Unfinished Stories.I know it's been over a month since I promised you a second tale of my recent encounters with Australia's societal underbelly, but never let it be said that I don't fulfill my promises... Eventually...
Before you read on, I must confess that, when compared to my first tale, this next account may appear somewhat anticlimactic and banal, but decidedly more sinister.
Two days prior to the King Lear bump-in, Kerry (my boss), Spencer (one of MTC's mechs) and I (the writer of this blog) were making an early evening delivery of gear to the CUB Malthouse (the venue into which we were putting "King Lear") when we had an extremely sinister encounter.
It was about 6pm on a Friday evening and we were driving the company's 4-ton truck through the inner-city suburb of South Melbourne when we noticed that something strange was happening on the side of the road.
As we passed a parked car, the situation became more apparent. A young man who looked to be in his early twenties was lying on the road behind a parked car. He appeared to be convulsing uncontrollably.
Naturally we assumed that he was in the midst of an epileptic fit and so stopped the truck. As we went to his assistance, however, something strange happened - He looked at us, stood up and signaled that we should leave. As we were obviously still quite concerned, we continued to approach him whilst saying things like "Are you okay?" and "Do you want us to call you an ambulance?"
He kept assuring us that he was okay, but as we got a little closer we all noticed something that made the encounter much more sinister. Hiding behind the car, crouched in the shadows, was another young man (also in his early twenties) who seemed quite alarmed that we'd spotted him. He emerged from his hiding place and gestured towards his friend, "He's okay. He was just playing a joke on me." To describe this second individual as "dodgy-looking" or "rough" would require a gross understatement.
If we'd thought that the situation was mostly apparent before, it had now taken a turn into the abundantly clear and disturbing.
As Kerry, Spencer and I left the area, we discussed the situation and discovered that we had all come to the same conclusion. It seemed, to us, that the first individual was faking his fit so that the second individual could jump anybody who stopped to assist. Unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately) they hadn't considered the possibility that three blokes in a truck might be the ones to stop.
This encounter shook me up for quite a number of days afterward. Not just because of the apparent sinister intent, but because it occurred at 6pm, on a street that I frequent on a regular basis and, most of all, because I know that if, in the future, I see anybody having a fit again I might be tempted not to stop.
People who prey on other people's good nature deserve their own special corner of hell...