Author's Note: All I wanted was to catch up with many an old friend whose localities all laid around Brisbane, capital of Queensland, a northern state of Australia, while staying with two friends, hereafter referred to as Justin and Geri. Please note every name contained in here that refers to a friend is entirely false. I packed myself up, and with little choice else, I also packed up the 'Nnoying Nine. No, I paid no attention to Dagmar's recounts of her trips with Ted, Murray and Heyoka.
Perhaps I should have. I paid the price.
VeggieTales: I'll let the official website speak for itself.
I was to leave Tuesday 8th of April, 2003. I would return Friday 18th of April, 2003. And I was stuck with nine muses whom I couldn't leave with anyone. I couldn't ask Dagmar to mind them ˛ Ted teaches them certain things; things they shouldn't know and no one at home, especially me, is impressed; also, I'd like to keep my friendship with Dagmar ˛ Robert flat out refused ˛ Well they are not coming here ˛ so they were coming with me. Joy.
I was due to catch a CountryLink XPT train from Sydney Central at 4:24PM on the Tuesday, arriving at Roma Street (Brisbane Transit) at 6:35AM on Wednesday 9th of April, 2003. That meant a fourteen hour, eleven minute journey. As it was, I spent over sixteen hours travelling before being left in the house of my friends. But not to get ahead of myself...
I settled down in my seat ˛ Car B: Seat 09 ˛ and prepared for a good long ride after having bid my mother and little brother goodbye. No sooner was I settled, than Occupant No 1 of Seat 10 came along. No sooner than she was settled than I had to go out of the carriage to see my dad ˛ leaving the Muses inside. He gave me a book to pass the time. I went back inside. Now, in my three minute absence, Geneva, Calika, Bivius, Ebrale, Lares, Kalends, Vedic, Destini and Brlyn had commandereered the carriage. Muses are thankfully inaudible and invisible to Mundanes/Unbelievers.
*Oi! Look at this guy. I can't believe he can breath!* A rather rude statement by Bivius.
*You should see what's inside this bag!* Geneva, apparently ransacking my own bag.
*'Neva, it's the Author's,* said Lares witheringly. And she and Calika flounced off to the Buffet Bar in Car C, making comments about the food, which I did not hear, and which I also did not eat, having brought a sixpack and ham sandwiches. Allright, it was six cans of Sunkist.
*This lady has bare feet!* Destini, obviously. She prefers walking to flying lately. Apparently her wings are too delicate to stand the strain of flapping.
Kalends and Vedic were above my head in the side top luggage storage space, trying to find something or other, as they said. *Oh, come on! I saw it get placed here!* cried Vedic.
*Keep looking,* muttered Kalends.
Brlyn was observing the carriage with an implacid air. I gritted my teeth and sat down again, calling them sharply to attention.
"It's never too late to clap my hands and have you all locked in the cupboard until I get home, you know."
Seven pairs of tearful eyes whipped to my own. *Please don't,* choked Ebrale, undoubtedly the best at making my resolve falter. But I stared at her.
"All I ask is that you behave well." So promising, they still circulated around the carriage, but very quietly and only gave the odd comment that I caught about once or twice. An hour. All trip. Now, these seats, while being first class, were impossible to sleep in. So every single comment I caught. by the next morning, I felt like strangling the Muses. And with damned good reason. Collecting my luggage, I went to the Ipswich line to get to Darra, station after Oxley.
Pausing to call Geri with whom I was staying, the Muses once more decided to wreak havoc. I snapped my fingers, barely pausing in the dialing of the number. Each of them suddenly was very still. I finished, and they unfroze.
*Hey!" snapped Calika. *That's no fair!*
"Behave." It was a word I was doomed to repeat many a time.
After fruitlessly trying to sleep, I went out for a walk. And soon found myself lost as I tried to get home.
*I think you take a right here,* ventured Bivius.
*No, he walks to the roundabout, and then onwards to another roundabout, then left to the house,* corrected Lares.
