Archive for the ‘ Melbourne ’ Category

I owe Little Bean Blue a dollar

Dear fans of Haught Feelings,

I need a little favour. I need you to make sure I don’t forget something.

You see I owe a cafe in the Melbourne CBD a dollar.

Here’s how it happened. I went into the shop this morning and, just as I was about to approach the little take-your-order area, realised I was badly short of walletal cash.

When I’m not hiding behind my keyboard writing sarcastic (and what have been referred to as “quasi-intellectual”) complaint emails I roam the real world as a graceless buffoon. For that reason, once I discovered that I was at least a dollar short, I made the decision to crouch in the doorway and rummage for a gold coin that I have intermittently sighted, Emmaville Panther-like, at the bottom of my satchel.

My preposterous delving and scratching may well have lasted for several hours had the barista not stopped me by calling “Jonathan – strong latte!”

I only heard about Little Bean Blue a little while ago and have been in about ten times ever. In the last week I think I might have been in four times. Somehow, in that minuscule amount of time, the regular barista – with whom I’ve shared no more than three words on any given day – has not only learned my name, but also my preferred coffee AND is happy to start making it before I’ve even proved my ability to make a commercial transaction.

When I started gibbering like a hitherto-cloistered middle-aged man who’s just been approached by an attractive (usually slightly younger) woman in a formulaic romantic comedy, the barista assured “You can pay later.”

Going to be honest: in love. Not just with the barista, but the cafe generally. Not only do they do the photographic memory thing, they make a fine, fine coffee.

Which is why I’m asking for this favour – don’t let me forget over the weekend that I owe Little Bean Blue a dollar!

With fondness that doesn’t require any artificial sweetener,

Jonathan

Advertisements

THE RESPONSE: My email to Yarra Trams

You may have noticed by now that I believe sarcasm is the second highest form of wit (lavatory humour being the first). Today, however, I write without even the slightest hint of it.

You may remember a few weeks ago I posted an email I had sent to this mob:

If you didn’t catch it, you can read it here.

I write the emails I send to well-known people and organisations, imagining very different reception scenarios. In the case of the Jim Beam email, for instance, I imagined a chimpanzee being slightly surprised by the noise of the email chime, making a little noise of distress, then (inexpertly) pressing the delete button with his long index finger, just like he’d been taught to.

In the case of the email I once sent to Kyle Sandilands, I imagined Jackie O phonetically reading the email on a tablet computer out loud from the side of a pool in which Kyle was lolling, and giving up after the second paragraph (and the fifteenth time Kyle called her a “dumb, illiterate moll”).

In the case of the email I once sent to Margaret Court, I imagined Margaret herself hissing at the screen and then escaping into the night through the window in the form of a bat.

When I sent my email to Yarra Trams, I imagined an overworked 21 year-old on their ninety-eighth email of the day (at ten past nine in the morning) scanning my email, seeing the word ‘poo’ and bringing up the “excrement-fouled tram’ template.

I imagined wrong.

What I got was nothing short of genius. Not a template at all – a real letter written by a real person.  A talented person. A person I now want to meet and drink beer with and possibly give a little kiss to at the end of the evening (and I fully realise Sam may well be a man).

Why am I still speaking about it? It speaks for itself:

Dear Mr Rivett,

Thank you for what is, by far, the most entertainingly written feedback I have ever received. Your recount of events that occurred on the evening of 13 April 2012 was at once concerning and humorous.

While I have attempted to respond in a manner befitting the feedback we received, I do not wish to give you the impression that your observations and concerns have been disregarded or taken lightly.

When I read the first of the drunkard’s ramblings, I took his question to mean ‘Is it to be that we are engaged to be married?’ As I continued reading, I attempted to jam his square peg outbursts into my round hole understanding of his first question. I soon realised I couldn’t make any sense of it, but I feel better knowing that you were equally confused. Also, I agree that “screamed he” is perfectly acceptable under the circumstances.

Notwithstanding my concern for Mr Pelican’s disruptive behaviour, I would like to think Biff was bowling his baked goods from somewhere near the centre of a B-class tram towards either end – there is a hatch in the floor at each end just behind each of the driver’s cabins. While hitting the sides of the hatch would send the unsliced wholemeal delivery off towards point or square leg (or in real terms, and annoyingly for all parties concerned, getting lost between seats and the legs of other passengers), pitching the loaf on the front or rear edges of the hatch could certainly be regarded as landing it in a ‘good area’.

I also hope Biff Pelican’s name is not indicative of what he does in his spare time. But I digress.

