Man it’s hot in Melbourne.

It’s really hot in Melbourne at the moment. You might have figured this out from the barrage of Tweets from Melbournites proclaiming it to be ‘f**king hot.’

A heat wave in any major city  is a great test to see how your fellow residents might react in say an armageddon.

The Family

Have you seen or read The Road?  If you have it will give you a slight indication of the harrowing desperation a family displays in a heat wave. If you haven’t, someone eats a baby to survive and the way I saw a mother push a young Goth out the way for the last remaining bottle of coconut water at the 7/11 I thought yes; she’d eat a baby if she had to. Not hers, but she’d definitely have no problem eating someone else’s. When the Goth girl dared to ask why she was entitled to the last bottle, the mother let out a hiss and in her greatest Walking Dead moment spat back at her ‘I have children. They need water. There’s a heat wave you know.’

Now look no ones saying that breeders aren’t a necessary part of the human race, but in that one moment this woman basically told this young girl that her families life was more valuable than hers and her black clothed brethren and what for? For the naturally occurring electrolytes in coconut water, that’s what. It’s a jungle out there.

I’d like to say this was the end of it but while waiting in line to top up my Myki card, her husband, short of a hand gun and the face stubble that the only comes with the end of days, was holding the line hostage as he made sure their family had all their supplies and if he wasn’t satisfied he’d send one of this own children back into the isles to grab another essential apocalyptic item – like low fat cheddar or the unsalted cashews. The clerk was doing his best to reassure the rest of us in the 10 deep line that we’d be served shortly, that we would survive, but we all knew the truth, we were stuck while this kids figured out what Magnum’s they wanted and as a result we would die in a 7/11 whose air-conditioning had broken.

Our only relief came when a woman scraping 90 turned to the mother and said ‘I waited so long for your kids to decide on an ice-cream my catheter started to leak. You’re standing in my urine.’

Transport

For those of you that don’t know, the reason you often find lines of people at 7/11’s these days isn’t because of their Slurpee’s but because about 2 years ago our state government decided it made no sense to be able to buy a ticket to ride on a train/bus or tram or the actual train/bus or tram you were hoping to ride on so you have to either pay online and wait at least 24 hours for your card to top-up or head into a 7/11. The State Government also decided around the same time that it no longer wanted Melbourne to bare the title of ‘Most Liveable City’ and instead would now compete for the title of ‘Most Leavable City’.

You think I joke? The other day I watched as a Customer Service Officer (not sure what their role is other than to tell people they can’t buy a ticket to ride) asked a partially blind woman with a walking stick to get off the tram and top up her Myki card at the shop across the road. Yep…

So in a heat wave if your travelling colleagues don’t beat someone to death by the time they get on a tram, that in and of itself is an amazing feat of self-control.

On the tram I soon realised that the men of Melbourne had all decided on mass that because they have cocks that meant they should take up more room than usual. With legs spread, displaying sweaty groins it’s easy to be intimated, but fuck, it was fucking hot. I was going to sit down. I found a seat next to a guy that if asked would have taken two extra stools just to sit his balls on. My first instinct would be to apologetically sit next to him, half a bum cheek on what remained of a seat for two, but no, not this time. I asked him to move over to allow me to take up the room allocated for me. He told me he was hot. I said ‘yes, that’s often the problem with heat waves.’

He farted next to me for the rest of the trip, on purpose. It was decided – I would sell him for meat and than donate his skull as a sex toy to a jail.

Mania through lack of sleep.

When we got our new house I’m pretty sure the first words we spoke were ‘oh my god, it’s air-conditioning. Fuck yeah!’ If anything we couldn’t wait till sweet, sweet summer where we would be able lie in undies in front of Foxtel and occasionally glance at each other, smile and say ‘fuck yeah, air con.’

That’s what should have happened. Instead last night consisted of wearing nothing but undies, yes, but also screaming at each other ‘don’t touch me! I don’t want your body heat! Get away from me!. For the love of god don’t touch me!’

Seems our air-con is actually a swamp maker. It works on the principle of blowing hot air into cramped spaces, thus ensuring the occupants of the house intermittently pass out from something I’ve coined ‘thick air.’ ‘Thick air’ leads to heat wave mania, where suddenly the thought of standing in a puddle of leaked catheter urine is the only option to lower one’s body temperature.

And just like that, we become animals. When you honestly think that pissing on each other might be the key to a cool nights sleep, humanity has lost all hope.

 

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I wear eyeliner

I wear eyeliner.

 

I make no apologies for that, but when it results in me getting forcibly removed from a stationary train…I start to get a little pissy. 



 

For some reason I often get mistaken for a hair dresser, even the girls that have been doing my nails for the past few months still think that, even though I have corrected them on many an occasion. Comments about how my eyes are tired from staring at a computer screen all day, how I adore their hand massages because as a ‘writer’ my wrists feel constantly strained (and this is not due to being a chronic self pleasure as some might allude to…). I’ve even bought in published articles I’ve written from reputable magazines and asked if I could leave them in the waiting room for their other clients to enjoy (to this day they have denied my constant requests). 



 

One might be wondering at this point what this has to do with another tale of my woe? I’m on my way there. I bought my train ticket at the window (I like to think that somehow this small gesture keeps someone employed – and gives me brownie points in hell). The transaction apparently went smoothly, that is until the ticket man told me how much I reminded him of his wife. She was a bitch and she was also dead. (I’m now a big advocate of ticket machines at train stations). 


 

I ventured to platform 12, as directed, purchased a newspaper, tossed the sports section, and hopped in what I failed to notice was a stationary train. After about 10 minutes of being stared at by a small blonde man who blessed me under his breath every time I tried to avoid eye-contact with him, I got up to find out what was going on and dreaming of the day I’d have my own personal driver, who with the slap of a glove I could fire for such insubordinance…when suddenly I was confronted by a woman who bore a striking resemblance to a brick wall – the kind kids bounce tennis balls against, or as a high school kid you pashed behind. 

