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Tick. Tick, tick, tick … BOOM!

So I’ve been getting my Ace of Base on. In special needs repeat.

This brings joo-joo joy because:

  1. I’m special needs
  2. I’m ooold (to be said like Joey Tribbiani)
  3. I’m instantly transported back to being 17 years old

I’d just moved outta home into a stu-stu-studio with stained-glass windows and kitsch kitchen. Still in high school, I was the same Wuc you almost know today – freckled and forthright, with a penchant for daggy music and eveready dancin’. My mates’d tell tale of hanging at houses with parental sentinel, then camp out at mine – clubbing til dawn under the beats of Boyz II Men, Kris Kross and Marky Mark & The Drunky Bunch.

Good (illegal) (yet strangely innocent) times.

In those days (voice tilts like old codger with one hand on his testicle, the other on his toast), ID was easier to fake. Armed only with dark hair, red lips and a bogus birth certificate (via typewriter and a minimally-criminal brother) … BOOM! Shake the room! I was in.

‘Twas also in my seventeenth year that my love of movies brought its first tradge and lamentable lesson: never know thy neighbours.

Sure, it may seem a wonderbar situation – a beauteous community of possible beaus, barbecues and perennial cups of sugar. In truth, living abreast of you at any given time is a salty sea of schizos and a crackin’ lack of sweetness (proverbial or otherwise).

My first neighbour (cuckoo) dropped by one dog day afternoon as I was hanging washing, my little kitchen watching over me like a white ‘n’ wide grandmother nearby. Baggy in boob and balance, Heretic Hippy paused to borrow some food of iconic import and instantly, puffs of possibility floated above my head as it dawned: I’m living in a real movie moment!

Thus. Taking my lead from every lead in a motion picture, I accepted her invite for coffee and entered her flat (aka Hotel California) with filmic faith.

So began a siege of Pacino proportions. Our camaraderie cooling with our coffees, she came at me like a Jodie Foster film, friends. In minutes I was whisked down the rabbit hole of her youth, a tragic tumult of trauma and abuse. Then onto boyfriends of bulimic past and bash-full present. As she talked, one arm lay over her head like a halted hula, exposing in earnest her left armpit. A bush of hair charged forth as if freshly freed from a turban and, in rhythm to repartee, her free hand serially strummed said frizz like a frenetic harp.

Work the armpit. Work, work the armpit.

Hours passed. The sun and my hope retreated behind a darkened skyline … and each edging towards exit was met with new reasons to stay. Stuck in the Swamp of Sadness, there would be no Artax to take the fall. Beverage turned to bolognaise, dinner to dessert, and talk to Miss America. She waxed loony lyrical on how revolutionary and intelligent the women were. Sufferin’ suffragettes (to be said like Sylvester). Then. At midnight.

“I have to leave sometime, you know.”
“You don’t, actually. You could sleep over there.”

You know the dolly zoom in Jaws, just before the kid bites it? When she pointed to a dark ‘n’ defeated divan in the crusty corner of her consciousness – I felt it in real time, Brody baby.

You can check out, but you can never leave.

What’s the upchuck factor on that?

I’ve been rediscovering my Thirsty Merc (kick-ass Aussie band, don’t ya know).

And by rediscovering, I mean chair-dancing like the lousy, legless dude from Forrest Gump. Like the wicked witch o’ the East with Dot’s house resting on her lower extremities. Head banging. Torso tossing. Rockin’ that shit like I’m drowning at a seated event.

I’m sad to say my love of the Merc has grown dusty in recent years, eclipsed by flashbacks of a tradge trip to Barcelona in 07. I’d been living in London shy a decade and the Merc was on special needs repeat (in native nostalgia). Then came the Barce. Like a monocled moustached moth, I was drawn to its architectural flame.

It shoulda been grandiose. Instead, what followed were days of great beauty and greater apathy. I couldn’t put my pulse on it, but the finger was off. Then. On the final day, to serenade of The Hard Way, I was groped by some Charlie on the train. Of all the gropes in my life, this was the lewdest ‘n’ longest. All the way from Girona to Barceloneta, baby.

For the record, if I was gonna let a meaty mid-life man lather my ladies – it’d be the actual John Goodman, not his fragrant vagrant look-a-like. But I guess you don’t get to choose your groper (she says wistfully, staring off into the mischance). Plus, how often do you find a Downey down on his luck? (Don’t answer that.)

The greatest tradge of this tit tale was losing the use of my Merc. I couldn’t listen to their songs without recalling my musical molestation. Until recently. When, in an effort to evade GP songs, I stumbled upon this past love like a carousing clown on my doorstep come 2am.

Result.

As such, I feel the need to share my lascivious lurve. And so, herewith my murky favs. Consider me your Goodman, rubbing my Thirsty Merc all over your coquettish and virginal ears. How you like them hairy apples, little one?

  1. I Wish Somebody Would Build a Bridge
  2. In the Summertime
  3. Claude Monet
  4. Wasting Time

They make me happy in my Aussie bone, unlike Baz bucken Luhrmann (insert hissing like a cat). Meanwhile, you’re gonna have to go old school on this puppy (iTunes, baby). Is your attention span better than a Bieber’s?

Well do ya, punk?

I hate the word ‘naughty’, I really do. Sure. It aint up there with ‘tummy’ or ‘vagina’ … but for the love of Gandhi! If you aint a parent, you got no cause to be using it.

This anti-penchant may be due to my sociopathic boss of traumatic times past who would extend his hand to be spanked when naughty. As he was a dullard who couldn’t wipe his own ass, much less make it to a meeting on time, this was disturbingly often.

