Peggy, this post is for you.
Even though I am on nights I do overtime whenever I can grab it to pay for my ridiculously extravagant travelling bug. As such, I was on the way to work this morning at 0730 despite having finished a night shift less than 24 hours before. So I am not used to the morning traffic and I am certainly not used to this.
A full-grown koala, hopelessly lost, walking along a busy (and soon to be busier) arterial road. No one seemed to be noticing and were driving at a great rate of knots. I, however, was appalled at how lost this koala was and no gum trees in sight. (Also, as I am sure Brad, Lauren and Lloyd will all attest, to my eternal shame, the very first thing I thought when I saw him was “Score!!!!!!!! I can BLOG about this!!!!!!”) I felt certain if I did not help the poor thing he was going to get squished by a car.
So despite the fact this would make me late for work I pulled off the road and got out to help the koala, whom I had now named Jeff. (All koalas are called Jeff, Peggy. This is a known fact.)
Jeff is looking at me as though I am completely mad as, in addition to yelling encouraging things to him such as “Come this way Jeff, I think I saw a gum tree up the hill.” (I speak fluent koala), I am also photographing the crap out of him with my iPhone and getting reeeeeeeallllllly frustrated that my play mix of Glee songs wont shut up as Jeff appears to not be a Glee fan and is finding their style of bland, inoffensive covers of pop songs rather grating.
When you have a suicidal koala, you try not to upset them further.
Jeff continues to walk towards his doom as he tries to cross the road. I am trying to herd him away from the road and towards the less busy street while Poker Face is being played. Jeff appears to particularly find this song annoying (though I quite like it) and looks as though he is gonna bolt onto the road until I manage to stop the iPhone and shut Glee the f… up.
I now know that koalas can give humans looks of total disdain. Which just goes to show you where I stand in the pecking order of life when even koalas are giving you grief. His face was all, “Dude! You listen to that?????!!!!”
Jeff and I had clearly bonded at this point and he was much happier to be herded away from his path of suicide onto the flowing road. All of my years as a suicide counsellor came to my aid as I was able to support Jeff from his path of destruction with such words of comfort as “There, there.” (normally said as you pat someone on the shoulder. I didn’t pat jeff on the shoulder as, you see those funky claws, Jeff would have shred me up.) I also added “It’s always darkest before the dawn” which, if you’re a suicide counsellor, is RollsRoyce stuff.
I managed to steer Jeff off the busy arterial street onto a side road where I could control the traffic and, if I could get him across the side road, he would have a number of trees to climb up and hide until nightfall and find something more suitable. Jeff had other ideas though as he thought the flagpole was possibly his new home. I began to suspect Jeff may have had mental problems as he tries to climb the flagpole.
After the third attempt at trying to climb the flag pole Jeff was starting to p… me off so I threatened him with more Glee music if he didn’t get his ass across the road to where all the real trees were.
And here is where I actually stopped taking pictures and helped Jeff out. Herding him across the road and standing in front of him so people wouldn’t drive over him. Everyone could see me, I can be seen from space, but poor Jeff would have been koala pate had I not stood there and blocked traffic. What was wonderful were people’s faces as they realised I wasn’t an annoying madman stopping the traffic for no apparent reason but their looks of realisation as they all saw Jeff and went “F…,that’s a koala!!!”
Jeff ultimately went to live in a tree right smack bang next to the road so I am not entirely sure I curbed his suicidal tendencies. By this time I was half an hour late for work * and had to leave Jeff to his own devices. I had done my job and got him across the road safely. Last I saw Jeff he was happily up the tree ready to live happy ever after. As I drove past him he gave me a look of acknowledgement. It seemed to say “Thank God you’re taking that f…ing music with you.” You’re welcome Jeff. **
You haven’t lived until you have had grief from a recalcitrant koala.
* To their credit, work didn’t care. I had loads of picture proof of what I’d been doing and everyone spent ages going awwwww over the koala pictures.
** Jeff had attitude to spare. As do all koalas. Another little known fact.