giovedì, dicembre 22, 2011

Petty cash and classy fuck yous

Busy as a lavatory attendant after a five-star chili eating contest today, but thought I would share this fine example of Australia folk art with you before getting on with my workload:

I can't remember if I've pointed it out before, but there is nothing in the world like visiting Shepparton to make me feel like the biggest snob in the world. And I really don't think I'm a big snob. But goddamn this place is trashy. The thing is it's pretty rich - there is a lot of money here - so while I've seen and have lived in places that are far rougher or more dangerous or more "backwards" in social and infrastructure sorts of senses, including my hometown, I have never, ever seen such a fucking trashy place as this.

The F-word has pointed out that I spend some time sounding like my grandmother here, which is probably true. My grandmother. I think I've mentioned her in the past. She's been on my mind for a few reasons lately, probably mainly because it's almost Christmas and while I like elements of the F-word's family that doesn't stop me from missing the hell out of even the prickliest members of mine at this time of year.

My grandmother's a depressive and not averse to turning her internal fury onto the people around her once in awhile. But you know what, some of the fucking trashtastic pettiness and squabbling I've been witnessing here has been making me appreciate even her sour, ragey side more.

I don't think I'm speaking out of turn if I tell you some of the trashtasm lately has been about wills and bequests and their use as emotional weapons. My grandmother, who's pushing 100, lost her power of attorney a few ministrokes back, but before that she went through a phase of threatening to cut everybody out of the will and leave her estate to charity, or a school, or something. Nobody was really bothered, though. I mean it was evident she was unhappy about something and everybody was sorry she was unhappy, but nobody minded too much that she wanted to write all of us out of her will at once.

I guess we're all reasonably solvent, and it's her money, and I supposed at the time that's why we could just shrug off the idea that she was pissed off enough at the world to chuck her family out of the will. Actually now I don't think that was why we could treat the idea with such equanamity, I think it was because it was ALL of us who were gonna be written out of the will. She was considering using that last message a dead person can send without supernatural aid to deliver a resounding "Fuck you!" to all of us at once, and that was okay somehow.

Because what she wasn't doing was choosing favourites. She wasn't being a fucking petty little prole counting over her pennies and deciding how to reward the faithful and chastise the indifferent, how to communicate degrees of love and distaste and disfavour from the other side of the grave; her last conscious gesture in this life wasn't going to be setting a cat among the pigeons over what would amount to a pissy little sum of money. No. It was just going to be a grand, big, and somehow vastly classier "fuck all y'all!" 

mercoledì, dicembre 21, 2011

How to tell you're (as in I'm) a shitty pinko

1. You make more money than a school teacher and you pay 13% tax

2. The phrase "That disgusting fat little fucking prole is a bad person for trying to make this all about dollars and cents" issues forth fully-formed from you, both mentally and verbally, and you still mean it

3. You had your own tuktuk driver in India

Oh please, hand me control of state funds and the military, I'm gonna make this all a big communist paradise, obviously. Fuck.

Speaking of proles. We just spent three days driving down from L___ to Victoria, camping and picnicing on the way, which was pleasant, in all but that I had to use a lot of public toilets. Which isn't strictly unpleasant, actually, since say whatever you want about Australian culture, and there's precious little to be said, but it does feature a great many public toilets, most of them quite clean, especially after a week in Delhi.

Anyways, I was using one in a small country town in the middle of NSW (we drive inland; it's a helluva lot prettier than the Pacific Highway, and zero traffic, even at this time of year), and sort of lining up for a really terrific poo (Lord love you, anonymous blogs), when suddenly three women burst in and starting puking really loudly, in the other two cubicles and in the sink. It actually put me off pooing, which I didn't know until then was possible. Here is the conversation they were having:

Girl 1:(Retch) Girl 2 (retch), can you come (retch) hold my hair back?

Girl 2: (Retch) No (retch).

Girl 3: What (retch) did all three of us (retch) eat?

Girl 1: (Retch) Dominos (retch)?

Girl 2: Chinese (retch)?

Girl 3: Well (retch) I don't know (retch) but Girl 1, you (retch) puked all down the side of my car. You're going to have to (retch) clean that off.

Girl 1: No (retch) way!

Girl 3: It's either that or you walk home.

Girl 1: Fine (retch). Get together some paper towels then (retch). Get lots.

Obviously I offered to get them help and wished them well but they all seemed pretty laid back about the situation. Also they were all the size of three of me, and I'm no lightweight, so I guessed they could all stand to sick a few meals.