Life Lessons Football Can Teach Us
Part 2: Be Prepared
It started so well. Saturday, an unseasonable 27 degrees, was the first time I have ever felt hot at the footy. Instead of being swaddled in scarves and beanies, I wore sandals and a summer dress. The four little girls we'd brought with us were sufficiently amused by expeditions to the toilet, impromptu games of kick-the-homemade-ball up and down the ramp, and the frequent provision of snacks, that Michael and I were able to watch, oh, probably as much as almost half the actual game, so a good time was had by all.
The trouble began after the game had ended. By this time, being Melbourne, the summer-like day had turned freezing and it was pouring with rain. Michael and the little girls sprinted for the car, while I trudged toward the tram (I wouldn't fit in the car). Half an hour later I was still at the tram stop with nary a 112 in sight, wet through, and rain trickling down my neck. My frock and sandals no longer seemed like such a good idea. As dusk rapidly gathered, the only bloke at the tram stop in possession of an iPhone informed us all that there would be no 112 trams for the foreseeable future.
Time for Plan B: a long walk in the rain down Collins St while I considered my options. At least I couldn't get any wetter. With the tram situation still uncertain, I ended up at the train station, only to discover that I had missed my train by seconds, and a half hour wait lay before me. Worse, I had nothing to read. Luckily, the timely arrival of a Big Issue vendor solved that particular problem.
At long last the train arrived and carried me helpfully back to Southern Cross station, which I'd left an hour and a half earlier. Michael was ringing my phone every few minutes to check my progress. 'Where are you now?' 'East Richmond.' 'So you've gone through Jolimont?' 'Yep.' 'Oh, by the way, the girls are all having a sleepover at our house, see ya, bye!'
By the time he picked me up at the station it was two hours since I'd left the stadium. Two hours from the city to Preston has to be some kind of record, surely? My inappropriate footwear was soaked through, my toes frozen, my light Bulldogs jacket wringing wet. It could easily have been the Worst Footy Day ever. But luckily we'd won.