Cracker by Damian Christie

From One Extreme...

So the other day I woke up with stigmata on my hands. A law degree and moderately successful media career aside, I don’t generally consider myself to have many Jesus-like qualities, so it was fair to say it came as a bit of a shock. But one I was happy to capitalise on. It’s always been my belief that if God taps you on the shoulder, you might as well profit it from it. Just ask Brian Tamaki.

Unfortunately after my first coffee the mist that covers my brain started to clear. Before I could draft my first inflated invoice to the Catholic Church to cover my taxi fare to work (it’s very hard to drive with the wounds of Christ on your palms, you see), I realised they might not be quite the Heavenly message I’d first thought. On closer inspection they seemed to have a lot more to do with burst blisters from my newly adopted gym regime. The Lord giveth…

I jumped out of a plane on Sunday. I hadn’t been planning to – well obviously by the time I got into the plane I was planning to jump out – but it wasn’t what I had in mind for Sunday. The day before I’d snagged a whole bunch of plants and I was keen to get them into the ground at Sando. But the call came in early Sunday morning from a new venture running off Waiheke Island: was I keen to give it a go that afternoon?

As the saying goes, 'are the Kennedy’s gun-shy?' I’ve never jumped from a plane before, but with nary a cloud in the sky, plummeting from the heavens seemed like a great way to spend the afternoon.

We hopped into the Cessna, two pairs of tandem jumpers, and climbed to 10,000 feet. I felt strangely calm. Actually, I just felt plain old calm, but I guess what I mean is, that’s pretty strange when you’re about to jump out of a plane. Then we hit altitude, the door opened, and the other pair of jumpers exited stage left.

As we began to shimmy over towards the gaping hole in the Cessna’s side, I started to think about what was about to happen. My mind, not the sharpest at the best of times, managed “I don’t think this is such a good…” before it noticed the ground was approaching at 200km/h, and shut the hell up.

Once the freefall was over (and I can’t remember a lot of that, other than someone yelling ‘waaaaaaahhhhh’, which I suspect was the instructor), we were down to 5,000 feet. The chute opened, much to my relief.

Suddenly I was suspended in mid air. It felt like I was hung from a big hook, my feet dangling above the earth. Except a big hook would probably fall a lot faster than a parachute.

From then on it was largely about sightseeing. For me at least, being thousands of feet above the earth outside of an aeroplane isn’t that concerning. I don’t think I’m especially brave, it’s just too surreal to be scared. Tell you what though, the view was fantastic. A perfectly blue sky, but late enough in the afternoon so that shadows provided definition to the island below. Across the water, a great view of the Coromandel peninsula. Pictures will follow in due course.

Thanks skydivewaiheke for providing a memorable experience.

So as you can imagine, after thinking I might be the Son of God on Friday, and jumping from a plane on Sunday, come Monday I was looking for a little normality. And then I ran over a woman on the way to work.

Okay that’s not entirely true. She walked into my car, which was stationary at the time, but it was a frightening experience nonetheless. Alright, again, not entirely true, I thought it was quite funny, but she clearly didn’t.

As I pulled in to my carparking building, Stoopid Old Lady was ambling in front of my car, oblivious thanks to a pair of earphones, (blaring Richard Clayderman, no doubt). As she moseyed, I crawled along, fearing it would be too rude to sound the horn, and alert her of my presence. All of a sudden she turned around, and without further ado, walked straight into my car and fell across the bonnet. She looked up, confused and clearly alarmed.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

“What are you talking about – you just walked into my car.”

“But you shouldn’t be here.”

“Lady, it’s a carpark.”

“You’re an idiot!”

This coming from a woman who just walked into a parked car? She strutted off, leopard print scarf flying, gawdy gold jewellery rattling, and smelling distinctly of Eau de Mouton deguisé en Lamb.

That’s been my week, more or less. And you?