Getting back to the crux of the matter, a call was indeed made by our driver to our Fleet Operations Centre (FOC), logged at approximately 6:35pm, alerting them to the behaviour being exhibited by Biff’s arch-nemesis. (Not “control room” or “HQ”, I’m afraid, but I hope this name still appeals to your Dick-Tracy-esque ideals). After attempting and failing to deter the drunkard with an announcement via the public address system, FOC contacted the police. Four times. After the fourth request to have police meet the tram, a Yarra Trams Response Unit (is that ‘Dick Tracy’ enough?) became available and was instructed to intercept the tram (ok, so Response Unit might not have hit the mark, but surely ‘intercept’ is a winner, no?). After our Response Unit arrived, our Fleet Operator received a call at 7:16pm from a Senior Sergeant of Fitzroy Police who advised that no other police were available to attend, and that as such, he was on his way himself. He arrived four minutes later at 7:20pm.

Please accept our apologies for what you and your wife experienced on our Route 86 tram. Just as your questions are based on the predication that the police could not have possibly taken so long to respond to our call for assistance (and the cause for delay must have been within Yarra Trams), our Fleet Operator also believed that police would be available to meet with the tram in a timely manner. Regrettably in this instance, there were no police officers available to attend to the tram until 7:20pm, which contributed to the negative experience of those customers onboard the first Route 86 tram.

I appreciate your good-natured approach to this incident, and I thank you again for taking the time to provide us with your wonderfully written feedback.

Spare a thought for the Yarra Trams Response Unit staff who drove the drunken man home.

Should you have any further queries or comments regarding this matter, please feel free to contact me directly via reply email, or by calling me on 9619 3311.

Kind regards,

Sam Marshall
Customer Relations Officer

I am tempted to call Sam as offered, but know I would get shy and giggly and have to hang up quickly.

I can’t believe Yarra Trams received an email that ended with “…if you could respond as entertainingly as I have complained, I would be most grateful” and didn’t put it in the “arrogant fuckwit” outbox AND had a crack at responding entertainingly AND consummately nailed it AND found a balance between humour and facts AND satisfied pretty much every one of my concerns.

Brilliant.

If Jim Beam want to know how to make something go viral they can put aside their  incomprehensible, cacophonous clusterfuck of an ad and take a leaf out of Yarra Trams’ book. Confound expectations, ignore corporate cliches, respond to cricket references with cricket references.

If you don’t recommend, refer, repost or retweet another of my posts ever in your life, do it to this one and give Yarra Trams the widespread adulation they deserve.

Haught fact of the day:

I once sent an email to Gasp Jeans’ Prahran store and within a few months it had closed down. Coincidence?

Yes.

Grape Men quote of the day:

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”

“It’s fuckin’ April, you stupid fuck!”

“…tooooys in every store…”

“Eh, you hear this fuck?

“…but the prettiest sight to see…”

“I think he has pretty good voice, actually.”

“… is the hobby that will be…”

“Hobby? You silly fuck. It’s holly. Holly.”

“…on your oooown front door.”

“Leave the man alone. He got voice of angel.”

“But he doesn’t even know the fuckin’ words. Why would there be a hobby on your front door? It’s not even… a thing. It’s a fuckin’ abstract fuckin’ noun. And it’s fuckin’ April. AND HE’S FUCKIN’ WEARING SLIPPERS!”

“You are grump. You are grump man.”

___________________

Who are the Grape Men?

Find out here.
___________________

The Grape Men Ride Again

If you’re new to the Haught blog, you might not know who the Grape Men are. In this case, you might find my introduction to the Grape Men from a few weeks ago helpful:

The Grape Men

Yesterday I heard one of the Grape Men ask another one to help him push an empty wheelbarrow from one side of the lot to another. When the other bloke said “Why? Why you move it?” the reply was “Do I need a fuck reason?” and everyone laughed. Including me.

A few days ago I heard one of them ask another to open the bonnet of the car he was trying to start and see if he could detect any problems. The other fellow said “No. Do it youself. I’m busy.” I rushed to the kitchen window and stood on tiptoes and to my delight found that the only guy who could possibly have said “I’m busy” was sitting on a wooden crate smoking a cigarette and patting a stray cat.

Truly, these are kings among men.

Another time one bloke entered what I now think of as The Grape Yard to the exultant cheers of his colleagues. It sounded like a return of the prodigal son kind of moment, so I stood on our bed and watched events unfold through the window. The bloke would have been in his mid to late 50s, but walked with a pronounced limp. A few of the Grape Men patted him on the back and some others watched from a distance with looks of wonderment on their faces.

“So,” said the returned hero. “What you want me to do?”