I should’ve known something was off the day I met him, given his striking resemblance to John-cunting-Howard. But tragically, he slipped under my radar and I found myself down for every tango on his sociopathic dance card. He’d steal files from my office and root through my bins at night, lying in wait the next day to interrogate me over the contents.

Think, De Niro. Polygraph. Focker.

So knotted was his ego, he was confounded when I finally left and looked upon it as a betrayal. Sure, Hathaway gets the horizontal mambo with Simon-bloody-Baker in gay Paris. All I got was unemployment and a hole in my psyche the size of Oprah.

Those were the salad days my friends.

The other end of this mind-boggling spectrum are my two ‘best’ bosses. Real down-to-earth guys. The kind that’ll catch-up for coffee when all’s said and done … then fare-thee-well with a gratuitous grope. (Is there any other kind?) One went for the boob, the other for the ass (though, I suppose I should be thankful, not at the same time).

My résumé reads like a mutherlovin after-school special, yo.

Which brings us with whiplash speed to present day. Why do I impart such golden nuggets the likes of which a courtroom has never seen? I’m up for parole, see. This job finishes in a couple of months and I don’t yet know what follows. Though I’m too wizened to look upon this horizon like Oliver Twist upon the kind rich man who takes him in.

Knowing my luck, he’d Brownlow my proverbial the first chance he got.

Where farts and life meet.

I might’ve mentioned my obsession with movies before (once or twice). It’s a requited love shared with my siblings and when we were kids, we made our own.

Our classics include Santa In The Hands of a Clock (the tale of a psychotic Santa who travelled through time to murder Robin Hood and Snow White) and Claws (about a Santa with razor claws who knocked off kids, naughty or nice). I don’t know what Jake and the Fat Man did to piss us off, but I was soon typecast in the role. I recall standing at the side of a three-lane highway filming a scene in full lights and wardrobe.

Cut to: a boy standing with a massive VHS camera perched on his shoulder like a rocket launcher; aimed at a girl in a cheap (and nas-ty) Santa suit, getting hassled-honked by passing motorists.

We reached our pinnacle with the horror, The Fatal Farter. Opening credits rolled to the song, Good Vibrations and faded in on … me. A hitchhiker (wearing a wig like the armpit of a trucker) who becomes trapped in the Farter’s mini … a squeaky paf the last sound I hear before my tragic demise.

I saw The Beach Boys at the Opera House last year (and boozed with the roadies and Boys til 4am); and whilst seeing geriatrics perform iconic songs had its own joo-joo pleasure, I confess that when they got to this song, my excitement was due to the farter of times past.

I was slap happy in my own private party, whilst the hip replacements bopped in their seats. (It’s also somewhat shameful to note that my knowledge of Brian Wilson comes from the Barenaked Ladies’ song of the same name) (learn to deal, Bri baby).

The same is true of most of my travels; if it relates back to a movie, my undies are alive with the sound of music. My first time in San Fran, I ate at the diner from So I Married An Axe Murderer and searched the streets to find where the car chase in The Rock took place. I’m standing in Alcatraz and all I could think was, this is where Cage and Connery stood!

I got the jones for the hotel from Mel Brooks’, High Anxiety. I stepped into those iconic elevators and tried to guess the floor where Mel’s room had been shot, imagining that I stood where Madeline Kahn had when she’d made me an instant fan.

I’ve been Mission Impossible in Prague, The Italian Job in Venice and Working Girl in New York. The world through wuc-coloured glasses.

Musty is my memory of Madonna.

A woman got on the bus today, bringing my teen memories of Madonna with her.

Specifically, sitting on the beach at high-school camp, complete with circa 1989 Ray Bans and hot-pink Walkman, blasting Cherish on repeat (which unfortunately meant rewinding the tape every few minutes). Dave, a blond boy with legs longer than spaghetti, sat across from me, trying to flirt me out from behind my dark glasses. But true to thirteen-year-angst form, I used them to shield against his too-bright attentions.

How this woman accosted my memories I don’t know, being an 80-year-old Chinese woman. I think I would’ve remembered a Mrs Mayagi in my childhood. Her smell, if you have a strong constitution, was musty. I don’t know what’s more tragic – that I had to sit next to this smell (uh, woman) for ten blocks, or that my memories were well musty. Probably the latter.

Her must (ewww) sends me back to a time of big hair, flirtations and teen trauma (a stretch-marked version of adult trauma) – like a tangle that takes an hour to unknot. As crucial to this memory is another song, Poison by Alice Cooper. Someone had blasted it from their ghetto non-stop all three days of camp and as a result, I’ve always been fond of it (can one be fond of Alice Cooper?) (a word ordinarily reserved for that guy who’ll never be more than a friend) (which, come to think of it, would be an apt description of withered Alice).

The dorm hall was divided between the male and female, with the strictest instructions that. No-one. Under any circumstances. Cross over into Foreign Territory.

I stood on the boundary line – the outlaw with one foot in Mexico and the other in California. Boy Comanches loitered on the other side, “areeba areeba!”

Let the flirting begin.

I recall donning my brand new pyjamas and prancing to be seen. I was on the off-ramp of being the New Girl, and had gained momentum by the time camp rolled around. It was about as good as it got (at that school, certainly) (which unfortunately, was the one that stuck).

Where the musty smell comes in, I do not know. But it exits the bus then, taking the Comanches and Madonna with her. I’m left with the feeling of watching a Polaroid in reverse, the picture fading before my eyes.

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