kidattypewriter

Monday, November 16, 2009

Under Ringwood, by Dylan Hommus

Well yesterday, I caught a tram that stopped before it should have, hopped into another tram that was far more crowded than a tram should be, hopped off at a station where a train did not arrive that should have arrived, caught another train to Flinders Street (late), jumped on another train after that that stopped at Blackburn instead of Ringwood, caught a bus replacement to Ringwood, got on the train at Ringwood, and arrived at my destination - Fern Tree Gully exactly one hour later than I should have.

My intention was actually not to have an afternoon riding around on the trains. (Not my immediate intention, anyway. I'll tell you about that plan some other time.) I was actually trying to get to a poetry afternoon in the Hut Gallery, on Underwood Road. The only thing to do, once I'd got off at Fern Tree Gully station, was to find the gallery on Underwood Road. And you'd think that would be easy, wouldn't you? I turned for advice to the passenger behind me. Here's how the conversation went:

TIM: Excuse me... do you know where Underwood Road is?

PASSENGER: Isser? (Points to her left) Er, usser? (Points to her right.) Erm pratty shur.

So that's how that conversation went. I followed her first direction, and that turned out to be exactly the wrong one; so I hopped into the bakery and had another incomprehensible discussion with the baker, whose accent was so incredibly heavy that she even heard my questions differently. Allow me to demonstrate:

TIM: Oh hi, excuse me, do you know where Underwood Road is?

TIM, AS HEARD BY BAKER: Hi, excuse me, do you know where Alpine Road is?

To this, the baker immediately responded.

BAKER: Oh yes, sure, we're on it!

And, in my naivety, I translated this as:

BAKER: Oh yes, sure, we're on it!

Maybe I should have bought a bun or something? Anyway, the chap in the Foodworks across the road proved a bit more knowledgeable, and so five minutes later I actually found myself inside the art gallery, barging in at the start, the middle, or the end of some fellow's interminable ramble about working in the countryside. (It's always impossible to tell with interminable rambles. Especially mine. I can't even tell with them.)

It turned out to be a lot of bush poetry, with a good dash of humour thrown in, as well as some tea and jam and scones. Right ho, then! Highlight for me was an old chap called Chris (or possibly some other name entirely) got up, put on incredibly thick glasses, and then held a folder right up to his face, and proceeded to read out his poem in a rather high, Irish-accented voice. The poem had excellent, unpredictable, and often quite creative rhymes, which were unfortunately preceded by lines of somewhat lesser quality. (Stuff like: 'But we our language did refine/When we were around the gender feminine.' I could see that joke coming from a mile away but I didn't quite work out the rhyme - how could you with sentences as screwy as that?) Chris was actually in the middle of reading out a long list of poeticised acronyms, in alphabetical order, when his wife interrupted proceedings by ringing up. Three times. Which cracked everyone up. Other highlights, definitely Holly's poems - for instance, she had a backwards poem full of phrases like 'saw see', and 'pole icy', and so on.

Getting home was pretty much the same as getting to Fern Tree Gully, but in reverse order. I spoke a bit more with Chris on the station, and mentioned my plans for getting there in the morning next time and having lunch: 'Oh, there's not much in Fern Tree Gully', he said. 'If you want to have lunch, and have time, you should go to - Upper Fern Tree Gully. There's much more shops up there.' After having left Fern Tree Gully at six/six thirty, I struggled in through the door at home at ten o'clock.

My goodness me. Is that the time? Where did it all go?

2 comments:

Blandwagon said...

Well yesterday, I caught a tram that stopped before it should have, hopped into another tram that was far more crowded than a tram should be, hopped off at a station where a train did not arrive that should have arrived, caught another train to Flinders Street (late), jumped on another train after that that stopped at Blackburn instead of Ringwood, caught a bus replacement to Ringwood, got on the train at Ringwood, and arrived at my destination - Fern Tree Gully exactly one hour later than I should have.

And this is why God invented cars.

TimT said...

I thought it was Mr Ford or someone like that who invented them? But point taken, all right?

Besides, I'll have you know, catching inconvenient and somewhat clunky forms of transport that may or may not get you to some place at a relatively far distance from where you want to go is a fine old Melbourne tradition.

Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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