Only one winner in sporting duel
By the time you read this, a winner will have been declared in the lesser known battle of Girl versus Driveway.
It is not the final battle, just another stage in the ongoing round robin of the Earthquake Games.
Another calendar page has been flipped and Miss February shows us it's two years since the 6.3.
The Earthquake Games are equally as spectacular but the scale is somewhat different to the Olympics or Commonwealth varietals.
They begin unannounced and are staged only once every few thousand years. They last for about a decade rather than two weeks.
The discipline of Girl versus Driveway is going to be a mighty affair. There are no rules and the objective is simple. I must move my belongings from a lock-up garage at the far end of the driveway at my quakehouse to a trailer parked on the street.
Just over two years ago when I bought my quakehouse, this procedure was done in reverse. It was a relatively easy task but Driveway has been in training. It has sprinkled itself with bricks and other detritus. Every last bush, climbing rose and weed has grown like a green net to block the passage but I will not fall for any of these psychological taunts.
I expect Driveway to be passive aggressive in its fight to obstruct entry but I am determined and when I get angry . . . let's say you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.
I took part in a boxing event a couple of years ago. My skills and technique were (ahem!) somewhat limited but I'd been fighting my opponent mentally every night for weeks beforehand and I was determined.
Similarly, I have been thinking about battling Driveway for some time so even though I expect to come away with scratches and possibly a rat-borne disease, I will win. The prize is not a podium finish; instead I will be reunited with my own bed. Could there be a greater trophy?
This is not my first battle in the Earthquake Games. You may have taken part in some aspect of the tournament yourself. Life versus Death, Home versus Liquefaction, Nose versus Open Sewer, Portaloo versus Midnight - the list of events goes on.
The first event I was involved in was House versus Tectonics. House put up a good fight but Tectonics had been training for centuries. House had only 80 or so years.
The battle was violent and House lost fair and square. Then House found an unexpected champion in Insurance Company.
Insurance Company was convinced House could be revived and sent trainers and managers (engineers) to take another look at House. Startling everyone, Insurance Company announced House was fit and ready to fight again.
However, in the dark of night, many times since its first crippling battle, Tectonics would sneak up and give it a rattle. In the end, House conceded defeat and has been retired from the game.
Intermingled with these mighty battles, there have been minor games. Personally, I've always been freakishly good at "paper, scissors, rock" but when the game changed to "EQC, IAG, Brain" poor old Brain just kept losing. The rules appeared to keep changing and the other competitors were bigger, with more resources. Brain could only pick itself up so many times.
However, Girl versus Driveway is a lesser battle and the competitors almost equal. Hopefully it will be nothing more than a tussle with overgrown flora (and possible fauna because who knows what is living in this urban forest).
I've been up and down that driveway many times over the two years so I know the terrain.
If there is a moral to this tale, let it be this: "Do your gardening."
- © Fairfax NZ News