Bazz's blog: boiling cell phones


Bazz discovers the wonders of underwater waterfalls

Our Senior Boat Consultant, John Willis, recently took me in a fancy boat to Port Phillip Heads, said to be one of then most dangerous stretches of water in the world. It’s certainly one of the weirdest.

You get half way out there, in serenely calm water mind you, then you notice that about 200m away the water is doing something strange. In a pool about 200m across it appears to be boiling. And if it isn’t boiling it’s certainly bubbling and if it isn’t bubbling then what the hell is it doing?

Curious about all this, I turned to the ever prescient Senior Boating Consultant and asked him what sort of fantastical phenomenon can make an ocean boil. He returned the following: "A waterfall."

The blank expression must have betrayed my incredulity. "What?"

"Yeah, a waterfall, an underwater waterfall," he said. "The shallow part of the bay at this point is about 8m deep, but it then drops vertically to about 60m. The sudden downward movement of so much water makes it appear at the surface to be, as you put it, ‘boiling’. You see what I’m saying, Numbnuts?"

I thought his sarcasm was unwarranted, although Senior Boat Consultant obviously derived some sort of pleasure from it, and that’s a trait I’ve noticed among boaties since signing on with this august journal of boating enlightenment. On the whole I’ve been treated courteously by people who know more about boats than I do, which is everyone in Australia, but occasionally I strike one who has to make a point with a blunt object.

I once asked someone the correct method of tying a boat to a wharf and he replied, "With a rope". Very funny, Bunghead.

Oddly enough, the bloke’s casual contempt reminded me of the days when, as a young man who mistakenly pinned his financial future on the success of curried cheesecakes, and had spent too much establishing a backyard production facility for this commodity, I was driving cabs to supplement my income.

One squally night on the midnight to dawn shift I picked up a pregnant woman frighteningly close to giving birth. The towel between her legs was a giveaway, even for me. In any event, this perilous prenatal crisis worsened as I drove the last few white knuckle kilometres, while sounds of impending birth issued from the back seat. Aagghhhhhhh… and so on and so forth.

Having driven cabs for some time I of course knew where the local hospital was, but in my flustered state I didn’t quite convey with the necessary exactitude an inquiry as to the whereabouts of the maternity unit.

"Ah, this is 47, base. I have a lady about to give birth in my cab but I don’t know where to take her," I said.

Dripping from the overhead speaker and coated with more sarcasm than even Senior Boat Consultant can muster came the reply: "Try the hospital 47?"

Needless to say it took me a while to live that one down. And I’m still doing stupid things, only now I find it hard to believe that early in my life I so willingly signed on for permanent derangement.

As if to prove that point, the other day my wife bought a new mobile phone in a deal that offered free calls to anyone else in the universe with the same phone. Apparently the Swiss Army Wife thought she was saving household money by doubling the amount of time she spends talking to our daughter, who of course has the same phone.

Anyway, she asked me how to dial with the fancy-pants numerals on this gadget and I said I’d have a look. I picked it up, dialled our home phone number, and when it rang I actually said "hello". Then, when no-one answered I hung up.

I’d like to say "I can’t believe I did that" but it wouldn’t be true. Swiss Army Wife shook her head and I went to lie down for a while. On my bunk in HMAS Dopey Bastard.

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