We are not long back from the wedding of the year. A couple of students whom Cam has discipled for years, dewy-eyed with youth and tenderness, tied the knot in subtropical central Queensland, in a town which, to protect the innocent, I shall call Stonesville. The bride was beautiful, the groom was beautiful and their relationship was beautiful. I wept because beauty triggers my internal sprinkler system. The only blight on all this beauty was that we were plagued by sore throats. And we needed our throats as Cam was to deliver the sermon (a first) and we were both to MC the reception. But luckily, a fellow campus missionary had suggested a cure – a swig of overproof rum. The high alcohol content kills germs, he admonished sagely.
We stayed in a fabulous, 4-star hotel. It was very nice, yet mysteriously cheap. The local bikie gang must enjoy a bargain too. The Courtly Cutthroats’ favourite watering hole/burnout zone turned out to be our hotel. Courtly Cutthroats is not their real name. I made that up so they can’t google themselves, stumble across my blog and hunt me down...to pester me for further hotel recommendations. All 200 of the darlings turned out for our visit. In full gangster regalia, they came to dinner at our hotel. Then they performed for us in a cavalcade of biking prowess...or as the locals call it, bogan laps. This audiovisual treat was given free of charge... for hours.
When we arrived, we found our visit coincided with Stonesville’s daily Bottle Throwing Festival. A certain dentally reconfigured demographic was huddled around the entrance to our hotel, hurling bottles at a certain bottle-appreciating demographic on the other side of the street. They went back and forth in this spirited exchange for many entertaining hours. What an arresting display of marksmanship they put on for us tourists! And what a compelling way to create free-form municipal mosaics!
The hotel backed onto what must surely be the set of a Hollywood horror flick – how glamorous! The building was fenced off to give it a foreboding air, then bombed out and graffitied to give it that authentic look of dereliction. The effect was completed by a slime-filled swamp artfully sprawled before it. With such Oscar-winning set design, you could almost believe the urban rumour that a gruesome murder had taken place there at 2:48am on June 2, 2013 leading to an arrest by Police Inspector Bill Veracity, Badge Number 7829751.
In fact, Inspector Veracity seemed to be part of the welcome committee/community theatre group. After we had settled into our suite, we gazed out at the lovely vista of Stonesville before us. To our amazement, there below, was Inspector Veracity himself putting on a great show of making a difficult arrest of a feisty gentleman. Both put on a commendably convincing display of cops and robbers. It made us feel so at home and at ease!
Dressed up in my finest wedding frockery, smiling happily as I left our hotel room, I could only guess from the hungry looks locals were giving me, that I must have looked like a hot dog. Then a random, unworthy thought crossed my mind. I voiced it to Cam. “Do I look like a cheap hooker?”
“Oh no dear,” he reassured me quickly. “You look like an Expensive Escort.”
It was such an endearing thing to say, that I let myself run with the spirit of the moment and punched him in the eye. This gave a lovely magenta glow to his ocular socket to match those of my many admirers. Cam appreciated the service I rendered him. Everyone who knows Cam knows how much he loves to blend in. They don’t call him FURRY Cam for nothing. It stands for “Fly Under the RadaR, Yeeha!”
After the wedding, we asked selfless, Christian, Student Life students to drive us home. Where are you staying? They wanted to know. “At the Luxurious Leichardt Lounge for Lechers,” we told them. They must be in the same community theatre group as Inspector Veracity, as they did a very believable job of pretending they’d never heard of it and if it was in the part of town they thought it was in, they never wanted to hear of or see it in this life or the next and couldn’t we just get a taxi back?
We found our own way back – the students didn’t break character, they must be method actors, bless them. And we decided to end the day as we’d started it...with a swig or two of overproof rum...for medicinal reasons...and to help the locals with their free-form municipal mosaics.