OPINION: Parade takes a lighter look at life in Bathurst and surrounds

HOW do you liven up a birthday party using a turned-over cup and a lot of yelling?

SNAPSHOT: James Thomas took this photo at sunset on Saturday evening looking north on a property at Walang.

SNAPSHOT: James Thomas took this photo at sunset on Saturday evening looking north on a property at Walang.

You organise a putting competition where the stakes are high and sledging is pretty much mandatory.

That’s what happened when Parade’s parents celebrated their birthdays on the weekend and all the family gathered to mark the milestone.

After the usual party traditions – the eating, the cake, the drinking, the jokes about getting old – the partygoers moved into a back room where it became clear that some sort of entertainment would need to be provided.

That’s when the cup was turned over, a putter and golf ball was retrieved from the garage and the competition began.

To say the scenes that followed were loud and chaotic barely describes the full extent of the foolishness.

A few of the highlights – or lowlights, depending on how you look at it – included the two-year-old getting squished into his grandfather’s torso (to the point where he was barely visible) while the two of them lined up a putt as a team, a lot of yelling about poor eyesight for those unlucky enough to be on the wrong side of 50 and a strange period in which the putter was used like a pool cue and the golf ball was placed on various players’ stomachs.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that it made the party – and Parade wouldn’t be surprised to see a repeat performance when the family gathers again at Christmas.

Take care with kids and cars

AND now here’s an alarming statistic: according to a press release that passed across Parade’s desk recently, NRMA patrols have rescued 2243 babies and 1655 pets in the past 12 months from locked cars across NSW and the ACT.

That’s a lot of rescues.

Thirty-three per cent of the rescues, according to the NRMA, were at shopping centre car parks, while many others were in community areas like beaches, parks or hospitals.

More than 110 of the rescues occurred outside bottle shops, pubs, clubs or gambling venues.

As the weather warms up, those stats are a reminder to be careful with kids and cars.