Thursday, August 27, 2009

Towtrucks and Tickets

Oh dear, a bad ending to a pretty lousy week. I got a parking ticket by a nasty piece of work in Hall St, Bondi. She was already writing the ticket as I was crossing the road to buy an envelope. I came back in 2 minutes to see it being stuffed under my (not very well working) window wiper. Then she turned on me like cobra who is used to being cornered on a daily basis. I gave her the look - I was two minutes gone (I calculate at $4.40 per hour parking meter time, I should have really put in 6.5 cents), then she did this, she said "you've left your child in the car" (the sun had gone down), "I've recorded it and taken a photo" (so I did too) and "it's illegal - you know it is" (do I?). I said "he just woke up, I was two minutes!" (I really was) and she said "I've got four kids" and gave me a cobra spit. Depressing, so what will happen to me, will I get my kids taken off me? Will I go to hell, jail or worse - court.

All this after feeling so chipper about breaking down yesterday with a snapped clutch cable in the middle of the shopping centre, stuck at the exit with a line of cars up my bumper. I was rescued by a sweet Norfolk Islander that rounded up a car fulla of Maori council fellas who pushed me out of the way, he then drove me and my kid and the shopping home and gave me a free pencil made out of Norfolk pine. He said "up there things are a bit different and if somebody is in trouble, people pitch in and help". Not like the old bitch in the queue saying "Do you mind moving it! I'm in a hurry!!". I really would like her and the Hall St Cobra to connect sometime.

Postscript....these things, if you are superstitious, got to happen in threes. The next day I was dropping off a couple of guinea pigs we had been minding for friends who were holidaying. Pipsqueak and Dizzy, pretty casual, hungry, furry girls...who had obviously never been in a VW before. Pipsqueak began to show the signs of irrational terror and leapt out of her travelling box in the front, she was petrified by the roaring sound of my ultra-mega engine (one can dream) and started to run about unleashed, heading straight for the shade under the brake pedal. I did a 'drop off' manoeuvre, the sort of "I'm just pulling slowly to the side with all indicators blazing because I have a small animal under my brake pedal and can't use it right now or two little kids will come home from Thailand to find their pet squashed" sort of road tactic. Needless to say the pigs were happy when they got home.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wake Me Up Before You GoGo

I heard the possum get caught in the trap this morning, at dawn. At first I felt pity, hearing it shouting in possum 'WTF?!&*%$##', then a faint schadenfreude set in as I packed up my earplugs, hopefully forever, never to be woken again by scratchy native feet coming and going in the night through a portal that is positioned exactly above my insomniac head.

It's up there now, in a cage, probably sleeping, waiting for its release, which thankfully the Possum Man will give as required by law, somewhere within a two hundred metre radius. It might find a comfy tree to crawl into, or someone else's roof peeling at the edges. I dread it may even try to break back into the patched-up roof above it used to, until this night, call home.

I know how it feels, being moved on. Renters, we who act like we own the place and taint the joint with our bothersome animality.

I wish I could take a little hot joe up there into the roof and stroke the sad thing, explain how it has to leave because I can't bear to lay awake every night in fear it will wake me up. How I've had to strain to find any wandering earplugs that've fallen to the farthest corner under my bed, embedded in dust. I'm tired of looking up from my pillow at the stains from excrement piled up and seeping through. I'm tired of being moved on too, from developers, rent hikers, divorcing owners who want to sell. I want this small corner of our new house, this pretty lady-cave I've claimed, all to myself.