According to the American Food and Drug Administration's list of withdrawal symptoms for this particular bitch drug, it also means that dizziness, nausea, vertigo, vomiting, headaches, tingling in the extremities, irritability, nightmares, anxiety, insomnia and excessive sweating are par for my course. There's a further, more cautionary warning that basically confirms what I have long suspected, ie. that I really am, for good or ill, a 1 percent-er, because "In extreme cases, abruptly discontinued use results in confusion, a severe, constant irritable mood, and seizures." Well, two outta three 'aint bad, although I want to amend the list to include shaking legs and hands, pins and needles of the scalp, muscular pain, sensitivity to noise, light and sudden movement, and extreme eyeball pain. Seriously. It hurts to do anything other than look straight ahead right now. Not good. Wimbledon's on.
A little context. Take the worst and most debilitating hangover you've ever had, combine it with the most toxic and potent chemical comedown you've ever had (if you've ever spent time at Rainbow Serpent, just count the 4 or 5 day long aftermath as your benchmark of suffering here), multiply it by ten or twelve, throw in some randomly occuring tremors, night terrors and a desire to rip the hair and scalp clean off your head and you get the general idea.
The thing is, I already find a huge proportion of life to be almost unbearably irritating as it is. There are annoyances at every turn, and if it's not one fucking thing it's another. Space does not permit a comprehensive survey of the singular grievances that get under my skin, but here's one just off the top of my head: salespeople in service stations who over the last few years have apparently been programmed to try and sell you things - king sized Cherry Ripes and the like - that you don't want and haven't asked for. I know it must hardly seems possible that I may wish to purchase petrol and petrol only, given the fact that I'm patronising a PETROL STATION and all, but, astonishingly, it is so. Anyway, I can't think about such things at the moment without getting a headache and homicidal urges so let's move along.
To counter-balance the strong bitch, bitch, bitch elememt of this post, I should point out that, make no mistake, some things fill me with gratitude and wonder. Roadside produce stalls, those wind-sock men that sometimes blow around in front of car yards, horses rolling on their backs and kicking their legs in the air, lambs and polar bears, old ladies selling slice on trestle tables in the street, dogs on utes, blimps, daily newspapers, the Ganges, Bukowski, football - obviously......
See? It''s not all 'stop the world I want to get off'.
Also, I love more than anything when people split their pants. Nothing is funnier than that.
I suspect that if I ever make it to Leichardt Oval and get to stand on that hill under those Moreton Bay fig trees screaming and spraying beer around that the experience will make it straight onto my list of things of mystery and wonder as well. Nevermind the fact that I imagine I'll be there in my lime green, in all likelihood watching the Raiders being carved up like a Christmas ham by the Tigers, which is how their meetings tend to play out, let's be honest. No, nevermind that, because it will be incredible, and besides, you have to respect a good hoodoo.
I think it was the prospect of the Storm playing at Leichardt on Sunday afternoon that saw me momentarily lose focus - by which I mean I started watching 'Harry Loves Lisa' on the Lifestyle channel and missed the start of the game. For the uninitiated, Lisa is Lisa Rinna, she of the grotesquely over-inflated lips, and Harry is her hot silver fox husband Harry Hamlin, who played the evil Aaron Eccles in Veronica Mars. To great aplomb, I might add.
The episode's arc saw Harry, who as far as I can tell is what is commonly referred to in showbiz circles as 'washed up', reading for a part in an audition, thinking he nailed it and then receiving alarming feedback letting him know he not only missed out on the part but also "gave a bizarre reading and freaked everybody in the room out". His acting coach suggested he may be a touch too intense, which saw Harry decide to lighten up with a little stand-up comedy, and one of his proposed jokes went like this:
"You ever tried to fuck on a waterbed - it's like fucking on a wave - YOU CAN'T DO IT!"
BoomTISH, right? As for Lisa, she is, aside from the monstrous lips, exactly the same as Kris Kardashian and until I see them in the same room together I will consider them to be the same person.
Anyway, I only watched a few minutes before I came to my senses and remembered that Austar will replay the episode every four or five hours over the course of the coming week and possibly for all of eternity too, should I wish to revisit it.
So. Switching over to the Tigers/Storm game the first thing that struck me was that every Storm player and their dog were carring head or face injuries and were not only wearing but fucking rocking an assortment of headbands and facial bandages. Except Billy Slater, who had no headband and was merely wearing his usual expression which - for the ignorant or the blind - can only be described as a shit-eating smirk. And Cameron Smith, he too was unadorned, lounging on the interchange bench and looking hairy as hell.
Meanwhile, Cooper Cronk was rushing around nailing multiple 40/20s and competing on every play and herding players around like a frenzied kelpie and just being his usual over-achieving self. Cronk is fierce. There is no denying this fact. Also, he is unintentionally halarious, and kind of awesome too. I'd elaborate but I really can't bring myself to say nice things about Storm players so we'll leave it well alone and I'll just post some pictures of his pretty self instead.
The interesting thing of it is that Cronk's intensity doesn't grate on me in the way that, say, Cameron Smith's does. Sometimes Smith's eyes burn like I imagine an angry God's eyes would and I physically flinch, that's how intense he can get.
On the other hand, Michael Ennis is one of the fiercest competitors in the game; he allegedly researches players' lives, gleans personal information and uses it against them during games via volleys of expletive-laden sprays and I have nothing but love for the guy. He also wears head-tape with rakish panache, so to me he's pretty much god's gift.
Did y'all see in Origin II when Sam Thaiday dropped the ball, I think early in the second half, and Ennis charged over, got right up in his grill and bellowed what I can only imagine was a string of choice, A-grade sledges into Thaiday's startled face? Sadly I'll never have the details of what was said, but I have a fertile imagination and, also, I have a thing or two I wouldn't mind screaming into Thaiday's face given half a chance, so I think I can fill the blanks.
So, yes, steady as she goes. Steady as Peter Garrett's dancing, or, say, Brett Stewart after an NRL season launch...