Saturday, July 30, 2005

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...

I can hear Naomi Klein screaming from here...

Which means that she has probably just read this article...

Seriously though, the Spider Jerusalem approach of retreating to a mountain and surrounding yourself with razor-wire and "Trespassers will be eviscerated" signs whilst you type out daily dispatches from the wilderness is starting to sound a whole lot more appealing.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Back online!

At last!

Two unintentional hiatuses in two months... Coincidence? Or just plain unforgivable? Either way, this time I'm back for the duration.

Since my last major post, I have been blindsided by work and computer troubles.

Four weeks ago I started the bump-in for MTC's "Gangster-chic" version of "King Lear" (which just, by the way, happens to be my favourite Shakespearean play). As my boss was on two weeks leave, it fell to me to get the beastie up and running. "King Lear" is, without a doubt, MTC's biggest show of the year, so it should come as no surprise that I clocked up more than 150 hours worth of work during the two week bump-in. It almost killed me, but I have to confess that the achievement of making it rain on-stage for thirty minutes of the play was remarkably satisfying... Thirty minutes of a storm with actual storm-like rain on stage? Now there's something you don't see in every theatre show.

Understandably, my focus during the "Lear" bump-in was work and sleep. As a result, my online presence became next to nothing.

Two days after "Lear" opened, I was on a plane to Sydney to collect "Two Brothers" from the Opera House. As I write this, I am currently sitting in my hotel room in sunny Newcastle, "Two Brothers" has already opened here and I am enjoying what is only my second day off in about a month. After Sydney and before this stint in Newcastle, "Two Brothers" did a two week run in Canberra. Which was a heap of fun, very tiring and mostly involved me trying to catch up with everybody and anybody who might have cared to see me.

With such an insane schedule, all thoughts of blogging were pushed from my mind.

To further complicate matters, my laptop decided, whilst I was in Canberra, that it was ready to go to the great electronics junk-heap in the sky. As a result, I am now the proud owner of a brand new lap-top and have only managed to get back online as of today.

But back online I am and I've certainly got a lot of things I want to tell you. So stay tuned for a lot more from the world of Graham over the next few days...

Unless, of course, another hiatus decides to hit. In which case, you can expect another post like this one in about a month's time...

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Thinking of my friends...

Despite the fact that my television is showing me images of double-decker buses blown to pieces, and speculating that there may be a massive loss of life, I find that my thoughts are only of my friends.

Cynan, Suzy and Sam, I hope you're all okay and far away from the news...