Friday, February 02, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

In life not everything is ‘good’. Amongst the happiness is a lot of sadness. And amongst joyful times, there are many things that make one mad, angry and disgusted.

You have read a few of my stories of the happy times on Hinchinbrook Island. Like life everywhere else, there were moments on the island that were sad and some that caused me anger.

This post is about one particular story, the most catastrophic moments of my time on the island. The event, if I’m totally honest, was the catalyst that caused me to reassess my life and eventually move on… back to the mainland and reality.

In saying ‘reality’, sometimes that doesn’t hold true, either, because I think we experienced more reality on the island in lots of ways because we were such a small community. Any foibles one may have had couldn’t be disguised as easily as they could be amongst a crowded populace in cities etc., on the mainland. I believe my staff, guests and me included, learned many of life’s lessons, harsh and otherwise, during our time spent on Hinchinbrook Island.

Other than being manager of the resort, my duties also included being sales/marketing manager. When donning that cloak, I incurred a fair amount of traveling to cities and regional areas throughout Australia, plus a couple of ventures overseas. Being away from the island for extended periods wasn’t really satisfactory, in that, even though I enjoyed visiting other areas, I really did prefer being at the resort.

The owner of the resort was a person I had known for many years. I met him through a very close friend of mine when she married him. We remained friends throughout the ensuing the years. I am no longer friends with him, but I am with my girlfriend. They have since divorced. He owned and operated a construction/engineering company, based in Toowong, Brisbane. He purchased the resort, just because he could, I guess and because he wished to diversify. He approached me with the offer of managing the resort for him. I sold my business in Noosa and headed north. This is the ‘short-hand’ version. I won’t go into depths of all the ‘ins and outs’ at this point.

“Q”….from now on I shall refer to him as “Q”…Q decided, in what he believed, his infinite wisdom (and he did really believe his wisdom was on a higher plane than anyone else’s…I tried to tell him the ‘plane’ had left the airport!), because of my frequent trips away and perhaps an eventual trip to the States and to Europe to present the ‘product’ to those in the Northern spheres, he should hire someone to handle the day-to-day running of the resort during my absences. On paper, the plan sounded okay but I really didn’t want to hand over any part of my management, not because of ego but because I loved what I was doing. I had pride in my position, both positions and believed I could handle both with the assistance of my existing staff. But Q didn’t listen to many others than himself and he went ahead with his plan.

He arrived by boat with his new recruitments. A blonde, squeaky-clean guy, dressed in white shorts and t-shirt, with his hippy-looking, heavily pregnant wife, alighted from the ‘Reef Cat’, together with two small children under school age. From first glance, I knew these people would not be suitable, but I was prepared to listen to the arguments handed to me, before I presented my views.

We gathered around an outside table on the deck. Cold juices were brought to us as we made small talk before settling in for a long discussion. My first impression of ‘Mr. Squeaky-Clean’ wasn’t’ a good one. I was proven correct in time. He and his wife were vegetarians, followers of the ‘Orange People”, a cult/sect you may recall.

*A couple of years prior to this day out on the resort deck the cult had come under scrutiny by the government and the media. “Sheila”, who was the mistress of one of the leaders, and who, herself, felt she held a ‘high post’ in the cult/sect appeared on “Sixty Minutes”. She certainly was a ‘piece of work’ and the word ‘bitch’ is the only suitable description of her, without being coarse or vulgar. There are more terms that would aptly describe her!

The two small children of the couple, a boy and girl, played around the table as we discussed the proposed changes. While ‘Mr. Squeaky-Clean’ expounded on and on about his philosophies of life, with Q looking on adoringly, I noticed the children’s teeth were black, green and rotten to stumps in their small gums. So much for inflicting vegetarianism on innocent, small children! I listened intently, allowing ‘Mr. Squeaky-Clean’ to rave on about how he wanted to turn the resort into a ‘health resort’, with meditation etc., etc. Now, I have nothing against all of that in the right place, but the resort on Hinchinbrook Island was not the place, nor was this couple and their two little children or the unborn child.

‘Mr. Squeaky-Clean’s’ wife had little to say. He held the ‘talking-stick’. She dutifully listened to his every utterance as if under his spell. I allowed him his moment or three before I interjected.

