Thursday, December 08, 2016

I'm Heading Back To The Salt Mines Come Tuesday

9am, Tuesday, that is when I start work, again. Bright and early. I'm pleased it is Tuesday, as Monday morning at 9am would have been a mental mind fuck.

Yes, I got the job. I did an interview, my first in years, (that's not exactly true, but true enough) not something I am ever really that great at. I don't think I ever take them really seriously, enough, for some reason I just can't. Never been able to. The desk, the sides each of us have to take, the deserted room, the hollow sound of emptiness, the unnatural paradigm, the questions, the seriousness, often with two interviewers making the whole process seem remarkably unfair and out of balance, just to justify their existence.

No, I'm good at interviews, if the interviewer is good at interviewing. You know, with a certain natural charm and some sanity in the questions being asked. I can charm them right back, generally. If there haven't been any stupid questions, if there hasn't been any corporate psycho babble, which just loses me and I end up wondering how stupid the interviewer really is to think stupid questions are acceptable. I can glaze over really easily, which does none of us any favours. 

It also helps if I want the job, that is a huge edge to have. I've been to job interviews where, I may have been iffy beforehand, and where I decide in the first 5 minutes that I really didn't want the job anyway, that the interviewers appear stupid and I decide that I don't want to be working for them anyway, and that life is too short and I'd rather be home smoking pot, or watching porn, or, just staring out into space, you know, you get it don't you? The walls then start closing in and the air gets thin and I end up thinking more about suffocation than the questions at hand. And I start to imagine the interviewer in her bra and undies pissed off her brain at the Xmas Party being all flirty, trashing HR101 to pieces, as she goes after the hot young uni grads. Or him in his jocks with a bona doing creepy things in the office toilet, the seat covered in toilet paper and he with a whistle in his mouth and saliva dripping down his hairy chest. And it is only ever down hill from there. Trust me. 

I had one interview like that, which just ended in an awkward silence, pretty much. And it was a position for which a sister of a friend asked me to apply. Was that the Melbourne Council? It could have been. The friend's sister was there, but she didn't run the show, some other dweeb, public servant did. Ten minutes in, I decided the interviewer was a half whit, that they were all half whits and I started writing their death scenarios in my head. Too much fiction, to be sure, swirling around in my head. And I got to a moment where the room went silent and while I was giving the universe thanks for the stupidity reprieve I realised they had paused for my answer, the question for which I'd completely missed. Suffice to say I didn't get that job.

Anyway, this job I've got. Jack and Fatty Cake Snoop Lady gave me references and I have applied for my own police check, which I should get today. That was something the company once did, but not any more, apparently.

So, there you go, my lady of leisure routine has come to a premature end. Back to the salt mines.

I had a twinge of failure as I started thinking about work again. My writing stops yet again, as I scamper back to the safety of a meaningless office job. I guess, I just have to get used to being a failure. Grrrr! I should have been...

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Amy And Lillian Open A Coffee Shop

“Dennis’ life insurance will pay for the shop,” says Amy.

“Carl’s life insurance will pay for the fit out,” says Lillian.

“You’ve got get some breaks with early onset Alzheimer’s?” says Lillian.

“You’d think,” says Amy.

“It is still amazing that Carl and Denis got it at the same time…” says Lillian.

“And both our husbands so early,” says Amy. She sighs wistfully.

“I still hope it wasn’t those Gold Seal aluminium saucepans from China we both got for engagement present,” says Lillian. “I still wonder if they had anything to do with it?”

“I still use mine,” says Amy.”

“Still going strong at my place,” says Lillian. “Except for the one piece that Lachlan put in the dishwasher that time, but other than that replacement, nothing.”

“Nothing wrong with us,” the two women carol together. They both laugh.

Lachlan is standing with the plans.

“I tell you mum,” says Lachlan. “Go to Bali for two weeks and I’ll get this done for you, I have four weeks leave.”

“You’ll do it?” asks Lillian questioningly.

“All the costs are covered, budgets are done, the builder has been contracted, it’ll be fun,” says Lachlan. “Mum, that is the least I can do.”

“You’re a doll,” says Lillian. She grabs her strapping son and gives him a kiss on the forehead. Lachlan squirms from her grip.

