The Doust Files – Albany Advertiser 7/6/2011

In a couple of weeks an old mate of mine will visit the Great Southern and talk about the risky behaviour of men.

He is a big man with a short name, Julian Krieg, and he drives a ute. I won’t name the brand because if I do at least half the ute owning population will scream “useless!”

Julian is employed by Wheatbelt Men’s Health as a community educator and, let me make it quite clear, the bloke is no slouch. Before he took up this post he was once Director of Agricultural Education.

Julian once had the misfortune to use this writer on road trips around the wheatbelt. We would hum into a town, park easily, and climb out to much amusement.

Why? Well, when sitting down in the cabin of the ute we may well have looked roughly the same size, but when out, he was a mountain and I was molehill.

Both of us know something about the risky behaviour of men and why we hand in our mortal coil long before our opposites in the gender business.

Just for example, take me. All right, I can hear you “Yes, please, take him!”

Recently I bought myself a sea-going kayak, one not built for the surf, but, of course, I had to give it a try and after the 25th dumping, crunching and smashing, I decided it might be a good idea to respect the boat’s design flaws.

All this after last year’s incident with the neck.

My partner has been telling for years not to body surf because more than once I have speared my neck into solid sand due to my summersault exit technique and last year I did it again. The radiographer took one look at the pictures and said “You’ve done this before, haven’t you?”

Of course I had and I hadn’t stopped the risky behaviour because that’s not what men do and it’s why I have a shattered shin, a stuffed shoulder, a broken foot and a hammered hand.

When he’s not talking to, or about men, Julian lives a sedate life on an acre of land out of York. He shares it with his life-long partner but, if you drive out that way, you may well hear her yelling: “Put that potato cannon down, Julian, and come inside and act your age.”

Keep an eye out for Julian’s visit. The big man also has a big heart and he knows how hard it is to be a man in an ever changing world.

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