DAY 346: Going to a peep show

12 Aug

I couldn’t take a photo, so I drew you a picture.

“I WANT to see a peep show,” I tell the good man behind the counter, sounding more English than is ordinarily the case.

We conduct a well-mannered conversation about the possibility of this and the coins I will be needing, over the strains of screaming and grunting, which turns out to be the cinema in the next room. Phew.

The man points towards a corridor and I go through and open what looks to be a cupboard door. It’s one of many cubicles around a central room with a bed in the middle, draped in zebra skin. I shut the door behind me and there’s just room to stand. Beneath me is a bin with used tissues in it, and all around me is the scent of freshly shucked testicles.

Trying not to touch the walls, I stuff a two-dollar coin into the slot above my window, and the window demists.

A big girl barges out of another door and into the room. Peeling off her red g-string, she rolls around on the bed a bit, opening her legs and bashing her twat with her hand. At first I’m perplexed that my window is a bit low. I have to crouch to see her face. Are all perverts short or something? Then I realise the window’s framing the girl from tits downwards.

My window mists up after 45 seconds, so I keep stuffing more two dollar coins in. Sherry (for it is she) whips a vibrator out of nowhere and starts boffing herself with it. I wonder if she’s curious about the lack of frenetic movement coming from my cubicle.

Like a pokie fanatic, I’ve already decided that ten bucks is my limit, but then relent and opt for just one more. I have to scramble madly in my purse though, and by the time I’ve demisted the window, Sherry’s pulled her knickers back on and is moving normally instead of writhing around. It’s an unsettling moment, as though she’s a magician who’s just slipped up and showed me how it’s done. Or the Wizard of Oz, suddenly exposed behind his curtain

“You gotta be quicker than that babe,” she admonishes, whipping her undies off again.

“Sorry,” I say. She comes over and peers in the window, then resumes her dildo jiggery-pokery, but less enthusiastically now. No matter – I’ve already unbolted the door and wandered off.

Keeper? Was great fun, but that’ll do.

DAY 345: Eating jellyfish

11 Aug

APOLOGIES, creatures of the sea, but I’m on a roll.

For someone spooked by glass noodles, and who used to hide any fish dishes in a vase as a child, ordering jellyfish is a foolhardy gesture, but when I see it on the menu of this Chinatown joint I feel obliged to do it and get it over with.

While stretching out the shredded jelly for the photo makes my stomach Zumba, the salad itself is pretty good. The jellyfish is surprisingly crunchy due to being semi-dried, adding texture to the dish. What’s more, it’s a great source of protein.

Keeper? Mayhaps. Probably wouldn’t start cooking with it.

DAY 344: Eating sea urchin

10 Aug

EVEN more fearsome than the sea urchin underfoot is the sea urchin trundling nakedly around the conveyor belt in Sushi Roll, World Square.

They don’t mention this on the menu, but what we have here, in all its quivery glory, are the sea urchin’s massive gonads. All five of ’em!

Shucked of its spiky shell, mine looks solid enough, but then slips through my chopsticks like custard (in the Orkney Islands, they use it instead of butter).

In my mouth, it has the consistency of a mushy mussel, and the texture of a tongue. Happily I can swallow it without our tongues coming into too much contact.

Keeper? No, but at least I’m probably 90 per cent more potent now.


DAY 343: Wearing high heels to work

9 Aug


I’M filling in at a magazine where four-inch heels are protocol*, so I manage to track down a beginner’s pair I can walk in without looking too comedic. Pencil skirts, cinched waists and brushed hair are go!

Pro: I’m getting comments from random dudes in the street, which hasn’t happened for five years. And I’ve reached an age where I can be gracious about it.

Con: I pop into a pub to roll a cigarette and thoughtlessly spend my bus fare on a drink. The next hour is spent grizzling and hobbling down the entire length of King Street, like a drag queen after a punch-up with a rake.

Keeper? Yes, but in a more genteel, baby-steps kind of a way

* My waxer the other day told me that one of her male clients always goes to have his cigarette break outside the front doors of this magazine empire, so that the chicks who work there will assume he works there too. Then he goes back to his office again.

DAY 342: Getting stroked to death in my lunch break

8 Aug

THIS is horrible. I’m grimacing through the little head-hole in the table and clenching my fists as I get slathered up for a 15-minute massage down some basement in the city, staring at my masseuse’s pearly toenails in her thongs.

“Hard or soft?” she’d said. Soft.

As the girl carelessly traverses my back, neither soft nor hard, but a totally ‘meh’ medium, ‘Que Sera, Sera’ pipes reedily through the ceiling.

I’m not one to grumble, but my masseuse has all the finesse of a 14-year-old boy – which perhaps isn’t entirely surprising, as when the light comes on afterwards she appears to be a 14-year-old girl (therefore, nonces, I won’t reveal the location of the joint). If she were a bloke trying that nonsense on in bed, I’d have shrugged her off in five seconds flat.