2 weeks later…

Lillian is standing in the middle of the newly fitted out shop. There is a knock at the door. Amy comes in gushing.

“Oh, I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it.”

“You better believe it,” says Lillian.

“Good old Lachlan.”

“Did it in his spare time.”

There is another knock at the door. Lillian’s lawyer son, Damien, is at the door.

“I’m double parked, here I’ve got things for you to sign.”

“What things to sign,” says Lillian.

“The purchase of the shop…”

“We bought the shop?” questions Lillian.

“Lachlan did the numbers, he ran them by me, and we both saw that you are much better to purchase this place out right,” says Damien. “Didn’t Lachlan explain it to you?”

“No, dear?”

“Damn,” says Damien.

“Explain what?”

The mortgages on this and Gold Street, the shares we sold, didn’t he explain any of it?”

“No, dear, not a word.”

“Damn him to hell…”

“What shady business are you two up to, to damn your brother to hell…”

“Er… what?” says Damien. “I didn’t literally damn him to hell.”

“That is what I heard,” says Lillian.

“Me too,” Amy chimes in.

“Jesus they come in twos,” says Damien. He looked from his mother to Amy and back to his mother.

“I am not at all sure what you mean,” says Lillian. “If you and your brother have been up to something dodgy again…”

“Dodgy, my arse,” says Damien.

“Well, it’s not me who nearly got done for insider trading…”

“Yes, yes, I know, Dad knew the judge,” says Damien. “Or you slept with him…”

“That is still no joking matter, Damien,” says Lillian. “Your brother nearly went to jail.”

“Well, there’s nothing dodgy here.” Damien lays the papers down in front of the two women. “We are just setting up the most cost effective way to proceed with this… um… er… madness. Now sign here, here, and here.”

“Should I have my lawyer look over it first,” says Lillian. She laughs as if it were very funny.

“Your lawyer prepared the documents, so quit with the jokes and sign.”

“My darling,” says Lillian. “I had no idea I was still able to get you to talk through gritted teeth.

Lillian signs.

Damien pushes the documents towards Amy. He offers her the pen. He looks at the papers and then back at Amy, when she doesn’t react, he says, “You too.”

“Who dear, me dear, no dear.”

“Yes you too.” Damien exhales loudly. He proceeds through gritted teeth. “I’m double parked and I have to be somewhere else ten minutes ago, just sign the fucking paper.”

“Damien,” Lillian chastises.

“I’m going to kill Lachlan. He was supposed to explain it to you two, I was supposed to process the paper work. Easy. Again, I am left doing all of the fucking work.”

“Why do I have to sign?” says Amy.

“You own half of it all, the café, the building, the mortgage, the coming nightmare. 50 50. So sign the damn paper, will you?”

“You want something done,” says Lillian. “Ask a busy man.”

Whorl wind Damien packs everything up immediately it is all signed. He stuffs all of the paperwork in his brief case. “Nice doing work with you… ladies.” He storms out of the shop.

Amy and Lillian are left alone in the newly renovated shop.

“Now what do we do?” says Amy.

“You just need a good cheese cake recipe,” says Lillian. They’ll come for blocks for a slice of good cheese cake.”

“Oh Lillian, if only it was that simple.”

“Oh, darling, it is,” says Lillian. “May I introduce my sour cream cheese cake?” Lillian produces a large, plain white cheese cake from under the counter.

A handsome young man comes through from the back and man’s the coffee machine.

“Darling,” says Lillian. “This is Hulio, he’s our new barista.”

“How do you do,” says the handsome boy with a perfect Spanish accent.

“Hoik a couple of slices of that onto a couple of plates, will you darling,” says Lillian. “And a couple of coffees and you’ll be just about perfect.”

“Yes mam.”

Lillian twitches her nose at Hulio.

Amy’s phone rings. “It’s Leah,” says Amy.

“There must be a fire somewhere,” says Lillian. “Or a camera crew.”

Amy waves her hand in the air as if to tell Lillian to stop it. “Yes, good darling,” says Amy. “How’s Sydney? Yes, I’m listening… I don’t understand… to who’s needs? … Oh. Really. How will they get here from Sydney…. Oh.” Amy makes big lips. “Well, if you are sure… Oh, you are sure. Well, I don’t know what to say. Okay… um.” Amy turns to Lillian. “Leah is sending us 3 waiters excess to her corporation’s needs.”

