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My Secret Skill

It's definitely not what you think it is!


So I’m getting slack with the Blogging thing, I’ve been really busy with life lately, seeing people catching up with family and friends deciding some pretty big stuff for my short term future. “No excuses” all 30 of you reading this will say! “We want your amateur content, and we want it now” cue fanfare and a fully massive party lit AF, after which my weekly post goes viral and I’m now driving a Tesla Roadster to my Gold Coast beach house while arranging for my private helicopter to pick me up and take me to the airport where I will be joined by Elon Musk and the super crew of the 22nd century ready to change the world one Swiss alps ski trip at a time.

It’s about this time that I guess you are all wondering, firstly why the fuck you read that ramble above and second what the fuck is my secret skill. I’m now myself beginning to think that my skill is rambling, perhaps I’ll have my audience convinced by the end of this paragraph. Drumroll as I reveal my secret skill, I’m a drunken shirt upgrade artist. This title refers to my adeptness in arriving to an event in said T-shirt and leaving in what I’d like to think an upgraded traded version of a t-shirt (sometimes no shirt). Following are three hilarious accounts of times where this has happened and I won the award for drunken shirt upgrade artist:


First known shirt swap: With any skill, you must develop and fine tune it to a point in which you feel comfortable and content with your growths and accomplishments with the skill in question. You must fail regularly and try and try again until you have it right. Well with drunken shirt upgrade artistry, just fucking forget everything you know about developing skills. It’s just shirt swapping while drunk, wheeling and dealing, you have a product I have a product let’s trade. It’s primal intimate, somewhat instinctual. My first ever shot at shirt swapping was somewhat organic, I had never shirt swapped before, I was a virgin, naive ready to be swindled. Let me set the scene, it was the end of a long and successful, “themed” Christmas party, Coolangatta, Australia, summer hot sweaty, drunk. I had on a hula skirt many a laie and a funky Best and Less Hawaiian shirt freshly purchased in a rush that afternoon. We had exhausted the bar tab at the trendy venue “Komune” not once but twice this fateful evening, we were extremely proud of our achievements, we decided that our thirst was not quenched, we must make the voyage from Komune to Coolangatta Hotel not more than 700 meters up the road, not an easy task in our state. We ventured forward and before we could make it to our intended destination, I was approached by a man, not just any man this man was a casual businessman, and to my surprise he had eyes only for my shirt! We bartered, we engaged in negotiations, we drew up agreements in our heads, I walked away with $50 he walked away with a $15 shirt. I won. Although I did have to walk home shirtless in a hula skirt draped in laies so maybe I didn’t win?



Second known shirt swap: It had been years since I’d saw my friends 2.5 to be exact. I’d just gotten back from Canada for a visit to see everyone, let’s just say I was pretty excited. Fueled by exhaustion, after spending 14hrs in the sky and losing a day after crossing that strange line in the pacific that has magical powers, I was in fine form. We’d organised a visit to Byron Beach Hotel, where we could drink till our hearts were content. On the dance floor I’d just finished busting a move, during which I’d decided to show everyone my amazing handstand skills, not once, but twice I kicked an unfortunate girl in the head, each time she returned with more excitement, in anticipation for what it was that I could achieve next! We met a guy he was a Kiwi, he was looking to get laid, he explained to me that his shirt was not as nice as mine. Bing my mind was on fire! "I know, I’ll swap my shirt for his", he’ll get laid and I’ll feel happy that I helped my cousin from across the narrow sea (Tasman Sea). We swapped shirts, after which, we’d caught the attention of others surrounding us who also wanted to get in on the shirt swapping. So what do you do in this situation, well the only thing you can do, so we all engage in a mass shirt swap, there were polos going this way, Hawaiian’s going that way, I stood back for a moment with a tear in my eye absolutely astonished at what I’d created. In the end we were halted by the bouncers/fun police, in the very end I got kicked out of the bar for falling asleep, jet lag and the beer caught up I guess. My shirt that I’d ended up with was covered in palm trees, I don’t think I still own it. Sad.





Third but not last shirt swap: Two weeks ago, I’d recently arrived in Brisbane for a family tragedy, unfortunately my uncle had passed away. Before the celebrations started for my uncle we had something else to celebrate/distract ourselves with it was my sister’s fioncé’s birthday, for which we’d decided to attend Laneway festival. It was a great opportunity for my siblings and I to hang out for the day, enjoy each other’s company. We all started day drinking as you do, some more than others. By the time we’d arrived at the festival let’s just say that we were in a bit of a state. Second band in one of my sisters had, had enough and required some time in the chill out red frog tent, great free red frogs (Australian Candy) I thought! But what had occurred next was absolutely unforeseen, my brother and I who were taking turns tending to our sisters needs, happened across an interesting individual. He seemed to be having a hard time as the police had just, and I quote “stolen all his [me] drugs”, the poor guy who could barely stop his jaw from chewing the invisible steak in his mouth, saw my brothers shirt and his eyes lit, up my brothers too, mine three, in anticipation for what I knew was about to go down, a fucking shirt swap! My brothers vintage, straight from the 90’s black shirt which had on it three large block letters printed in bright yellow on the front "SMP", absolutely incredible! Our new friend asked but one simple question, I licked my lips as he slipped these five incredible words from his mouth “how much for the shirt?” My brother without hesitation as if he’d been prepared for this situation ever since he purchased the shirt replied sharply “fiddy bucks”. I gasped fuck yes this is amazing! Bartering continued “$20 and you can swap shirts with me” by brother again with uncharacteristically speedy replies, said “$40 with a shirt swap” Ok so I’ll halt the story for a second, just to add a bit more perspective, this continues for some time before the deal goes cold. In my brothers defence this was the shirt of a junky in Brisbane Australia, it was 35+ degrees Celsius the shirt was drenched in sweats of every scent. I can see why he had a firm price and was ready to end the dealings. I couldn’t have it, this was a drunken shirt swap! A rare opportunity to engage in this kind of shenanigan! I stepped in to save the deal. I would swap my shirt for my brothers shirt then my brother's "SMP" shirt for our newly acquired friend's yellow button up sweat rag. All were in accord and the trade was enacted! Immediately I understood why you should probably never do such a thing. Putting on a shirt wet with sweat is terrible, putting on a shirt wet with the sweat of another man is torture, but still worth it, for the next 10 hours I fantasised over jumping fully clothed into my sisters pool to wash the sins from this shirt. I had my wish at the end of the night that is exactly what I had done. I still win!

Let me finish by saying this, more joy can be brought into the world through sharing in these experiences, I hope, I have inspired you to go forth and become a drunken shirt swapping entrepreneur! Do it for the stories! Watch some of the action as it went down in the video below.


Cheers,

Joel

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 Photography by Joel Gregory Hayes & Keegan Taccori | routedelsol@gmail.com | +52 6647264347