balustrades again!

It would not be until I hit my mid-thirties that people at work stopped talking to me like I was some kind of pube-less Gen-Y university graduate. This might seem like I’m showing off, but I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth. The condition was the bane of my existence. All I ever wanted was to be a man, with the type of facial hair that would make my Italian grandmother proud. As a kid, whenever I was at a large family function, the older ethnic guys would always slip me some grappa and say, Here you go, it’ll put hair on your chest. I would always drink it straight down (and go back for more), but the hair never materialised.

Later when I was approaching 40, people would still guess my age at around 30. This was finally when the curse transformed into a benefit, allowing me to snag a wife six years my junior.

But I feel that the short window of benefit is finally beginning to wear off. Not because I don’t look younger than my age – I probably still do – but because once you start looking older than about 35 you tend to be lumped into the ‘old and insignificant’ category. You’re just not young anymore, so how good you look for your age becomes less relevant. I think economists call it the law of diminishing returns – where shaving or washing your clothes will have an ever-reducing impact on how you’re perceived.

These days, on the very rare occasion that I am required to enter a nightclub to celebrate the birthday of one of my wife’s younger cousins, I notice the security guard at the entrance will give me a look which is very similar to the one I used to get in my early twenties. It says: Wrong age bracket. They’ll still begrudgingly let me through, but I know I’m just another grey hair or two away from outright rejection. Sorry grandad, no two-up here tonight.

So I feel like I’ve come full circle. Before I know it I’ll be entering the ‘growing old gracefully’ phase of my life, where I will shun deodorant, ironing boards and nail-clippers, and finally be at peace with my youthful appearance.

How to Spot a Fake Italian…

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I can’t drink coffee. Well, technically I can, given that I do have a mouth into which I can pour it. What I mean to say is that caffeine adversely impacts me, so I’m better off not drinking it. Even if I have a coffee at 8am, I’ll later have a terrible night’s sleep. I’ll typically fall asleep okay, but then I’ll wake up at 2 or 3am, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, unable to doze back off no matter how berserk I go at my brain.

The problem is that I love coffee. The aroma, the taste, the ritual; the opportunity to nick off from your desk for twenty minutes and talk about how you got rescued by helicopter from a Tassie mountain. So occasionally I fall into the trap during office hours, and throw all caution to the wind. The next day at work I’ll have a fuzzy head. I’m tired. Words don’t come as easily to me when I’m in meetings, and my concentration is shot. So I get another coffee. Then before I know it my career is in tatters, and I’m on the next flight to Brazil.

There is the option to have a decaf, but this carries certain connotations. When I was younger, to prove my toughness amongst peers I might have double-bombed ecstasy tablets, or drunkenly run into traffic. These days it’s the coffee that gets me. Depending on who’s around, I might slip in a decaf order. But if a tough-looking tattooed hipster with a leviathan beard is taking my order, I just can’t do it.

“Long black,” I’ll say.

“I’ll make it a strong one?” he’ll ask, sensing my hardness.

Fucking oath.”

When a petite young girl once quietly asked for my order at the café downstairs from my office, I managed to sneak in a decaf request without alerting my workmates. A few minutes later the call came out. “SIMON, DECAF FOR SIMON.” And the mocking commenced. Aww, got a bun in the oven, have ya mate?! No, it’s far simpler to just jeopardise my career.

Coming from an Italian family, I’m the odd one out. My parents, brother and sister will have espressos just before bedtime. And here I am, someone who has probably consumed more methamphetamine than most over the course of my life, getting tipped over the edge from a casual morning coffee.

When I visited Italy a few years ago, of course I wanted to immerse myself in the local culture, in which coffee plays a fundamental part. I figured that an Italian-Australian bloke asking for a decaf there would probably be burned at the stake in the local piazza, made an example to other ‘fake’ Italians who might have been considering such a shameful act of treason. So I didn’t sleep a wink on that trip.

I now try to treat coffee like I used to treat recreational drugs. Tsk, tsk, not until Friday… For that’s when the hard-core partying really begins.

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“one funny, uplifting, amazing memoir” –Jill Nicely

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Collapsed Catholic

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I was born and raised a Catholic. I’m not sure at which point I decided that it wasn’t for me, or if there even was a point. Maybe through a quirk of nature I’d inherited some sort of anti-religious gene that had skipped a couple of generations. Not that my parents are devout; it’s more like they are accustomed to being Catholic, so they just continue to do it. My mum agrees that stories of virgin births and walking on water and the universe being created in six days are just that – stories; yet still she goes to church. When they hand out biscuits during the intermission, she will queue up with the rest of them. When the congregation says the ‘Our Father’, she joins in and will hold out her hands as if she’s about to catch a giant beach ball, just like the rest of them. She doesn’t enjoy Catholicism, rather she puts up with it, just like a senile relative.