There was a pause. It was almost as if giving this man an order was a form of blasphemy. Finally, the Boss Grape Man said “You want to tape up some of these fuckin’ boxes?”

“I do whatever you want me to do,” said the saint-like figure.

The Boss Grape Man guided him over to the taping area, a little mountain of polystyrene boxes, stacked with the same careful precision as a family of bogans might stack mouldering play equipment on top of a rusted Fairlane.

“So, all you do is you – ” but there were no instructions necessary.

“I know what to do,” said the new Grape Man with a quiet dignity.

He bent down slowly, his jaw clenching as some misaligned joint caught or some bunched muscle was asked to relent.

Then came the familiar tearing sound, as the man dragged the tape from its roll.  Kneeling, he slowly wrapped the black tape around a box, using far more attention to detail than any of the other men I’d seen completing this task.

Behind him, seven or eight men stood in silence. One slowly rubbed his forehead as if watching a minor miracle occurring. Two or thee stood with hands slack at their sides, mouths open slightly. Another was holding a clenched fist to his mouth, apparently fighting back tears.

I didn’t quite know what was happening in front of me. I certainly didn’t know the story behind it. But I knew for certain that this was a moment of great poignancy, a moment that I was privileged to be witnessing.

The man, still kneeling, finished the box and tore the tape away with a practiced jerk of the wrist. He slowly, almost reverently, put the box onto the finished pile and reached for another.

He tried to find the end of the tape, but couldn’t. He picked and scratched at it, but was unable to get what he wanted. He stopped for a moment – I could see him inhale deeply – and then tried again. Still no luck. At this point, he broke wind with ferocity, twice. This seemed to make him lose his balance, and he toppled backwards.  In a sitting position he yelled to the others “This is boring! Fuck this! It’s shit tape! Fuck! The grapes smell like dog turd!”

Then everyone laughed, another of the men farted, and everything was back to normal.

Haught fact of the day:

‘Prodigal’ is an adjective referring to reckless or wasteful extravagance, especially of money.

The Grape Men Quote of the Day:

“HEY! What’s that?”

“Just a cigarette.”

“[something in Italian]”

[laughter]

“Yeah well, you go fuck!”

“QUIET! PEOPLE WILL FUCKIN’ HEAR! FUCK! COME ON!”

Jim Stynes

This blog has been set up as a place for  smart-arsery, lavatory humour and faux arrogance. If you’re interested in my serious thoughts on what Jim Stynes did for my football club, have a look at my article at Footy Almanac.

The Flinders Street Stakes

Sometimes in the morning when I cross Flinders Street to get to the station from the Young and Jackson’s side of Swanston Street, I imagine that I’m in a horse race.

Is that childish? (That’s not a rhetorical question – I want you to answer it in the comments section of this page.)

I don’t have a good turn of speed; I don’t steam home from the rear of the field like Kingston Town. I’m more like Manighar; I grind away and try to out-stay more mercurial pedestrians.

I consider the edge of Swanston Street to be the running rail and try to position myself one off the fence, partly because it’s always a straight race and you can’t save any ground, but also because there are inevitably two or three runners ahead of me – dawdlers – who don’t have the class to win the race. If I’m stuck on the fence with these donkeys holding me up in the final furlong (or six metres), I give myself no chance of winning.

Sometimes other runners – mostly corpulent businessmen who’ve lost their bearings, their dignity and any basic human decency – lay in badly during the race, halt my run and force me to stop riding. On those occasions, if I’ve still got close to the eventual winners after the interference, I get to the Flinders Street clocks and have to gather my thoughts and decide whether or not to lodge a protest.

I notice some days that there are police on either curb waiting to book people for J walking. I feel they would be better to spend their time booking fat blokes for careless riding.

Sometimes, standing in front of Young and Jackson’s, and knowing the lights are about to turn green, I fuck with everyone’s heads by yelling “WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! NOT YET! NOT YET!” in a high-pitched voice.

I don’t win out of turn, but when I do, I salute the crowd. Once I got carried away after nosing out a broom-handle-up-her-arse woman in a stiff white power suit, and I made it all the way to the National Gallery before realising I needed to get back to scale.

Once I did a star jump after a two-length a win in the wet, and a Scotch College student called me a “fucking mung”. He obviously hadn’t backed me.

If I get really carried away I wait for Johnny Letts after a win and get disappointed when he never shows.

All in all, the Flinders Street Stakes is a great lark and I recommend getting involved when you next get the chance.

Haught fact of the day:

The gibbon is the world’s best animal. Its natural habitat is tropical and subtropical rainforest, but this one is in someone’s letterbox: