There was drama of the Perth kind here this morning. A train – pleasingly, on my train line – careered off the tracks, taking the tracks, poles, and a whole bunch of wires with it. (I don’t know what the wires do.)
There were no fatalities. There weren’t any injuries. The extent of the human toll was, if anything, a rattled train driver.
Still, enough chaos ensued for everyone to stand around at the train station looking unhappy for a while. Channel 10 subsequently appeared, in the guise of a young woman who looked like she was from a car rental company in 1992. (It actually took me some time to realise she wasn’t from 1992. Entranced by her black 12-dernier shiny stockings, ill fitting royal blue knee-length skirt and ‘All Together Now’-era Rebecca Gibney hairdo, at first I missed the big silly microphone and sheepish looking cameraman entirely.)
I did what any good Melbourne girl would do given a camera crew and the chance to shoot her mouth off on the telly. I tried to look as inobtrusively forlorn, inconvenienced and mid-thirtyish as possible.
As every budding fame whore knows, it’s no good putting your hand up and wriggling around in your seat when a reporter approaches. You have to look normal. You have to look approachable. You have to look incapable of subtly suggesting the addition of Gina Reinhardt’s ballsack to the Australian flag midway through talking about energy prices.
In short, you have to look assiduous and slightly daft.
There I was, hunched on the bus stop bench, smiling philosophically into space, radiating assiduity and a particularly bovine brand of harmlessness for all I was worth. The reporter’s eyes slid over me. She took a few steps towards me . . .
. . . And then, NO SHIT, she looked at the cameraman and they both shook their heads.
She veered off instead to interview a large, shy looking chap in a fluorescent yellow construction worker’s jacket. He presumably said something like, ‘Yeah . . . It’s a bit of a pain, but it’s good no one was hurt I s’pose’.
Then, she popped into her Channel 10 time machine and went back to 1992.
That poor construction worker. He will never know the burning hatred consuming my heart as we both waited for the No. 400 to the Wellington Street Bus Station.
Ah jealousy, jealousy. You strike in odd moments. Never when you should.
I’ll just have to find a way to buy the damned station and vox pop my Goddamned self.