“I don’t understand?” says Lillian.

“Apparently, Leah’s corporation has waiters, 3 of which they don’t need. And the 3 girls are happy to work here and get paid by Leah.”

“Is that even legal, darling?” asks Lillian.

“Good point, darling. I have no idea.”

“I have organised the food supplies,” says Simon. “Gobbo the chef will be coming Monday morning…”

Blake laughs behind Simon.

Simon holds his finger up at Blake. “It’s just going to be a soft opening, no big fanfare, no big announcement, you all have to learn your craft.”

“That we do,” says Lillian

“All you have to do is run it,” says Simon.

“Any ideas,” asks Lillian.

Amy gulps.

Simon snaps his large size diary shut. “Come come, I’ll have none of that talk, it’s all go go go now.” Simon air kisses both of the women and leaves the shop. He stops at the door. “Have you finalised the name?”

“Sour Cream,” Lillian says triumphantly.

“You’ll get all the lesbians in here,” says Simon.

“Really darling,” says Amy.

“Sour Cream,” Simon repeats.

“It is supposed to be ironic,” offers Lillian.

“You don’t want them thinking about their wastes lines as they come in the door,” says Simon.

“It is the house specialty cream cake.”

“Sure, why not,” says Simon. He flaps his hands. “Its esoteric.”

He exits through the front door, followed closely by Blake.

It is quiet, Amy and Lillian are alone for the first time. Lillian walks the length of the café, running her hand along the counter. She turns and looks back at Amy. “How soon before we can offload this joint.”

“We’ll have to humour them for a little while,” says Amy.

“This is a lot of work,” says Lillian. “Lesbos. 1982.”

“Oh, the sun and the sand.”

“Maria,” says Lillian. “I wonder whatever happened to Maria?”

“How hard can it be?” Amy looks around the café.

“We’ll have to find a patsy, darl, some poor bitch who is down on her luck and who needs…” Lillian sighs. “All of this.”

“But the children worked so hard.”

“I’m sure the boys just did it to spite me,” says Lillian. “When have they ever listened to me in the past?”

“Shannon is playing guitar Saturday Night.”

“So that is the three of them, a hat trick of my sons,” says Lillian. “Every last one of them, stabbing their mother in the bosom.”

“That’s it,” exclaims Amy. “My Jemma and your Shannon could run this joint. They only run their own business’ part time, let’s face it.” Both the women laugh.

“Advertising company,” questions Lillian. “That’s bullshit the world doesn’t need.”

“Personal trainer?” questions Amy. “I’m sure that is just so you can perve on the opposite sex in something skimpy.”

“Do you think that is wise?” questions Lillian.

“They have the time,” says Amy. “They could do it.”

“But those two find time for other things.”

“You son is a feral pig,” says Amy.

“What does that make your daughter,” says Lillian. “A pig fucker?”

“They underutilise their time, it is time their mother’s step in,” says Amy. “As for that other business, if it fits, it fits. What do I care?”

Brilliant,” says Lillian. “They could, we must get to work on it immediately.”

“It is a gift from their mothers,” says Amy.

“It is an amazing opportunity,” says Lillian.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

You lookin' at my arse?

Monday, December 05, 2016

You talkin' to me? Hey! You talkin' to me?

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Amy and Lillian Go To Church

Amy grabs the communion cup and drinks the entire contents unexpectedly, before Father Bob could stop her.

“My dear girl,” exclaims Father Bob.

Curate McKenzie replaces the original cup with a full cup, without anybody appearing to notice.

“The body of Christ…”

“Nya.” Amy waves it away.

The line snakes around and up both isles to the back of the church, communion takes some time.

Amy is unsteady on her feet after the huge chug of communion wine that she had taken.

“Steady on there girl,” exclaims Lillian. She grabs Amy by the hand.

The line to the confessional was long, so Amy and Lillian drank some tea and ate biscuits at the back of the church.

“So you just tell him the sin?”

“He listens and then absolves you,” purrs Amy. “The system has an inbuilt cleansing mechanism. Everybody is happy.”

“Does it matter the depth of the depravity?”

“No, you’re always absolved, can’t leave anyone behind,” says Amy. “So the worst the better, is the general rule of thumb, you don’t want to take any chances with a bus on the high road.”

