Last Sunday I took the kids to the Melbourne Museum. A bunch of fun to be had, and at the new government subsidised price of $6 for an adult, free for everybody else, a bargain. And it hasn’t been a waste of taxpayers funds, either – not only is museum patronage way up, but long term this is the kind of initiative that could spark an interest in the youngsters of today, and contribute to a smarter society in the decades to come.
Anyway, we caught the train in to the museum. Boarding at Glenhuntly was a bloke – bearded, dark hair, with a hooded blue windcheater with a slogan on it, something along the lines of: "CONSCIOUSNESS HAS NO BARRIERS"* (capital letters faithfully reproduced). He sat down next to a young woman, and muttered something about the ticket machines.
I looked carefully at the slogan on his top. Oh great, slogan with obcure hippybabble – warning! Warning! Possible nutbag alert! So I looked busy, talking to the kids about stuff out the window.
Sure enough he tried to start up a conversation with the reluctant woman, telling her about how he trademarked the slogan (I’m sure there must be swarms of people wanting to hijack a slogan like that for their own purposes), quizzing her about where she was from (India, in Australia studying IT), and telling her all about the ills of western society, and congratulating her on her imminent departure from Australia.
She made her escape at South Yarra. Suddenly without someone to bug, he glanced in my direction, noted my mean "don’t fuck with me, I’m busy enjoying my Sunday, which I intend to remain nutbag-free" expression, and then stood up and looked around the carriage for other victims.
We got off the train at Parliament and headed for the northern exit to go to the museum. Mr Nutbag also got off, and I’m guessing he went the opposite way to the southern exit. He then got onto a tram in Collins Streetand proceeded to bug Jen and Erin.
*Correction: On consultation with Erin, and spotting the guy the following week, it actually says: "Consciousness has no culture"