IT’S ALL CONNECTED. It truly is. You cannot fart in this town without someone’s aunty you’ve never met ringing your old English teacher who tells your plumber about it. This has always been the case, but I find the older I get the worse it becomes.
Monday night I was dragging myself around la belle IGA after a truly decadent and fabulous weekend in Daylesford. In search of crisp, healthy fruit and veg, sparkling mineral water and psyllium husk, I somehow wound up clutching a giant hunk of parmesan, butter, crumpets, chicken and a block of chocolate. But that is not the point of this story.
I caught sight of the last remaining shopping basket and grabbed it. As I did so, someone near me let rip a resonant wolf-whistle, an incongruous, juicy sound in a room of Monday night shoppers. I looked around to see one of the cashiers grinning all over his face at me. He had the sort of head you see on Big Brother. He was 15 if he was a day.
I scampered off, chuckling away to myself, until I was assailed by the following doubts somewhere around the tinned fish:
a) Oh yeah, still got it…..gotta text someone….
……but is that thought entirely legal?
b) Was the young man making sport? Have I passed the cutoff age for wearing a mini? Is my skirt hiked up at the back?
I did the surreptitious yank, and all was well. I went on my way, but when I passed the aisle where my pimply friend was pricing the Barilla, cravenly tiptoed past to buy my aborio rice elsewhere.
It’s a busy place the inside of my head, is it not?
So. For the past two days I’ve been holed up at a large ad agency on St Kilda Rd in the hellish world of proofreading. Despite its reputation as one of The Agencies, the place is a gulag. I’m locked in a glass box for 9 hours under fluorescent lights (not unlike the closing chapters of 1984). No-one chit-chats. I can’t figure out how to operate the coffee machine. The fridge is full of low-fat milk and worst of all, I don’t know where the drinks fridge is. In fact, I doubt it’s very existence. I’ve been here perhaps a sum total of 8 days, and in that entire time have been presented with only one glass of wine. A cabernet-sauvignon (you might as well just pull my undies over my head, really).
I suspect the whole building was designed by tense, anorexic chihuauas, of the variety Paris Hilton totes around. The kitchen is tiny, but services an entire floor. One of the main passageways is stacked high with boxes, cupboards and other crud. The photocopier sits at the end, and amusing scenes arise every time you need to get past. It’s a SHAMBLES.
Around lunchtime yesterday, a crowd of people blocked up said passageway as I was trying to pass. Someone with that loud, bossy advertising voice was pointing out the various features of the glamorous print department to a bunch of schoolkids. In this ruck of hormones, whom do you suppose I did see?
The young rogue with yellow hair arranged on his head like a tumbleweed! What are the odds? We looked at each other briefly, blinked, then moved on. As I walked off, a great adolescent guffaw rent the air.
This stuff has been happening all month – I’m wondering what it all means.