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!