*Yeah, and to do that, you hang a right.*
Well, they were all wrong. As it turned out, I was in the entirely wrong area to find their house. Coming to their house as listed, I found it was the completely wrong house. Justin and Geri ˛ as I later found out ˛ had moved house, and I'd never been told, for I had the old address in my contacts. So I had moved from one wrong area to another wrong area.
Finally coming back to the mall which had taken an hour to find through taking the utterly wrong route, I waited around for an hour or more, before ringing Justin and asking to be picked up. So I spent the next forty minutes waiting and then learning the best route back to the house.
*Wow. We were so wrong with our opinions of how to get back to the house,* said Ebrale cheerfully. Worse was still to come the next day. That night I spent talking to Justin and watching T.V. while Geri was at a meeting. On Thursday, I woke up, bid farewell to Justin and Geri and attempted a walk that succeeded in my not getting lost. I also flipped through their large collection of CDs, some of which I had borrowed from Justin when he lived much, much closer to me. This entire day, I heard nothing from the Muses, until that night, when the three of us were returning from a bookstore, wherein I had purchased two cards, two books, two CDs, and three VeggieTales videos.
"Where have you been?"
*Um... * said Geneva. *We were trying to find a computer... *
"You haven't noticed the one back at home?"
*Yeah, but we can't talk to Data!* sighed Vedic, before gasping, *Um... forget I said that.*
I let it go, but I didn't forget it. At least I'd had a relatively peaceful day, having gotten a chance to watch Stuart Little, favourite lines:
Stuart [driving off in car]: Goodbye Fake Father! Goodbye Fake Mother!
Mrs. Stout: Goodbye Fake Son!
Mrs. Stout: I'm going to miss that kid.
Mr. Stout: I'm going to miss that car.
On Friday the 11th of April, I went with Geri on the bus to Indooroopilly. Quite a mouthful. Don't worry, I had to say it about fifteen times before the bus arrived to feel confident. Once there, Geri showed me all the important details, and I spent the morning at the library, then I had lunch. At 2:18, I caught a train to Brisbane Central, to meet my friend Hermione. The Muses at this point, decided to go and catch a train home 'for a nap'. So I spent a nice afternoon, getting back to Justin and Geri's around seven or so...
The Muses had caused havoc. Complete and utter havoc. Reports of strange noises and sights on trains, written off to mass hallucination. Then reports of strange lightning and fires within water sighted around various localities... somehow filtered back to me. Of course, none could top Bivius' deed of phasing in and out various little items like trees. As expected, nothing on the news about this, because if I didn't know any better myself, I'd think I was crazy, and thus wouldn't report it.
Saturday was spent in a music rehearsal, and that night we all gathered, plus another friend of mine, TaŻ, to watch A Knight's Tale. *Adhemar is a very unsavoury character, and we suggest we all hate him on sight.* I liked the movie, especially the ending. On Sunday, I, Geri, Justin and Geri's brother Larry went to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Muses were actually well behaved. We saw a Free-Flight bird show, a Totally Wild show, a Snakes Alive show, a Crocodile show and fed the rainbow lorikeets, interspersed with walking around to various exhibits and having lunch. That night, we had dinner at Geri's parents' place.
Monday and Tuesday's events are lost to my memory currently, which may be just as well, considering the Muses' behavior previously. Wednesday I went back to Indooroopilly, and watched DareDevil, got Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel, plus Emma Bunton's CD A Girl Like Me. Thursday, 17th April, I went home. The Muses and I put up with two children right behind us saying, 'Mummy, I don't want this seat!!!!' on the bus. After a while, I could sympathise, as we didn't want to be in our seat.
Then we got on the Thursday, 17th April, 9:50 pm CountryLink XPT from Murwillimbah, Car C: Seat 13, due to arrive back in Sydney Central at 11:38 am Friday, 18th April. And then a two hour wait for my train home. And to my astonishment and relief, the Muses were so worn out, that they fell asleep for three days straight.
And now I am home. And I swear this. Never again. Not in any lifetime will I ever do this idiotic idea again. The Muses will never come with me again on any trip! My sanity is wearing thin, and Perry still hasn't given me the name of that psychatrist!