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Crossing Over

Wrong Ron On Road – Crossing Over

Added 7 Jan 2014

“Hello, Pscho Anna Liszt speaking”

WR: It’s me; Wrong Ron.  I’m all alone and the team has gone on their Christmas breaks.

PAL: So where did you go to after the “high” country?

WR: Swan Hill?  Ha!! We headed west.  It was Sing Lish’s turn to select the next destination.  He wanted to sample the dishes of Adelaide and the Barossa Valley.

PAL:  Do go on.

WR: None of us had been to South Australia before.  In fact, Mal Prop had never been out of the state of Victoria.  But we had heard about the language difficulties over there.  So we found ourselves a translator.  Well, to be exact, Mal found us a translator.

Off to the border we went.  Well, not quite by the direct route.  Sing Lish had discovered that Hudak’s Bakery in Mildura had won a prize in the Ouyen Vanilla Slice Triumph recently.  So we took the Murray Valley Highway to Mildura.

Then the real problem came in attempting to cross into South Australia.  We were well on the way to Renmark, but got stopped at the border.  The guard began speaking in an unusual tongue.  Immediately we called for our translator, New Zealander Tum Hugguns.

Tum looked puzzled.  It turned out the Tum spoke Victorian and New Zealand and Scottish (he came from the South Island of NZ), but not South Australian.

We saw a building on the Victorian side of the border which had “TRANSLATORS” written in big letters.  Searching through, we found a Scotsman who could speak French.  Then we located a woman who could speak French and Deep South USA.  Finally, we found an old bloke who spoke Deep South USA and South Australian.  We were in business.

So I asked Tum to ask this question, “Why are you stopping us, sir”

Tum asked the question in Scotsman in Scottish.  The Scotsman asked the woman in French, who then spoke to the old guy in Deep South USA.  The oldie from the Deep South asked the guard the question.

The guard replied to the Deep South guy, who passed the message on to the woman, who informed the Scotsman, who translated to Tum the New Zealander.

Finally, Tum turned to me with the answer: my favourite colour is punk.

Just when it appeared that we would have to turn back, Sister Fibrosis appeared from the back of the bus with Private Leigh Seething.

Leigh could speak fluent Victorian AND South Australian, as it turned out.  After a short chat with the guard, Leigh informed us that they needed to search the bus.

“For weapons”, said Mal Prop.

“Don’t be silly, Mal” shot back Ann Aerobic, “they will be looking for peptides.”

“Large piles of cash”, postulated Dreamy Dave.

“No”, replied Private Leigh, “the most sinister contraband of all – plastic bottles”.

Eventually, after consuming and then handing over a couple of bottles, we were permitted to depart.  Tum Hugguns stayed behind to pick up some translating work at the border.  Private Leigh taught us all the South Australian language on the way.  So, by the time we arrived at our next stop, we knew enough of the local lingo to get by.

Sing Lish’s meandering route took us to almost every eating place in the Barossa Valley.  But that was only an entrée for him.  He then directed us to North Terrace in the centre of Adelaide to get a pie floater.

He looked distraught when the Pie Floater van was missing.  He immediately phoned his cousin Hood Win Kin and asked what happened to the van.  Hood Win Kin confirmed that it had been there in the past, but had no clue where it was now.

Eventually, one of the locals directed us to the Enjoy Bakery Café in The Parade Norwood.  Everyone consumed a pie floater, despite Ann going on about the correct diet required for football excellence.

A few days visiting schools ensued.  Ann Aerobic and Penny Dredfell worked with the very young girls at one primary school.  The interaction of the two with the children was interesting.  They loved Ann at first sight – all gathering around her like bees to a honey pot.  Each one wanted to be the first to get a lesson from our star girl.

But Penny is a different matter altogether.  At 195cm and a champion sprinter, the children took a big step back as she approached.  They soon realised that Penny had a gentle manner which belied her stature.

In the boys’ area, Mal Prop was behaving like the little kid that never quite left him.  He would be seen on the ground wrestling with the children, throwing them in the air and giving them wizzies.

Matt E Matical, who is just slightly taller than Penny, is a very good educator.  He had some small boys with great technique in a very short time.

Are you still there, Psycho Anna?

PAL: Yes, it sounds like you are really enjoying this new life.  Go ahead, Ron.

WR:  I did have some concerns about how rough Mal was with the young kids.  At one venue, I suddenly heard horrific screaming coming from Mal’s area.  I ran across as fast as my middle-aged legs could carry me.

