The past few days has been pretty cool in that our friend Andrea is here from Australia. So our days have been filled with words and phrases like ‘tucker’ (tuck-ah) (good, basic food) and ‘be-YOU-tee’ (yep, just like Steve Irwin used to refer to crocodiles (I still miss him) and ‘You’re right’ (and not in the way I like JoHn to say it to me after an argument, but in the way that means ‘that’s okay’).
Also ‘mate’, which is said “My-ite’ – super fast so that it’s like a syllable and a half (or maybe an eighth).
Once, Andrea – who was CEO of Pacific Access (which was all things directories (Yellow Pages, White Pages) and digital (internet, all the stuff that carried internet and geo mapping and all sorts of things that were so very cool and important to the both of us at the time) – anyway, she was also one of the only female CEOs in Australia when JoHn and I lived there and certainly the only one managing a billion dollar company and she is also so amazing and interesting and so freakin’ funny that I (we, really, JoHn is a major fan) loved (and love) her.
Anyway, when she was doing all that, she became my customer and really helped me build something super fun and successful in Australia and one day she, and her complete riot of a super cool marketing guy (also still a friend) asked me to give a keynote address at a conference.
But they forgot to say it was for the entire Pacific Rim and the audience would be, like, a thousand people (or maybe two thousand or maybe a million or something like that) for the keynote.
So I was so busy that I just took the input on the topic and readied myself to go to the conference by packing things, like, to wear. And it was in Sydney and a big to do so before the conference there was a special night on the harbor that ended up in the Sydney Zoo, surrounded by goannas and koalas and wombats and eating great food with dignitaries who knew which fork to use and I realized, holy crap, this was a really big deal.
And the next day, I was literally waiting in the wings of a huge stage with spotlights and stuff and going out to give a rah-rah speech to people who were from all over the world and I think I blacked out because I started by saying…
“G’day my-ites!” and the crowd was happy and clappy and in a good mood and then, after a pause and a smile and – out of nowhere – my inner and never-before-channeled stand up comedian showed up and took over and said, “Man. I don’t know about you guys, but where I come from ‘mate’ is a verb.”
And there was an instant of a pause and then the whole place cracked up and my brain totally farted and was stunned that I’d just said out loud and, luckily, my friend Bob (who was the marketing guy who, along with Andrea, had invited me to speak) was laughing in the audience and I did an inner huge sigh of relief and moved on.
And it was oodles of fun.
Until I walked off stage and this very bouncy man met me and told me that – and you have to remember this was 1995 or so, so no Facebook or even on-line shopping or banking… basically the internet was just e-mail – so this bouncy guy was all excited and explained that they had basically figured out how to simulcast my speech over the internet…
So that was how I made my first dirty joke in front of a fairly large crowd and, in its day, it went viral.
So I’ve spent the past few days with my friend from way back then and we have been reliving our stories and happenings (and happenstances) of the time and laughing about trying to do business in a country that – at the time – still had men’s clubs (there was one located right below my office, and I threatened to base jump into it before I moved back to the states).
The other thing about having a friend from outside New England here, is that she is absolutely marveling at the leaves that are still on the trees (or on the ground) and making me appreciate my own back yard (literally and figuratively) more and more.
We went for a photo jaunt through the neighborhood the other day, with our wHizzy cameras, and it was just great to meander and chat and click – pretty awesome. Amazing beings, friends who have known you for decades.
Yesterday morning, I went out on my own in the morning to process and be before the house woke up, and all I had was my iPhone (you know, in case of serial killers) and I was noticing so much more than I had in the mornings I’ve walked for weeks.
Initially I lamented not having my ‘real’ camera… but then remembered my iPhone and, well…
So there you go. A special thanks to my iPhone, helping me share the end of our New England fall.
On to Cape Anne from here… bring on the ocean!
(I’ll come back to share :))
Thanks for readin’.
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