Michael Connor

Money, money, money – Christmas ’08

There was a house auction up the road on Saturday. It’s the one next to the house that still has the Bob Brown poster up from the last election. I dropped by, just for a look.

Tracey was there. She’s the local checkout chick who is doing a part-time PhD in performing arts (online) and is applying for a grant to make a movie. She’s in the money at the moment. She says that voting 1 for Rudd was better than picking winning Keno numbers. This Christmas she’s getting multiple handouts for being a carer (her aging mum has Alzheimer’s) and for having two or three kids – she’s a single mum and never seems quite sure of their exact number. She was with her partner Bruce while her mum looked after the kids.

Bruce is Chinese, from Manchester in England. He’s a mobile chicken slaughterer specialist. It seems a lot of greenies keep chooks, for organic purposes, but can’t bear to cut their heads off so they call Bruce. “Death Comes 2 U dot com”, I said, while writing the “2 U dot com” in the air with my finger, but they didn’t think it was very funny. Tracey and Bruce are vegetarians though I usually see their kids with her mum at McDonald’s on her mum’s pension day.

Tracey is thinking of buying a house. She and Bruce have both bought houses before, with previous multiple partners, but this is the first time they have ever bought a house together which makes them eligible for the first home buyers grant. Tracey is very well informed on things like this.

They both think Mr Rudd is doing a very good job. Bruce is very political and would have voted for Rudd in ’07 but has never got round to enrolling. He always hated John Howard and he thinks Martin Bryant was set up by a secret right-wing militia from Launceston. He was just a patsy. If he could get a grant he would like to write a book exposing the conspiracy. And he promised to give me a link to a really good internet site which has the truth about 9/11 and how someone called Rush Limbaugh planned the whole thing and broadcast coded navigational messages to the terrorists, disguised as readings from the Koran, during his radio show.

Bruce was a bit under the weather after a punch up with his dealer the night before. Not that he is a real drug taker. He and Tracey only use drugs for recreational purposes and only take ice when the kids aren’t going to school the next day. They are both very thoughtful like that and always put their kids first.

The auction was very interesting. There were a lot of first home buyers. It was held by a well known local firm and they began with a Welcome to Country ritual. Tracey said they get Arts funding to do it. At some auctions they even perform smoking ceremonies. Tracey said that Clive, who is a local plumber, usually does them. I thought that Clive was more toe of Italy olive than Cape York black but Tracey said he is 1/63rd Aboriginal. She is thinking of getting a permit to perform them after she gets her PhD as it’s a nice little money maker. I said I didn’t know that she was like that and she said that she isn’t but is planning to convert. Her PhD supervisor (online) thinks it would be good for her career and Tracey thinks it would give her kids a good start in life.

Anyway, there was no smoking ceremony because Clive was away for the weekend at the Gold Coast discussing whiteness issues with some big names from our local university. Tracey was a bit doubtful about the house. She had been keen at first but then Bruce noticed that a Jacuzzi tap was dripping. As you can imagine this put them off somewhat.

In the event the house was purchased by a gay first home buyer couple who live in Newtown, in Sydney. They are planning to commute for weekends. Counting up all their visible children Tracey said it wasn’t fair how some people were diddling the government to get Rudd money for Christmas. Bruce agreed and said something should be done about it.

In the afternoon it rained.

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