What was it? …a broken arm? …or something worse.  The boy was still screaming when I approached the mother.

“What happened to him?” I enquired.

“No injuries to report”, she noted, “I just refused to let Mal give him a wizzie, that’s all!”

What a relief!

At one school, we offered to help with their Christmas production.  Dreamy Dave did the admin work, Mal and a few of the others were responsible for the manual labour.  And, of course, Sing Lish would take care of the lighting; while Mark Buck was the stage manager.

We had a “rehearsal” which involved Mark, Sing Lish and myself going through the various acts one by one and getting the minor details right.  I was on the sound desk and also pretended to introduce the acts one by one.  While this occurred, Mark worked out where each child or group would enter and exit.  And Sing Lish would ensure the right lighting shone at the correct time.

Sing Lish was excellent at his work until…..

“The next act”, I said to them, “is a girl with a slightly unusual name.  Her first name is Oprah, as is Oprah Winfrey.  Her family name is Light, as in Colonel Light.

“Oprah Light?” queried Mark.

Suddenly we were plunged into total darkness.

“Sing, can you please turn the lights back on?” I requested.

The lights came on.

“So yes”, I continued, “her name is Oprah Light”.

Once more, we were plunged into darkness.

This process repeated several times.

Finally I asked Sing Lish why he kept plunging us into total darkness.

“Because you keep telling me to OFF THE LIGHT”, came the reply.

We eventually explained to Sing that we were saying the name Oprah Light.  From that moment on right through to the end of the real show, everything went smoothly.  And Oprah Light sang wonderfully well.

But, sadly, we left SA without the greatest mystery being solved – why is there an N in SANFL?

Anyway, the team was sent on their Christmas break after touring SA, and I asked them all to call me with cryptic clues as to where they were located.

Here are a few examples:

Ann Aerobic called in and sang to me a song from back in early 2011

O little town of Bendigo, play’n in the VFL

Your links with Essendon this year has served you very well

Prince William did not visit, but just two months ago

The greatest King in all the world was seen in Bendigo

The oldies bowed respectfully when this King came to town

The young ones stopped their texting and then put their iPads down

The kiddies laid down palm leaves; their parents spread the word

As into town triumphantly rode New Born King James Hird

Although he has some enemies, this King of Red and Black

Will win some friends if he stops Magpies winning back to back

He’ll keep that winning streak – now at one game in a row

For all his loyal subjects in the town of Bendigo

PAL: So she was in Bendigo

WR: You guessed in correctly, too!  Next, Matt E Matical phoned in singing: Jindabyne, Jindabyne, Jindabyne rock.

PAL: Jindabyne?

WR: You are scoring 100% so far, Psycho Anna.  Here’s a harder one! Pastor Mark Buck gave me this one: The Wizard Follows You.

PAL: Ummm…… no, I give up

WR: Oz Trail Ya.  He was no more specific than that.  But the strangest one of all was William Wordsmith.  He phoned in not knowing where he was.  He told me his parents took him on a mystery flight. The conversation went like this:

WW: Hi Wrong Ron, I am in this hotel room somewhere.  I need help to figure out where I am.

Me: Can you see outside?

WW: No; but let me see what I can find in the room. Ah, a TV guide.

Me:  Find the name of an unusual show or something like that.

WW: There’s a show called, “All Critters Great and Small”.

Me: You’re in hillbilly country in the south of the USA.

WW:  That’s all I need to know for now.  The next challenge is to get out alive.  For now, I am just going to set a spell*…. OH NOOOO, I am starting to talk like one now.  Just found another show on TV.  It is “Return of the Jed”.  Hey, Wrong Ron, if I never survive this ordeal…. What?…… it’s okay Wrong Ron…. Just found out that I am actually in Brighton, Victoria.  The family played an elaborate hoax on me.

{* set a spell: to sit down for a period of time, especially in the company of other people and in order to relax or to engage in casual conversation}

As for me, Psycho Anna Liszt, I had the best Christmas with the family ever.  They gave me a DVD of the 1980 Grand Final.  I walked around the house all day singing, “All I Want for Christmas is a Bruce Monteath!”

PAL:  Wrong Ron, this has been a great year for you.  I am really happy about your mental state.

WR:  And I even reckon I might live to see another Tiger flag.

PAL:  We will wait and see; good-bye Ron.

WR:  Talk to you soon, Psycho Anna.