Just a suburban boy

Written by Bruce Greenhalgh (part of team 72 with Chris Graves and Craig Bettison)

As we finalised our route choice for ‘The Secret Garden’ minigaine I was reminded of a song from way back. It was Dave Warner’s from the Suburbs, Suburban boy. After flirting with the idea of tackling the lower slopes of Black Hill we decided to avoid the Black Hill controls completely. We figured we could spend all our time and energy in the suburban parts of the map, thus avoiding the time and energy sapping climbs required of a Black Hill visit. We were to be then, ‘suburban boys’ rather than bold bush walkers/trail runners.

I imagine we weren’t alone in this, but I suspect that not so many know of Dave Warners’ minor hit from the seventies. That’s a pity because it’s a good song and one that still resonates with me all these years later. Like ‘Wreckless Eric’s Whole Wide World and Ian Dury and the Blockheads’ Wake up and make love to me it’s at the antipodes to the usual pop song romantic situations and sentiments. So… you now know far more about my musical tastes than you ever wanted to know, and wasn’t this report supposed to be about rogaining?

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Asides from the West Side

SARA’s roving reporter, Bruce Greenhalgh, shares his thoughts on 2022’s final rogaine – the West Side Story Minigaine

Lying on a concrete footpath isn’t something that normally has any appeal for me, yet immediately after November’s Minigaine it was not only all I wanted to do, but all I could do. I was spent. It’s true that I could have chosen to lie on lawn, but the grassed area in front of the Hash House had little breeze, and I needed a breeze, and walking to the oval beyond the car park where there was both breeze and lawn was beyond me. And as I lay there, I couldn’t help but think that maybe I was getting too old for this sort of thing.

And there was a clue, wasn’t there, in the name of the rogaine, West Side Story? A clue that it wasn’t an activity aimed at senior citizens? Anybody familiar with the musical will know it’s about young people; young people with the energy to dance, to fight, to fall in love, to dash around and do dramatic things. Just thinking about all that activity makes me pine for a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down. I’m also led to consider that West Side Story is based on Romeo and Juliet and to contemplate the emotional freight carried by the young protagonists during the closing scene of Shakespeare’s play. In case you’ve forgotten what happens to the ‘star-crossed lovers’, Juliet takes a potion that makes here appear to be dead so as to avoid getting married to somebody who isn’t Romeo. Unfortunately, Romeo sees her in this death like state and thinking she has died and that life isn’t worth living without her, he tops himself. Then Juliet revives and does the same – an episode that has been described as ‘one helluva first date’. I ask you, is this sort of carry-on the territory of holders of a Seniors Card? Clearly not.

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