Tues 11th Oct 2005
James Cook University
“Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to Marly…
Happy Birthday to you!
Today I turned 20. I’m no longer a teenager; I’m in that limbo stage between adolescence and adulthood. Carly called it our tween year. We were at Cassie’s place on campus celebrating my birthday during my five-hour break between lectures. Yes it was a Uni day, worse luck. Everybody was packed into the small common room and James already had chocolate mud cake smeared across his top lip.
“Hey, you given her the big present yet?” he said with a mouthful of cake. I was a bit surprised that I could understand him.
“Big? I don’t see any big gifts…” I was confused.
“Well, it’s not big as in size big,” Carly tried to explain. “It’s big as in it’s err…big.”
I laughed as Megan added, “It could’ve been size big if you’d given it to me to wrap.”
“She’d be here all day if we let you wrap it,” Sarah joked as she picked up an envelope from the table and handed it to me. I weighed it in my hand; it was light. I turned it over a few times studying it.
“Open it already…” James prompted impatiently. I grinned and slowly opened it not even ripping it a tiny bit in the process. Once I had it open I pulled out the slip of notepaper inside. I read it quickly then peered inside and pulled out four tickets. I turned them over and my eyes widened in astonishment. They were tickets to the Simple Plan concert here in Townsville at the Entertainment Centre. Since when did their tour include our pokey little city? Well, okay…we’re bigger than Geelong…we have 150,000 people…but…anyways. I blinked hard.
“Are you guys for real?” I looked at them all quizzically.
Cassie replied for all of them.
“We bugged management at the Entertainment Centre months ago and somehow they managed to convince the band management to bring a show to Townsville. Anyway, there’s more in there.” She indicated the envelope; I frowned and dipped my fingers into it and pulled out four ID sized cards…backstage passes. This isn’t happening…my friends all knew I was a massive fan of Simple Plan but I never thought they’d do something like this for me. I mean it wasn’t like it was my 21st or something.
“Pinch me,” I muttered. James made to do just that, right on my butt. “Ouch…not there!”
He laughed; I slapped him.
“Oh, there’s one more thing,” Sarah interrupted James and I just as we had proceeded to try and out slap each other.
“We get to show them around Townsville, for the whole five days they’re here.”
I was dumbstruck. I wanted to ask how they’d managed that but I couldn’t trust my voice. I needn’t have worried. Cassie did the explaining for me.
“I told management at the Swamp (i.e. the Entertainment Centre) that I’d shown celebrities and dignitaries around in Brisbane when I lived there and that even though I’m in my chair some of the time I’m still capable of being a competent guide.”
”Yeah, and we get to help,” Sarah grinned.
“So…” I finally found my voice. “When is this exactly?”
“A week. Day before the NRL Grand Final.”
“Which the Cowboys will be playing,” Megan added slyly.
“You wish,” Carly laughed.
“No, they have a good chance,” I shot back defensively not registering what Sarah had said to me; at least not for a few minutes. And then:
“A week? God…And I thought the only interesting, fun thing next week would be the Grand Final…wow…that is so soon. You guys are the best!”
They each gave me a hug and then Megan glanced over at me a question in her eyes.
“Are you going to the Grand Final?”
“If it’s here, I will. Uh, when do we find out if the Cowboys are in or not?” I scratched my arm absently.
“Saturday, once the last Qualifying rounds are played. If they win this weekend they’re in.”
“Don’t you think it’s odd that the game’s being played on a Wednesday?” James scowled.
“State of Origin is played on Wednesdays,” Cassie pointed out. That shut him up along with the second slice of cake I thrust in his hand.
We lapsed into a heated argument about who we thought would get into the Grand Final. As you can probably tell I’m a huge fan of Rugby League as are the rest of my friends and we were gearing up for the big game next week. Anyway after awhile Carly and I had to get back to class. I don’t think I concentrated for the rest of that day and when I got to bed that night I dreamed about the members of Simple Plan playing rugby in the Cowboys’ colours.