Maybe, I ponder, as the masseuse settles in for five water-torturey minutes of rubbing a nubby square-inch on my left shoulder blade, massage is more of an art-form than I thought. Inspired, I get home and start Googling for tantra training.

Watch this space.

Keeper? No. Wanted to jump screaming from the table.

DAY 341: Coveting at GreazeFest Kustom Kulture Festival

7 Aug

World's most uncomfortable ride.

I stand corrected!

Keeper? Coveting is fairly fun, but getting lost in Yeerongpilly isn’t.

DAY 340: Going to a Suitcase Rummage

6 Aug

Keeper? Once a month, free, in Brisbane CBD. Worth a visit.

DAY 339: Pootling down the Brisbane River

5 Aug


DAY 338: Hanging out with marines

4 Aug

It's not like this.

WHEN a bespectacled marine politely shuffles over and asks if he and his friends can sit at my table “as we’re great at conversation”, I say no.

This “no” is completely not in the spirit of Hey Man, but sometimes my concentration slips. And fuck dude, I’m at the only taken table in the joint.

Then my friend Geoff joins me, so a different marine comes back to ask again, and Geoff jovially bids them pull up a bunch of chairs.

I’ve never talked to a marine before, and these four don’t fit my expectations. Goofy, good-natured and corny as all get-out, they’re not screaming ‘killing machine’. They’ve been drinking since midday, they keep telling us, and they really want to cut loose, but they can’t. They’re constrained by fear of an unknown territory, fear of reprisal, god-fearing upbringings and fearfully good manners. Testosterone is buzzing around inside them like flies in a jar.

While they’re all in plain tees and jeans, other marines in uniform roam the streets of Brisbane acting as their chaperones. It’s not so much that our new friends won’t stick to their midnight curfew, it’s that come nine o’clock, every bozo in town is going to want to fight them.

More accustomed to amphibious warfare, with the easy lube of a few beers, these marines tell us they weren’t shown the small print by their recruiters. “We thought we’d get to see the world, get all our expenses paid,” says one. Turns out they earn $22,000 a year – much less than those in the US Army – and the food’s shithouse. They expected to be considered the elite; instead they’re tooling around Brisbane, trying to make some pals, offering around “American cigarettes”, which are revealed to be Marlboros. One expresses astonishment at how retarded he finds his fellow marines.

“Why did you reenlist?” I ask another. He’s 24 years old and into his second term. “I have a wife,” he says lamely. “She gets looked after.” Like his crewmates, he bears the hangdog grimace of the epically shafted. They’re all, Geoff points out later, from cities of high unemployment. Once they’ve served their four years, if they do find another job, they spend another four years of civilian life under the threat of being called up again at any time.

Most vexingly to them right now, the marines have been told they can no longer get tattooed in Australia. Luckily one already has an Australian emblem stamped upon him from a previous visit, but the others will have to miss out or wait till they get to Japan, where, mystifyingly, tattooing IS allowed. “They just make rules up and don’t tell us why,” one shrugs.

For now, they’re kicking back as best they can. Enthused by the topic of tattoos from every port, each marine starts pulling bits and pieces out of his pants for inspection. One fishes out a business card and rings a woman from my phone, but she doesn’t answer. Others discuss the merits of Stephen King and Tom Clancy. Our mate Tal turns up and he gets quizzed hungrily on what he does for a living, and whether he’s aware System of a Down have reformed. Then there’s the passing around of driver’s licences so that we can be shocked and amazed at how young they are. Yep: 1989. Could explain why one of them three times offers us an inventory of every drug he’s ever taken, in a punt for paternal approval (Geoff’s got that sort of look about him).

These guys… don’t let anyone fire anything at them, okay? They’re just pups.

Keeper? I wouldn’t want to start handing out my business cards, but I’m really glad I talked to these fellas. I liked them, and I felt for them. Well, whaddaya know.

DAY 337: Going to mass

3 Aug

I’M wandering past St Mary’s Cathedral, debating whether I should nip into the nearby Winter Festival (it’s boiling hot here in Sydney) for an overpriced kransky, when I see the lights are on inside this majestic cathedral.

I push the doors, and mass is in full swing, with the choirboys tootling away and the priest singing lustily at the front.

This comes as a surprise. I’m Church of England and our local vicar was a grey-skinned, damp-palmed mumbler not known for his commanding ways – although I liked it when he put his hand on my head. I don’t recall him belting out a number. What would happen if you wanted to be a proper Catholic priest, but couldn’t sing for toffee?

When the priest winds up, the bloke next to me shakes my hand and mutters something, then everyone files up to the front. I don’t go up for my biscuit, since I’m not Catholic, but I do notice a naughty little minx in a low-cut top and leather pants (with her boyfriend on steroids in tow), lingering at the front, grining and refusing to move on. The priest appears to waggle his finger at her.

When the choirboys file out, they move in a Robert Crumb-style array of skulks, lopes and shuffles that returns them to the realm of the pubescent, and the spell is broken.

Keeper? Yes. The singing was top-notch.