I’d be lying if I said that, as a kid, I didn’t take any joy in my sister’s misfortune. Sure, I chortled when a bee became tangled in her hair and she sprinted across the backyard howling while my father chased her in a vain attempt at bee removal, the screaming intensifying in a similar fashion to the buzzing emanating from her blonde locks, but you have to draw the line sometime.
That time was in 1983 and we had sailed to Whitehaven Beach in our dinky little sailboat. This was before planes and helicopters landed every half hour and we had the squeaky, gleaming beach to ourselves. An outdoor toilet was set back from the beach and, after being on a boat with a bucket as your toilet, the first port of call for everyone was this rustic throne. My sister went first.
As we waited by the water’s edge, dipping our toes in the refreshing water, she came sprinting onto the beach screaming, closely followed by a large goanna which waddled out onto the sand, blinked at us and then sauntered back to the tree line. She recounted her adventure after calming down. She had opened the door and was about to sit down when she heard rustling emanating from inside the toilet. Before she could peer into the foetid abyss, an angry goanna poked its head out, hissed at my sister and then clambered out of its own personal snack-hole. As terrifying as this scene was I can’t help but side with the large lizard.
No one likes being interrupted during lunch.