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Personal Essays

Melbourne’s Top 10 Tram Stops (in No Particular Order)

November 4, 2017
Melbourne trams

Domain Interchange

This is where all the action is, folks. It’s not just a place to switch trams, but also a place to run into people you haven’t seen for years. “Oh,” you say, “I didn’t know you took this tram!” Well, as a matter of fact, they take this tram every day to work. You start mentally reconfiguring your entire schedule in order to avoid this person in future while you engage in small talk that accidentally leads to a conversation about their failing liver. How could you forget about that, you monster? When you’re not freaking out about your next awkward conversation, you can take in the sumptuous surrounds of The Shrine. Those rolling hills give you the impression that you’re somewhere fertile, instead of a stone’s throw away from an industrial death machine, aka the CBD, and surrounded by ice addicts who can and will knife you for your change.

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My First Celebrity Crush: Heartbreak High’s Drazic

February 28, 2016
Callan Mulvey aka Drazic in Heartbreak High

I was forbidden from watching Heartbreak High, which really was deranged of my parents, since there were far worse things I could have been into at 12, like speed, blowjobs or Home Improvement. It was the nineties and Heartbreak High, or HBH as it was known by its die-hard fans, was the ABC’s top rating teen soap opera, a spin-off from the hit Aussie play-turned-movie, The Heartbreak Kid. Both starred Alex Dimitriades, who I later toyed with the idea of marrying, based on his performance in the series Wildside (in a promo for the show, he slid down a wall in the rain, crumpling like a tissue; I wanted to fold him up and put him in my pocket).

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Something to Stalk About: Mia Timpano Is Kicking Some Unhealthy Internet Habits

November 20, 2015

I generally like to make peace with my exes, since we once shared a life, or at least a large fries. But the last time I tried to reach out to one in particular, a guy who was so traumatised by our break-up, he fled overnight to Laos (no, I don’t get it either), my attempt to strike up a conversation on a train platform resulted in him panicking and running headlong into Federation Square. I had only wanted to express my well wishes and hope that he was still getting Centrelink payments.

“Because you’re a decent human being and you deserve that,” I said.

Clearly, he misread the situation, as he was apt to do in most cases, and there’s nothing much I can do for someone who refuses to communicate with government bodies. Still, where was my closure?

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On the Cheap: Mia Timpano Is a Tightarse, and Proud

November 20, 2015

Do you know what I hate paying for? Everything. Because I’m a tight arse.

Obviously, paying for some things is unavoidable. Like shoes, underpants and Ant-Rid, since I can’t make these things myself. (Although, traditionally, I bypass the expense of underpants by not wearing any, as I’m generally wearing outer clothes anyway, and the whole concept is a scam if you really stop and think about it.) But everything else—food, most cleaning products, even one’s own home—can and should be fabricated from raw materials purchased at minimal or no expense. Because what am I really paying for? The majority of the time: literally nothing.

Of course, when I go out, I accept the fact that drinks and movie tickets are marked up by a thousand percent in order that the business in question can afford to operate, make a profit and not spit in my Coke. Yes, I even tip.

“But why am I paying a surcharge in order to pay on card?” I say. “I’m paying money, so that I can pay you money.”

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The Trouble With Being Nice

June 6, 2015
Image by Lukasz Wierzbowski

Everyone thinks they’re a “nice” person. Well, nearly everyone. I’ve met a few folks who knew they were rampant arseholes and were really quite at peace with that aspect of themselves. I don’t know if that makes it any better, but it’s always nice when someone isn’t deluding themselves.

But what is “nice”? Nice is such an English word. It’s a quaint little put-down, it’s a sincere compliment, it can be sleazy, it can be vanilla and it can be code for just about anything. But at the heart of being a “nice” person is this notion that the buttermilk of human kindness runs through your core, your morals are square with the universe and you add an extra dollop of care whenever dealing with small children, non-killing animals and non-disgusting old people.

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Why Wogs Hate Being Called Wogs (Except By Other Wogs)

March 7, 2015
Wogs

I’m a wog. And I can say “wog” because I am one.

My father, like many other wogs, came out on a boat from the old country (Italy) in the 60s. His father (my nonno) was an ex-soldier who fought under Mussolini and took a bullet in the butt for the Nazi cause. His mother (my nonna) is a homemaker who believes that God blew up the Challenger spacecraft because humans were trying to get “higher than Him” and blowing them up was his way of saying, and I quote, “Fuck you.”

So pretty much your typical wog family.

My father’s siblings all married wogs, producing lots of little wogs, including me. (Although, technically, I’m only half-wog. My mother is a subtle blend of strong-jawed Norwegian and miscellaneous British convict, which didn’t wash so well with the rest of the wogs. Whenever it was explained that she was “australiana”, they would either wince as if they’d just ingested gas or appear crestfallen and say, and I quote, “I’m sorry.”)

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