The U-turn on Saturday Night


They call Sydney and Australia the land of the drought, but they also call it the “land of plenty.” What they failed to tell us was that it sure was the “land of plenty,” plenty of the un-plenty. It is common in the land down under to do the notorious and sometimes reluctant U-turn, but when one does it on a Saturday night, it is not reluctant, but it is simply depressing.

The U-turn is the thing you do when you’re wearing your new jeans, a nice shirt, and a fabulous coat, enter car and realise,

“Where to now Mr. Driver?” With nothing to do, you U-turn home, wax still in hair, shoes still with tags and a wallet still filled with the weekend cash, which is then blown on food to compensate for your boring, plenty of un-plenty night.

Me and my friends after a lethargic Sydney Saturday got dressed, hopped in the car and drove. My energy was so high that I was practically charging the car battery with plenty to talk about after a long week. A few anecdotes and dirty sex jokes later we became exhausted so we remained in the suburbs, avoiding the town, for some make-me-fat pancakes with chocolate sauce and strawberries.

In a matter of seconds we had all licked our plates down, and just like old men in a nursing home, we became incredibly drowsy and ready to retire. The way back home was a moment I couldn’t forget. It was a sad one. It was one of those moments where you suddenly realise that you actually wanted to come home and rest because the next morning you had to wake up to a bench press at the gym, therefore you were suddenly aware that somewhere in your heart and mind, you were immune from all the fun, until death or in this case, U-turn, do you part.

Was this what my life had come down to? Was I immune from the excitement? Was I on the verge of resuscitating the 1920s encephalitis lethargica? What was the point? We were living to rest and when we weren’t resting we were working incredibly hard so that we could rest. Was this a city of extremes? One extreme or the other. Was Sydney the coffee shop with a weak latte and a double shot espresso and nothing more or nothing less? If that was the case then we were doomed even before we enter. Where is the plenty Mr. Proverb?

The next day I woke up desperate to workout after a sleepy Saturday and counter-six-pack pancakes. I ran on the treadmill for a whole half hour followed by an hour of bench press and dumbbell fly. The gym is like confession. Once upon a time people would go to church on a Sunday to confess and rid themselves of their Saturday night sins. Today the gym has replaced the church and we now head to the gym to confess to the treadmill and bench press to rid out new Saturday night sins. Smokes and pancakes. So then is gym the new church? Is muscle fitness the new Kabala? If so, then no wonder why people put off going to church.

The U-turn on Saturday night made me realise how lame my life had become and now I know instead of a U-turn next Saturday night, I might just not go out at all, that way I won’t have to go in for confession on Sunday.