My wife’s family, on the other hand, are devout. When I first met the aunts and uncles, it was not unusual for the first question to be “Are you Catholic?” Forget about how we met, my favourite football team, or what I did for a living. That stuff was as irrelevant as whether I had any criminal convictions, or STIs.

“Yes,” I would answer. It was true, technically. They didn’t ask me if I was a lapsed Catholic. And I knew it was important to my partner, so I had every intention of maintaining the charade, at least long enough for the family to get comfortable with my presence. Once they loved me and agreed that I was the right man for their girl, I’d drop it on them: Fooled you! I’d shove my copy of The God Delusion in their face, while doing my best Linda Blair/ Exorcist impression.

But I never got that far.

After confirming my faith to several key family members, it was decided that we would visit the final resting place of my wife’s father. About six of us were standing around the grave. An aunt began saying a prayer. I bowed my head solemnly. Then an uncle began praying. I didn’t pay much attention, and kept my head down. The moment I realised they were going round in a circle, I began to panic. I was next.

My wife was to my right. She knew I was a fraud. Of course, I thought to myself, she won’t let this happen to me. She would jump in at the right moment, and apologise to her family on my behalf (Sorry, he’s not feeling well…).

The cousin next to me finished praying, and looked to me expectantly. All eyes were upon the alleged Catholic. I looked to my wife. She nodded encouragingly. I pulled a face like I was constipated, and shrugged my shoulders.

“I thought you were Catholic!” yelled an aunt.

“I think his membership has expired,” said my wife, dragging me away from the horrific scene.

Collapsed Catholic: a Catholic who does not confess to being lapsed in order to gain some form of advantage or privilege from other Catholics, only to be proven a fraud by failing to adhere to simple protocols during religious ceremonies.

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“Few writers can be as funny about total haplessness…” –Eric Levin

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A Pampering Savage

Facial torture

We were in Southeast Asia, and my wife suggested that I accompany her for a facial treatment. It was not exactly a manly thing to do; if a mate had suggested such an activity, I would have ridiculed him mercilessly, and possibly severed all ties. But it was my wife, and we were in a foreign land. No one will know, I thought. And in the moment it seemed kind of appealing. Someone would throw some sliced cucumber on my eyelids, lather my skin with moisturiser, and massage my scalp. It sounded like a nice, relaxing break from the heat and bustle outside. So why not?

We lay down on massage tables in the same room, and my wife turned to me. “Now baby, I need you to be strong, okay?”

The message didn’t quite fit with my perception of what was about to take place. What the hell was she talking about? I wondered. “Umm, okay. No worries.”

“When was the last time you had facial?” asked the nice technician in a thick accent.

“I’ve never had one.” The staff in the room shot each other strange glances.

And then it began.

A sharp silver tool pierced my glabella. It was painful, but I took it in my stride. I immediately understood what was happening. My wife had deviously tricked me into some sort of medieval extraction process. The tool once again plunged into my skin. It’s okay, I thought, I can handle this, I’ve been tattooed before. I needed to urgently shift my mindset. I had not mentally prepared for pain. I had prepared for letting my body go completely limp, and drifting in and out of luxurious dozing as my senses were wonderfully tingled.

The stabbing continued. A couple of minutes in, I was frantically trying to determine how long this component of the treatment would last. I detected a pattern of jabs between my eyes; left to right, slowly edging downwards to the bridge of my nose. I quickly made a determination: this was more painful than a tattoo. Way more painful. But I needed to check myself – my wife was presumably going through exactly the same process. If she could take this, surely I could handle it? Was this what women really put themselves through for beauty?! It was completely insane.

Five minutes in, and sweat beads were forming on my forehead. I could feel my thin barrier of resistance bending. This is outrageously fucking painful. Panic was setting in. How far could this go? Maybe this process was to be confined to my glabella, and then we would move straight to the soothing cucumber. After all, what kind of beauty salon would knowingly put their clients through such a sustained level of torture? Who would ever return? It made no sense. When the needle shifted to my nose, panic set in. I’m Italian, for Christ’s sake. I was in this for the long-haul. The technicians had probably never encountered such a mountain of nasal cartilage.

