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Looking back over my life, the following memories are imprinted indelibly on my mind. All of them memorable and all of them involving some degree of having been " Flysad. "

It is a thing that many people suffer from, only they do not know it. It is an affliction that many of us suffer from, yet it is rarely referred to by its name. That killer of relationships and reputations:  To be attacked without warning from an unknown source. We have all been Flysad at one time or another and this is my story.

When I was at boarding school with the Christian Brothers, we had Redemptorist priests coming intermittently to give us Retreats, which were days of religious practice and instruction, and quiet contemplation. Those were the days of hellfire and damnation, and one such priest told us in stentorian tones that "the devil goes around like a raging lion seeking whom he may devour". We then had to go to the priest for confession who told us not to be afraid to confess any sin, as he had heard them all. All was quiet for an hour or so as nervous boys filed in and out of the confessional. Then a notorious lad named Des entered. All was quiet for a few minutes, following which the priest thundered from the confessional "What!!!!!!!".

hmdes

 

Perhaps that is when I first realised that Des had been Flysad. 

Years later, on arrival at university following matriculation, I booked in to stay at the old University Hostel across the road from Perth University.

The males and females were segregated in different accommodation blocks, and in separate sections of the dining room.

I entered for dinner for the first time as a callow youth who had not been associated with girls since primary school. I took what appeared to be the last available seat, which was in the exclusively female section. Nervously, I picked up a pear and cut it in half with a knife.

One-half of the pear flew through the air and landed in the lap of the girl next to me. She silently stared at me to remove it, while deathly quiet pervaded the entire room in anticipation of my next move. I looked for the floor to swallow me.

flys234

While at uni I managed to purchase an old Ford V8 with crank handle, manual gear change and attached steel bumper bar in front. One night, for " purely platonic " reasons, I drove a young lady late at night up to Kings Park overlooking Perth to enjoy the view. The viewing parking area which was on a downward slope was full, and as I went to change into reverse to drive away, my foot slipped off the clutch and the car ran downhill into the back of the car a few metres in front.

I put the car once again into reverse and unbeknown to me, the front bumper had locked with the back bumper of the car in front. As I trod on the gas, the car in front was dragged a few feet up the slope, at which four hands began waving through the back window accompanied by yelling and cursing.

flyatt

 Some years later while practising law, I had an office in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney which was not far from the railway station. One morning I was running late for a court appointment, I rushed into the subway station and saw a train stationary at the platform below. I descended the escalator, pushed importantly through the stationary throng and jumped into the dark and empty train.

Within a few seconds the door closed, following which the train reversed up the tunnel to park with me inside, to the cheers and jeers of the mob outside. I was to languish in the darkness for nearly an hour.

flylock

I was out to dinner one night with friends of my daughter at Watsons Bay whom I had not met before. At the next table Susan Peacock/Sangster/Renouf was wearing a hat festooned with flowers and generally carrying on. I remarked to the lady opposite me "There is something basically unstable in a woman who has been married three times". She gave me a steely stare and responded"I have been married three times".

Later, when we went for a walk along the cliffs overlooking the harbour I asked the lady "Should I jump off?" She responded "Yes".

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Fast forward twenty years and myself and Mrs Flysa attended the play Hedda Gabler in Sydney featuring Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving. We were seated in the second front row. I was wearing a jacket and had turned off my mobile in the top pocket (or so I thought).

 

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At a crucial part of the play when Cate was reclining on the couch and Hugo was on one knee beside her, my phone rang.

In desperation I snatched it out of my pocket and it escaped my grasp and flew through the air, ringing and vibrating and flashing blue. Time seemed to stand nearly still as it slowly circled through the air and landed at Hugo's feet, still ringing, vibrating and flashing.

As the eyes of the audience centred on me, Hugo grasped the phone, strode off the stage and thrust the phone at me, which I proceeded to turn off.

For the remainder of the play I wished once again for the floor to swallow me, all to no avail. At the end Cate walked across to me and patted my knee, thereby winning me for life. Next day the report of episode was the most read article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

flycate

Oh Magoo, you've done it again.

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