On Easter Monday, I asked my mum if I could go visit my grandad in Bowral, as it had been a while since we’d seen each other.
Bowral is a town in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, it’s got a population of about 13,000 and it’s a two-hour drive from Sydney.
“That’s a nice idea,” said mum, and she packed a nice Easter basket for me to take to him.
When the basket was ready and I was about to leave, she stopped me.
“Remember, go straight to Grandad’s, don’t speed and please don’t talk on the phone! That highway is dangerous.”
“Don’t worry, Mum,” I said, “I’ll be careful.”
Alas, when I noticed everyone else was speeding, I forgot my promise and picked up a few kms/hour. I cranked Sydney’s commercial radio station, Nova 9.69, and watched all the slowpokes fall behind. I was making good time.
As I was singing out loud to Bieber’s What do you mean? I barely noticed my phone ringing beside me.
I managed to answer it last minute.
“What are you doing, Jess?” asked a stranger’s voice down the line.
“I’m on my way to see my Grandad in Bowral, uh, who’s this?” I replied.
Then I saw a police car ahead, quickly excused myself and hung up. I slowed down to an appropriate speed and luckily evaded a ticket. I wondered who on earth that person on the phone was.
Not too long after, I arrived at Grandad’s and knocked on the door.
“Who is it?” came Grandad’s crackly voice.
“It’s me, Jess.”
“Oh come in, dear,” he said. My Grandad is an old English man from Cambridge, he really calls me dear.
But when I entered the house I barely recognised him, he looked so sick.
“Grandad, your voice sounds croaky. Are you sick?” I asked, reasonably concerned.
“Oh, I just have a cold,” he said and then broke into a monstrous cough which I thought was pretty gross because he didn’t even cover his mouth.
“But Grandad! What big ear lobes you have!”
At this point I knew exactly what was going on. I didn’t bother dithering around the fact that his eyes were bulging and teeth had become less like dentures and more look razors. Some motherfucking wolf had come in and eaten my Grandad!
“All the better to see you…”
Before the wolf could leap at me I was out the door, trying to remember how the girl in the fairytale got safely out of the murder scene she found herself in.
“Help! Wolf!” I squealed, running as if a bee had just stung me on the bum.
With no woodsman in sight because it was 2016 in suburbia, I knew I had to fend for myself. It’s what Grandad would have wanted.
I hid behind the garage door and when the wolf slunk past I rugby tackled the bastard onto the grass. Aware that Grandad was still inside its stomach and that we were going to need his body for the funeral, I wrestled the wolf into a Heimlich manoeuvre position and started trying to get Grandad out.
With some solid squeezes and bit of flatulence from the wolf, Grandad was eventually spat out.
He was alive! The poor guy was a bit frazzled by the whole experience, but still in one piece.
But the guilt of the day was all too much. “Oh Grandad, I was so scared!” I sobbed, “I’ll never speed and talk on the phone and…” Mid sentence I realised it had been the wolf on the phone earlier and I had led that sly-dog-stalker straight to us.
“There, there, Jessica,” said Grandad, patting my cranium. “At least you’ve learned an important lesson. Thank goodness you’re a powerful woman, built like a brick, with the ability to wrestle wolves and perform choke-prevention techniques.”
Still a bit adrenaline-fuelled, I turned and knocked the wolf out. I then carried him deep into the forest where he wouldn’t bother people again – because that’s what someone with good treatment of animals would do.
I returned to Grandad and we had a nice lunch and a long chat about old people and young people things.
Sorry about that. It’s April Fools Day 2016. Everybody’s doing it.