Melbourne TV

Sometimes people aren’t so bad

Part I.

Many years ago I had a Ren And Stimpy CD. It’s the kind of CD you buy because for a couple of weeks in 1993 you were kinda amused by the TV series. So you coughed up $25 and listen to it maybe once all the way through, and maybe another track or two might have got played twice. Then years later you realise it was always crap and you try and sell it on eBay and the winning bidder turns out to be in South America even though you specified you’d ship to Australia only, and he never sends any money even though he claims he did, and so it sits in the bookshelf for another year or two before you try and sell it on eBay again and finally someone in the right country wins the bidding (nowhere near what it cost you, but better than nothing) and off it goes, no longer taking up valuable space in your life, gone at last.

But even years later you might remember a catchphrase or two from it, and one that I do recall is where they’re claiming to be different languages, and the sample of “New York-ese” is someone shouting abusively “Hey, can’t you see I’m WALKING here?”

I think of this charming little soundbite every time I’m walking around the city and nearly bump into somebody. It’s usually nobody’s fault, but generally both of us will say “sorry” and keep walking. No blame, no shouting, no footpath rage, just an apology and maybe a smile and we keep on going.

Part II.

This morning I parked my car in Brighton, on a side street near the station. I’ve parked there for a year or two during school holidays, when a couple of days a week my routine changes so I drop the kids at my mum’s, then drive to the nearest zone 1 station to go into work. In the past I’ve copied everyone else and parked with the left two wheels up on the grass verge, so the narrow street still has enough space for people to drive along. It’s a spot used by a few people heading in late to work when the station carparks are full. The grass doesn’t seem any the worse for it, and there’s no footpath on that side that people are getting blocked from using.

So I’d parked my car and hopped out. Across the street a guy in a white Honda had parked too. We both started walking to the station, him about 20 metres ahead of me. Then he stopped and turned around and came up to me. He explained that people had stopped parking with their wheels up on the verge because recently the joyful officers of Bayside council had booked a whole bunch of people for doing so, so it might not be a good idea. Ah. I thanked him, and moved my car.

From now on the gap in that street will be much narrower. Until one day when the garbage trucks can’t fit down there and the council decide to go all out and ban parking on one side.

White Honda man didn’t have to do that. He could have just kept walking. Sometimes, people aren’t so bad.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

6 replies on “Sometimes people aren’t so bad”

“I’m walking! I’m walking!” thump thump; car moving out of a side street, Hoffman crossing in front.

The way he shouted it got me, the dirty look on his dial.

His character (“Ratso”) was very real. To me.

Anyway, I’d have tipped you off not to park. Local councillors are shopkeepers bum boys, that’s all. Ambitious little puppets. And not very bright. You should get a look at the lot we’ve got here – should get a look at the heads on them – they make the three stooges look intelligent.

I have a cassette copy of Ren and Stimpy’s “You Eediot” album. None of the songs on the album were in the actual show. The John K episodes of R&S are on DVD now, but the catch is you can’t get it from your local DVD shop, you have to get it from Time-Life (you know, the ones who have ads bragging “Not available in stores” and “If you ring in the next 10 minutes we’ll throw in ….”). As I know people who have been ripped off by Time-Life in the past perhaps ebay or secondhand shops are your best bet.

There will be plenty of room for the garbage trucks because you will all leave 3m of space between your parked car and the one opposite. If you don’t leave that much room you’ll get booked (both cars because it’s hard to tell which one parked last and caused the problem). Watch out for that.

If it’s any consolation, after I got the CD from you I too listened to it once or twice before sticking it on a shelf, next to a couple of other Ren & Stimpy CDs. (Okay there’s no actual reason why you’d need consolation, but… uh.. yeah)

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