Monday, November 07, 2005


On the (late) evening of Melbourne Cup Day, BB and I had just turned out the light when we heard an argument on the street outside. We live on the corner of a suburban street which then leads to a main Canberra thoroughfare, and quite often people pull up outside at the verge to have mobile phone conversations. This time, it was a drunken stoush involving a man, a woman and a taxi driver. It was out of sight around the corner, but we could hear quite clearly.

BB has a disturbing habit when drunk people disturb us at night by walking past yelling shite at each other -- he speaks in tongues very loudly out of our darkened window, and freaks them out. I think it's a skill that comes with growing up in a religious family where your only teenage rebellion is delving further into fundamentalism (he's agnostic now). I was waiting for him to do this, but realised that he was enjoying the argument too much, probably memorising the best lines for future fun. He's also a good mimic. He decided to listen, not join in.

I, however, have no memory for dialogue (those damned grey cells), but I do recall the taxi driver yelling, in sheer frustration, 'Look, I've been dealing with fucking people like you all day, will you get back into the fucking taxi!'. Lor, it had to have been raging for ages for a taxi driver to get involved and not just sit back with the meter running. Either that, or he'd just had one too many drunks.

I've been a Canberra taxi driver, I know those days. I once picked up a man from the Kingston pub; he'd been at his office Christmas party, and was placed gently in the cab by his staff. He was probably quite high up in the hierarchy, as you could see that the rest of the staff were keen to get rid of him (respectfully) so they could get back inside and really start the party. He was completely smashed, and terribly embarrassed about it. At one point I had to stop the cab so that he could get out and vomit. 'I'm terribly shorry,' he kept saying. 'Pleaz... hmm zzz hmm... don't tell anyone.' Anyone I know? or anyone he knew? He gave me a huge tip to stay mum, even though I have no idea who he was or what particular Government department he worked for. He was one of the better drunks. Most try to paw you as well, if you're a 'lady-driver'.

Anyhoo, the day after Melbourne Cup day, we found $20 on the driveway. Didn't think anymore about it. Then yesterday we found another $20, and a pair of women's shoes. Nice shoes, black, strappy and beady, with little spiky heels. And what do you know, in my size! I've got huge hoofers, and it's hard enough to find my size in a shoe shop, let alone abandoned in my garden! We figure they had five days to come back and look for them, so finders-keepers.

$40 and a valuable addition to my wardrobe -- better than betting on a horse.

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