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Friday, November 30, 2012

When I grow up, I want to be....

The good people at The View, a localized magazine, asked me to write a little something for them on the topic of 'when I grow up, I want to be'. I wrote this in the first half of the year, and there's been a few birthdays since then, but all's good.

Here's what appeared in their magazine, which came out today.

I attended one of the finest all boy boarding schools on the east coast of Australia and emerged armed  with the ability to eat just about anything (a godsend during my first marriage). In many ways, school can offer us glimpses into a wider world than we might ordinarily experience at home - the sciences, for example – and help spark an interest which might ignite a career.

Unfortunately for me during my school years I discovered an inability to understand most of what the teachers were talking about in science, geography or history, or to draw anything more complicated than a stick figure.

So I started writing my first blog. Of course, back then it was called a diary, and if I wanted people to read my ‘blog’ I had to leave the book in classrooms or dormitories where they could accidently stumble across it, like I did recently: pulling the battered diary from the bottom of a well hidden box. And here’s the thing - a quick flick through the pages gives a very clear picture of what I wanted to be when I grew up.

One of the wonderful things about being a kid is imagining what life has in store for you. I think the young me would be both shocked and awed by what I’ve experienced. For a start, I obviously overcame my fear of talking to girls because I’m married to one.

Suffice to say, my life hasn’t turned out like I’d hoped as a pre-teen. I assume, because I grew up primarily on the Gold Coast, I observed money really can make you happy and at some point decided I wanted to surround myself with lots of it. Unfortunately, I mistakenly took the service road and now work in a bank.

My career, and if I used the term any more loosely an ‘e’ might fall out, has included gardener, console operator, stop-go sign holder, a cleaner of pubs and a door to door salesman, which ended abruptly when the last door was answered by a very scary woman with tremendously hairy legs.

A quick ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ survey at our home shows things haven’t changed much over the years.

“Dad, I can’t see the TV!” came Master7’s answer.

“I’m too young to think about that stuff,” Miss8 chastised me, not even looking up from her book.

But when pressed it seems they’re both keen on making rock videos or movies and having legions of fans. Like I said, things haven’t changed much.

Miss5 was more forthcoming. In fact, getting her to stop giving me her answer was the real difficulty. Going by Miss5’s response, if people decided their careers when they were kids, there would be an oversupply of hairdressers, ballerinas and Smurfs, with not so many politicians and bankers. Part of me is actually fine with that.

So what did the young twelve-year-old me want to be when I grew up? According to the magazine pictures glued into my diary, what I wanted to be, more than anything else in the world, was Paul Hogan’s mate, Strop - because that lucky sod was married to Delvine Delaney. 

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About Me

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Bruce Devereaux is one of the nicest people he knows. When not at work he enjoys reading, writing, hiding from his children and not changing nappies.


His career, and if we used the term any more loosely an e might fall out, has included a gardener, a personal lender, a console operator, a stop/go man (not as big a bludge as you might think but great if you’re into sunburn, abuse and varicose veins), a cleaner of banks and pubs and, for a very brief period, a door to door salesman (until the last door he knocked on was answered by a very scary woman with tremendously hairy legs).


Bruce Devereaux currently works as a forty-five-year-old award winning customer service officer (glass statuette available upon request) for the Bank of Queensland and as a very casual employee for Corrective Services. He likes to believe he excels at both but then he has always been prone to exaggeration.


His favourite colour is green, with a picture of Dame Nellie Melba on one side and General Sir John Monash on the other. His favourite flower is self-raising.

 If you see him around town, call his wife immediately - he's probably snuck out and left her alone with all the kids.


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