The line has nearly finished by the time Amy and Lillian return from a spliff down the back of the car park. The last person went in. Amy and Lillian waited and then squeezed into a confessional together.

The wooden door slid open. “Yes my child?”

“Bless us…” says Lillian.

“For we have sinned,” says Amy.

“My children,” questions Father Bob.

“It’s a two for one deal,” says Amy.

“The line was long,” purrs Lillian.

“Well I never,” says Father Bob.

“Do you have any sins to confess, my child, children?”

“No, none I can think of,” says Amy.

“Lorne, 1985,” Lillian whispers.

“We said we’d never speak of that.”

“It is still a sin,” says Lillian.

“And?” says Amy impatiently.

“Well, you have to confess it,” says Lillian. “Have you ever confessed it before?”

“I was drunk, we were all drunk,” says Amy, “I thought Carl was Denis, it was dark.”

“It is still a sin you should confess to your priest,” says Lillian. “You fornicated with my husband.”

There is an audible gasp from the priest on the other side of the mesh.

“We were drunk, it was a mistake,” Amy whispers.


“My child…” Monsignor looks questioningly close to the mesh on his side. “Anything to confess,” he said in a, hesitant, sing-song tone.

“She screwed my Carl,” says Lillian.

Father Brown inhales audibly. “Well, how many times did you sin, my chid?”

“Just the once,” says Lillian. “With my husband.”

“Yes… okay… I’ll go with that,” says Amy.

“Well, how many times was it?” demands Lillian.

“Just the once,” Amy says meekly.

“Clearly not by your tone,” booms Lillian. “I demand to know how many times?”

“More than once,” says Amy.

“How many more times than once,” says Lillian. “I always thought it was just the once.”

“It wasn’t once.”

“My children, my children,” the Monsignor pleads.

“How many times?”

“How many times?” repeats Amy.

“Yes, how many times?” says Lillian.

“Well… it was once a week, while you did your yoga…”

“What do you mean?” demanded Lillian. “I do yoga all year round?”

“That’s about how many times it was.”

“Please! Please,” Monsignor demands.

“Fifteen hail Mary’s, for you, my child,” says Monsignor. “It seems an aberration, admittedly a repeated aberration, but it can count as the one mistake.” A small, square door opens, he hands his own set of rosaries to Amy. “All the help,” he whispers. “And you, keep a better eye on your husband.”

The sliding panel slides shut. He can be heard existing his side of the confessional quickly.

“Do you feel better?” questions Amy.

“You and Denis,” says Lillian. “Not just drunk.”

Amy exhales exasperated. “And he is no good to you now,” she says. “There is nothing he can give you now.”

“What am I to think?”

“You had a good life, you and Denis,” says Amy. “Why do you have to think about it any differently? It is all true…”


“It is all true, it all happened,” says Amy. “We humans are complicated beings.”

“That is true,” says Lillian.

“And now you have only got me,” says Amy. “Better than some deluded old bugger who doesn’t know your name.”

Lillian hesitates, she was shocked, to be sure, but where would that get her now? “Pals for life, no matter what, who’d have thought?”

“And the children,” says Amy.

“What?” says Lillian.

“We’ve got our children,” says Amy.

“Oh the joy,” says Lillian. “Ones swindling me with figures, the other is giving it a go with the law and my baby is well, he is fucking your baby.”

“Happy days,” says Amy. She takes Lillian’s arm in hers.

Saturday, December 03, 2016

I love this mural in the city

Friday, December 02, 2016

2016, 1880, 1960

What Have We Done?

I walked down Smith Street early this morning, just after 6am, and I passed 2 women wearing burkas. I noticed with both of them, that they looked quite nervous as I approached them and they moved right out of my way. Their eyes had fear in them. 

How awful is that, I thought. What have we done as a society to make women such as this feel fearful of approaching men? 

I wanted to say to both of them, "Don't worry, I don't mind what you wear. Please don't feel fearful simply standing in the street."

I don't get it. Why does anybody care what these women wear? It would seem very peculiar if we had to pass freedom of dress legislation, but is that what it would take. I would have thought, at a very basic level, that people are certainly free to wear whatever they like.

Is the Aussie fair go dead? Not if you are white, I guess.