lunedì, settembre 03, 2012

Middle class orgasms

There are watersheds in everybody's life and one of mine came this morning when I managed to get the price of the huge new air-con and its installation under $2000 and felt pretty ecstatic about it. This sort of combined with another absurdly low tax bill for the last financial year, which I got yesterday, and pushed me into some sort of state of rapture. In the past, I could only get that sort of joy from drugs or sex with someone I'd wanted to have sex with for awhile. I think in a key way our standards for happiness get lower as we age. Or less exciting. I don't know. Maybe it's just that all the woppy bartering and tax dodging instincts previously fairly latent in me have now come to the fore, as monogamy and sobriety cut me off from other vaguely naughty thrills.

I shocked my accountant yesterday - when he showed me what I'd have to pay I burst into joyful laughter and possibly let out a whoop; the expression on his face when he handed the figure over had looked like he was bracing himself for a fist to the face. It is incredible how low income tax is here, for the self-employed, anyways. I'm coming to understand you get screwed in other ways - standard ways like high property taxes and capital gains taxes, and also in ways far more offensive to my pinko sensbilities, like sales taxes, expensive "optional" medical services like dental and eye-whatever that aren't optional at all, and really high rego, etc. costs for running cars on absolutely execrable roads (which is a fundamental economic necessity anywhere rural in Australia, and in any Australian city that's not Melbourne). Nonetheless it absolutely gives me a financial boner every time I realize how little income tax I'm paying.

Anyhoo. Apparently it will be a stinking hot summer here. I've heard people forecasting that the last two summers and they've both been pretty bearable, although when we've had guests from northern climes they've acted like they were in some sort of humid version of hell. Probably a lot of that has to do with times of year and the 60 degree spread you get coming here from the north in the winter. That's why I'm blowing a retarded amount of money on the new heating/cooling unit - my mother is coming out after Ren's born and I'm sure I'll be preoccupied enough staring at the baby to not want to be thinking about whether or not she's melting.

The selfishness comes in the fact that I find the winters here fucking unbearably cold. We have this twee little fireplace, recessed in the wall, fucking good for nothing besides heating the chimney, I expect. Why in heaven's name people think they're a nice design feature . . . don't get me wrong, a pop-out fireplace is lovely, a Quebec heater is lovely, even a non-recessed fireplace does fucking something to the air temperature around it, but when I look at our fucking recessed fireplace, instead of seeing a nice domestic blaze, all I see is an emblem of fucking Oceanic design stupidity.

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