The Handstand Kid


Friday, 20 January, 2017

Melbourne, Australia

I completely expected my CV to wow Australia. I pictured that I would be an anesthetist on $300,000 a year at the very least by late January. However, that has not been the case. It would appear that the first month after Christmas is not flooded with opportunity.

The stress of the search has already resulted in me failing three of my New Year’s resolutions – I’ve resorted back to chocolate, beer and crystal meth for comfort. They each sooth the pain, but none of them erase the problem.

While nobody wants to hire me, they’re all more than happy to take a copy of my CV, which is costing 8p a sheet. There are times when I may as well just be burning my money. I must have heard the phrase, “We’re not hiring at the moment, but if you leave a resume we…”

“… will do absolutely nothing with it.”

My personal favourite response – which was said completely sincerely – being, “Yeah, we are hiring. We’ll be going through resumes in October, so we’ll give you a call then.”

Oh, just the nine months to wait for that one then. Let’s run through a list of things that will certainly or possibly occur prior to me getting a return call from this juice bar.

  • Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day & Easter.
  • All four of 2017’s tennis grand slams.
  • Your unborn daughter’s first words.
  • The revelation that Theresa May once slept with a cow as part of a private school dare.

Still, I may just hold out. I can get really good at solitaire in the meantime.

Alternatively, a name change to Farmer Parker could be on the horizon sooner than anticipated. We shall see.

Our friends suggested that we joined them on a trip along the Great Ocean Road, and frankly, we welcomed the break.

This is a pretty spectacular place.

This entire part of Victoria is so beautiful, in fact, that it can be pretty difficult to restrain from risking your life for that perfect photo of you dangling your legs over a cliff’s edge on a windy day.

One woman, however, took the opportunity for a perfect picture one step further.

Not content with the generic dangling legs pose – she had her (twelve year old?) son doing some mad frigging handstands on the edge of a cliff as she snapped a few pictures for grandma.

While the kid has clearly spent plenty of time practicing his trick in the playground – his body was as straight as an arrow, which I’m sure made for a satisfying picture – if he lost his balance or there was a sudden strong gust of wind, he was dead. That is the cold truth. The drop must have been 500ft.

We were actually just approaching the viewpoint as this took place. So, we only saw some little legs pointing towards the air beyond the barrier. At which point, the commotion began.

Naturally, the people waiting in line for their turn at a photo did not take too kindly to the circus act on display and expressed their concern to the mother with the camera – frankly, it is pretty unbelievable that this was allowed to occur and encouraged by a parent.

The mother and the child couldn’t speak English though. So, while they were aware that people were angry, they weren’t entirely sure why.

The kid’s father also joined the scene after noticed that his wife and son (who was now away from danger and by his mum’s side) were under verbal attack from the parking area. He came over with a look on his face that said, ‘oh bloody hell, she’s blatantly had the lad doing handstands over a cliff again’.

They were basically sat down and lectured, while looking like three helpless dogs that had just been caught peeing on the brand new couch. The dad looked pretty defeated as he softly translated the message to his family, who in turn, responded with accepting nods.

It was pretty hard not to feel a little bit sorry for them, to be honest – even though, you know, they’re terrible parents.

It became a bit of an odd therapy session in the end and everybody just departed with a little more wisdom and a handshake.

Disappointed with the finish, I went to the cliff and did a triple back flip hoping to reignite some spark into the drama, but nobody seemed to give a damn anymore. They had gone from angry protestors to tree hugging hippies in ten minutes – the only way to rattle them now would be to bring up how many paper copies of my CV I had given out over the last few days.

We actually saw that very family at another viewpoint, and this time they were standing at the right side of the barriers as they took their pictures. So, it would appear that a lesson was learned. Unfortunately, after they got their photos and started heading back to their car, the wind blew the father’s hat into a tree and he couldn’t reach it.

Sometimes it is just not your days.


We also encountered some koalas while we were in this part of Victoria. It was pretty hard not to envy them. They look really cosy and chilled out in the trees, and furthermore, absolutely stress free. Not once do they need to fret about 8p CVs or finding the first step of that ladder that will lead to the high earning anesthetist job.

Although, I hear the majority of them are riddled with chlamydia – which makes me envy them a little less. Apparently, they can pass it on to humans too – should that person be unlucky enough to have an infected koala wee on them.

Based on his string of bad luck, I reckon the hatless man with the handstand-loving kid and the careless wife probably finished his day covered in infected koala piss.

We were actually fortunate enough to see quite a few koalas across the trees. Monica thinks they look cute and I think they look stoned.

The feature attraction along Great Ocean Road is the Twelve Apostles, which we were also lucky enough to see.

The Twelve Apostles are a collection of limestone stacks situated along the shore of one of the beaches in the area. They are pretty fascinating – although, there are now only eight of them due to a few not being able to stand the test of time.

I bet they had to have that difficult ‘name change’ discussion each time another one of the stacks collapsed. I imagine it to be very similar to the time that one of the members in the boyband ‘5ive’ decided to quit the band.

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