Sunday, January 20, 2008

Imaginary letter taped up outside the fruit and veg shop in Cotton Beach, Maroochydore

Dear Arsehole,

We are two young students from Adelaide. We were married last year and haven't been on a holiday since because we've been working hard to support ourselves and to save for a trip to Queensland. We chose Queensland because I have family up here who I don't get to see very often and who my wife has never met. We also chose to come here because my wife has a lot of health problems from which she can find temporary relief in the northern tropical climate before we have to go back to dry, hot South Australia.

Here we are:

Our parents pitched in and bought us plane tickets and donated money towards hiring a car so that we would not be relying on long distance public transport with my wife's health problems and so that we would not be imposing upon my relatives for transport.

We visited Maroochydore in our car and stayed in the hostel. We bought and cooked our own meals to save money. On the morning of the fourteenth we were leaving and decided to go to this fruit shop to buy some cheap breakfast.

While we were inside, you keyed our car. It wasn't an accident. You weren't simply careless with a trolley or a surf board. We can tell by the way the particles of metallic paint came out of that long scratch across the two doors and by the way you gave it a little signature squiggle in the middle.

You've never owned a car, never had to have one resprayed. You've never had to hire a car either and never had to sign all the declarations and releases they give you in which you promise to hand over enough money to cover not only a relatively small scratch but also major damage to a new vehicle and its expensive inner workings.

When we returned the car to the airport we had to sign over
all of our life's savings to the car hire company so that they can send the car to one of their approved repairers (which we have no say in) for a quote (which we will have no control over). And that was after we talked them down because we simply couldn't afford to give them the large amount of money they wanted.

How much, you ask? How much could that little scratch possibly be? No problem, arsehole. I'll tell you:
We took it to a Toyota-approved spray shop. They quoted
$600. (That's for the metallic paint - you know, the kind they always have in car commercials because it looks better, but actually adds thousands of dollars to the cost of the base model?)
When we took it back to the hire desk they wanted (on top of the hire fee) $3000 damage excess plus $300 GST.
Then (oh no, the money does not stop!) because your petty vandalism is viewed by the hire company as a single car accident (not a multiple-car mishap for which they can charge other insurance companies) they also wanted another $2400 on top of that $3300.
So, you, my thoughtless little fistula, turned what should have been a memorable budget holiday for healing and connecting with family into a stressful and expensive exercise, tainted by the knowledge that were handing over an indefinitely large percentage of the money we had saved up for leaner times (like after returning from a much-needed holiday).

We have no idea yet what the hire company's paint shop will quote, nor exactly what we will receive when they are finished removing whatever administration fees they deem necessary.

I wish a similar experience upon you.


  1. Thoughtless little shit. Karma will be waiting for him.

  2. hopefully someone keys their face :\

  3. Brocky - remind me never to cross you...

    Jealous of a Carolla - must've been real pimpin'! Or just annoyed by your irritating tourist dollar keeps their town solvent?

  4. Karma, Franzy, Karma. As I found out during a particularly shithouse time in 2007, it does come around.

    Bloody hire car companies.... our insurance a couple of years back revealed that we werent covered for anything above the windows (ie the mid part of the door) and below the door. Come to think of it, that would have meant that the keying *would* have been covered on that particular policy.....

    Sorry about that.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32