fatman Find the clues!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Danger: White Trash!

It happens gradually. One day the globe blows in the living room and you forget to replace it. No big deal. Then you fall behind in paying your phone bill and it gets disconnected. A few months pass. But by then it's too late. You have officially crossed into the category of white trash.

The tell-tale signs being:

You eat nothing but weevil-ridden pasta, past-the-expiry-date beef jerky and rancid meat in the dark.

Repo men regularly visit your domicile.

You can't fall asleep because of all the fornicating vermin in the ceiling.

You frequently find wild boars rummaging through the garbage.

You and your friends derive enjoyment from harassing "dem fancy cidee folk" in hardware stores.

...It's this last point that I'd like to expand on. So I find myself in Blue Bar today after crashing out at Matt's place the night before[1]. We are drinking spicy Bloody Marys and discussing what we should write on our respective blackboards[2]. After spending half an hour on possible quotes Matt suggests, 'I peed blood last night.'
'That's quite good. That'll make an excellent blackboard quote.'
'...er...yes. Blackboard quote.'

Anyway, Matt has to go to the hardware store to get some supplies for the bars that he runs. Now, when most people go to the hardware store to get chicken wire, say, you just go and do it. No problem. But some people seem incapable of doing such a simple task. Matt and I spend roughly ten minutes getting our supplies of nails and such- ample time for an average human being to purchase chicken wire for their (chortle) jewellery display. But not for Scooter Guy who was in a deep argument with the hardware store worker.
'I thought you said it's $3 a metre,' whines Scooter Guy.
'It's $3.75 a metre.'
'$3.75 a metre?'
'$3.75 a metre.'

Arguably these men were not engaging in conversation so much as echoing the same words back and forth. The bottom line being: when Scooter Guy eventually succumbed to the concept that the chicken wire was $3.75 a metre the total cost for all things bought was $8.20 Australian pesos.
'I'll use my bankcard if I could.'
'It's a $10 minimum.'
'$10 dollars minimum. Your purchase comes to $8.20.'
'What are you trying to say?'
(more silence)
'Th...the that, that. The..'

I believe the hardware store guy was having mild seizures trying to come up with a simpler way of saying "$10 dollars minimum." I'm not sure that I can.

'What if I go to my scooter and bring $10 dollars in cash?' offers Scooter Guy.
'That...would work fine,' replies the hardware store guy leaping at the unexpected lifeline thrown to him. 'Or,' he continues, a sucker for punishment, 'you can just get money out here.'
'I can?'

(20 excruciating minutes later....)

The flustered Scooter Guy eventually decides once again to go to his scooter to retrieve the ten dollars. 'Well,' I say glibly, 'at least that was easy.'
'He makes buying things fun,' agrees Matt. We laugh.

Unbeknownst to us Scooter Guy had super-hearing. He marches back into the store enraged. 'I just heard you guys laughing at me!' he yells.
'How can we not?'
'Well,' he snarls, 'you guys can get f-cked! I'm taking my business to Mitre 10,' and he exits stage left.

As he scooted off out of our lives on his orange, piece-of-shit,circa 60's scooter I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. Here is a grown man, obviously struggling with his own sexuality[3], who can't even buy something as simple as chicken wire without the whole shop laughing him out the door. The choices that we make define us and sometimes not being able to make choices...well...I guess that defines us too. He was doomed from the moment he bought that scooter. For he will always be labelled a doofus.


[1] Matt actually lives like a king. He has a plush apartment that guys like me only see in sitcoms (i.e. populated by annoying New Yorkers who spend entire episodes complaining about bagels) and can actually afford a Lear Jet. I visit him probably once a fortnight and we stay up till five in the morning drinking beer, watching late-night movies that usually has Brian Dennehy in it, eat spoonfuls of mustard/ salsa dips-oh so Fight Club-and complain about bagels.

[2] Note to Self: There are actually a few funny anecdotes involving blackboard quotes and I should expand on this later.

[3] Hardware store guy (as Scooter leaves): (baffled) How can anyone be that confused buying chicken wire?
Matt: I think he's a little confused by a few other aspects of himself as well.
Me: Harsh but fair.
(Matt and I laugh)
Hardware store guy: Huh?
Me (gauging sexuality/ intelligence/ sense of humour of hardware store guy. Noting that Matt and I have already made one sworn enemy today): Nothing.


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