Geektree. Ah, Geektree. My god, where to begin… I guess the beginning works. But wait, no, that’s too cliche… let’s start in the middle – to hell with chronology or context!

By our VCE years, Geektree was a thriving hub of activity. At our school, the venerable and prestigious Mount Eliza Secondary College, there was a large area in the middle of the buildings called the Quadrangle. It was capable of seating (on the ground, of course – mere students don’t get chairs) the entire school at once, some 1200 students plus 200 or so staff. So it wasn’t some tiny little nook. On one side there was a rectangular, raised garden bed, in which stood a single solitary tree. Not an especially impressive one – some kind of small eucalyptus I guess – but what was by then known as the Geektree, after the group of people that frequented it, who’s distinguishing demographic was their geekiness. Ergo the name. Geektree later came to refer informally to those people, as in “yeah, geektree will be there”.

Anyway, life was good, as I’ve written before. The group was loose-knit and large – some 20 to 30 people depending on where you drew the borders. The vast majority were in my year, and around my age. There was an older group, a year or two ahead of us, who I guess formed the seed of the geektree. And there were a few youngin’s – Brody and whosisname, for example, and of course Straight’s groupies (Laura being one such).

Now of course I shall introduce Straight – he was our prized metrosexual member, back before anyone ever coined the term metrosexual. Frequently acted gay, and kept up the guise of bisexuality, although he was most certainly a ladies man, and – at least to my knowledge – was never with any men. He was – and still is – very charismatic, funny and generally nice. A good guy to hang around and be friends with.

Anyway, I digress. Geektree originally started, well… it’s hard to say, really. Originally I used to hang around with a few groups, which at some point in around year 9 or so started to merge and head towards the Geektree. At first there was only a few of us, but over time our numbers grew. I couldn’t even begin to remember who was there in what order… certainly, I think it was Opsu, Lord-Data and Outlore who laid the seed. Ashkente, Ducky (a.k.a. Ascention) and myself were probably amongst the first. As you can see by the way I’ve lapsed into gamer nicknames, it was primarily a bunch of geeky guys, who at that point were thoroughly enthralled with Starcraft and UT. And TactOps. Awesome game.

Anyway (again)… by the time the main group – i.e. mine – had reached VCE, the elders had finished, and we were taking on new blood in the form of some crazy year 7’s, and a few year 9’s – Laura being one such. Now, I won’t go into too much detail since I’ve covered Laura enough already in this journal, but I will point out that I cannot, ironically, remember her from back then. Straight’s groupies were kind of annoying, immature and weirdly obsessive. We tolerated them because that was our group’s style, and because some of them were nice enough. Or very nice, if you were lucky. Or unlucky, depending on perspective.

Anyway… yet again… even at the end of high school we were still pretty close knit. Our “schoolies” week camping down near Lorne was great – nearly everyone was there [except the groupies] – and fun was had by all. Where we were camping was on the banks of a small stream, opposite a pretty sheer cliff face over which a waterfall [sometimes] fell. It was an amazing spot – beautiful and convenient, being not too far from Lorne itself. There were some quite memorable moments, such as when Brett Sinclair decided to climb up said sheer cliff face. It was a most impressive effort – even “the boys” were getting a bit concerned when he was half way up. Well, apart from O’neill, who used some taught tent wire to slingshot spare tent pegs at Brett. Ah, what jovial kids we were. :)

Of course, Brett survived [to this day, as far as I know], although he did find once he got to the top that getting down was a wee bit trickier… he disappeared from our view, and then hours later reappeared walking in from the road… apparently he’d had to walk for miles to find a way down and back around to the road, and then get back to our camp site. Hilarious. :)

And there was the Nut Award, which is something Roxanne’s older brother James started. Basically it was just a big nut on some string, which would be worn like a necklace by a different person each day – it would be awarded each night to whoever had done the dumbest thing that day. I can’t really recall who exactly had it or why – I suspect Brett may have earned it for his cliff-climbing, and I’m pretty sure Ducky must have had it at least once. I also was so privileged to receive it, although I cannot remember why.

The catch of course was that this was a summer holiday, which meant people were swimming a lot and generally being active. But the rules were that if the Nut Recipient was caught not wearing the Nut, whoever first caught them could ask anything they liked of them. I of course abused this system by having Sarah be the first person to see me without it, so I got out of it for the rest of the day. I don’t think she ever really called on that favour – there was some mischievous hanky panky I do remember, although at that time Sarah and I weren’t very serious in that way, so nothing too exotic. :)

And there was lots of flashing going on. The surf apparently had it in for a few girls, including Sarah and Bobo, who partially lost their tops at least once each (update: as did Roxanne and Chelle, Bobo forcefully reminds me now :) ). I missed both of those, but got a private session with Bobo some time later, when she trampled her way into my tent to play dress-ups with Sarah & Sket, or somesuch. Ah, the joys of being young, cute and innocent, when girls still had the inhibitions to be flirty and flashing, not just jump straight to sex.

Not that I ever had anything going with Bobo, of course, despite what some people – raises eyebrow at Sarah – thought at times.

Although while we’re on the topic, one of the funniest stories to relive now is Damien’s poor sorry attempts to get into a threesome with Straight & Chelle. Now, I missed saying it earlier, but Straight & Chelle were Geektree’s resident sluts (meant in the nicest possible way). And they always had something going on between them, although it fluctuated a lot and seemed to have to keep out of the way of their other relationships.

Anyway, Damien had been sugaring them both up all the time we’d been there, trying to push things around so that it would happen. And then, when something did actually begin – Chelle & Straight ran off to the shared toilets to “get it on”, Damien missed out. He was on his way after them when he ran into Brownie (Andrew Brown), who promptly began talking to Damien and walking with him. Damien was forced to loose Brownie before he could follow the others in the tryst, and that lost time cost him. Straight & Chelle, probably not that keen on a threesome anyway, locked the door and started off without him. Damien was spewing. :) When they repeatedly refused to let him in – and by which time Brownie and others had noticed the commotion – he resorted to throwing buckets of ice-water over the walls onto the coupling couple. At least one volley scored a hit against Straight, which must have been immensely amusing to him at the time, I’m sure. :)

Needless to say, Damien never got anything out of those two, and he laments it still to this day. The world is a cruel, but immensely funny place. :)

There was a whole lot of drunken coupling go on at Lorne, although in hindsight it was pretty innocent… after three years in Glenn college, I’m pretty much blasé about all that now. There were a few awkward moments as a result, although I won’t detail those for the sake of some of the participants. Nonetheless, Lorne was a success.

Of course, it was largely the last time Geektree was ever together as a whole. Sure, there was Chelle’s new years eve party around the same time, but after that, well… life went on in different directions. People went to uni, moved to far off weird places (Chelle -> Ballarat), etc. Geektree never had a formal death… it suffered the intolerable death that may well await all of us… a painful, slow, unrecognised heat death.

So, I lament Geektree. I couldn’t possibly hope to cover even a significant fraction of Geektree’s history in this one entry. I expect there will be more in theme, over time. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Oooh, and don’t forget to check out the few photos I have of Geektree, here.

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