Her name was Sarah, though when we were at high school together, she was referred to as ‘the terror’.

 

Rumour had it, that upon graduation she had tried to flee to New Zealand to shack up with some guy she’d met on the Internet. She’d run into strife when, while going through the metal detector she got a little worked up and was aggressively subjected to a cavity searched to make sure she wasn’t carrying a bomb. She would later recall the incident as the only time she’d ever needed help cuming. I was a little scared of her, and to top it all up she was a certified ticket inspector. 


 

‘Well, well – if it isn’t Louie Da Fly’ she rumbled.

‘Barely recognised you for a minute, but then I watched you for a while through that window and then it was just like I knew it was you, cos I had this dream about you once and you were in it and your hair was really short – so that’s how I recognised you cos you looked like that girl in my dream, but she was proper tall and you’re not that tall are you?’



Supposing it was a rhetorical question I chose not to answer. Instead I smiled politely, and tried to get off the train –’Look it’s really nice to see you again Sarah – do you know what’s happening with the trains?’



The storm came suddenly, without warning – ‘What? Aren’t you even going to ask me how I’ve been? What I’ve been up to? Is this what happens when you get famous all of a sudden?’ (So sudden – I was caught completely unawares…)


‘You heard me! Someone told me you’d become one of those celebrity hairdressers, so I Googled you and there you were and I found your blog…ooh, so now you’re published…but I read it, not my cup of tea if I’m honest, but I thought I’d at least be in there somewhere – but it’s like you’ve forgotten me – why? Are you too busy with all your famous friends and their famous people parties? (I’m going to point out at this point that I was running late for a meeting at an employment agency…)


 

Trying to ease the tension, I went for humour ‘I’m more of a stay at home with a DVD type gal.’

‘You’re not funny,’ spat back Sarah.

I hung my head ‘I know.’


A few seconds passed with neither of us saying a word.

‘You wear eyeliner’, she stated. 


‘Yes, yes I do.’


‘I’m rubbish at it. Eyeliner that is.’

The door was only inches away….

‘It’s pretty easy, practice really.’


‘Teach me’ she asked,

‘Um, I really have to go.’ I responded, like a coward. 


‘No, I’ve got a break coming up, we could go to the girls bathroom and –’she was insistent.


My discomfort was growing.
’I really must go Sarah, if you’ll just let me-‘
’-oh now you’re in a hurry – you were sitting on a stationary train a few minutes ago and didn’t seem in a hurry.’ (damn Connex!)

‘Listen Sarah, I’m getting the impression and correct me if I’m wrong – that you think we have some sort of friendship that I’m obligated to rekindle – well my recollection is of a girl who smeared dog faeces on my locker – in short Sarah from what I recall you are no friend of mine!’



She said nothing for a moment. I imaged for a second that she might step back, nod her head and let me get on with my life – I was wrong.


‘Can I see your ticket?’ flipping out her official ID.

‘My ticket?’

‘Is there a problem? – If you can’t produce a ticket madam I’m going to have to escort you off the train.’

Ok – so she wasn’t taking my little outburst as well as I’d hoped. 
 Searching my handbag, I began to panic, when suddenly I spotted the ticket at my feet. 
 As I bent down to pick it up, I felt a clammy hand take my arm and start to forcibly remove me from the train. 


‘I’m sorry, but failure to produce a ticket when asked is an immediate on the spot fine of $180.00’ – I swear she was grinning. 


I looked at the little blonde man with pleading eyes, needing his help, to look within himself – to acknowledge that while he’d been mentally undressing me he’d remember seeing my ticket drop from my bag to the ground. Both myself and Sarah stopped for a moment as he cocked his head, opened his mouth and proclaimed – ‘Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?…Don’t yah!’



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Dear Public Transport Department

Dear Public Transport System: While it may have startled some people lately the idea of a man going around on your trams with a camera in his worn out Dunlops, a bum bag and a perverts dream, it barely raised one of my newly shaped eyebrows – you see I catch your trams, buses and trains and not a day goes by where I’m not propositioned, gyrated against, spat on, smothered, kicked, sneered at, pushed at, leered at, had God introduced to me, gotten a stain on my favourite dress, something smeared on my good shoes and beeen photographed without my permission (and I’m not talking a nice tourist shot of an ethnic girl on a busy metropolitan tram – ah la Mary Tyler Moore style). Your trams particulary upset me, but I guess it’s not your fault. I mean it’s not your responsibility to help me when a strange little woman assaults me because I don’t know if the No 96 stops at Elizabeth St, but all I’m saying is maybe I’d still be able to see out of my left eye if your driver had responded to her countless queries when the tram was in a stationary manner, and when I say respond I mean not pretend he couldn’t hear all 5 people tapping at his door to enquire as to why he’d failured to stop at the last 3 stops even though they’d all pushed the button, but like I said I guess maybe I’m laying blame far too easily on your organisation, I mean it’s my fault I felt the compulsion on a 36 degree day take public transport (your tram looked so bright and inviting) and you should bare no responsibility for the 13 year old boy trying desperately to rub himself against his girlfriend right opposite me on one of the hottest days of the year – a day when he was quite dearly in need of lubrication, and when I say lubrication I mean a nice cold drink – like the one your driver was drinking while he watching my 13 year old attempted porn show through his monitor in his sound proof room. No, no…I should not be so harsh, afterall you did catch the shoe camera bandit, and I’m sure much like you are, that public transport is safe once again and no copycats shall prevail- God know I expect nothing less. Kind Regards, Louise Woodruff Sanz

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