Earlier this year I moved to the city to be closer to friends, study and work opportunities. My address now contains the words and numbers ‘Perth 6000’, when I was young I assumed anyone who lived in the 6000 postcode wore top hats and swam in pools full of money like on Duck Tales. Silly young me didn’t realise that anyone can live in the city, if they pay a decent amount to rent for a small apartment in a complex with a shared pool that is full of water instead of money. Top hats are optional.
Living in the city has its pros and cons…
Pro: Ten minute walk to Murray Street.
Con: Ten minute walk home at 1am will might result in a brisk mugging or assault.
Pro: Closer to friends.
Con: Further away from family.
Pro: The man with a cockatoo in a basket on his bike is cool.
Con: The crazy flag lady is not cool. Run away.
Pro: The apartment is nice and has faster internet.
Con: IT DOESN’T HAVE A BATH TUB, WHY DID I AGREE TO A BATHLESS APARTMENT? NEVER EVER AGAIN. EXCLAMATION POINT. ANOTHER EXCLAMATION POINT.
In the end the pros and cons level out. Except for the bath. I’m so traumatised about my lack of ability to relax in a bath that I ask everyone I meet if they have a bath that I could use. So far, only one person has said yes.
Although my mother worked in the city when she was in her early twenties, it didn’t help her come to terms with the CBD I now live in, full of crazy people, one way roads and stairs. Oh, don’t get her started on the stairs. There are nearly 40 of them leading up to my front door and she hates every single one of them.
As I was riding shotgun in my mothers shiny new car we passed two of the local whore houses. I gather one is like the Hungry Jacks (Burger King if you’re American) of hookers, while the other is like McDonald’s – both serve the same items and one always claims their burgers taste better.
“What is that place with the flashing lights?” asked my Mum.
“It’s a whore house” I replied, as if whore houses are on every street in every neighbourhood and everyone is cool with it.
“A what house?” she exclaimed, as if whore houses are not on every street in every neighbourhood and everyone is not cool with it.
“A brothel… a place where men visit prostitutes.”
I wanted to elaborate more about the penis goes into the vagina and money is exchanged perplexities, but decided not to, I was riding in her shiny new car and she would never forgive me for tarnishing its innocence. I had already told it the petrol fairy wasn’t real when she wasn’t listening. My mother was quiet for a moment and then, in a nonchalant tone said…
“Oh, I thought it was a cafe.”
I was doing some grocery shopping today, and as I stood in the pasta aisle perusing mediterranean vegetable sauces I overheard this conversation between two middle aged ladies…
“I found this strange payment on my credit card statement today… My son was the last to use it to pay his phone bill, I questioned him about it and he said it was for some WoW thing. He said it was a game, but I’m not completely sure, I think he might be one of them hacker kids.”
“He always uses these strange sayings, like ‘owned’ around his sister, he said ‘FTW’ yesterday when I brought home pizza for dinner. I don’t know what they mean. I think it’s hacker speak.”
“I saw a documentary on them, they could make free phone calls and everything! They called the Pope, Oprah and the White House!”
“Really? Maybe he’s doing that; calling all his friends for free and, shit, I hope Telstra doesn’t find out and sue us!”
I couldn’t help but laugh at this point, the sheer stupidly of the conversation brought out a chuckle in me, as I laughed the two ladies turned and looked at me. I had to think of something to say to avoid being rude…
“You know, if he starts saying he’s doing raids, watch out…”
I paused, looked around, and then leaned in closer…
“It’s a secret WoW code word for hacking into government computers.”
I nodded knowingly and walked away. I meant to be sarcastic, but it seemed to come off as honestly and insight. Oops. I would like to take this opportunity to say sorry to the poor young lad whose WoW fun I have ultimately killed. So sorry. So very very sorry.
I totally owned you.
My mother isn’t very good with computers, sure she can type up letters and play solitaire, but anything to do with the internet eludes her, especially when it comes to email…
Mum: I have to send an email to someone I know in England.
Me: Do you have her email address?
Mum: Yes, but she’s in England.
Mum: She’s in England.
Me: Mum, you can send and check email from wherever you are in the world; it’s not like a physical street address with a mailman who sometimes gets drunk and loses the mail.
Mum: Oh. Are you sure?
Me: Yes mum, I’m sure.
Mum: But she’s in England, how will it get there?
Me, mumbling under my breath: On the back of a magical email elf that likes to eat peas dipped in cranberry sauce and listens to Enya.
Mum, who thankfully wasn’t listening closely enough to hear my smart-assed reply: What?
Me: Nothing, just send the email to her.
A short time later she returns with an accomplished smile on her face…
Mum: You were right, I sent it, and she replied.
Me: No kidding.
Mum: Yes, it’s amazing this email thing.
Me: That it is.
The phone rings and I pick it up, because that is what one does with a phone…
Telemarketer: Hi I’m calling on behalf of [Insert phone company which calls so much it could be classified as stalking], would you be interested in changing over to [Insert stalkers name again]? If you change over now we’ll pay half of your existing bill.
Nikita: Half you say?
Telemarketer: Yes, half.
I was reeling her in, giving her a taste of a sale and then…
Nikita: No, I wouldn’t, but let me ask you a question. What is your current web browser?
Telemarketer: Excuse me?
Nikita: Web browser, the software you use to view websites, most people use Internet Explorer.
Telemarketer: Ahh yeah, I umm, think I use that one.
Nikita: Ok, well did you know that there is an alternative?
That no had a strong ‘you have got to be fucking kidding me’ tone attached to it.
Nikita: Firefox is one of the alternatives. It’s safer, faster and a hell of a lot cooler.
Tone now more of a sarcastic ‘you’re insane and I’m so about to hang up’.
Nikita: If you’d like more information go to Getfirefox.com.
Silence hung in the air for a few seconds, and then I could hear her rustling around, possibly looking through the manual on what to do if the person you’re calling tries to talk you into something.
Telemarketer: Um, sur-k…
I beleive that is a new word, a mixture of sure and ok, that oddly enough sounds like a great name for a breakfast cereal. “Sur-K, it’ll put the Sure in your K.” Possible explanation for the new word: She was contemplating why she was a telemarketer when a tiny section of her brain that knew it was wrong exploded and the ‘e’ never made it from her brain to her vocal cords and out of her mouth. It was then that I decided it was time for me to go.
Nikita: Thanks for your time and remember, use the fox.
I had to go, I had other telemarketers to try and covert, such as the insulation dude who was due to ring any minute to enquire if I’m hot in summer and cool in winter and offer to reverse it for me. I also had to make cookies in the shape of the Firefox logo to hand out to the Mormons when they stop by way too early next Sunday morning.
“No I don’t believe in god, but tell me this, do you believe in the great almighty Firefox?”