Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Interview with Blogger Buddy: "Zuba" of MooMins M.C.

This story begins waaaayyyy back... months back... back before you can remember... before you were brought into this world. (Well, maybe not that far back.)

Chris, not to be confused with Chris of East Village Idiot, I met early on in my blogging career. He was really interested in my Metabigotry post and I guess it inspired him so much that mentioned it in his blog. (Awww, I'm so honored.)

And so I felt the need to throw a nod his way and interview my blogger buddy, from "the land down under", Chris "Zuba" Kaszubski, Moomins, M.C. blog:

Quest: What would you like to be called in the interview?

Zuba: My real name is Chris Kaszubski. Year's ago I was in a band and the blokes had trouble pronouncing my surname so that is where "Zuba" came from.

Quest: And the name "BrokenZuba"? Well, how shall I refer to you?

"BrokenZuba" came from one of my rallying mates in Tassie, a simple thing to write in a get well card. It was so much like him to say that and it meant a lot to me. So, you have a choice there, but most of my mates call me "Zuba."

Quest: Okay, Zuba, explain Moomin.

Zuba: Moomins or (Moomintrolls) are characters in a series of children's books written by Tove Jansson. Moomins are weird little critters that look a bit like hippos if they were capable of walking upright, a sight I would very much like to see just for the amusement factor. Moomins are naturally curious critters and manage to get themselves into all sorts of trouble and adventures as a result, they also hibernate during the cold arctic winter after stuffing themselves on pine needles.

Quest: And how do Moomins relate your blog?

My blog started out as a means of documenting the motorcycle touring trips I used to go on. The idea was to record them for posterity and for mates to share with other mates. If Moomins were into motorcycling they would probably get up to the sort of carry on I used to, hence the name of the blog and the slogan.

Quest: That's cute. So explain, "The Alfred".

Zuba: The Alfred is a hospital in Melbourne Australia renowned for their world leading trauma unit, which is where I ended up as a result of the smash in 2006.

Quest: You mean, you were in an accident? A serious one for that matter!

Zuba: Yes, luckily, I had a team of truly gifted surgeons working on me which has resulted in my keeping the right leg and being able to use it, as well as gaining a couple of pounds in internal metal fixations.

Quest: Wow! I'm glad to see you're okay. Consider yourself lucky. May I ask, how old are you?

Zuba: Ripe old age of 32, what a way to start my 30's eh!? I look at my life before the smash as a sort of dress rehearsal for the rest of my days. There are things I'd learnt about myself as a result which have changed me in a positive manner.

Quest: You currently reside/blog from where?

Zuba: That would be sunny Melbourne in the antipodes! Where people wear black, eat really good food, enjoy an artistically rich life, boil in the summer, freeze in the winter and generally reap the benefits of a fairly salubrious lifestyle.

Quest: Not to poke fun at your recent accident, but if this were a movie, and you got a chance to take a step back and review your life, do you see a comedy of errors theme?

Zuba: I don't know if I would use the term comedy of errors, but there have certainly been plenty of moments to draw comedic inspiration from. There have also been plenty of errors too. For one, the truck driver's error in being on the incorrect side of the road on a blind corner. And my missed diagnosis resulting in my attempts to walk on a fractured hip socket.

Quest: Ew!

Zuba: My roomies had provided some laughs ( in retrospect ) like the one who would insist on giving me a running commentary on his bowel movements.

Quest: Hey, Everybody likes a good d*ck and fart joke.

Zuba: I guess I tried to see the funny side of my run in with the semitrailer. Hey if you can't laugh about it, you might as well just curl up in a corner and pack it in.

Quest: My point exactly, which is why we comedians do what we do--try and spread the laugher! (pause) But you had a serious bout with life and danger. You stated you ended up with: 12 broken bones, a free helicopter ride to the hospital, and a year's supply of morphine. Anything else we missed out on? (By the way, in the States, that helicopter ride wouldn't have been free.)

Zuba: Well, there were indeed 12 bones fractured, but only one had a single clean fracture. The rest were multiples ranging from spiral to compound fractures. The lower right leg, upper left and right leg, a couple of knuckles, wrist, two forearm bones, collar bone and pelvis--pretty much every corner.

I was lucky to be able to keep my leg. I've received at least 8 pints of blood during the many operations and will probably receive more in the next surgery as it will take over 4 hours to remove most of the metalwork.

The helicopter ride was free as there is a wonderful system in place here which is designed to pay for all medical expenses of road trauma victims regardless of fault. Same goes for the morphine, good stuff eh? That's the majority of it really, there are other things but they pale in significance.

Quest: And then the photos of your injuries--there's nothing funny about that. I have to say that I almost vomited looking at and I've never considered myself a sensitive one. I don't even quake at horror movies or gross out films.

Zuba: Yeah there were some good ones, eh? Some of my mates had similar reactions when they saw me in hospital. I've never seen that many shades of white and green. I am hoping to have clinical photography dept. I will take some shots of the next surgery. Keep a look out for those ones!

Quest:How long did it take for full recovery? How long did it take you to get back on your feet?

Zuba: The recovery is a work in progress. It's been just over 18 months and I'm facing at least 3 more surgical procedures to finalize the medical side. It took 11 months for me to take my first unaided steps and that was only for a few meters, but it meant the world to me.

Quest: I can only imagine. It seems like a series of feats.

Zuba: From lying in in a bed for two months, to being craned out into an electric wheel chair, then getting into a manual one, onto a pair of crutches, then one and finally none has been a painful and challenging experience, but one that has demonstrated to me just how much we take walking for granted.

Quest: You got the use of a set of wheels, right? An electric wheel chair? How was that? What did you learn from that experience?

Zuba: Well, I did get told off for speeding in the hospital. The wheelchair's speed is controlled by joystick. And years of playing with joysticks in my teenage years, along with a natural desire to go fast...well, let's say that I got the hang of it pretty quickly. And the first time I could stand being in the chair for an extended period of time was when I absconded from the ward to visit the pub across from the hospital.

Quest: Being wheelchair bound probably makes your see life from a different angle, after being on your feet for 30 years of your life.

Zuba: The wheel chair experience was enlightening as you really have no idea as to the problems and prejudices faced by people who will never get out of one.

Quest: And you still have crutches that you use?

Zuba: I did find a novel use for my crutches. At a music festival, where I had one of my mates hold onto one as I turned them upside down and put them to use as stilts in order to see over people's heads.

Quest: So at least you're now walking.

Zuba: Though, I still haven't returned to a natural gait. I intend to do some day walks in the bush around November to try and build up strength before the next surgery. Running is out of the question at the moment and kneeling is very painful. But at least I have legs, eh?

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Chris "Zuba"'s interview...

*+*+*+* Zuba's story was a fascinating one and if you want to hear more, then SIGN-UP! Get FREE UPDATES by EMAIL or RSS.

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