People don’t appreciate aluminium like they used to. I retired as the head of the aluminium appreciation society last year when my arthritis got particularly bad. I couldn’t rifle through junk yards like I used to, lugging home gigantic pieces of scrap and generally making my wife annoyed at me for having to fit it all in the shed. Not that she ever used the shed…but that’s neither here nor there, the point is that at one time, I had Melbourne’s finest aluminium ute canopies just sitting in my shed, and I was the envy of the masses.
Our members have been going strong for decades, thousands across the city who recognised the place of aluminium and how it would aid us in the future. At the time, I took that for granted, because it was so obvious that people should admire aluminium for what it was. Such a rare and precious metal, so versatile, such a rich and vibrant destiny…maybe there’s just too much of it around these days. Ute Toolboxes and under tray draw systems have become so prevalent that it’s hard for people to really appreciate the craftsmanship.
It’s not shiny and new, so people have stopped paying attention. Well, that’s their loss. I’ve known so many friends who’ve left the society for various reasons, but they all seemed to lose appreciation for aluminium’s place in our lives. I say we should shun the nonbelievers!
Back in my day, it was a simpler time…you could own proper fixed service bodies for your ute with no bells and whistles, and you still got admiration from the entire Aluminium Appreciation Society. They’ll all see, one day. They’ll see that when we’re poking around the junk heap, it’s all for the greater good. We do what we do for a reason. And then they’ll stop throwing away their aluminium accessories, because they’ll be recognised for what they are: essential for mankind’s survival.
Having six kids means things often go wrong. We are late to pretty much everything, one of them is normally crying and something is always broken. Normally I ignore the broken thing unless it is one of the children directly or something that will end up very costly in the long run. When the older ones started complaining that the toilet was flushing slowly I ignored them. A lot of the time they make things up and I hadn’t noticed any problems with our drains or pipes recently. My husband is fairly useless when it comes to DIY so if something around the house does need seeing to I tend to call in licenced professionals.
A few months after the toilet blockage rumours I started noticing that the kitchen sink drained very slowly. Having so many mouths to feed equals a lot of washing up so for most of the day the kitchen sink is filled with soapy water, it is rare that I even get a minute to stand there while it drains. When I finally did I noticed it was taking a while and so I made the call to the plumber and said I think I have a blocked sewer. Melbourne is a very family friendly city so we spend a lot of time out of the house where they can’t break things that will cost me money. Of course the duty of dealing with the plumber and the blocked sewer fell on me so I arranged for first thing in the morning and my lord am I glad I did! Turns out we need a full on sewer replacement. Melbourne is apparently not used to dealing with quite so much flow through, six baths a night is a lot of pressure on our old system. After some high pressure jet blasting it seems our drains will make it until the replacement can be arranged.
And they say parking attendants are supposed to be a noble breed. Actually, I tell lie, sort of…the guy I was chatting up was only pretending to be a parking attendant because he wanted to sound important. Why do I always get suckered into that stuff??
Oh yeah. Because I do basically the same thing. I actually just work in a $2 shop, which is…embarrassing. For me. Alright, maybe it wouldn’t be so much if I didn’t run around parties and everywhere else telling people I do other things and thus having to hide it from the world, but that’s the thing: lying just comes to me naturally, like breathing or craving fast food.
The true art is when you make your job sound good, but not too implausible. My current favourite is that I do pest control. Pakenham is a relatively small town, but since I don’t know anyone from there, it works as my fictional place of employment. I actually know some people who do termite control and all that, so I can bluff my way through the job pretty well. And why does this work so well? Because it’s an off-kilter job that’s still a vital service to to the community. And thus I make myself sound important without having to tell people I’m the head of a multinational corporation. Tried that once in my foolish younger years. It worked…about as well as it sounded. And then the people at the party saw me being picked up in my Mum’s Toyota Corolla, and that just couldn’t be explained away.
Look, I could be a pest controller. I have it in me. I’m not afraid of bugs, and I actually had a wood-louse farm in my room when I was younger. I mean, termite inspection people deal with chemicals, so it’s got to have an education and training element to it like any job. But most people don’t know that. They know, like, Rosebud pest control people or whatever, and they know what they do. And I could be one of them. It’s plausible. And thus, I’m an interesting person.
We got our new windows installed, and they look smashing. Perhaps that is the wrong word for windows, as I want them very much in one piece. Anyway, they look really good.
I had a nice chat to the guy installing the windows. They had a few on the job, but he was left at the end of the day to settle the small details and clean up. He said that the house looks fantastic, and asked me what else I had done. He seemed so impressed with my party planning expertise, that he asked if I could help organise his engagement party. He said that he is so busy with his job replacing windows, and his fiance is also busy with her job so they are incredibly behind on their plans. He offered me a substantial amount to act as a party planner. I said I would do it, provided they move the date.
