Last Sunday was clean-up day. Notices were nailed on trees asking for the public to sign up. The job means energetic citizens fulfil an admirable civic duty in filling sturdy rubbish bags with what unconscionable people throw out not only on the streets but also in our parks, rivers and waterways. Hundreds of tons are collected each year from mother nature. The rubbish can range between Big Maccas Quarter Pounder bags (with or without onion rings) to complete cars or parts thereof. You wonder what possesses a person to just drive into a creek and then walk away. Have they lost hope? The same with fast food bags. I can understand in that case. The utter despair of grazing out of a polystyrene box!
Even shopping trolleys are discarded. What is it that we seem so careless about our environment. I am not tempted ever to drive in a creek or chuck out bags. Perhaps it is part of a mysterious form of ‘life-style.’
For the last few years I have felt missing out on my own ‘unique lifestyle.’ The news-papers and what they advertise are full of the promise of lifestyles. It is apparently very unique and elusive. Millions yearn for it but it is only the few chosen that will obtain a really worthwhile lifestyle. You can buy it. Even so it remains esoteric. That seems to be the attraction. Only last week I noticed Harvey Norman advertising a settee that with the flick of a hand converts into a sofa bed or with another hand movement becomes a nook for lying across with a smiling blond girl in your lap. “It enhances you life style, the advertisement enthuses.” Buy it now! Thousands queue up and arrive back home with yet another ‘life-style’ infused settee.
Another adv. has a man rolling down a sloping grassy hill, peals of stereo happy laughter hits the viewer, loving kids, obviously his family, share this intimate scene, all rolling down in carefree abandonment. They are safe and secure. His partner with a very even gleaming set of teeth and a bit higher up on the hill looks at him from a distance, but she too shares into the laughter. She is also secure. Secure in husband, sorry partner, having bought an ‘AMP Golden View’ life insurance. In case he carks it, she will get an income. It includes a nice, with a guaranteed dignified (with full cortege) funeral. Again, you won’t have to worry about not continuing your life-style. It is in the bag.
I have yet to view any specification what this ‘life style’ actually is supposed to be. It can’t just be exclusivity. After all, what is exclusive if we buy a settee that has to double as a bed for an plan B drunkard or as an emergency for a drop-in friend suffering from temporary marital whiplash? Is ‘life-style’s’ elusiveness the essence of it? I would not be surprised. It must be very elusive. I haven’t yet experienced this phenomenon, even though we have two settees.
Perhaps that is the price of being on the edge of things. The observer instead of an enthusiastic participant. He is the lukewarm pan-cake at the bottom of the stack. An outsider forever doomed to mediocrity with an utterly normal life. The sort of person who keeps his gas bills, rate notices and bank-statements diligently in a filing cabinet. Year in year out. His wife sometimes catches him being busy, kneeling in front of this filing cabinet.
Those statements too will also finally be thrown out. Relatives will pore over them, sort them and chuck them. I do hope not in a creek or wedged between the trunk of an eucalypt like so many discarded aluminium cans.
This is the true life-style none of us will or even can avoid.From dust to dust, the final ‘life-style’. Buy it now!