Off the grid

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Every morning (well Monday to Friday) I line up at the tram stop, see these same faces, and wait to board the tram to take me to work. Every face waiting for the tram tells the same story – It’s too early. Its too cold. And who could be fucked?

Except one particular morning. This one particlar morning, there was a face I had not seen before. It was of a man lying on the footpath. He was laid out in the sun enjoying its warm rays, whilst watching us all wait for the tram like a herd of sheep being led to the slaughterhouse. He laid there, in the sun’s warmth with a smug smile on his face. He was too well groomed and too well dressed to be homeless. Why was this fucker smiling? Why the fuck wasn’t he going to work like the rest of us suckers? And then it dawned on me. The smug motherfucker was off the grid.

Off the grid. What is this ‘off the grid’ you speak of? Good fucking question. Well there’s 2 types of off the grid..
1/ No job. No income. No home. No life. Homeless… or..
B/ No work. Disposable income. Has a home. A great life. Dead set legend.

A mate at work and I speak about option B a lot. When I say a lot. I mean every fucking day. Surely there is more to life than waking up early, five of the seven days of the week, just to make a wage, and really.. just to make some other fucker a rich fuck.. and basically, just wait for the weekend. Same shit. Different week. Day in, day out. Nothing fucking changes. I fucking hate Monday. Hate Tuesday. Hate Wednesday. Thursday is getting better? (but deep down, still fucking hate it). Love Friday. Well, Friday at 5 that is. (Friday at 5 is the best moment in the whole week.. why? cos its the furthest fucking point from having to return to fucking work again). Love a fucking Saturday. Love Sunday..  and cry Sunday night. Then repeat… Kill me. Kill me now.

This could have been a lot different. In life, you basically have 2 choices. You can live to work. Or you can work to live. I chose the latter. You know those people who rave on about how they love their jobs? They have these interesting jobs that they cannot shut the fuck up about?.. I hate these fucking people. Go away and die. I cruised (not surprisingly) through high school doing the absolute bare minimum, not really caring about anything except what was happening after school and/or on the weekend. And now I’m stuck in some, (granted, reasonably paying and highly rewarding, but ultimately) very monotonous sales job. I could seriously, wake up tomorrow and be fifty.

Why the hell do they keep insisting on fucking with our Monday to Fridays??!!

If only they had  mentioned this to me when I was a kid, I would’ve never had fucking signed up. First you’re a baby. Then you’re a toddler. Your monday to friday was an extension of the weekend. Then you go to school. And this is when they start fucking with your monday to fridays. Not as extreme as now I must admit, but that’s where it begins. School. This is when you begin to realize that your monday to friday will never ever be the same. The reason you go to school is so you can prepare yourself for the next step in life.. Work. This is the moment where your monday to fridays are never ever the same, ever the fuck again. Yeah I realize that some people work weekends, night shifts, 3 days on, 3 days off, 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off,  have RDOs (my personal favourite. my housemate is a tradie… fuck RDOs!), work overtime, part-time, from home, online, on the road, interstsate, overseas, blah blah blah whatevs.. But it all comes down to one thing, you still have to clock on and fucking work..

This is exactly what school was about. Monday to Friday you’re at school. You have the weekend off. And holidays. This occurs from ages 4 or 5 all the way to about 16, 17 and 18 (depending on circumstance)..Then you fuck around for a few years. During this semi-free period (and probably one of the best parts) of your life, some people get apprenticeships. Some get scholarships. Sponsorships. Internships.  Some get diplomas. Some get Degrees. Some get doctorates. Some.. (present company included).. don’t get shit.

And then you work. Depending on what you were able to ‘get’ in those years you were fucking around.. some work.. granted, is definitely much better than others. But no matter what; your monday to fridays are forever fucked. Yeah-yeah some people work weekends, night shifts, 3 days on, 3 days off,overtime, part-time, from home, online.. I fucking get it. But your freedom is still set by a clock. Your hours have been set. Just like, when you were at school. You were free from the hours between three.pm’ish/three-thirtyish – when the bell rings to go home.. Till about 830ish/9am’ish – when the bell rings, and you have to fucking go back again. And, you’re free all weekend. And you get holidays 4 times a year.

