I’m not working tomorrow. Nor am I working Saturday. This, I consider to be a weekend. This, I actually had to fight for. Two consecutive days off, during the busiest part of the week. I’m practically fucking hysterical.
Not by coincidence, one of my best friends’ birthdays falls during that elusive ‘tomorrow and the next day’ time period, and it is my full intention to party hearty. Our original plan was to drink heavily and barbecue at his house… but plans change. Now we’re planning to drink heavily and barbecue in Dunsborough, a little country town three hours south of here. If you live in Western Australia, or know anything about what happens here this weekend, I can probably already hear you groaning with disdain at the prospect of myself and my buddies travelling to Dunsborough to get drunk. To you I say “Shut the hell up. You can judge me when you stop masturbating to the Paris Hilton Sex Tape.”
See, aside from being Mike’s birthday (his twentieth birthday, yes), tomorrow also marks the first day of what we in the W of A call Leavers’. It’s the day that every twelfth–grade high school student in the state has officially finished their high school career… the day that the last TEE is sat. In the eastern states they call this Schoolies’, and they probably call it something different in your neck of the woods, but it’s special nonetheless. When you’re a Leaver for the first time, “Leavers’ Week” (as it’s officially known) is an eye–opening experience; you’re surrounded by hundreds of like–minded, drunken, half–naked humans in a setting completely foreign to your everyday life. You might go to Dunsborough (south), you might go to Margaret River (even further south), or you might go to Rottnest Island (my personal favorite), but the sentiment remains the same. It’s summer, everybody is relaxed, and it’s guaranteed that nobody will never not not have a good time. Of course, I am not a high school student anymore, and I have already enjoyed more than my fair share of Leavers’ weeks (I went to my own Leavers’, obviously, and again the following year for good measure); but when Scotty suggested we enjoy one last round before we’re officially too old for Leavers’, it was hard to pass up.
Back on the beach, beer in hand, wearing board shorts and a wifebeater, taking in the scenery? How could any human being turn that down? We’re not too old to get drunk and play strip poker with seventeen year olds, and it isn’t the slightest bit creepy or sleazy, either. We’re not too old to vomit in public, or stencil fake tattoos onto willing passersby. We’re not too old to buy a watermelon and carve it into a huge ‘wear it on your head’ jack–o–lantern, and we’re certainly not too old to sleep on the floor of a cheap youth hostel… because that’s the Leavers’ spirit! We’re young at heart, and in the grand scheme of things we’re goddamned young in body too. Young, fun–loving–perverts. That’s us. And I’ll be damned if I don’t have an awesome time this weekend. Now where the hell did I put my K–Y Jelly?