The Spiffing Adventures and Manly Times of Tony Abbott’s Ballsack

teabag

Actually this has almost nothing to do with Tony Abbott’s ballsack. However given that at least the next four (more likely, eight) years will be entirely dedicated to it, I thought I should also dedicate a post to it.

Yesterday, I took a snail to the park and gave it its freedom.

This slightly batty errand of mercy sent us (the snail and me) out of the flat we formally co-inhabited and into gale force winds, me in a black cocktail dress and the snail naked and unashamed. Together, we careered south down Spencer Street towards the casino and the Yarra. Once there, I trudged in my leopard print pumps through the little park under the railway and to the riverbank, where a bed of hardy South African bulbs had been plonked in the ground by disgruntled drug addicts forced to do community service. I found some grass growing under the fronds, sheltered from birds and weather, and with an impassioned cry of:

‘Run, Boy! Be free!’

left my charge to fend for him (or her, or possibly both) self.

But how could it be possible to carry a tender-shelled mollusc to safety through wind and rain up a crowded city street, I hear you protest? Surely this is a happy ending invented to soothe us, and in reality the poor thing was crushed against the handbag of a random pedestrian, dropped on the foot path, left in its cracked shell to expire under the boot of an oversexed English backpacker?

Fine questions all, and ones I asked myself with a great gnashing of teeth before setting out. How can it be done? I asked myself. Surely, this is a fool’s errand!

Ah! But snails, you see, are sticky.

I was not the craziest person at the park. While I blundered through foliage, gingerly peeled the snail off my hand and set it down in its new home, a burly bloke in a blue jumpsuit (yes, a jumpsuit) sat rocking compulsively on a nearby bench bellowing Nirvana songs at the seagulls. Another gent had apparently decided that standing up and walking was a mug’s game, and instead was crawling on his belly through the clipped grass with his brown paper-bagged flagon clutched beside him like a rifle.

‘Hello Missus!’ he roared at passers by, regardless of gender. No one seemed to mind, they just smiled and waved. Maybe he does this every day, and has become a regular feature in the lives of city workers. Maybe if he doesn’t put in an appearance people start worrying, and when he reappears everyone texts each other.

This is Melbourne, I thought. The Federal Seat of Melbourne. The one seat in a country caught up in far-right insanity to vote Green; the heart of the capital city of one of the only states to lean Laborwards (apart from the ACT, and who else were they going to vote for?); the spiritual home of the poor, the gifted, the addled and the mad. The thinkers, in other words.

The day after I came back from Perth to Footscray, I went for a walk. I saw things simply not possible in Western Australia. There was a sign in a video shop window saying, ‘Free soup for the needy.’ Cars slowed down at intersections. Brown women wrapped in colourful saris and black women who looked like supermodels in animal print wandered into Indian grocery shops with friends, laughing and talking.

The air smelled of rain, petrol, bitumen and freshly ground spices. Everything was brutally ugly and filthy and broken after the luminous, intoxicating beauty of the west. People were walking and talking too fast for me. I was so fucking cold I thought I would shatter into ice cubes. I could’ve wept. It was fantastic.

I will go back to WA, I think. (One day when I have money, anyway – you need money for WA.) It has a large-scale beauty that is totally other to the East Coast, one that I haven’t properly explored yet. Perth alone, with its beaches and river and bright western light – they built film studios in California because of the desert and the light, which makes me wonder why we haven’t – is so beautiful, so naturally vibrant, your mind has to take breaks from language to absorb it. Perhaps that’s why it’s so easy to write there – something to do with the rests.

The dominant culture, alien in both genus and expression to that of the East Coast, reminds me in flashes of an Australia I saw on the telly in the 1980s when I was a child and brings back memories of my grandfather’s bawdier ‘Strine comic posters. I like the pace, the ease, the otherness. I like the way that, regardless of income or social status, we freaks find each other and band together to make our own entertainment. Most pressingly, though, I have friends there and I miss them horribly. That is, and will always be, my main reason for returning anywhere.

I don’t really belong in any one place, and I never have. I am an itinerant soul by nature – I don’t have a map. I’ve never needed one. I am a crazy woman in after-five dress who hangs out in parks liberating garden pests. ‘Life direction’ is hardly a concept that applies to me.

However, as Judy for obvious personal reasons never said: It’s so lovely to be back in Melbourne. Thanks to the hysterical short-sightedness of the rest of the nation, Tony and his ballsack are now free to frolic across the mortal remains of the grown-up policies and statesmanship that came before them (I never thought anyone could make me miss John Howard). So despite my nomadic impulses, I think I might stick around in the safety zone for a while.

I’m staying here in the shelter until the ‘All Clear’ sounds, and it’s safe to stick your head out again without getting teabagged.

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About palomopompom

The lovechild of Stephen Fry (mother), Ethel Merman (mother), and Janis Joplin (mother), Palomo Pom-Pom went on to make quite a career for herself in the consumable starch industry at the Sir Ronald Searle Memorial Canteen (St Borstal's School for Girls, Geelong). Palomo has a PhD in Vollyball (2011, Werribee Plaza) and a pathological lack of shame. This is her first blog. Soon to follow: her first retrospective hit song compilation (lube sold separately).
This entry was posted in Melbournaphilia, random acts of madness, scrotal intrigue, teabagging blackout. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Spiffing Adventures and Manly Times of Tony Abbott’s Ballsack

  1. dmetrik says:

    Kid, you should have a regular column in a newspaper. You’d be far more interesting and entertaining than the majority of the middle-class twats that write about the shade of their curtains and how outrageous it is they couldn’t get wi-fi the other day in a cafe to finish their novel.

    I see the jumpsuit and belly crawler from the Willy train as it comes in to Flinder’s Street station.

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