Posts Tagged ‘Antarctica’

The running of Christmas shoppers.

November 30, 2014

images Christmas shoppers

It has started early this year. The first case of a frozen Christmas turkey being fought over by two middle aged women. One wore a floral outfit, the other just jeans with a mixed coloured top that showed straining black bra straps of an estimated 20D size. The floral lady was wearing bright pink rubber moulded floppy sandals and the other normal strap-on sandals. Both were stout and somewhat formidable in appearance. I would not like to be smacked by either of them. That’s why I kept a distance and decided to observe rather than counsel them or mediate. I have yet to experience being hit by a frozen turkey!

Why they were in such a state while there were other turkeys available is just typical of this period of ‘peace on earth’ and sharing of ‘good will’. No period is more susceptible to shopper violence and fisty- cuffs than the few weeks leading up to Christmas. Just ask the police. Paddy wagons drive a steady trade of enraged shoppers and other merrymakers up and down to the glossy green painted cells of reflection and introspection. Why does it get to this? Is it pent-up expectations of unrealisable ambitions or a search for unobtainable happiness sadly lacking during non-Christmas months? It is normal, it is normal! If only we knew this.

Around and before Christmas nothing is further from normal. As the date of the 25th of December gets closer a maelstrom of shoppers will be seen swirling clock-wise around those meccas of consuming, the holy shopping malls. The heat is usually relentless and often 36C in the car park alone, where the two fingers up your bum has already greeted many fighting for a parking spot. ‘Holy night-silent night’ is now filtering through all speakers strung around everywhere. Bing Crosby is earning billions for Westfield and other conglomerates of consuming empires. The credit card bloat is showing up in peoples’ purple faces with all caution now thrown to the wind. An elderly man might be seen squatting outside in the shade of rows of entangled shopping trolleys being licked back to consciousness and revived by a friendly Jack Russell.

The food Court hallowed halls are packed with bodies regurgitating, grazing from polystyrene boxes. Huge jaws silently moving up down and sideways, chewing their cud. ‘Silent night- holy night’ ringing in their ears. Upwards and downwards escalators, huge shopping bags sliding over marbled floors. Puddles of yoghurt or pourable vanilla exploded on crazed floors fenced off by yellow posts and stripy ribbons. Still, someone slipped, broke a leg and is contemplating suing. An Ambulance is waiting outside now. Some shoppers have fainted and are being cooled down in special first aid rooms at the ready in anticipation of shopper fatigue and dehydration.

And yet, the best (or worst) is yet to come. That is the afternoon of the 24th of December. Hysteria has now taken over. A kind of high pitched Credit card swishing den has overtaken Silent night-Holy Night. A pandemonium stage has been reached. A flood of double packed trolleys, dripping with the most unlikable consumables, are being pushed and now descending upon pale looking cashiers. A mixture of Armageddon and Dante's inferno with a touch of Norwegian Scream on the Bridge has been reached. Children are being smacked senseless by overwrought,enraged parents at the end of their tether in need of a solid dose of Panadeine Forte. Howling babies with dummies strewn about like so much sparkle and glassy glitz. Things at around late night shopping at 9pm at the Holy Malls are best described as being in a state of the masses running amok or berserk. A solitary lonely gent, quietly sobbing in his folded hands is still being licked by his dog. Man's best friend in time of need.

And then, just as if nothing has happened, real peace and quiet has descended upon stretched-out sleepy Australian suburbia. Suddenly, like a cooling southerly blown on-shore from Antarctica, the Christmas has passed. Blessed relief. It is over for another year.

Silent night- holy night.

Getting up is so hard to do.

February 17, 2014

images16V8MKAUbrewing coffee

I jumped out of bed today at 6.10 am feeling optimistic and unusually ebullient. I ground some fresh coffee beans bought at Aldi’s labelled as ‘Fair Trade’ coffee. Fair trade means not manufactured or grown by workers paid a miserable two dollars a day. I put the water on to boil on the gas. I am still gushing over having got rid of the electric kettle helping to reduce the burning of dirty coal which in Australia makes us the biggest Co2 polluters per capita in the world. At least, the ‘fair trade’ coffee with water boiled on gas instead of electricity will just have to do and ease me into the morning without too much further soul searching.

The water kettle I now use even has a whistle. I always loved a whistling kettle as I do a ticking clock. The clock I grew up with had loud ticking and chimed every half hour. It had to be wound up once a month. My dad’s job was the winding of the clock. Whenever there were complaints of dad not doing enough domestic stuff, he would reply; ” yes but who does the winding-up of the clock around this household?” He made it sound as if he was building an airport or an oilrig in Antarctica.

There was a large key with a square hole that fitted around the square pin that wound up a large spring driving the mechanical part of the clock. Amazing invention really.The romance has gone out of time pieces now as it has out of the simple telephone. Remember the comforting sound of a slow ringing telephone? Today, over twelve million people a year get hit by trucks, cars, trains and other modes of vehicles while staring at their mobile devices. I wish I knew what people are so busy with on their mobile phones. What urgent messages are being ‘downloaded’ when crossing the road or jumping on trains, catching aeroplanes. Do people check their text messages when having sex? Is texting in public proof of being part of the world, being busy and engaged with whatever stuff that is going on, being alive?

I have a mobile phone but for some reason I fear its insistent ringing. I get all tense and apprehensive. The television script writers now routinely have strange buzzing or vibrating sounding phones going off in the dark, thus adding a mysterious tension to the murder story- thriller. They are onto the fact that mobile devices going off in films increase ratings enormously. They do seem to install a kind of nervous expectation and rising excitement in the story. A bit like canned laughter in comedies.

There is something wrong to have a world where so much depends on answering or texting, downloading all the messages that one might have missed. I have withdrawn message service as a first step to try and go without it. I have also given back my E-Tablet after it swallowed my sim-card and I was unable to retrieve it. The marital tension it caused just trying to set it up. It almost came to blows 😉 Aldi is fantastic with the sixty day money back guarantee. I happily stuck my $ 249.00 back in the wallet. Never again another gadget. Perhaps a new electric coffee grinder or juice extractor but no more phones, smart or otherwise, with or without Apps.

Only last week, during watching American Hustles in the cinema, our mobile phone went off. A very embarrassing moment. I quickly pressed the red button that stops answering. I don’t know how to switch off the phone. I studied the booklet and push the ‘switch’ button but it doesn’t switch off. Anyway, we rarely get a call. Ten minutes later during the same film, another call. Again I pushed the red button. After the third call, I left. Not easy leaving a row of patrons keen to watch a movie. The polite way and good etiquette is to face the patrons…but I feel a bit funny passing by with my pant’s zipper inches from their keen faces, almost like an indecent offering. Passing the other way is not much better with your bum even closer to their faces. Anyway, the movie wasn’t much good. H stayed behind because the phone is always in my pocket. Women are clever they don’t have pockets. It was so embarrassing.

In the meantime my coffee has now settled, ready to be poured.