Monday, April 30, 2012

I throw like a small child. Today I went down the road for lunch and was standing on the median strip on Rathdowne Street, waiting to cross, when I noticed three girls from the local primary school waving at me, trying to get my attention.

"Can you get our ball?" they called, pointing to a tennis ball that had come to rest on the road against the median strip, right within my reach.

I picked it up and was about to cross, but just then the traffic picked up, so I decided I would throw the ball back over the primary school fence. Sure, I'd been an embarrassingly weak thrower all the way through school and had assiduously avoided sport since then, but this was only two lanes of traffic, a footpath and a low fence.

The ball made it over the road, but hit the fence and bounced back almost to me. It was then run over by several passing cars and flipped a hundred metres down Rathdowne Street.

I felt a moral obligation to fetch it again, seeing as my poor throwing had caused the drama. So I did. To make matters worse, a hot young male teacher (who must've been on yard duty) took the ball from me, having evidently decided that I was too incompetent to retrieve it by myself.

The humiliation I felt was an almost perfect replica of the humiliation I'd endured all the way through school when it came to sport. Being picked last for teams and endured by the jocks with ill-concealed irritation. That annoyed sigh, "Erggghhhh…" or mocking cry, "Awww, nice one!" that I learned to expect every time the ball happened to come to me, and it was crucial that I catch it or throw it quickly to get an opposing player out or prevent opposing points being scored, but I would fumble the ball or weakly throw it a pitifully short distance or (worst of all) cringe away from it for fear of getting hit. The way I learned to position myself way in the outfield in order to minimise my participation.

Only this time it was worse, because I was still being judged by primary-schoolers as an adult.

Australia is a fucked country. We train small children to feel ashamed of themselves for not being good at sport, even into adulthood. Meanwhile, dickheads with no redeeming qualities apart from being good at sport are called 'heroes'.

Hi Mel,

I posted a comment on your post dated Thursday, November 11, 2004 about someone wearing identical sunglasses to John Cale on his Slow Dazzle album cover. I am trying to track down these sunglasses for an art project. Do you have any idea what the brand name and model of these sunglasses were?
Please email me:
Many thanks!
Hello Torben, I asked Gavin where he got the sunglasses and he said, "Gosh it was a long time ago... I got them in a shop in St. Kilda, Acland St, just past Readings I think." He does not know what brand name and model they were.
Hi Mel, many thanks for the reply and asking Gavin! I'm guessing he no longer has the sunglasses...but if he does, maybe he could look for brand name etc on it. Or even take a good photo of them and send it to me so that I could do some more research on trying to find them. It's a bit hard to tell from the Cale record cover. Many thanks! Torben
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