19 February 2008

A Yarn about a Rock Concert and a bag of Sugar!

"Well I decided to be a real cooool rock dude and bought a bag of raw sugar!....why is this ATM making weird noises? Why do I have Led Zep songs stuck in my head?"

A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to see Iron Maiden live in concert. Not having been a huge fan of theirs I thought twice (some might say this is a lot of thinking for me, but I disagee) before saying yes to the ticket. Having said that, I did like a few of their earlier songs and it would give me a chance to see them live and practice my ever improving air guitar skills. At this stage Jimmy Page need not worry though!

Anyway, the concert was on a Saturday night and this is always a great night to go out and have a good time. As I was driving to the gig at the Acer Arena I decided not to drink any alcohol before, during or after the gig. This was an amazing feat for me as having a cool ale before a concert is a good way of getting into the 'rock' mode. For the record I am not becoming a new age religious geek by abstaining from alcohol.

So I showered and set off to see the show. Now what would most people do on their way to a heavy metal concert? Some would buy alcohol, others would get some food (pizza mmmm) and some would buy a pack of smokes. Well I decided to be a real cooool rock dude and bought a bag of raw sugar! Yes, you heard me right, I bought some sugar. Obviously my brain was going haywire as I realised that there was no sugar in the house after I set off in the cruise mobile aka the old Ford Falcon.

After I bought the sugar and started to head to Homebush I realised that I needed $100 to give to my friend for the ticket. This would be no problem, I thought, as I would drive to the next ATM machine and draw out the money. Easy peasy, no problemo I thought.

So I drove to the ATM machine put my card into the slot only to realise that the machine was displaying the "out of order" sign. I was slightly perturbed but remembered that the BP Service Station down the road had an ATM as well. I set off to it while listening to Led Zeppelin on the cd player an getting into the rock mood.

I arrived at the servo and quickly went inside while humming 'Dazed and Confused'. As it turned out it was an apt song for the night ahead. I put my card in the slot, chose the amount and account and waited for the money. I waited and waited and waited and still no money came out! I was there for three minutes when I started cursing under my breath. Where was my money? will I get my cashcard back? why is this ATM making weird noises? Why do I have Led Zep songs stuck in my head? The service station manager then came over and told me that the machine was playing up. I had to count to ten before calmly telling him that possibly (maybe) he should put a sign up to that effect!

I knew that the chances were that I would not pass another ATM machine before Homebush. As I got close to my destination I saw another service station that had a McDonalds adjoined to it. Surely they would have an ATM? I went inside the servo and started looking frantically for the ATM. I looked everywhere but could not see the darn thing! I asked a staff member where was the cashpoint machine. He said there wasn't one. I was dumbfounded and told him so. I kindly pointed out that this was pathetic. Especially as Macca's was next door! He just shrugged his shoulders and went back to packing the shelves.

I was now running late and had to get a move on. I arrived at 8.30 and met my friends. I remembered that the Acer Arena had ATM's! I was saved - hallelujah! I told my friends that I would get the $100 now as I had had an eventful night with cash machines and told them I would see them in the arena. My jaw nearly hit the ground when I saw the queues. They were at least 30 deep in all directions! Most of the ATM users were drunk and could not operate the machines properly.

Anyway, I struck up a conversation with a Maiden fan who used to work at the South Pole. He told me lots of interesting things about this wonderland. It certainly helped pass the 30 minutes of queueing. Finally, I got to the front of the queue and put my card in and yes....I got cash!!

For the record, the concert was great. Iron Maiden put on a really powerful performance with great musicianship. For me 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner' was the pick of the night.

I went home happy in the knowledge that I wouldn't have to get up early in the morning to buy some sugar or visit an ATM!

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