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Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday 29th November 2010

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:
'In other news…'
29th November 2010

Monday: This is not a short story (although it may well become the fodder to write one):
He was running late as usual, as damn usual – ask his Missus – and so to stop for a hitchhiker was not going to help the deadline; his wife wanted to go to her knitting group at Caffissimo's tonight, and he wanted her to go, because it was soul food for the poor thing, overworked, underappreciated, and discounted regularly by certain close ones.

But to make the trip worthwhile, he needed to be back at maybe ten past seven at the latest. That was going to be a challenge, because it was Bob's afternoon out in Perth today, and he liked to make the most of it. Not helped by the party in full swing, with tables groaning under the weight of goodies, at Bob's Guildford house, with more social trainers and their bosses than you could poke a stick at milling about, most of whom he knew, and felt obliged to acknowledge and chat a tad with.

He had even joked as he walked into the main room "How did you know it was my birthday?" He reminisced at length with Maxine, rarely seen these days, as she had been promoted 16 months ago to some arcane position in the mysterious corridors of the DSC. A favourite supervisor of his for years over Bob and all of his outings with said rascal. All the while Bob was finishing his 3 o'clock smoke and having a private cup of tea in front of his TV some metres away. A tonne of food, one of Bob's reasons for living next down the scale from tobacco, and he was determined to have a cup of tea on his own…

And so we left for the train into Perth even later than otherwise, due to the obligatory socialising to be done with colleagues old and new.

What of the hitchhiker, did you ask? Yes, powering along Marshall Road, the wonderful Whiteman Park's four thousand hectares on his left, he may as well have been a thousand miles out of Perth. There on the left, a woman in her forties, under a lone tree a few feet off the tarmac, hand out for a lift. Bloody hot, at least 35 Celsius.

Probably 15 years since he last stopped for a hitchhiker, he felt a sudden twinge of concern for an older woman, alone, in this heat, stuck out here, needing a lift somewhere. Pulled over, after some thinking time, overshooting by a hundred feet, maybe two hundred.

While she was hoofing quickly up to the passenger side, he was hoisting about five bags of things from off the seat and the floor, not quite moving it all by the time she arrived, opening the door, and hopping in as he just got the the last of the paraphernalia onto the back seat.

She had a small bag in her hand and a very low cut blouse, a plain faced woman. As he began asking "Where do you need a lift to?" she said, having just sat in the seat, "I'm a hooker. I'm from Sydney and need money."

This took the man by mild surprise, not shock, likely because he hadn't processed it fully, but he quickly said, with the mildest of irritation well concealed, "I'm running late for work, and I thought you needed a lift somewhere."

Just exactly what was said in the ensuing moments and in what order is a bit jumbled in his mind, but he got to reiterate his need to keep moving, and she got to imply that she didn't need to go to any place in particular but to get money, and it by plying any of the various skills of an ancient trade.

And so she politely vacated the seat, and he wished her well. He genuinely did. Not angry about what she did for a living – he felt sorry for her for that – but now under more pressure time-wise and for no noble outcome, like helping a fellow human being in need of a lift on a hot day.

As he digested what had just happened while he drove on to the controlled riot at Bob's digs, it dawned on him that she likely misunderstood one thing he said in repetition, as she faced him sporting sizeable in-your-face white breasts half covered, "I'm off to take out my intellectually disabled friend, who will be wondering where I am," touching his forehead. She said something he could not recall, but putting the pieces together she likely inferred that he was saying that he himself was intellectually disabled.

No argument from his wife on that one…
And by the way, Bob took his time in the city, we called on Baby Inkletter at her place in Adelaide Terrace (first time in about 14 years or more since they last met), and I did'nt get back home till a quarter to eight. I convinced Janny to go nevertheless to her knitting group, but she refused to let me drive her and wait for her there.

Lateline: The (Leigh) Sales Graph: Former Prime Minister John Howard should feel grateful at how pleasantly he was treated by a professional Leigh Sales during her long interview tonight. He came across more reasonably than usual, certainly better than his self serving debacle with Tony Jones on Q&A to flog his autobiography Lazarus Rising.

Ms Sales asked a lot of good questions, and didn't tear him to shreds like Kerry O'Brien would likely have. This resulted in a better interview, because we mug public can suss out the pricks whether they're being treated nice or nasty.

One of my main bugbears with John Howard began early on in his prime ministership, when it became apparent that he was as conniving a politician as the rest of them, while having portrayed for ages the illusion that he was a cut above, of a higher calibre concerning integrity and such. It quickly became obvious that he was yet another ordinary polly with whom you had to study the fine print, and that he was set apart mainly by ambition. Common as muck; sorry Howard lovers.

If he had not placed himself on an integrity pedestal, I would not be making such complaints. An ordinary politician is nothing inspiring, but there is something inspiring about an ordinary politician who does not pretend to be extraordinary.

I finished reading Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' today: a powerful book, well worth the experience, and I adored the last paragraph, laced with insight and anticlimactic.


Gladys Hobson said...

Golly, what an experience. Do you get much of that sort of thing down under? Must be the heat.
Don't know how anyone keeps sane in the hot weather you experience. It is cold here with snow. fairly unusual for this time of year. 20 degrees of frost in some areas but not here. Snow is pretty. Okay for us who don't have to go out. In some areas they are snowed in. Two oldies froze to death in Cumbria. I wonder why they went outside? Very sad.

Payton L. Inkletter said...

Gladys: Being the oldest profession, supposedly, and one with the least amount of tools and expertise required, there is plenty of it going on. Just not on Marshall Road, Whiteman Park.

"Don't know how anyone keeps sane…": who said any of us are sane?

Yes, sad to learn of the deaths of the elderly from the cold.

Gladys said...

Most of the folk who begged a lift when my hubby was driving were rather rude individuals who thought they should be dropped off just where they wanted. He won't pick any up now unless he knows them. (Although he did pick up a backpacker in the middle of the Isle of Skye. Me? I picked someone up and he expected me to divert to a village way out of my way. At least, I didn't get threatened like my hubby did.

'Ladies' such as yours don't seem to do that sort of thing here. They hang out at known places. It could be dangerous for them not too. After all, they do seem to be the target for serial killers etc.

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