I do not want it to take me away from organising Arya’s birthday. I only have five months! They were planning to have their party a little sooner than that, but are willing to compromise if it means they get organised.
I hope Pat is not too mad. This is the closest thing to a paid job that I have done in years, and hopefully he will understand that I was getting a tad bored. the difficult part will be explaining how the opportunity arose. I did not tell him we were getting the best timber windows in Melbourne in preparation for the party. This is too big a deal to lie about. He could so easily find out, and I do not wish to have that kind of marriage. I will have to come clean about the windows. It will be easier to break the news because my payment as party planner pays for almost the entire cost of a whole house worth of windows.
You wouldn’t think that a brown bear could do karate. I didn’t think so myself, until I saw Karate Brown Bear, but now I’m perfectly convinced. I know it was a children’s’ movie, but it was so beautifully animated I can’t help but be convinced. As in, if there WAS a bear voiced by famous comedy actor Jake Brown who was taught to do karate, he could excel and save the world and become world-renowned and such.
And then my imagination ran away with all the kinds of ways human society could be different if instead of just sort of awkwardly living among animals, they helped us out in society. My stomach turns whenever I see someone standing on some mobile scaffolding high in the air, painting or washing windows or doing some kind of construction. Imagine if…instead of a human, we could get birds to do that stuff instead. Not the really little ones, because then it’d be really hard for them to hold a paintbrush or power tools. But like…an albatross, or a condor. They could climb up all those planks and trestles, do the job and there would be no fear of falling, unless they were silly enough to fall asleep up there or something.
Actually, they wouldn’t even need to climb up, because they could just FLY up. If they fell off…well, they could just fly right back down. I can tell you I never get stomach turns watching birds fly, and imagine how many accidents could be prevented!
This idea lends itself to quite a number of other concepts. Like, imagine if road workers were all nocturnal animals, so no one would have to do shifts. Actually, ALL shift workers would be nocturnal animals, so no one ever has to get up at a weird time. Cats could…no, cats would probably all be unemployed.
But instead, we either keep them as pets or observe them getting on with life in the wild. So I’m going to keep getting sick looking at people on aluminium platforms, and my cat is still useless.
Fishing IS everything. That’s obvious, obviously. It really makes my blood boil when people say things like ‘fishing isn’t a sport!’ and ‘so it’s like an afternoon nap in a boat, right?’
I was at the pub last night and my mate Jim was talking about how he’s getting ready for the big fishing competition: taking more naps. And then everyone laughed, so I had to say “Look, Jim, you know fishing needs more skill than that, right?” and he replied “Jim, seriously. It was a joke.”
There’s no joke when fishing is involved. I didn’t save up for years, against the wishes of the wife, just to buy a plate alloy boat and use it for napping. I didn’t train for years, crafting my own fishing rod holders and purchasing the best stainless steel snapper rack money can buy, just so I could have my chance at fishing glory. After all, there’s no sport that could be better described at the sport of kings. People always need to eat, and the water is just teeming with the answer to that problem. Man has been fishing since time immemorial, so when did it become so that it’s something reserved only for lazy folks with no social life beyond napping?
It’d be like if we all suddenly decided that farming was a profession for dossers. They don’t get enough respect as it is, in my opinion, so we might just be heading there. In any case, you can see why I’m taking this big fishing competition seriously. It’s one of the few places where we can come together and take this sport seriously, with an actual trophy at the end and glory for the winner. And everyone there just knows their stuff. Like, I can talk to anyone standing on the banks about fishing rod holders, and we can natter for hours on the best way to install them, which ones work best for different types of fishing…that’s why I hang out for this competition. I get to be among my people.
There’s a story I heard recently about a fisherman in a village in Italy. He loved his life, had a cushy job, came home every day and made enough to feed his family and go out and have relaxing times with his friends in the evening and was just generally content.
A businessman comes along and offers him the chance to build this massive fishing empire through hard work, blood, sweat and tears. Then once he was a great fishing mogul, he could retire…to a tiny fishing village, and do exactly what he was doing at the start.
A good cautionary tale. Made me wonder…am I happy being an office drone for the rest of my life? Ow important IS money, anyway? Let’s say I moved to work in a beach apartment in Lorne, because my friends keep going there and telling me how wonderful it is. I wouldn’t be able to live in some Lorne apartment, certainly not at first. It’s a seaside town, so rent would be high and whatever. But I’d have a job cleaning or…working at a desk. The pace of life in Lorne would be slower, because it always is outside the big cities and you can’t live in a town next to the ocean and get too stressed.
But…maybe it’s happier. I won’t be rich, but hey, I get to work in a luxury beach apartment on the coast. I’ve always loved the ocean and everything surrounding it, so I get to go out on weekends and days off and evenings, walking on the beach and drinking coffee overlooking the waves. It’d be so much simpler, because there’s just less to DO out there. I mean that in a good way, obviously.
