Oh the trenches of Numbla Vale
Saturday, 30 July 2022 6:01 pm
Well doesn’t that just suck. A person dedicates themselves to the war effort in a spirit of patriotism. And blow me down if the war doesn’t leave you out altogether. Disenfranchised for all your hard work. It stinks.
Let’s dial back a few years well before covid. It happened twice at least. A platoon (or some such soldiery whatsit) of Duntroon cadets grace Cooma with their presence in the form of a 3-week training exercise in peace keeping. What would a responsible Anglican parish clergyman do? Or indeed any loyal citizen? Commit heart and soul to the war effort of course. And let me tell you I did! Why I took to social media appealing to the better natures of my fellow Monaro residents. Was it not our collective patriotic duty to give our lads in khaki the training opportunity they deserve that they might do us proud in fields afar?
Well did the loyal denizens of Cooma heed my call? To be fair, there were some initial signs of due gravitas. A few early responders mooted the idea of placement of camo-clad mannequins in dark alleys, to my great encouragement. Did the mannequins make good on their promise? Alas, no they did not. Not one, not ever. Not a sausage.
After those early bursts of incipient nationalistic spirit, what then? Were any eggs thrown at military vehicles? Were any unregistered sheep-poo-encrusted Landrovers driven through checkpoints? Were any ration packs laced with laxettes for that extra get up and go? Were any home-grown Molotov cocktails hurled over the wire into the barracks? Did anyone start a riot at the Woolies checkout? Nope, nope, nope, nope and still nope. Well then, were any drunken street brawls initiated at 1am or for that matter anytime? Well hang your heads in shame, friends. 6 pubs in the town and we couldn’t even manage that. (What’s that saying about piss-ups and breweries?)
So much for the war effort. We failed our boys and ultimately ourselves. They came to us for a decent war. And what did we give them? Peace. Yes, peace; before they even had a fighting chance of keeping it.
Well friends my patriotic spirit, though momentarily sullen, was undented. I remained hopeful that a responsible citizenry could only remain in a spirit of namby-pamby under-the-doona wusness for so long. No, we would rise to righteous mass thuggery, blood lust and wholesale slaughter one day. In my heart I always knew it. I kept the faith.
But what reward does loyalty bring? Not much it now seems. Fast forward just a little to 2021 - we depart Cooma and the Monaro for similarly crisp Crookwell 3 hours distant. The war hadn’t come. But then wouldn’t you know it?! A matter of months later when we’re long gone, Star Wars breaks out south of Jindy. At Numbla Vale for goodness sake. Numbla Vale. Who’s heard of Numbla Vale? Have you? Or you? Or maybe you? Of course you haven’t. No one has. Except maybe the three humans and a few more sheep who live there. Oh and perhaps the dozen cattle at neighbouring Bungarby or Jimbuen. Well anyhow at least they’re patriots. They started the war we flabby townies wouldn’t.
But where’s the justice in this? Why, I drove through Numbla Vale once. No wait. Make that twice. Did any galactic partisans hurl bits of disused spaceships at my vehicle? Or even in the paddock as I drove past? They did not. No war for me it seems.
Life sucks. Even when you do mention the war.