Thursday, 9 February 2017

Footwear log




A sequence of events over the last 24 hours feels like it urgently needs some serious blogging, so this is a quick palate cleanser before plunging in. I sighted these shoes in the window of a closed shoe shop at the end of a pleasant evening of expensive drinking in a great bar, and I was unable to be calm or act normal for the next three days until an opportunity arose to go back to the shop, ascertain that they fitted, and buy them. What an immense sense of peace and relief flowed through me at that moment. I don't think they're show offy but people do sometimes notice them and say how great they are. I like a bit of that kind of thing every now and then. They also feel amazing on. Like each foot is being clasped, firmly and purposefully but ever so gently, between a pair of long, warm, dry, slightly chamois-textured hands. Yes, I walk around feeling like my feet are being caressed by a pair of sinewy old veterans of the Kashmir hippy trail. I am a bad vegetarian to so much enjoy wearing leather next to my skin.

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In the mid 1990s I auditioned for Sale of the Century. Of course I passed the trivia quiz part. Where I failed to make the grade was the part where those who passed the test had to produce a fun fact about themselves for prequiz hostal bantering purposes. I panicked and told the only story I could think of, which was a longwinded thing about how a week or two beforehand I was home naked and sick in bed in our flat in St Kilda in the middle of the day when a strange man came into the bedroom. He was almost as surprised to see me as I was to see him. I was in fact completely terrified, but adrenalin kicked in and I grabbed the lamp off the bedside table and yanked it out of the wall and threw it at him. He'd already left the room before it hit the wall. I got out of bed and threw on a coat that was on the floor, then raced out the front door and upstairs to the neighbour. It was a few minutes of shaking, clearly very alarming minutes for her, before I could actually speak to tell her what had happened, at which stage she sent her partner downstairs to check it out. The man was long gone of course. He'd got in through an open window, but he left via the kitchen door, taking with him the cold remains of the pizza we'd had for dinner the night before.  (This was the part of the story that I thought made it appropriate for exchanging a chuckle with Glenn Ridge prior to crushing my opponents like bugs in my inexorable progress towards winning The Lot.)

Over the last couple of years I've had to accompany Lenny to lots of birthday parties. There tend to be runs of these things, so there were times when I had to go to two in a weekend, then two the next weekend etc. I got fed up to the back teeth with the sickening conversations that go down at these events and which other parents seem to want you to join in with them. They are always about: do you have any other children? Where's he going to school? Where do you live? How much did you pay for your house? Do you know how much I paid for my house? and more like that. UN BEAR ABLE. I developed a strategy for dealing with these situations and I know it will stand me in the best of steads in the years of school parenting to come. It goes like this. When I get to be standing with another parent at some social thing and it looks like the house price question sequence is about to commence, I blurt out a political or social remark that is the opposite of small talk. This is a test. It flushes out the fascists, and it also tests the other parent's ability to engage like an adult and not like an overgrown brat. If they can't come up with a coherent response to, say a remark like 'I am very angry about Australia's disgraceful treatment of asylum seekers', I know not to waste any more time on them. Lifesaver.

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