The Backpage: 5 silly mistakes I will never, ever make again 12



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Rather than propose a list of the heights I hope to scale next year, I have compiled one detailing those activities I will assiduously avoid.

Promise #1:
I will not buy a single item of white clothing in 2016.

While some people learn by their mistakes, others become better at making them. In the course of the last 12 months, I bought two white business shirts, four white polo shirts and two pairs of white shorts.

All are now spotted, splattered and streaked with stains, from foodstuffs ranging from tomatoes to avocados, and liquids ranging from red wine to red wine.

Eating, for me, remains a contact sport. 20 per cent of my food comes into contact with my clothing and surrounds.

I have tried to remedy this by wearing aprons when eating, even draping bath towels around my person, but to no avail. I am destined to wear my food – but will henceforth do so while dressed in black.

Promise #2:
I will stop placing my wallet (or anything else) on the roof of my car.

As you struggle to load groceries into the back seat, you make a mental note to retrieve them before getting behind the wheel. You will remember this note later when, while travelling at 60kmh, you execute a gentle left hand turn and watch in horror as something looking very much like your wallet flies across the windscreen, landing in the middle of a very busy three-lane arterial road.

Shortly afterwards, police receive reports of a man, apparently drug-crazed, standing in the middle of this expressway, waving his arms at passing traffic and pointing at something lying on the roadway.

Promise #3:
When travelling, I will never again agree to share my suitcase with my partner’s 19 year old son.

We did this to save on luggage on a holiday. As a result, I spent an incredibly uncomfortable day suffering the wedgie of a lifetime, wondering why my more delicate parts appeared to be clamped in a vice.

This will happen when you mistakenly take a pair of underdaks owned by a slender 19 year boy from your shared suitcase and wear them for a day.

I also know, thanks to the experience of a colleague, not to try to save money when using self cleaning toilets in Europe during 2016. He slipped into the door without paying as the previous user exited, and had just begun to do what he had to do when he felt water rising over his ankles.

Seconds later, high pressure torrents poured from jets in the wall. Convinced he was going to drown in a French toilet, he pounded on the door but it would not budge.

It finally opened when the next intending user inserted a coin. My colleague stumbled onto the footpath, white faced, trembling and sodden from head to foot.

Promise #4:
I will ban myself from ironing shirts.

A ban on ironing shirts is also on my list, although just who is going to do them is unclear at this point.

This follows an incident in which I followed my morning ritual of rising, walking to the wardrobe, extracting a shirt and heading zombie-like to the top of the staircase which leads down to the laundry.

At this point the shirt, which I was dragging along the carpet by one sleeve, wrapped its other sleeve around my ankles. I found myself launching nto space, arriving at the bottom of the staircase in a tangle of arms, legs and shirtsleeves.

Promise #5:
I will stop trying to be a handyman.

Nor, ever again, will I try and save money by performing tasks such as ripping up old carpet, which are best left to those skilled in such matters.

With my beloved away on business, I decided to remove the old carpet we were having replaced. In my fantasy, on her return she would hugely impressed by my industry and I would be hailed as a domestic hero.

In case you were wondering, removing this is not as easy as it sounds, as it requires you to shift all the furniture and manoeuvre awkward, heavy rolls of carpet.

Thus, in the course of one weekend from hell, I smashed an exotic, valuable statuette purchased in Crete, a magnificently ornate shisha water pipe bought in Dubai, and a netball trophy won by my partner’s daughter.

There are times, I confess, when the prospect of another year of trials and the occasional triumph can be daunting.

When it does, I refer to a quote from Lou Holz, a long time American football coach who wrote:

“A lot of people say ‘why do you continue to work?’ Because everybody needs four things. Everybody needs something to do, someone to love, someone to believe in, something to hope for.”

Do Mike’s confessions ring true with you? What have you vowed to stop doing?





Mike O'Connor

Mike O’Connor is a Brisbane-based motoring writer, travel writer and columnist. He’s driven hundreds of different cars, travelled widely and mingled with famous people, none of whom, he confesses, can remember meeting him.

  1. I lad a god laugh just imagining some of those incidents, but #1 is me to a T, I can wear a dark top and not spill one thing on it but the minute I wear a light one there is a mess everywhere, I definitely will not have spaghetti Bolognese whilst wearing any light colour

  2. Why worry about things one is not going to do?

    I have several long sleeved UPF50+ white fishing shirts and they remain stainless as I soak them in napisan after every use.

    Years ago I had to carry a BGL test kit and other things with me so I went to a black shoulder bag for all of my junk (phone, wallet, etc). A couple of years ago I upgraded to a “theft proof” bag with RFID and Exomesh so it can’t be cut. Works well for me.

    What sort of FW would share a suitcase when travelling?

    I don’t buy shirts which require ironing. However if I have to iron a shirt it’s less than a 3 minute job. My aunt who was a dressmaker showed me the right way 50 years ago and I was in the airforce then and needed to iron shirts to a standard.

    I’ve been a DIY person since the age of 8. And I was trained by an excellent one. B|

    2 REPLY
    • My goodness you must be a hard person to live with. So military minded with no flexibility into the real world.
      Left march, quick march
      ” I want this done right now
      Do it or you’ll get right hell
      Left march, left march “

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