Monday, November 30, 2009

Jack Frost nipping at your Internet Kiosk



Xmas, or as I call it hell on earth with Bing Crosby songs, is upon us. I'd like to say it's on the faces of people walking by, but all it's meant lately is more people wandering around slowly clutching bags and turning left when all indications are they should be turning right. The boxes in the book store are still all over the floor, although in a nice festive touch there was a 1/2lf eaten Xmas cookie on top of 1ne of them. I think parking is a major problem at Xmas. No wait, I know it is because a woman told me today even though our only established relationship had been to sit back to back with each other on 1ne of those mall couches so beloved of the infirm and elderly and the lazy and bewildered who need somewhere to sit down and read the latest antics of Brynne Gordon in a newspaper. I don't know what this woman expects me to say. She's got a veiny, ruddy face, which is scrunched up in festive anger - her cheeks are the colour of the fire engine that used to roll down the street in Penguin and spray the kids with water, which is ironic because she spits when she talks. Is that ironic? I hate mis-using the word, and my linguistic mental muddle is enough to keep me from fully engaging in the problems she faces making her car fit into a space. She trails off in the middle and turns her attention to a passing elderly gentleman, and he understands instinctively. He has a passionate response which seems to involve blaming David Bartlett for everything not nailed down. I leave them to it, having their mutual bitch fest outside of Big W. A young girl with a horrifically botched pony tail - and 1ne eye going to the shops while the other 1ne is coming home with the change - just stares at them. I think that's what she's staring at. It's so fantastically Deliverance to watch a skelly eyed youngster opening up Big W while 2wo old people have duelling bitches over the issue of car parking, I completely forget I'm supposed to be at brunch...and that's even before Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer soundtracks their moment in my eyesight, and I feel as though my human observation day is going to pan out so richly, I might just sit here, miss brunch, and maybe even miss flupper...

There's no getting away from the Xmas music wherever I go. The only break is a mild Lily Allen interlude, although since it's selling her needlessly repackaged album, I think even that's in the Xmas spirit - the spirit of tat flogging. Sorry Lils. Even the appointed venue for brunch has got into the Xmas spirit, if you call giving a bartender younger than the scotch a red nose the Xmas spirit. Poor girl has to keep pushing it back on every 5ive minutes when she isn't overburdened with steaks and chips. She's so young, I feel compelled to ask her for ID. I don't really, I suspect on this particular day she wouldn't laugh, and in fairness, she's not having the best of days, since a very large, very sweaty man has taken it upon himself to flirt with her in front of his friends. He's decided the best way to go is to stick out the gut Russ Hinze style and start a dialogue about his summer home in Queensland. His eyebrows are raised to the ceiling in perpetual animation, moving and twitching in time with his anecdote. He speaks in a thick pompous accent, letting his steak cool and congeal as he elaborates on the fabulous porch and the anecdotal evidence that he's a tosser gather for everyone to hear. She's frozen in a mix of pity and distraction, and to be honest, a need by the terms and conditions of her employment to wait for his drinks order. After a nervous tap of her pencil, she walks back to the kitchen while the man with the beergut chuckles uproariously at his wheeling and dealing, his fantastic ability to woo a lady. Sitting entirely in tight pants and self indulgent laughter, I wonder if he notices that a large and ugly slab of tomato sauce - so thick it would take your eye out - has slowly and utterly landed on his shirt. It's dribbling down, but he hasn't noticed, and is busy telling an ever bigger lie about some girl he picked up at Syrup...but she's noticed, and stands behind the bar with a big smile on her face as she stares entirely at the sauce stain, and points it out to a fellow waitress. And all is well with her world. A little too well of course, because no 1ne seems to want to bring me my toasted whatever the hell it was I ordered. Instead, I sat back, stuck in my own conversation about cloud computers or some such nonsense, emperilled to watch a clock spin around, maybe until the end of time...or the end of toasting, whatever comes sooner...

