Thursday, September 18, 2008

Earnest Is Being Important



So my best friend is working in forensics at the moment, standing around taking photographs of dead people curled up in a ball and saying "So, what do you think caused it", oblivious to the giant knife in the victims head. My 2nd best friend (what is this, Grade 2? I feel like I'm doing a project) is going to the Grand Final - he won a ticket to go and see Geelong. Since the musical act is Powderfinger, no thanks. However, as happy as I am for both of them, this is definitely a time in my life when I'd like to be doing something infinitely more exciting than going "Hey! MGMT! Again? They suck!" or spending Coles Myer vouchers on books with terrible spelling errors. I think everyone feels that their moments of real genuine boredom coincide with the precise moment everyone elses life is going wonderfully well - or maybe that's just me. Oh don't get me wrong - I'm in a good mood today, after all, I had a wonderful dream that Metro Station were all involved in a terrible accident, and I've stuffed my face with cake. Blue eye shadow girl is back at work, and all is good - aside from one little thing, which is that I missed the liquor licencing board visiting Hobart to hear local residents complaints about whether or not Kingston (my less than Cyrus home town) should get a new bottle shop. Several local residents, in fact 45 apparently, gathered to rabble about the decline of morality...but where was I? As part of my future commitment to local pride, and indeed my future goal to be on the board at Kermandie, these are the kind of things I should be going to. I do good rabbling, and I've no doubt I'm capable of arguing as a NIMBY (Not in My Back Yard) or for progress. So I'm disappointed at myself for not attending - I really need something inspirational to happen to me just to get through the end of the year, and stirring up trouble always works - I woke from deciding my position on this just in time to see a new girl at Gloria Jeans with a trainee badge announce to her new workmates that she there to bring sunshine. Me? I'd have settled for her bringing me coffee...any time...any time you feel like it....nope, still sunshine? You take your time...

The girl goes off to take her sweet time, making ditzy trainee noises to the cooing approval of her supervisor. I stand shuffling from foot to foot, looking a bit tragic with my collection of slices gathered in my hand. As she debates what a colander does, my mind begins to wander. I think sometimes if I was a bit more attractive, or a bit more important (with my self confidence projecting) then my slice would be paid for and eaten by now. Don't get me wrong - I'm not Rocky Dennis or anything (I went to school with Rocky Dennis - she was a girl who always talked about her enormous amount of boyfriends, so I guess there were low standards in Beith). I think it's always emphasised to me in London that I have a reasonably normal social standard. I love London, it's my favourite city, but it's a labyrinth (by which I mean David Bowie comes a...never mind) of social classes, snobby nightclubs and standing in life. My cousin, who even though she's a violinist is a really nice person, took me to this nightclub. It had a VIP section, and behind it was an actress from Eastenders, a Premier League footballer and half of Bond (big in 2004). We took up residence on the dance floor, and i was ecstatic they kept playing "Biology" by Girls Aloud on the big video screen, much to my delight, and the delight of a large Geordie man who swayed his pint glass to the rhythm of Nadine Coyles hips. After I had spent a fair bit of money, a man drunk on his own sense of ego and importance came and said that I had to leave, on account of my shoes (very trendy bowling style shoes...OK, I can see his point). I asked him if he could punch me in the face, like they do at Syrup, so I can get a taste of home, but instead, he escorted me off the premises, down a flight of stairs, and we chatted like a pair of strolling country gentlemen. As I left out of a big oak door, he shook my hand, and said "Don't worry about it, half an hour ago we threw out Peaches Geldolf" - as he shut the door behind me, I stood in the cold night air, wondering what he meant, realising he emphasised that I was less important in life than Peaches Geldolf, even though he meant it in a kind way, and felt awful...by which quirk of fate was I less important than the daughter of a Boomtown Rat? I shrugged, smiled, and then did what no doubt Peaches Geldolf did...almost fell over in the gutter, then went and had a tasty raw kebab and a warm can of coke...

