Today got off to an awesome start, when my fellow passengers and I were kicked off our bus halfway up George Street for no apparent reason. The driver just stopped the bus and told everyone “THIS IS AS FAR AS I’M GOING. YES, HELLO, GOODBYE, GET OFF!” We then stood bewildered like abandoned children as he took off up the road without us.
This meant that I was forced to walk to the Rocks in the rain and without aid of any wet weather gear, which did not go smoothly either. When jaywalking across York street the lights changed suddenly, and I was forced to break into a run to safely make it to the footpath. Somehow in this explosion of athletic prowess, I managed to spill banana smoothie onto my chest [from a spill proof foam cup no less]. Fortunately most of the spillage landed on my jumbo sized sunglasses, which were hanging optimistically on my collar. I didn’t even notice the damage until a receptionist walking in the opposite direction returned my ‘Good Morning’ smile with a look of disgust.
Work has been very busy this week, so myself and two of my comrades snuck in a quick lunch at the school canteen-esque bistro out the back of the Captain Cook Pub. While eating we watched the various peacocks lining up to use the ATM, in order to place bets and lose money. The amount of pomp and ceremony that the Melbourne Cup inspires has always bewildered me, at least in Sydney. Melbourne people will cheer for anything vaguely sport related, but as to why people in Sydney take it upon themselves to make a day out of an event that happens in another city has always escaped me. All this to watch a minute and a half animal race on tv. Strange.
Without sounding too misogynist, I can understand why girls would be enthused to dress up, but it seems to me that the only sort of guys who’d bother getting overly suited up in Sydney for this event are high octane, high cholesterol, sales\management types, who laugh loudly with their schooners of Carlton Draught and get dressed up to impress that cute chick in accounts… but I digress.
Unfortunately, my current boss isn’t really the gambling type, which means that for my company the Melbourne cup means squeezing into the boardroom to watch the race on a projected screen with some Skittles, m&m’s and Doritos. To make matters more laughable, the digital TV tuner in the boardroom was on the fritz, only allowing one frame per second of the race to be projected at a time. It was like watching the cup on a PowerPoint presentation. Not exactly the thrilling spectacle you’d expect from the race that somehow manages to stop a nation.
In the end a horse won and we all went back to our desks.
When I left work at 9:30 [I told you I was busy] I saw the ugly side of the Cup. Drunk, middle-aged women wandering the Rocks aimlessly like zombies, looking for that one extra glass of champagne to keep them going, their dresses stained, their feathered hairpieces bent and broken, their sense of self respect long since abandoned in the adrenaline induced afternoon frenzy. What’s more, along with their red faced, stumbling husbands, they were stealing my cabs dammit! Getting a cab home from the Rocks at 9:30 on a Tuesday night is hard at the best of times, let alone when there’s a couple hundred or so zombies roaming about. Fueled by sparkling white wine, these bastards will rip the head off a skinny web designer like me without a second thought if it meant that they could get home soon enough to have awkward old person sex before they pass out.
I caught the bus home.