Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Suddenly, Casuarina Square displays instructions on how to ride escalators: place hand on rail , the first directive . This posed a dilemma as I had just read a slim volume by Nobel Prize winner Patrick White -THREE UNEASY PIECES , Pascoe Publishing , Australia, 1987, and on the very first page was a warning never to touch the rail on escalators as you could catch something deplorable, possibly a bubonic plague mutation , with added MSG . Later, coming down the infectious escalator , pushing a trolley laden with bags of potting mixture (on special) , cow manure, a pair of el cheapo secateurs , a packet of butterscotch and a writhing , crocodile- infested copy of the NT News , the trolley wanted to take off like a V8 , threatening to mow down the small Asian lady in front of me, whose trolley she controlled with just one hand. Gripping the handle of the runaway with both hands, I leaned backwards , placed a foot against one of the wheels. Gravity , the forward thrust of the escalator and some demonic force added momentum to the trolley; the unsuspecting rider in front of me was in extreme danger of being repotted , turned into a Chinese money tree, and ruthlessly trimmed . With only a few millimetres to spare between us, sweat on my brow, the bottom was reached and the woman, unknowingly, narrowly escaped a rear ender . Next time I go shopping, I shall wear surgical gloves, a Japanese face mask and carry an Airbus nose wheel chock to prevent catching some horrific disease , as well as stopping the trolley from mowing down innocent shoppers. FOOTNOTE : There is an unusual story about warts in the book as well as a photograph of White and his companion , Manoly Lascaris, posing with three potatoes in their kitchen. Interestingly , soon after this book was published , White became involved in a 10,000 strong demonstration march against another form of transport -the proposed Sydney monorail , which nevertheless went ahead , now to be closed down in the near future , recently suggested as ideal for Darwin and at least 50 other places in this increasingly dumbed- down land .