For about a year I've been conscientiously ignoring the raw timber window frames I had installed - about a year ago. I've been trying not to think about their gradual disintegration, the westerly sunshine, the westerly frosts, the westerly winds bearing the westerly rains, or the fact that I installed them to replace window frames so rotten they'd sprouted fungus. My timber window frames stand six metres above the ground in their stockinged feet, and as I lead a ladder-free existence, I knew that the only way I could do the right thing by 'em was to recruit the services of a professional painter with a ladder. Thus the year long delay. Professional painters with ladders do not grow on trees.
Happening upon a painting consortium run by teh ladeez last month, I figured that this was the painting consortium for me. Their "98.5% testosterone free" slogan sounded a bit second-wavey for my tastes, but as I discussed self-priming acrylics with a deep-voiced lass called Jay on the telephone, I decided that maybe they weren't as biologically determinist as all that.
Jay turned up this morning at 7.15am and it was clear that on all salient criteria, Jay was not a lass. I have nothing against gentleman tradespersons - indeed, a wiser person than myself would befriend as many as possible - but Jay's undoubted mandom kinda undermined my attempts at affirmatively-actionizing the world of outdoor painting.
As it happens, Jay did a super job, and as he was leaving, his eye fell upon the half a page it had taken me six hours to write. We discussed what kind of work it is I do, and the fact that I'm from Sydvillea, and then Jay apologised for the Bourne. It used to be beautiful, he said, and safe, but that was before all these multinationals came. They’re the ones causing all the trouble. The Indians have been fighting the Mormons for thousands of years, and then they bring their fights over here. He doesn’t mind the ones that work hard, but these ones who come over and think they can just be like anybody else, they've really stuffed things up for Melbourne.
These remarks caused some consternation in feline quarters.
Beatrice closed her eyes and gathered her thoughts. "It's wrong for the Indians to fight the Mormons," she said. "They should just learn to get along. But don't you see, Jay? You are succumbing to the same impulses as those Indian-hating Mormons. You are making generalisations about the moral status of an entire people, and your empirical claims are slightly dubious."
Harriet was a tight knot of disapproval. "Jay," she said. "Jay, you should try to cultivate empathy. Race is discursively constructed, and if you reframe your discursive practices, your analysis of modern-day Melbourne will be quite different. Take it from me, Jay. Beatrice and I are living proof of these principles."