JJO’brien – Coolum Cave Community Stick-Clip
It could easily have been my knee pads: shared amongst so many of Australia’s climbing illuminati, they contain enough genetic material to breed a one mutant super climber.
Or my Dr Dre’s that keep the madness at bay. My Red Chili’s, my Volleys.
But truly it would have to be, and it’s not strictly mine, the Coolum Cave Community Stick-Clip.
Without it the cave would be just an inaccessible stack of dangerous improbabilities.
With it I rule the routes.
I can get gear on, put ropes up, pull ropes down, pass gear up, point out beta with laser accuracy (batteries not included), take an iPhone shot, and clean a hold. (I never do that last thing).
Precious objects have always had the power to extend the being of their owners. Hendrix and his Strat. The great John Laws and his golden microphone. Kylie and her gold shorts.
And I’m not ignoring the irony that historically the precious object can bring about the downfall of their flesh and blood co-dependants.
I tend to dwell on bad things, so I’ve given it some thought. How could an extendable aluminium pool-cleaning pole bring about my undoing?
A scenario exists where I call for the pole, mid-route, and somehow coincidentally have a fall at that moment and impale myself. Or I trip over it on the ground and break my brittle hips then die in a hospital malpractice fiasco.
But the direct power from the heavens is the most likely end for this crag sinner. Allah knows, I’ve grabbed draws, I’ve knee-barred ad infinitum, and I’ve entered ‘dog’ on theCrag.com when it should have been ‘ghost’. So I figure I’ve got it coming. Atheism is no protection from a vengeful God, and egotists believe they are in control of their fate.
So I won’t touch the bloody thing in an electrical storm. Everyone else seems immune to the possibility of giving our Lord and Destroyer a free swipe at them. They wave a 20ft wet aluminium stick towards the negatively charged clouds like they just don’t care. But not me. I’ve learned from history.
I’m convinced Jimi choked on his plectrum. That roar is the sound of all the muso’s yelling ‘Jimi didn’t use a plectrum’. Nonetheless. Lawsy gutted his own impeccable reputation on his golden sceptre. And Kyle, well nothing bad will ever happen to her. Inshallah.