They said it shouldn't be done, and they were right. Now it behoves me, as one who has gained wisdom from bitter experience, to pass on my learnings to the Young and Callow:
1. Do NOT purchase seats aboard aircraft departing at 6 a.m. in order to save $10. Many of you will think of 6 a.m. as little more than an hour earlier than 7 a.m., which in turn is an hour earlier than 8 a.m., merely an hour or two before we god-fearing gentlefolk traditionally rise for our morning ablutions. You may think of 6 a.m. as, if not a congenial time for interstate travel, certainly not a grossly inconvenient one. But 6 a.m. ain't the half of it. There's also the "please arrive at the airport an hour before departure" factor, so that even those of us who read "an hour" in the liberal sense of "forty minutes" have to be at the airport by 5:20 a.m. And then, unless you live in a hangar at Mascot, there's the old "travelling from home to airport takes time" thing, in my case, a mere 35 minutes by state-sponsored camel. Now we're talking 4:45 a.m. Then there's the nutty problem of prising open the eyelids sufficiently to hail the camel down. Even those with agile eyelids will need a good 15 minutes for this, so 4:30 a.m. All of this is to say nothing of waking up in a blind panic at 3:15, thinking that you've slept through your alarm. I realise this entire paragraph replicates the content of my previous post, but it's a lesson that demands reiteration. Do NOT purchase seats aboard aircraft departing at 6 a.m. in order to save $10. No. Do not.
2. Do NOT purchase seats aboard aircraft landing 60 km away from your destination to save $10. The Jetstar website implies that Melbourne has two airports, Tullamarine and Avalon. Melbourne does not have two airports. Melbourne has one airport. This is Tullamarine. Avalon is not in, or close to, Melbourne. While you may enjoy the bucolic charms of your drive from Avalon to Melbourne, when it comes to the reverse, you will grossly underestimate how long it takes to get back to the airport, and end up hurtling down the M1 in your second blind panic of the day, nearly missing your plane. (This problem will be exacerbated if you hired a car for the day, so had to navigate your own way back to Avalon, and accidentally found yourself on a freeway headed to Doncaster with no discernible exit points.) On the other hand, there are a lot of nice bunnies hopping round at Avalon. Bunny-fanciers may like to take a picnic basket and sketchbook to Avalon airport; non-bunny-fanciers should STAY AWAY.
3. Having ignored the above, do NOT decide to spend the money that you have saved on a hire-car. Admittedly, even in our national public-transport-infrastructure capital, it takes a car to travel at sufficient speed between inspectable rental properties (this, because the property management sorority has teamed up and decided to schedule an entire city's worth of property inspections between 10 and 10:30 a.m). But unless you really do need magic instantaneous transport, the hire-car is nothing but trouble. It will try to take you to Doncaster without so much as a by-your-leave. You will have to park it. You may even have to reverse park it, in traffic, while handsome young Melbourneans stand on the footpath and giggle through their whiskers. No, do NOT hire a car.
Here ends the lesson.
In other news: I will be submitting an application for a wee flat in Thornbury. This flat is in a charmingly boxlike building, constructed circa 1967. On a happier note, it has NEON CARPET, a bath and a balcony and a gas stovestop, is proximate to tramstops and vegetable vendors and apparently free from open sewers and miscellaneous vermin. Ray White needs me to divulge my entire life history before he will consider entrusting me with his precious neon carpet (very wise too), so I will spend the morning assembling The Life and Opinions of Lexicon Harlot, Gentleman for his literary pleasure.