After about fifteen minutes I was starting to lose my grip on sanity. The piercing had moved past the bridge of my nose, and was targeting one specific side. The outer nostril was agonising, as was the wedge of skin between the nostril and cheek. The pain was excruciating, but so was the knowledge that there was another frigging side.

After twenty minutes I could not maintain the façade of physical tolerance. My legs started involuntarily popping, like an extra in a war movie who had just been splayed with machine gun fire. How the hell do women do this? Was I that bloody soft?! The technicians began giggling with delight. I guessed that I was the noteworthy client of the day.

Noting my extreme discomfort, instead of stopping the procedure the technician continued mercilessly, like a robot from the future that had been programmed to end my life by way of a million needle pricks to the face. “Ooh, sorryyyy…hehehe…” was the line repeated every time my body went into spasm.

As we approached the thirty minute mark, tears were welling in my eyes. I was a broken man. And then, finally, the stabbing ceased. The technicians were still chuckling as I began entering post-traumatic stress disorder. They presented me with a folded paper towel, upon which sat a sea of miniature bleached coral, that had been forcibly extracted from my face. I sat up.

“How did you go?” asked my wife.

“Are you fucking kidding me?!!

“I thought it best not to mention to you first, because then you wouldn’t have done it.”

“No shit. But wait a minute,” I asked, “how the hell did you handle that?”

“Oh, I only needed two or three pricks for extraction. I knew that you’d need a lot more.” Two or three. I had endured one-thousand. “If you keep your face clean it won’t be as bad next time.”

Aha, so it had all been some sort of messed-up attempt at a lesson. But lesson for what? Next time. There would be no next time.

And it wasn’t like I spent all day dragging my face through piles of garbage at the local tip. I got up every morning and washed my face in the shower, along with my other body parts. For at least half the year I did the same at night. I sat in a clean office, where, believe it or not, colleagues didn’t sling food scraps at my head all day long.

So what was with the half-kilogram of white knobby shit that came out of my head? Had my wife put it there while I slept, as some kind of demented practical joke? I wasn’t sure. But I knew one thing: my days of vacation beauty treatments were over. It was much more relaxing to get dangerously drunk when overseas, and be mugged after accidentally walking into a dodgy neighbourhood.

Ah, the serenity.

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“Few writers can be as funny about total haplessness…” –Eric Levin

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How Not to Invest in Bitcoin

Here’s a thought for the day to raise your spirits: back around the start of the decade I first read about Bitcoin. It seemed like an interesting idea. My senses were particularly tingled by the fact that supply was limited; if the concept gained any traction, there was an opportunity to make some money.

I considered investing $10,000. Believe it or not, I actually had $10,000 available to invest. After I’d finished paying off my Supreme Court defeat (yes…see my book, Limp…), there was a period where I actually didn’t know what to do with my money. I was unaccustomed to having it, so hadn’t yet discovered fancy dinners, nice cars, and lavish overseas vacations. The pile just seemed to grow until I discovered these things. And since discovering those things, I’m broke again. But I digress…

I did some research, and Bitcoin’s value seemed to fluctuate wildly over the course of any given day. It was obviously a speculative investment, and as I’d recently been burnt a couple of times on ‘speccies’ I got cold feet and instead decided to drop just a few hundred bucks in.

All of that was spent on cocaine through Silk Road, back in my bad old days. Thanks to a report in Melbourne’s local newspaper The Age, I had detailed step-by-step instructions on how to do it. The first purchase I made was really just out of interest. I didn’t quite believe that it would work, but when the little dodgy package arrived (addressed to my old housemate that had tried to murder me), I was shocked.

Over the next 6 months I regularly bought cocaine. Each time I did, I was sure that I’d spent the last of my money. But inevitably I’d go back to Silk Road, and see that I could afford another delivery. I didn’t think too much of it initially, but eventually the penny dropped: the value of Bitcoin had been increasing. Massively.

Recently, one Bitcoin went on to be worth about $6,200 Australian dollars for a brief period. When I had put my few hundred dollars in, one Bitcoin was worth $7 Australian dollars. So if I had invested that $10,000, my initial investment could have theoretically grown to $8.8m.

Instead I got high for 6 months.

And there’s your thought for the day. If there ever was a case against recreational drug abuse, this is it. I should be the anti-drug campaign poster child.

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“one funny, uplifting, amazing memoir” –Jill Nicely

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