Cyclone Clare sure had the memories ... flooding back. Zing! I lived in The Pilbara for twelve years and spent many a tempest getting shit-faced with my housemates. That was the done thing in those parts. As soon as the red alert went up you sprung into action, slick teamwork being the go. "Righto then. Tone, you do the pub run. I'll get the videos. Rob, you see to the snacks. Nige, you fill up the genny." During Cyclone Chloe in March 1984 the back of our house blew down but we didn't notice until the next day. "Hey, look at this, boys," someone said. "Shit a brick! There's no beer left."
Soon after we moved into a bigger, less rubbly house where we met a Croatian psycho named Steve The Wog. "Hello, boys. Here - drink Vee Bee," commanded Steve, handing us a can by way of a greeting. "Is good beer. Drink, fucking." Steve lived in an ancient caravan in the back yard and, as far as we could tell, had two hobbies, drinking beer and nurturing this sapling beside his van. Sadly for all concerned, but most of all the sapling, it was run over. That night Steve burst through the back door brandishing a massive kitchen knife "WHO KILL YOUNG WOOOOOD?" Us cowards all looked at Deano - he'd flattened the tree with his deadly treadly. "You cunt, fucking! I kill you!" He rushed at Deano, but instead of filleting the poor slob, Steve suddenly laughed "Haaaaa, you shit, boy!" and stolled out whistling. We laughed, too - just not at first.
Twenty-two years on and in lieu of a real tree, here instead is a Brief History of the Tree in My Street. What better way to make it up to Steve. It's the least can be done for a bloke who is probably dead from liver disease, but you never know.