They've plonked an internet pay kiosk in the middle of the mall. Pasty faced youths were clamouring all over it today like prisoners would attack their last meal, lost unyielding souls in need of something to do between cursing out poor Sharon. I don't know who Sharon is, but the people at the bus stop really don't seem to like her. I wish that there was a stylish way to spend some of your lunch break sitting in the middle of a shopping mall with a gold coin Internet session entirely yours to enjoy, but needs be as the e-mail must. The kid next to me was entirely engaged in his session, failing to turn around when his Mum wanted him to take some perilously balanced yoghurt off his hands. He was an interesting fellow, long sleeved, stubbly and stubby, sort of Movemberish in a whispy sort of way, laughing in between long sessions of typing, clutching an entire six pack of Honey Banana Up and Go in his paw. Mans reduction from hunter and gatherer to Up and Go drinker has possibly been a disappointment to any would be but as yet unproven God and creator, but what have I hunted and gathered in my life - M&MS? DMCs? Bubble O Bills? His laugh is airless, and a woman in a pink overcoat tuts as she walks past, click clacking her heels on the ground in a show of disappointment that anyone would dare to make noises. She is so busy looking disapproving she almost bowls over a tinsel clad child pretending to be an airplane. Eventually the kid got up and left, kissing his fingers and pressing them to the screen. I presume he has an Internet girlfriend, such was his ardour towards to the screen when he wasn't engaged in reading the ingredients of his nutritious breakfast drink. When I walk past his screen though after he hasn't logged off, and left the little clock on the screen frowning as the time runs down, I can't help notice the picture in his little Internet chat window isn't a picture of him, but of a much better looking person with a much less patchy beard. I wonder if they'll ever meet, and why there's such over-use of the word schnookums. The person after him doesn't notice though, logging off and then engaging in a violent set to with the coin slot that ends with so many curse words, the kid who was pretending to be a airplane stops, asks his mother what a certain word means, and probably ruins any chance he has of getting of that Monopoly game in his Mums bag any time soon...

At dinner my friend tells me they closed Sirocco's, the big nightclub in Burnie, a relative term I suppose, but I wonder what people do up there now. I spent a Xmas there once, back against the wall in an empty warehouse while people I went to school with pashed each other to festive tunes. To say the night lacked opulance and decadance would be to undersell it. Some girl was sick on the DJ. Maybe it wasn't Xmas, maybe mobile disco style all he had brought was Xmas music in a crate filled with vinyl. A crate he later turned upside down and sat on in utter misery while a fight broke out around him, a fight between ho and ho and ho, somewhat fittingly. Such a fragmented moment in my life. I pick at my chips with fitful restlessness, aware that nightclub anecdote is wasted on my friend, a Sunday napping, DVD watching girl who never goes out and is well on her way to being crazy dog lady at some point in her future. I don't think I could sell her on a story about nightclub fights, it's clumsy of me to even try. Across from us a family sit in utter sullen silence. The dad stares at his pate as if he can turn it to ash through baleful staring, the mother is craning her neck to stare over her own shoulder out the window, a piece of chicken on her fork utterly unconsumed, a solitary piece of jewellery on her finger glinting in the fading sunlight, a terribly hair dye job rounding out her misery. The kid is gingery and freckly, trying to smile, but aware something is terribly wrong - he wants to talk about whatever piece of paper he has in his hand, thinks about it, then shoves it back in his pocked lest he melts the familial frost with some good news. They sit like that for an age, not eating, not really doing anything, just stabbing their food then refusing to eat it. My friend doesn't really notice - she's spied a state cricketer in the corner of the restaurant and is trying to flirt entirely through the flirty eating of a carrot and a raised eyebrow or 2wo. I at least get to enjoy some peace and quiet as I nibble at my chips, and let Paul McCartney sing me into a sort of late afternoon nap, while the family at the table across compete in a never ending staring contest with their meals that somehow seems to me to so authentically Xmas, I can only wish them the compliments of the season...

My own house hasn't got anything Xmassy up at all...a terrible Xmas album, but at least I can sleep peacefully without the rustle of tinsel...

5 comments:

Baino said...

How you resisted checking the beardy guys chat I will never know!
I never understood the 'flirty carrot' If I was a man I'd feel a bit threatened by someone biting the end off and raising a cheeky eyebro

Mad Cat Lady said...

My first cat (outside of the family home - my first grown up cat) had a tinsel fetish and would steal it and drag it back to it's cat bed and roll about it in lasiviously.

I've not had the russle of tinsel since. I miss it. I LOVE tinsel. cheap sparkle, wot more could a girl ask for?

I wrap it round my rotary clothesline nowadays, so the cats can't get at it :D

subliminal message: BLOG MORE ! !

G said...

Woah.

I really hate the Christmas music being played on the radio out here.

We even had a station start playing the day before Thanskgiving (Nov 25th) and also announce that they would be playing Christmas music 24/7 from that point forward.

Kath Lockett said...

Miles dearest, I think you need to start walking in the park during your next lunch break!

Miles McClagan said...

I know, I should have, I just didn't think I should have, damn ethics. I think Men just find anything flirty, or imaginary flirty...even carrot eating!

I will blog more, i promise, I have a whole lot of time coming up to do it! I'm not a big fan of Xmas, so tinsel is not something we have a lot of in this house. Just an advent calendar with faux chocolate, and a well scrubbed deck for Xmas lunch...might get some tinsel now I think about it!

If you hate the Xmas music on this blog, at least there's a video with a cute penguin in it to watch!

The park has schoolkids and bogans in it, it's safer round the Paul McCartney playing aisles...