She's still not serving me, I puff my cheeks out, and she looks at me, thrusting her chest out. She's not thrusting her breasts at me, there's no native Amazon greeting going on, but her trainee badge, and continues cleaning her sporks. She's signalling to me that she's a trainee, and I should be greatful to be in her orbit. I need a mobile phone - there used to be a football coach down here in Tasmania who would wander about town on his mobile phone, talking loudly, talking about all the great players he was going to bring to Tasmania. My mate told me that in KFC one day, he was on the phone talking about some ruckman he was signing from the Kangaroos, when the phone rang...the supervisor comes over and serves me, finally. It's only been about three minutes, four tops, but she's apologetic, she's trying to make me feel important. The trainee plainly hates me, but despite her sunshine comment, she's already scowling at her supervisor, plotting to kill her with a spork. I think anyone can feel important, or at least be made to feel important. There was a woman who came into work once, who wanted to see the manager - the FBI was not only hacking into her bank account to steal her money, but also her brain. The FBI was directly channeling deep into her brain, and she needed to urgently speak to the manager about it. The manager, an unpretentious man who was book smart rather than street smart, locked his door, frightened and terrified. So we put her at a desk, and let her write a letter to the manager, which ended up running to eight pages, and she was happy with that, even though it was addressed to Mr Spoog from Planet 294. We made her feel important, mostly out of necessity that she was going to stab us all and feed us to her dog, but it's the best we can do. The supervisor is being overly matey to me, she's asking me how my day is. It's blatant buttering up, to make up for me having to wait. As soon as I go, she'll forget me, but for right now, she's trying to make me feel like a king on earth. She even throws in a biscuit, like I'm a labrador. I accept it mildly but graciously, while behind her, the girl is putting sugar in a coffee, all sunshine stripped, all loathing iced...

I walk out, I see a blonde girl in a low cut top at the front of the queue at Humble Pie, and she's getting excellent service, from a pimple faced boy. She's making him feel important, and it's working, while behind her a queue of disgruntled mothers holding sandwiches and juice sway in time to their own impatience. My Mum used to say that only the self confident would feel important - and if you couldn't feel self confident, fake it cos lifes a wee act - her brother used to push her head forcibly up when it rained, so no one would see them walking around looking sad. Whenever I get round to Dads, he says "Ach, the light of wer life is home!" to which I always say "You need a better bulb". The most important I've ever felt in my life was when I was little, and was a mascot for my soccer team, thinking the cheers of the seven thousand crowd were all for me, awkwardly bumbling along, almost tripping on my own shoelaces. My Dad tells me to this day that I'm important, that I sell myself short all the time. He does too, it's genetic. The blonde has walked off at Humble Pie, and the eyeline of the scarlet pimpleface is following her, further infuriating the mother. I see a girl I know, walking to her car - this girl has an important job, she walks with an important swagger. Without giving too many trade secrets away, she does an important job for an important man on his important plane, and she never fails to tell you about her important adventures. As she walks to her important car, she doesn't notice that an important piece of her important pie has fallen onto her important top, and that sauce is smeared on her important face. She tries to brush the pie off, but it's stuck fast, like the last straggler at a party. She throws her hands up in important anguish. I walk past her, resisting the temptation to tell her about the sauce. I pick up my paper and read it in the sunshine, and read something about Peaches Geldolf, or Miley Cyrus, or something...someones stuck in rehab, someones broken heart, someones accident...and I don't want to be Peaches Geldolf, I'm happy being me. Unimportant me. At least for today.

Mind you, I bet Peaches gets a better quality of lemon citrus tart...

5 comments:

squib said...

realising he emphasised that I was less important in life than Peaches Geldolf

oh that cracked me up, you poor thing

Kris said...

If it makes you feel any better, I didn't attend the licensing commission hearing either. I did, however, prepare the brief for the boss who turned up (suit and tie), with linkages between grog and gonorrhoea. I also managed to read through the 45 residents’ applications, and I can tell you that they were not happy!

On another matter, I have discovered the secret to getting the Boost Juice girls to giggle and swoon: a cute toddler. Carry one of these around with you (provided they aren’t yelling, kicking or covered in snot), and it’s amazing the kind of service you’ll get from even the most self-important ice maiden. Get him to say “please” and “thank you”, and they’re putty in your hands.

Miles McClagan said...

I know, I needed sympathy after that...it wasn't a moment for the life highlight reel...

I think it's such a shame I didn't get to go and swell the numbers to 46. I had all kinds of crazy things to say (the link between grog and liking Nickelback). I'm so impressed at you cracking the Boost Juice code though...I had tried everything...casual indifference, pleasantaries, nothing...next time, I'm grabbing a kid (in the name of science)...

Baino said...

Kris has a point. Borrow a cute baby . . add a puppy (careful about the breed tho Malamutes, Pit Bulls and Spaniels will do it ...cooing all round! And Gloria Jean's make the best Mocha Chilers . .shame they're affiliated with Hillsong but that's a whole new story.

Miles McClagan said...

I think today has been one of the most educational days in blog history - dog, kids...got it...maybe a pram? And Gloria Jeans are Hillsong? Damn it, can't go there then...wonder what they are putting in the hedgehog slice now...