Movin’ On Up

What’s the John Dory? Technically, the summer heat should be worse up north. But have you been in Melbourne or Adelaide lately? Flaming hell, they’re making Cairns seem like a bloody temperate retreat.

Since the born-a-minutes, you know, suckers, down here in the south have proven to have short arms and deep pockets, I’m banking on the red-necks up in the tropics being a bit more appreciative of my talents. I’ve switched from guitar to harmonica, so my whole life now compresses into a ready-in-a-minute carry-on size backpack, I can be gone in a jiffy. It’s the best move I’ve made in years.

When Lay-Down-Sally finds out I put water in her lawn mower petrol tank she’ll stop missing me. Wanting me to garden as some sort of barter arrangement was a big mistake – I don’t do gardening, nor bartering for that matter. I mean she invited me to stay, I didn’t think it would become conditional. If anything that hippy-chick owes me! All those vegan dinners woofed down with gratitude, and all those screaming orgasms, courtesy of my harmonica tongue, surely is more than adequate compensation for the free bed and internet.

“Sorry Sally,” I said, “that mower of yours won’t start for some reason. I actually pulled a muscle in my shoulder trying so hard. Hey, after the tofu and bean sprout rissoto tonight you wouldn’t be able to give me one of those tantric massages again, would you lovey?”

If I said I feel a bit sorry for leaving Sal-My-Gal without even a note I would be lying. I’m sure she has a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock. All I could find was $2.50 and some useless Indonesian currency scattered around her trendy Brunswick scum-hole, and that got me mad as a cut snake. At least I found her Visa and library cards, I’ll need a good book for the trip and a brew or three at the airport, and how exy is the grog at the airport?

When Mum gets me on the blower next Tuesday she’ll find out I’m in Queensland and complain that I didn’t stop off for a visit. I’ll explain that I passed 30,000 feet overhead, but she won’t hear that. She hears nothing but her own voice. Mum’s sick. She’s got a personality disorder or five, but who hasn’t these days. Once, she somehow manipulated me into stealing and hocking her boyfriend’s sapphire cuff-links. I struggled a bit with that. Many would disagree, but I do have empathy. Poor old Scott, he was actually a good bloke and the look on his face as I clocked him cut me up inside for a while.

It’ll be ten years at least before it’s safe to visit Sydney again. There must be half a dozen nut jobs after me there. Take Rolly for example, that fat bastard advanced me five thousand smackers for a music video that never got off the storyboard – oops! Doing an M People cover was, and still is, a brilliant, ridgy-didge idea. It wasn’t my fault the chick bass player just up and died! Besides Rolly, who acted all philanthropic like, we all knew he just wanted a slice of my inevitable fame, and a piece of the bass player’s arse. Good luck with that now. Gotta love that song though.

Moving on up, you’re moving on out

Time to break free, nothing can stop me.

When you plan your last free meal in a city you may as well order up big and bring along a homeless person. The Easy Decision Oyster Entrée is one of my all time faves – three Natural, three Kilpatrick, three Mornay and three Rockerfeller – yumbo! After that a Surf ‘n Turf, aka, Reef and Beef, always goes down like snot. The pretentious restaurant I chose was begging to be ripped off but of course it wouldn’t dare serve such sensible Aussie fare. So I ordered separate entrées with every style of oysters and prawns on offer, two eye fillet steaks, a large jug of Hollandaise sauce and four shots of Pernod. I ended up doing some messy but impressive DIY plating up at the table.

My lunch companion was Derek, I found him earlier in the library and he smelt like an ashtray. Man did he scoff in or what! And that made me a very happy man. He loved the red wine as well, he drunk it like a fish. So much so that he didn’t notice that I picked up my backpack when I said I was going to the toilet but actually exited out onto Lygon Street. Derek will be fine. He’ll know what to do when the docket comes – he’s like me, a survivor. Besides, you can’t get blood out of a stone.

Dead set, these taxi drivers have a hide you know; all of a sudden they’re defending their wealthy bosses who are going under thanks to Uber. I remember they used to curse the lousy arseholes who actually owned the motors with the meters. My driver was such a whinger that I had zero qualms about doing my second, or was it third, runner of the day. As I walked away at the drop off zone at Tullamarine, I called out, “The fare’s on the back-seat, Amigo!” and ripped out a quick refrain of the Mexican hat dance on my harmonica.

He dived into the back of the cab and started scavenging around. I assume he found the two red 10,000 Indonesian Rupiah notes that I’d left. If he expected more he’s dreaming. By now I was sitting inside on the dunny picturing the airport muscle herding him off the ramp. I mean if Uber’s sending your boss broke shouldn’t you be happy, mate?

I was as dry as a dead dingo’s donga and thought a stubby or six of Bintang would be nice before heading off to the tropics. Sally’s Pay Wave Eftpos card worked a treat. I vowed not to go too hard on it. PINs are so yesterday. Gotta love Caller ID too, it’s the essential filter for all those unnecessary people. The name Sally appeared on the screen of my flash, newish, phone that Dahlia-the-failure gave me in Adelaide just last month. Couldn’t wait to get out of that hole let me tell you. I hit what I call the “No Thanks” button. Couldn’t bear talking to Sal ever again. Then came the text:

Can you PLEASE try once more to start the mower? X.”

It’s muggy as all hell in Cairns. I’m thinking if I don’t win some serious cash or a cougar in the casino tonight, I’ll keep movin’ on up. North that is, over the equator and into winter, gotta escape this heat.

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