Sunday, February 10, 2008

The wrong side of Magill Road

Is there anything more ego-draining than hearing someone pause and say, "Oh you live on the OTHER side of (insert name here) road. We don't deliver / visit / shop / drive past / linger / buy / breathe / accept the existence of / service / acknowledge that area."

While Pru and Tru might be the invention of a couple of Melbourne-based comediennes, their plum-up-the-bum accents are quintessentially those found here in Eastern Adelaide.

I always used to wonder just how this peculiar brand of irritating enunciation actually developed. Growing up in Murray Bridge, where a good nights' entertainment meant the local bogans used to stand down-wind of the big bonfire of confiscated marijuana plants found by police for a free high; the poncy put-on voices of the town's few social climbers was a mystery. Just where, amongst the milking sheds, pig farmers and meat workers, did the tossers' timbre come from?

Of course some of them were Seymour sisters or PAC old boys from way back, but surely a decade or three in a town more known for its Demolition Derby than its debutantes would have worn away any arsehole's effeminate enunciation? Why the need to keep clinging to such a cliquish cadence that sounds so ridiculous?

Even though I was raised in the seventies, studied in the eighties, worked in the nineties and bought a house in the noughties, I expected that such silly snobberies were long past. Or, if they were still around, they were now mocked and seen as the weak efforts of a few old Highbrow Harries to maintain their inbred private school stupid old scholars' program. Some examples of this tendency is the continuing trend of placing a sticker of the school's coat-of-arms on the back of one's BMW sedan or glossy back Mercedes 4WD, or the inability to venture any further north than O'Connell Street.

Apparently not. After having dinner with some friends last night, Janice, who is looking the age of 67 in the face but might as well be an advertisement for Oil of Olay for forty year olds - told me that she was at a funeral earlier that day. Held in the St Peters' Boys chapel of course. For some old geezer who was in his eighties. So, for someone who attended a school nearly sixty years ago, it was still important to his foppish family and self-conscious society snoots to plonk his dead corpse in a box there, rather than anywhere else he might have held important in the 21,900 days of his life since. It is simply swanky-wanky snobbery in action - clutching onto the old cliques....

Mum tells me too, that a near neighbour of hers in Victor Harbor just has to add 'from Scotch' in every sentence relating to her now-adult children: "Oh, we've just been sooo run off our feet this weekend. Daniel and his friends - from Scotch - popped in...."

To her eternal credit, Mum just smiled and nodded, and kept on power walking to the end of the bluff and back. What she wanted to say was, "Oh yes, Scotch. As in scotch fillet, whisky or tape? For your three children who attended the school over 25 years ago, none of them matriculated, went on to further study or have done anything other than enter your husband's family-owned business. All of their cars and homes have been purchased by you and they are now aged 37, 39 and 41 respectively!"

Maybe one day it will be socially acceptable for the high school classes in the leafy suburbs to throw in, "Oh yes, we've had a whirlwind of a summer break, it was just lovely. The molls from Murray Bridge High School dropped in to compare Centrelink cheques, tattoos and hydroponic equipment."

Until then, I'll have to continue to grit my teeth when a business located in Norwood - a mere 1000 metres away, does not 'deliver' to my area, on the wrong side of Magill Road. I'll keep on driving our dented, 12 year old station wagon with the remnants of last year's Kangaroo Island dust still on it, and enjoy sitting outside in our 'garden' of baked clay, builders' rubble and dog turds.

Pass me an iced coffee, garcon, and don't forget to fling in a custard tart and a bag of burger rings!


draggedupwithmorals said...

WHHHAAAAAAAHHAAAA laughing so hard I'm chokin' on me cornflakes. Good for you, don't ever change be proud of where ya come from....from one country girl to another.
These so called society snobs are no different to us....they still fart, burp and sh.t.
As for living on the wrong side of the road..if a business dont want your money take it elsewhere. My money is most probably 'cleaner' than those who live on the 'right' side of the street anyway.

franzy said...

I'm gonna throw it out there and guess that Grotto pizza is the one who doesn't delivery?

And I think the reason we all get so pissed off at the white-wine warbles of our eastern suburbs matrons is because it feeds into that Australian idea that one shouldn't advertise one's success, particularly monetary. And so when these implicating markers come creeping towards us, forcing us to work out for ourselves that they are much richer than we are, it is genuinely insulting and feeds into our own insecurities about our own achievements and success. Just by pulling up behind another fucking Cayenne with a 'Walford Rowing' sticker that you can't see around.
So I cut them off. Pull out in front of them. Fart in the coffee shop. Remember that I live for art. Starving, hungry, difficult, largely unsuccessful art.

delamare said...

Reminds me of being in a Country Road shop (not a palace) just before Christmas in a posh Melbourne suburb. The shop assistant asked me what secondary school my 12 year old son would be heading off to in 2008. She was horrified when I responded that he was going to the local government highschool. "Oh," she said, as her nose raised a few more cms into the air, "how nice". I think she seriously doubted whether I should even be shopping in the street!

Rosanna said...

What an absolute hoot! And how very true! I was just in beautiful Adelaide (what a gorgeous city!) though I missed out on people like the ones you describe.

What a shame!

Wyn Richards said...

It's a different world I am happy to have no part in. We've got a similar(ish) thing here in Melbs. There's north of the Yarra (leftys and pinkos), and south of the Yarra (conservatives and bigots). Actually, things get a bit more down to earth again the further south you go. So much for an egalitarian society. But it's a lot less extreme than in other western countries.

If lots of money can turn people into such pretentious little twats, then I'm happy to be a middle rung kind of guy.

On another note, I've got a new blog and have come out of the closet of anonymity. It's got painting stuff on it, which I think you mentioned you were interested in. Da links on my profile.

Wyn (aka "The Man who left the Pub")

River said...

Heh, snobs. They're the ones who want their toilet paper in bags so others don't see they have to buy it just like the rest of us.

ashleigh said...

What a delightful rant.

I'm largely immune, I've spent most of my working life working in very working class suburbs (deep north, and now inner city suburb but still very down at heel) and get used to seeing and being around the ordinary folk.

Going "into town" is still a bit of a novelty and I'm always impressed at how well people dress!

As for the leafy suburbs, I'm afraid I feel right out of place.

All this, and I'm told though that I speak a bit like a toff. Oh dear!

When I was at uni, a vast number of the other students (probably the majority) were private school educated. They were never hung up about it, seems like it must be their parents who have something to prove.

KateSp said...

hi Kath - i live on the wrong side of Brighton Rd.....but my kids go to the local Catholic school so i guess i'm doing ok hey? lol. And i did some growing up in Karoonda - we were near neighbours :-) Thanks for the great blog!