You know the kind of blokes you sometimes meet, the ones who talk about how they’re going to travel to loads of different places, all the great meals they can make, they post loads of pictures on Facebook and Instagram of how the surf’s looking today and how much they like drinking beer… well my cousin is like, the complete opposite of that.
When he’s not jumping off the roof of the social club in a Dracula cape and fangs (Halloween & Rugby cup final) or running gladly into the ocean with swim shorts ripped from seam to seam he’ll either be preparing for the next grand cycle trip (as it appears the length of the South Island was just too easy) or sitting in the pub sipping on a cold ginger beer and downloading torrents on his laptop.
I had the pleasure of sharing his dads/ my uncles crumbling bush bach with him all summer on a small sub-tropical island,there were good times, there were bad times, but always Hone’s unusual wit and endless “would you rather” scenarios kept us both going.
One evening when we returned from an evening at Muay-Thai kickboxing training we opened the sliding door of the house to be met with the most heinous stench. Hone, who has almost no sense of smell, narrowed his eyes and said “something smells weird” and I retorted “no shit, something has died” we rifled around looking for the culprit but soon gave up as were were too tired and went to bed. The next morning the smell was worse, and it was coming from the kitchen. Hone propositioned; “If you can find it with your superior sense of smell Bry, then I’ll deal with it” it seemed like a fair deal to me and I started to lift up old bowls and look round the back of the range. I eventually tugged back a huge cast iron pot from underneath the out-of-use wood stove and my nostrils were met with a plume of rotted rodent vapours. Flies were disturbed by the sudden movement around the bloated fat rat corpse and I fled in horror quoting Withnail and I; “Get back! The whole scene’s gone rotten!”. Reluctantly and dutifully Hone picked up the trap which hadn’t even been baited and disposed of the festering carcass over the edge of the deck, throwing the bastard back into the rugged bush from whence it came, not before I got a photo of course
Aside from the fact he is hardy and generally pretty hilarious, he is undoubtedly the most active person I know. In just one day we climbed Mt. Hobson in sixty minutes (the DOC sign suggested it takes three and a half hours to the summit) although I think Hon could have done it faster, as he ran most of it in his big black boots, backpack full of squashed lime-pickle sandwiches and orange juice in tow. As if the climb wasn’t enough we went body surfing at Palmers beach AND THEN he still had enough energy for touch rugby at the sports club. A typical day for the ‘Meater Eater’ as he’s known by his fellow rugby players.
There sure is no one like Hone. I don’t know anyone else that tops every meal with hot fresh chillis, or will hitch for a ride holding a book in one hand and his thumb out with the other, nor do I know any other twentyfour year olds who have physics themed posters stuck up on their bedroom wall with electrical tape, or who would pick a new years bobbing around in hot pools amongst the glow worms and volcanic mud over a party. It’s Hon all over, and I must say I’m starting to miss the old boy.