This is your freedom time. This is your small scale ‘off the grid’ time. This is the time that counts. Not your stupid monday to friday nine to five.. or whatever hours you’ve happened to set for yourself… This is the time that matters. During this time you do what you want. All the important things that matter in life. Spend time with the fam. Hang out with friends. Fall in love. Fall Out of love. Get married. Have kids. Take a trip. Eat out. Eat in. Go Interstate. Go overseas. Play sport. Play music. Play video games. See a play. Watch a film. Watch porn. Party. Get Pissed… whatevs. Do whatever the fuck you want.This is your freedom time.This is what matters.This is the real time. BUT.. just be sure you are back between those set hours. And just like at school, your personality and behaviour, between these set hours is much much different than when you’re on real time. Have you noticed how much different you act on real time? than when you’re on the clock? Its astonishing how much your behaviour changes. I bet, as soon as people clock off, they’re like “oi cunt fuck, fuck cunt”… okay. Too far? Im sorry. That was an extremely bad example. My apologies.. But you get my point yeah?

Yeah?.. ummmm.. I don’t even know the point I was trying to make anymore…

Oh yeah, that’s right..

Fuck you monday, you cunt fuck.

Sliding doors

Recently I was at the shops and was witness to a young checkout girl at Coles being verbally abused by a middle aged woman. Naturally.. I began to eavesdrop. The middle aged woman was basically cracking the shits because the toilet paper she had bought was 20cents above the advertised price. 20cents!!!? I immediately inferred that it wasn’t actually about the 20cents. I mean who gives a fuck about 20cents? If you found 20cents on the ground, would you even bother to pick it up? It definitely wasn’t about the checkout girl either, who seemed sweet and was very apologetic and courteous. It was the middle aged woman. You know the type. Bitter. Angry. Rude. Scorned? The type of person that would send meals back to the kitchen if she didn’t like it. The type of person who always requests to speak to a manager.. What in the world makes people this way? Was she abused as a child? Did her uncle touch her special place?? Perhaps she made a choice or a decision in the past that she now regrets 20 years on??? And now she feels the need to take out her frustration on an innocent 16year old…

Do you remember that movie ‘Sliding doors’, with Gwyneth Paltrow? Actually, better yet.. Have you actually seen that movie ‘Sliding doors’,with Gwyneth Paltrow? About a girl whose life is split into 2 parallel universes. All dependent on whether she got on a train or not. Basically.. If she catches the train- She meets a guy. They fall in love. Have child. Beautiful.. And if she doesn’t catch the train- Her boyfriend gets her preggers. She catches him cheating on her. They have child anyway. Terrible.

I’m by no means endorsing this film. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. Gwyneth is kinda hot I guess. In a girl next door kinda way. But that’s about it. It’s just another run of the mill, sappy romantic comedy. Nonetheless, the film does get you thinking about those moments in life where, had you done things differently, perhaps your life would be a lot different today. Perhaps you wouldn’t feel the need to now abuse a 16 year old checkout girl at the supermarket. Either your life would be for the better, or possibly be for the worse.. What if you did choose to do something differently? Every relationship. Every encounter. Every major event in your life. What if you actually asked her out? What if you didn’t break up with her? What if you didn’t force her to break up with you? What if you didn’t chase strippers? How different would your life be? In some far far.. extremely far.. faraway parallel universe, I’m probably happily married. With kids. 3 kids in fact. 3 girls. Brandy, Candy and Tammy-Lyn.

But this is not the case. I live in this universe. And who you are now is a direct result of all the choices (or non choices) you have made. I don’t have any regrets. None. Not even the coma incident. I admit. It was definitely stupid. And I hated the consequences. But fuck it. It’s who I am now. I even have a fucking tattoo on my arm commemorating it. So you cant look back and think, if only I did something different. Sure, in some other universe I may or may not have a beautiful wife and be happily married with 3 wonderful daughters (even if Brandy is a slut), but I regret nothing. I certainly do not feel the need to now abuse the 16year old checkout girl. (Although she was kinda cute.. Hmmmmm. No no. That’s terrible).

My dad once told me a story that before he decided to pack a suitcase at the age of 20, and come to Australia, that he had left behind a beautiful long term girlfriend (or girlfriends as my grandma would tell it). But he made a choice to come to Australia and leave his girl(s) behind, so his unbeknownst future 3 children would have a better life . I cant even fathom a decision like this. He decided to leave his life, family and friends behind and come to a new, unknown country by himself so his kids, who he doesnt even have yet, could have a better life (even if his daughter is a ….). Is this fucking crazy??  He also once yelled “Fuck you asshole!” at a maccas drive thru kid.. but that’s beside the point.

Back to that terrible movie with Gwyneth Paltrow. In the universe where gwyneth meets the love of her life, she also gets hit by a car. And is killed. So perhaps, what you thought may be right the choice. Wasn’t the right choice at all.

