MILITARY EFFICIENCY AT ITS BEST By Craig Hannan, 8/9 RAR
A bunch of us decided to go to the drive-in, with three of us riding our bikes and the others in vans, utes, cars, deck chairs etc.
I was waiting for the guys to form up on the road and head in convoy. I’d just washed and polished the bike and decided to practice a little stunt riding along the road outside the area gym. My trick was to stick behind two cars side-by-side on the freeway, stand on the seat, lift one leg, take the left hand off the handlebars and ride between them at between 140 and 180 kph while waving at them.
Well, it was a little more sedate this evening – about 60 kph. On the second run, I stood on the seat, lifted my leg, raised my hand and waved at the guys sitting on the gym stairs cooling down – cocky and overconfident. I didn’t look at the exact placement of my foot and having just put Armor All on the seat, well, spat off the right side of the bike, spun and landed, slamming my left wrist into the ground. Snap! I landed on my back and started sliding along on my back. My shoes come off. I slammed both hands onto the deck to try and stop sliding. Both gloves came off. My helmet bounced off the road for a second time, rolling forward off my head and rolled between my legs and down the road. It had been done up tightly under my chin.
It took the guys a few minutes to get off their backs from laughing before help arrived. Anyway, they took me to the Task Force medical centre for transport to 1 Mil. Sitting, waiting, my wrist was cocked over at right angles, with a large black lump under the wrist about the size of the palm of the hand.
Snake Medic walked in after 10 minutes. “What’s your problem?”
I looked at the wrist and told him, “I’ve broken it.”
“We’ll be the judge of that.” He poked and prodded for a bit. “Mmm,
I think it’s broken.”
I piped up, “Can I get a ride to 1 Mil?”
“No, the ambulance is out on a call.” He got called to the phone while the other medic came over, laughing,
“Yeah, the ambo is out getting pizza.” He walked away, chuckling. The Snake came back. “You’ll have to go to your duty officer and get them to take you.”
It was starting to hurt by this stage. “Can I get some pain relief?”
“No, fuck off. They’ll give it at 1 Mil.”
Off we went to the guard room, the boys now into me, cracking jokes
and shit. It only hurt lots when I laughed. Bastards! The duty officer fronted. “What’s the problem, dig?”
Mmm in head. “Broken wrist, Sir.”
“Don’t look broken to me, just badly bruised.”
“I need a lift to 1 Mil, Sir. Can the duty driver run me out?”
“Out of the question. He’s on a job. Go to the medical centre.” I
explained, as before. Enraged, he rang the med centre and revved them but still no ambo. The duty officer turned and said, “Get one of your mates to take you.”
“I would, Sir but none of us have been there or know the way.”
“Use a street directory.”
“He hasn’t got one,” called out the guard commander.
“Get them a street directory.” He took me out to his car and got his. I
asked, “Where’s the duty driver?”
“On a burger run.” That was it! The boys where on the ground pissing
Six of us were crammed in the car on the way to 1 Mil. We got there
and found Casualty and walked in. It was empty – no one there. I rang the bell again and again and again. Ten minutes later a pissed-off chick captain rolled in. I had my elbow on the counter and my wrist had a huge black lump under it, poking her in the face.
“What’s your problem?”
“Broke my wrist.”
“Stand up and to attention and that is Ma’am and we‘ll be the judge
of that. ID and fill this out.”
“Can’t, I’m left handed.” The boys were pissing themselves again.
She got the hump and told ’em all to fuck off. So they did. She then decided that one of them had better fill the docs out for me and went after them. Five minutes later we finally got to it.
I was told to sit and wait. Two hours went by – nothing. The boys got
pissed and left to go find a pub. A couple of hours later she returned and dragged me off to a cubicle. I had to wait another hour before the doc came in. “What have we done to ourself?” Mmm. Another hour and then the x-rays were done. The doc came back in. “Well, it looks like we broke our wrist.”
In a little pain by now, I retort, “Fuck yeah, you reckon. I told you that when I got here.” That foot in mouth thingy. I never did get the pain relief.
Finally, I got into theatre, was knocked out and woke up, looking around while still on the table. I looked at my wrist half-covered in plaster, tubes hanging out of me. No one was around; it was empty. I smelled something funny then heard a voice behind me. I looked around to see them all having toasted sandwiches and coffee. “Hey,” I mumbled.
“What are you doing awake? Would you like a sandwich?” They all cracked up. One came over; that’s all she wrote.
I awoke on a bed, with a very shitty guard commander reading me the riot act for abusing the staff and that my arse was grass and the boss was going to be the lawn mower.
On Monday morning I fronted to the OC and marched in, to be charged for conduct unbecoming. Did I have anything to say? Well, once he and the CSM had stopped pissing themselves, the CSM marched me out. I looked at him and he said, “Don’t say it. You fuck off before you say something and I do something you’ll regret.” The OC made shit rain on quite a few that day – a good man, old Groucho.