There had been some sort of mistake.
I was supposed to be doing some phone crosses for the radio station as part of its outside broadcast at the "Courier-Mail Home and Design Expo" at the Convention Centre. But it had been cancelled that morning due to technical difficulties, and the afternoon show producer (the delightful NatV) hadn't been told anything about my presence there.
I hung around for an hour - checking out the orthodics display, taking a brochure for an LED lights company, and falling in love with the whole body vibrating "Health Station" exercise machine (a great temptation even at $1500; only convinced otherwise by a phone call to my fitness freak brother. "If you buy that, I'll bash you" was his succinct assessment).
I also had a "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" moment: rubbing my eyes after seeing a giant termite wandering around. Taking a moment to remember I've never actually taken LSD, so couldn't possibly be in the middle of some sort of acid trip, I grabbed the camera phone and stalked Mr Termite around four or five stalls in an effort to photograph him from the front. Sneaky bastard kept getting away. I believe he was a promotional termite for a pest control businesss - but surely you want your pest control people to be able to get RID of termites - not parade them around as friendly mascots? "Here, meet Cocky, our friendly Cockroach! He's exactly the type of sticky critter you WON'T be seeing after using our top-notch service!" I guess the alternative is a dead termite, or perhaps nothing at all. Maybe that's just not as effective as a big grinning insect. Maybe that's why I'm not in marketing.
After eventually deciding my phone cross work was a bust, I said sayonara to the Convention Centre, and ola to GreenFest at Southbank. A public debate in the Suncorp Piazza, bands playing on two stages, people sitting and chilling on the grass, organic ice-cream, Hare Krishna blessed vegetarian balls, the Greens, environmental and animal protection groups, Sea Shepherd. Having a whale of a time, in fact, and successfully avoiding blow-up Japanese whalers with inflatable harpoons.
But theirs wasn't the only inflatable fun toy. There was a bouncy castle, and better yet, this:
Some sort of inflatable fun-worm, with the kids entering through the mouth, then working their way through the Hungry Caterpillar's digestive system before exiting from.... ah... well, you get the idea from the picture.
I wonder if the parents of the kids being rectally discharged from a would-be butterfly appreciated the full horror of this seemingly cute playtime adventure. Much as I would have enjoyed attempting my own fantastic voyage, I surmised my size might see me tear the caterpillar a new one, and I couldn't risk committing an act of animal cruelty surrounded by avid nature lovers.
The afternoon concluded with me stopping in at Myer and purchasing two pairs of shoes as an early birthday present to myself. Coincidentally, it cost around the same amount of cash that I would have earned had the promo work gone ahead. Oh well, easy come easy go.