Born in the 80’s.. Grew up with dial up internet..

In the same year that saw the Ash Wednesday fires, Bob Hawke elected as prime minister, Return of the Jedi open in cinemas, the Chilli Peppers release their first album and the invention of crack cocaine.. I  too, was born. I seriously tried to research the events of 1983, and these were the best returns. Oh wait. The high court of Australia blocked the construction of the Franklin dam in Tasmania, and seat belts became mandatory in the United Kingdom..

Which means I was born in the 80’s and grew up in the 90’s.

In any developed country, this was by far the golden age to grow up in. Every generation you speak to will always defend their time because.. They simply know no better. But anyone older than us sat around a ham radio for entertainment?? And anyone younger, simply have no appreciation for.. well. pretty much anything. Us 90’s kids, grew up during the advancement of every single industry we take for granted today. Telecommunications. Transport. Entertainment. Gaming. Hospitality. Internet. Aviation. You name it. We grew up with it.

We saw the birth of the cordless phone, mobile phone, SMS, MMS,  flat screen TV, plasmas, LCD, LED, CD’s, DVD’s, MP3’s, MP4’s, MPEGs, AVIs, HD, 720p, 1080p, the internet, 54k dial up, wireless, broadband, DSL, ADSL, naked ADSL, ADSL2, 2g, 3g, 4g,  and every other single  acronym we use in modern day society.  We lived through and grew up with the birth of them all. Do you remember the home phone where you had to drag each individual number counter clockwise to dial out? What the fuck??  When you think about it now,  this is equal parts bizarre and equal parts hilarious. Now, we have smartphones. Where we basically run our entire life on one device. Need to update your Facebook status? Need to check the footy score? Need to find the number of that pizza place down the road? Need to see a video of a woman blowing a horse? To the smartphone! Did you know that less than 1%  of what we do on our smartphones, is actually used for calling someone? I just made this statistic up.. but you totes agreed. (And I just used the word totes. In context. Please excuse me while I go shoot myself in the face).

Technology isn’t the only advantage we had growing up in the 90’s. As kids, we had so much more fun than the kids of today. The kids of today are pussies. Correction. The parents of today are pussies. I have very fond memories of riding my BMX around the burbs with my primary school mates for an entire day. If you’re a parent now of a child in primary school, ask yourself if you would let your kid ride around on bikes for the whole day? Until it got dark? In a time when mobile phones did not exist? The answer would be no. Hell Fuck no. You wouldn’t even dream of it. (Although we had this luxury growing up, we also had the luxury of  physical punishment.. If we  did something wrong, we got the belt. Didn’t do your homework? Belt. You cursed? Belt. Answered back? Belt. Looked sideways? Candy.. No no.  Belt. By today’s standards, if you do something wrong? No internet for half an hour).

So what has changed? Are human beings worse now, thus needing us to protect our children more? Or are we just scared more? Personally, I think its a little from column A, and a little from column B. Actually, you could say column B is a direct derivative of column A. Even though we are a lot more politically correct than yesteryear; crimes also continue to rise every year. Did you know that 1 in 5 children in Australia are sexually assaulted by the time they are 18. I swear, I did not just make this up. Hugh Riminton just informed me of this on the late night news. And every week there seems to be a new story of some young lady that was sexually assaulted whilst she walked home in Melbourne’s north at night. (sidenote: If you’re a girl under the age of say 40. Actually.. lets make it a female of any age.  And you happen to be north of the river. DO NOT FUCKING WALK ANYWHERE ALONE!).

Why is crime, specifically sexual assualts, rising you say?.. Is it the population growth? More people. More crimes? No. In actual fact the percentage of crime per square capita in Melbourne has actually decreased. But the amount of sexual assaults has risen. Are we more perverted in today’s society? The answer is simply.. Yes. The advancement of technology and the wealth of information readily available, is helping groom the Adrian Max Baileys of the world. Sure, you cant smack your kids anymore, but the growth of the internet has allowed sexual deviants to fuel their desires. Back in the day, if you wanted to see porn, you had to trade your old man’s VHS tapes with your mates to watch some grainy footage of a girl with an afro bush having sex with a pool boy.. Nowadays, if you wanna see a girl blow a donkey whilst being violated by a midget?

Well you can just jump on your smartphone.

NB: When I began writing this entry, it was never intended to be a social commentry piece. It just happened to turn that way. I really just wanted to write about the joys of being born in the 80’s. For this I apologise. Wait. I take that apology back. Scroll to the top of this page.. see how it says “the incoherent rambling of an idiot”?? well..