I’m actually serious; this is something that needs a lot of thought. Melbourne is great and all, but there are hotels in Lorne that are hiring, probably. It’s not even that far from Melbourne, so I could still visit if I needed a break from the ocean life. But wow…waking up to the sound of seagulls instead of traffic. It’s a lovely thought.
Alright, so the way I understand it, the newest Star Conflicts movie is a prequel, but not THE prequels. Kind of a mid-quel between the prequels and the sequels, which aren’t actually sequels but actually the originals, which are better than the prequels even though they’re really old now. Oh, and there’s also another sequel, which we call a sequel, which is heralding the arrival of two more sequels with another prequel/mid-quel on the way.
Phew. I don’t know if it’s just sci-fi, but all this confuses me to no end. No one ever bothers to explain how things work, what people are doing in the future, how toilet facilities have advanced through the ages…. I mean, what do people in the future do about blocked drains? In Melbourne, it’s a matter of plunger and a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. And then if that doesn’t work, call in the professionals, who’ll discover that the inside of the pipe is corroded and all the rust have built up and is blocking the pipe. That’s very strange to me, personally…I mean, what’s the point of a pipe if rust can build up inside? Who builds a pipe out of material that can rust? This is where plastic really comes in handy, I guess, but who am I to judge.
I bet in the distant future, in a distant galaxy, drain unblocking isn’t a problem. Every pipe will be built with lasers installed, because those movies are all about lasers, and they’ll zap any blockage out of existence. That is, if pipes even exist and water isn’t just beamed directly into the shower. I haven’t seen anyone using teleportation in Star Conflicts, but I bet it’s around there somewhere. Anyway, you’ve got that, and then all the drainage contractors in Melbourne will have moved onto being laser pipe makers because…well, that’s how all jobs work. New technology, new sort of job. Being a drain unblocker might be a lot more fun if you get to work with lasers the whole time!
I hear Carnegie is a nice place to live. Was actually looking at a place just across from a park, near the pool, a bit away from the town centre but I think that’d suit me. Don’t want to be smack bang in the middle of city life…got to think about the dogs.
I mean, really, like, no one told me that having six dogs was going to be this stressful! Every rental place I look at has to be discounted, either because the gardI get a home, en is too small or because it doesn’t even have a garden. Estate agents gape in amazement when I tell them how many dogs I have. Property consultants freeze. Potential landlords slam the proverbial door in my face. Looks like I’ll have to bite the bullet and just…buy.
Now I need a conveyancer in Carnegie who’ll be willing to help me out, because I can’t do this by myself. I bet some people will see all my pooches and just refuse to sell, because…well, dog discrimination is alive and well. I’ll have you all know that I’m fully-licensed and I walk dogs for a living; I know my trade, I can control these animals and there’s no reason you shouldn’t sell me a home! Rentals I can sort of understand, even though I don’t think there should be any discrimination, but for buying, all you need to do is fork out the cash. Or so I thought.
I’ve heard a conveyancer can really help with various things, paperwork especially, which is one of my weak points. I have too many yapping dogs to take care of, and I certainly don’t need the added stress of keeping important papers safe from slobbering jaws. No, getting myself a conveyancer just makes the whole thing safer. Me and the dogs get a home, everyone’s happy. I should look around a bit, though…I hear Brighton conveyancers are nice. Really, I just need a roof over my head.
I need to leave the home staging business. I’ve seen things, and things have seen me sometimes, and it just got a bit too much.
That’s the thing: I love home design SO MUCH that I just can’t bear to walk into any disasters, any longer. That’s why I’ve grown interested in being a property advocate. Melbourne has homes that would stun and amaze you, and I find it to be right at the end of the spectrum. Here I am, having to enter homes where people have a cream-coloured sofa matched with grey wallpaper and I just want to rush outside and take deep breaths until the wave of nausea passes. Grey and cream; just the thought is making me lose my lunch.
I feel like I’m a vet who can’t stand to lose animals because I care about them too much. Or a teacher who can’t stand to watch her students graduate because they’ve loved teaching them so much. See, that’s what happens when you enter your field of passion: you develop a hard edge, or you love it so much you have to let it go. That’s why I think I’d suit being a buyers advocate. All the hard work and heavy lifting of making the place look good is gone before I get there, and all that’s left is the process of looking around to make sure it’s all as good as they say so I can recommend the property to the client. If it’s not up to scratch, that’s the problem of whoever wants to sell. I can walk out and cross it off the list, never to darken the doors again unless they call me back and say it’s up to scratch. And then I get to be the judge of that…
Ah, Melbourne property advocates have it so easy. So many lovely properties, all the time to walk around them and view the interiors in all their perfection. It’s a New Year’s resolution to aspire to, I suppose.