Words by Boris Mihailovic
Water-skiing is some serious medieval bullshit, like fighting a pit-bear with a knife. If you’re really good at it, it’s the best fun ever. So that’s like maybe 12 people on earth having the best fun ever. The rest of us get the bear who’s shoved that knife up our blurter and is eating our face.
I know this because I tried water-skiing once, some years ago, in a filthy, rock-hard river near Narromine. I’d had a few beers; a mate’s mate had a ski-boat and a bunch of crazy-hot daughters in bikinis. And it will not surprise you to know a pretty girl in a sky-blue bikini can talk me into literally anything. In this case it was water-skiing behind her dad’s blood-red, supercharged 427 Bridge-to-Bridge fish-buster.
Except I don’t water ski - don’t now and sure did not then. “It’s easy!” she’d gushed, holding out a life-jacket as her old man executed cacophonous racing starts and massively banked U-turns up and down the river. He didn’t have a hell of a lot of river to play on, but the deranged bastard certainly used what was there with conviction. I had my own convictions, and one of them was that I would show the pretty little thing with the mad dad just how a man from the city skis this water bullshit.
I was duly tethered to the back of the insanely-horsepowered ski boat while she held me from behind and giggled water skiing instructions in my ear. In those happy few seconds before I was torn from the river like a dugong lassoed by a fighter jet, I could appreciate the similarities between motorcycle riding and water skiing. Handlebars? Check! A few mates cheering me on? Check! Girl in a bikini clutching my back? Check!
I didn’t get any further with the checklist. Mad Dad hit the ionic plasma-thrusters on his floating space ship and I came up out of that water like a buttered turd off a greased shovel. Champagne corks have less velocity departing their bottles. My mates later said I actually flew for more than five metres – and screamed like a bitch the whole way. Luckily, the towing bar was wrenched from my grip after the first bounce, so only two ribs and a small section of chest cartilage was destroyed when I hit the river like a baked ham
being slapped against a marble benchtop.
"A whale crashing into the ocean from orbit couldn’t have displaced more water."
Good fortune continued to attend me as my life jacket ensured I floated back to the surface after first wrenching loose something important and horrible in my groin when I hit the river for the second and last time. A whale crashing into the ocean from orbit couldn’t have displaced more water. I discovered I could float so I gave myself over to the life-jacket’s supportive embrace and awaited further developments. My luck held. It was an ambulance.