Rack off. To my ear at least, it sounds bold, a little crude and decisive all at the same time. It’s just going – leaving – without a backward glance.
According to the Collins Dictionary online, to 'rack off' is to literally go away or depart. Apparently it’s an adverb, not that I care. People my age weren’t taught grammar so giving it an official, part-of-speech label isn’t useful information.
I haven’t heard anyone say it for a while (maybe it was a 70s thing) but it popped into my head recently when I started thinking about the possibility of packing up the family for an extended trip.
Students take a gap year. Executives and academics go on sabbatical. Hipsters un-school their kids and roam the planet. Maybe middle-aged Australians with moody teens just rack off.
Whatever the correct term is, I’ve been thinking about doing it for a while and the vibe has caught on. The husband has been working to get the house Airbnb-ready (progress documented on Instagram @found.in.transit) and, with a bit of luck and a couple of bookings, we will be heading off on a trip after Christmas.
Getting ready to rack off has been no cake-walk. The house we built 11 years ago was never really finished. As any partner of a tradie will appreciate, it’s often the case that by the end of the working week there is no energy left to drag the tools out again for a bit of weekend DIY. Even when it’s just small things, like skirting boards and door handles (and maybe the railing to a second storey balcony) – nothing important, until you start thinking about advertising it as a holiday rental.
Then there’s the kids. Even with the lure of more than a month out of school, there’s a whole lot of questions and even a bit of complaining. Will there be wifi? What are the sleeping arrangements? What if there’s no wifi? How long will we be away? Can you just make sure there’s wifi?
I can’t answer their questions. The whole point of racking off is to just do it – no questions asked. Obviously it’s not that simple when it’s not a solo mission. Yes, it’ll be disruptive, and probably a bit messy - and that's exactly what I’m looking for.