Driving from Sydney to Cairns for Christmas might sound a bit crazy, but… yeah, you’re right, it is crazy. So why do I do every year, without fail? I guess it’s because I have a screw loose, which isn’t surprising given the family that awaits me up in the sunshine state. They’re all off their respective trees, and it’s all I can do to turn up with what sanity I’ve managed to muster over the course of the year and hope it’ll rub off on them.
All I know for sure is that I won’t make the same mistake I did last year and skip out on my car air conditioning service. It wasn’t pretty, driving up to FNQ in late December without a working air con. I’m a naturally cold person – probably an adaptation due to growing up in Cairns – but even I was struggling severely by the time I got there. It was my fault, though. I should have listened to my cousin Kev’s new girlfriend when she told me to stop off at her cousin’s mate’s workshop on the way.
Legend has it he’s the one of the best 4WD mechanics near Toowoomba, if not this side of the Great Dividing Range. Then again, how was I to know that someone who specialises in diesel tuning is also an air conditioning specialist? This is what I’m talking about: communication skills aren’t exactly abundant in my family, and this makes for frequent misunderstandings, offence taken where it needn’t be, and verbal sparring matches a regular occurrence at the Christmas dinner table.
Every year, I wade into the fray with the intention of letting it all be water off a duck’s back, and maybe even throwing down a few choice words of wisdom that might help smooth over the latest disagreement. But it never works out that way. There are just too many voices vying to be the loudest, too many badly thought out opinions, and not enough consideration for me: the chump who’s been roped into driving up from Sydney for yet another year running.