Looking at Q, then at ‘Mr. Squeaky-Clean’ and then to his pregnant wife, I said:

“I believe being on an island at this stage of your wife’s pregnancy is not the wisest decision you could make. This is an ‘island’ cut off from everywhere else. If anything should go wrong when the baby decides to come, and by the look of your wife, this isn't very far away, being out here, miles away from the mainland and help could spell ‘disaster’. It takes time to organize a boat and then transport on the mainland to get her to a hospital. To my way of thinking this is a very dangerous plan you are presenting.”

I swear I saw a halo above ‘Mr. Squeaky-Clean’s’ head together with a glow of an aura of ‘goodness’ surrounding his spotless, white, pure self! But I wasn't fooled!

“Oh! That’s not a problem,” said a glowing ‘Mr. Squeaky-Clean. “I was the ‘mid-wife’ at the birth of my other two children. I will handle the birth as I did with these two.”

I shook my head in disgust and in disbelief that anyone could be so ignorant. I felt anger, an anger that was to remain with me for the duration of their time on the island.

To be continued…..

16 comments:

  1. Funny thing Lee, as soon as you introduced this character as "Mr Squeaky Clean" I got the impression you didn't like him much... how insightful is that?
    We await the next episode with bated breath.

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  2. You hit the nail on the head, Peter! I certainly didn't like him!

    I hope to have further written by tomorrow.

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  3. I hate that! I was really getting into that story and now have to "wait until after the break...".

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  4. lol I'm having a commercial break, Robyn!

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  5. DANG IT, LEE! My vision is in the crappers today so I have the font blown up on my machine. I had no idea a "to be continued..." was coming. I'm sure you heard me cursing down under. What a cliff hanger. I hope you finish this tale up tomorrow. I cannot even imagine. For some reason, I thought you were still on the island. Silly me.

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  6. Lee, is there the slightest chance they got voted off the island??
    The orange people here are in jail.
    Good story and I shall wait. In my case... it really is a 'Cliff' hanger.

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  7. Hahahahaha...sorry to do this to you, Corn Dog and Cliff!! It's just because I've got a lot of work to do today via my computer! I'm a pain in the neck, aren't I?

    I will definitely try to finish the story tomorrow (my Sunday).

    And no, Corn...I'm living on a mountain now....from one extreme to the other! ;)

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  8. Hi Lee ~~ Another great story and like everyone else, waiting for the exciting finish. Thanks for your visit, and glad you got some smiles from it. Pelargoniums are great and I like geraniums too. Don't need much looking after. Take care, my friend,
    Love, Merle.

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  9. Hi Lee,

    Hmm, I see trouble upon the water, I can't wait to read what happens next.

    Janice~

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  10. Hi Merle and Janice, nice to see the both of you. I like geraniums, too, Merle. There are some wonderful colours in their blooms and such a variety of types. I particularly like the ivy geraniums, too.

    I'm sorry to keep you all on the 'edge'....not! ;)

    Just kiddin'!

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  11. This is leading up to a good read. I'm waiting for the next chapter. Bring it on.

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  12. To be continued?!

    You're mean, Lee! Only an mean person would write a story and leave people hanging like this. :)

    Seriously, though, it takes a lot longer to write it than read it, doesn't it?

    Looking forward to the next (final?) installment.

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  13. lee,
    heh,heh. Riviting story!

    i'll be very disappointed if there isn't a problem with the delivery. Two kids with rotten teeth makes MSC look like piss-poor father. He knows how to make 'em, but not how to care take 'em.

    Sounds like a Sidney Shelden knock off. ;-)
    rel

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  14. I'm duly reprimanded!

    Steve, when I awake full I shall 'bring it on!' That's after I've written it, of course!

    Don...a little bit of hanging around hurt no one..the suspense is good!

    Rel...It ain't no 'knock-off'...it's all totally original!! But thanks for the compliment! ;)

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  15. Hi, Lee. Well, I have to admit I read the next bit first! But you write so well and I am so in intrigued. I immediatley don't like the sound of "Mr SC" either...

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  16. Well, as long as you've now read both bits to the tale, Welsh, that's all that matters. I'm just starting on the third installment now...maybe I'll get it finished by the end of the day, but I've a few interruptions today so I can't promise...perhaps tomorrow.

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