Marieke Hardy, Fire Engines and Coffee

Posted on September 28, 2011

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This is my second attempt today at posting this entry. My computer really dislikes me at present.


Today I had an appointment with the headshrinker. A new one to be precise. I suspect my last one was unable to continue coping with mental delinquents like me and ran screaming from the building.

A strangely conscientious Ross arrived early. Well, to be honest, I was five minutes late for the time I thought the appointment was for but was actually twenty-five minutes early for the actual appointment time of 1pm. Except the appointment was no longer for 1pm at all but had been rescheduled and could I please come back at 3pm.  Although there was no ‘could’ or please. “You vill report back here at 3pm and you vill be on time for Doktor Mengeler.”

Fortunately today’s post had delivered a long-awaited copy of Marieke Hardy’s biography, You’ll Be Sorry When I’m Dead. Another reviewer got hold of our review copy before me and enjoyed it so much that they had difficulty in letting it out of their hands. But I have it now so all is forgiven. Now it was hardly worth my time to now traipse across town to uni only to be there for five minutes only for it to be time to start traipsing back again. So I settled down in the cafe on the building’s ground floor for lunch and reading.

As I was soon chortling out loud, I elicited some strange looks from other people, particularly when I managed  to snort Coke Zero out my nostrils (not regular Coke as I’m on a health kick or at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). This is a lady who writes like how I would like to but Marieke does it so, so very much better than me.

Just then, all hell broke loose. Alarms began shrieking, hammering and pounding like an entire punk concert on speed. Something was up! Had terrorists struck? Or worse, had someone else pinched my idea of letter-bombing the Mental Health knobs?

Strangely, I seemed to be the only one paying any real attention to this alarm. The cafe staff just spoke a little louder as they continued dispensing coffee and sandwiches. The couple at the table next to me merely introduced plenty of ‘Pardon?’ and ‘What?’ to their discussion.

Well obviously it must be a drill, I decided. But the noise was becoming too much for me so, like Elvis, I left the building. Now that’s something I would like to do for a laugh one day; pay someone to make an announcement over the PA in a busy public place that ‘Ross has left the building – repeat – Ross has left the building.’ I could then amuse myself watching people wonder who the hell Ross is and why should they give a toss if he’s in or not.

As I utilised the egress (I suspect that is grammatically incorrect but I think it looks good, so there) I heard then saw a fire engine approaching, all sirens, lights and bravado, which then pulled up beside the building. Yet there was still a conspicous absence of anybody else leaving the building even though it was clearly more than just a drill. Odd, that.

I retired instead to Smith’s Alternative Bookshop. Interestingly I am yet to determine exactly what the alternative is to books that they are selling. Particularly as there are in fact books for sale inside. But Smith’s does a good coffee and as anybody who knows me is aware, that is a good way of getting my attention. Somehow the flamenco version of I Did It My Way in Spanish playing inside, lacked quite the same degree of excitement of fire alarms and engines.

I now had a soothing coffee and a comfortable place to continue reading Marieke. Now to see if she could make me snort coffee out my nostrils.

P.S. I didn’t snort coffee as I was now forwarned but still kept chortling aloud.

P.P.S. Having just reached the chapter describing Marieke’s heartbreak at the demise of  the Fitzroy Football Club, I am now irretrievably in love. Go the ‘Roy Boys!

P.P.P.S. The health clinic neither burned to the ground nor was letter-bombed.

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