Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Knowledge November - Day 19 - Egotistical expectations

Yesterday I was in the city meeting up with some friends who I used to work with in the dark days of Amanda Vanstone taking over the Department of Employment, Education and Training and scuttling the existence of the CES offices. Bill and Sue survived and in fact thrived and were keen to see what a stay-at-homer like me was up to (and, no doubt, looked like these days).

It was a fantastic lunch and we had over a decade to catch up on with genuine promises to stay in touch more regularly next time. As I waited for my ride home at the Elizabeth Street tram stop, my head starting pounding ominously (please Mr Migraine, at least wait until I get home), so I let a tram pass so that I could breathe in a bit more fresh air instead of stale commuters' BO.

The air on one of the city's busiest thoroughfares wasn't much fresher, unless you consider truck fumes, old prawn heads in bins and clowds of secondhand cigarette smoke from office workers to be particularly aromatic. As I slurped from my water bottle, one of the saddest sounds in nature reached my ears. Yes, that of a trapped butterfly, smacking its tiny little forehead over and over on the windowpane of the tram shelter, desperately trying to get to freedom outside.

This black and orange beauty needed saving, brother. As gently as my man-hands and long, ET-phone-home fingers could, they slowly closed around the distressed insect, trapping it. "Don't worry little one," I cooed, knowing I sounded like a loony but who cared: I was surrounded by deaf iPod-wearing travellers who regarded jeans hanging lower than their buttocks as sensible clothing.

I opened my hands in an exaggerated, 'The Hills Are Alive With The Sound Of Music' gesture, and the butterfly buggered off as quickly as it could. I sat back down on the bench, mentally patting myself on the back for being such a caring environmentalist willing to put my money where my mouth was. No, make that my hands where my mouth was, or was it my brain where my hands were, or...

Anyhow, my ego was stoked and fit to burst. As was my bladder I then realised. There were no loos immediately apparent other than the techno-toilet across the street which I've always been afraid to use. Time was of the essence though, so I snuck into the foyer of a large office building nearby and dashed into the disabled toilet.

Creak.... "Ooops, sorry!"
"JESUS, I'm in HERE!"
Oh. My. God. Someone had opened the toilet door and I was directly in their full view - as well as most of reception - with pants around my knees and blowing my nose loudly into some scrunched up toilet paper. What the hell happened to the concept of one good turn deserves at least three minutes of alone-time in the bog?

Thankfully, the door opener had disappeared, no doubt shocked to the core at seeing me in there, fat fluoro arse-cheeks and white cottage-cheese thighs on dazzling display. Eschewing the blow hand dryer, I dashed out into the sunshine again, hands dripping, cheeks blazing and making a fairly good job of being intently focussed on rummaging through my backpack looking for the apple I'd flung in there that morning.

I bit into it decisively, trying to crunch away the lingering odour of embarassment. Patoooey! I took one look into my apple and saw the healthy snacker's nightmare - a brown hole and only half the worm.

Where was the good turn I was due for saving the boodiful butterfly? Maybe I'd check my lotto ticket at the newsagent or see if I could slip down a Chunky King-Sized Caramel KitKat without my metabolism noticing.

Several minutes later, I was strolling down Racecourse Road, smiling again, loving the ease of travel to and from the city centre and the quirkiness of my neighbourhood. I grinned at the local wino coven under the bridge, feeling friendly and magnanimous. I was a broad-minded, supportive and non-judgmental person who ---

--- just swallowed a fly. No point in spitting it out, it was too far gone for that.

Oh well that was probably my reward. A tiny bit of protein and one less blowie around to annoy m


franzy said...

Maybe it was an evil butterfly.

Kath Lockett said...

Yes, or the butterfly's cousin?

Ack Ack Ack - I can still taste it!

Helen said...

Oh gosh! you had me laughing (with you not at you of course). I hope your day got better!

River said...

Karma does like to take its sweet time. I'm still waiting on my good luck for several thousand good deeds done in the past. I'm glad you saved the butterfly though, there's so few of them around these days. In all the years I've lived here I've seen two.