Liveable? Not from this traffic jam

It was announced recently that Melbourne is no longer the world’s most liveable city. Long-time rival Vienna took top spot. But Ted and Rose, for two, wonder if anyone cares.

“How can you vote on such a thing,” Ted asks, “without having lived in every city?

“I lived in Perth for a while and I reckon there are a million people there who would vote for their city ahead ofMelbourne.”

And Pam, who lives in Melbourne, wonders if those who voted know how much she pays for gas and water. “Do they drive to the city in peak hour? Do they know how short we’re going to be with water this summer?

“If they did, I suspect Melbourne wouldn’t be in the top 10.”

•••

Doug was at a dinner party recently and found himself talking to a woman he’d never met.

She said a few things, and he asked what her maiden name was.

“Was your father a school teacher?” Doug asked.

He was.

“He caned me,” Doug said. “A few times.”

She was embarrassed, and Doug had to explain that he deserved it and held no grudges.”

“I’m not embarrassed because it was you,” she said, “but I never knew that he caned anybody. I thought he was opposed to such things.”

It turned out that this teacher, now deceased, had caned boys regularly through the 1960s and ‘70s, but stopped the punishment in the latter years of teaching.

“I drove home wondering what his real thinking was on caning students,” Doug said. “Did he really become opposed to it or was it pressure from other quarters?

“I’m now middle aged and not a progressive thinker, but you’ll never convince me that, handled in the right way, a cane, or the threat of it, ever harmed a boy.”

•••

Margie emailed to tell us that her father had a friend who everyone jokingly called Fruit Fly because he wasn’t wanted inVictoria.

“Fruity, as he was often called, found it hilarious and was quite happy with his nickname,” she said.

And in Kel’s pub there’s a bloke called Moses because every time he opens his mouth, the bull rushes.

•••

Two-year-old Rosie’s mum is a flight attendant.

“Every time a plane flies overhead,” says Jean, “she points and says, ‘There’s Mummy.’

“When I was her age, we’d all look up, point and say, ‘Look, a plane.’ They were pretty rare in those days.”

And Jenny feels her age every time she sees actors kiss in movies.

“In my youth, they always kissed with their mouths shut.”

•••

This week we have a special offer. The member who sends Steve what he considers to be the best story, anecdote, memory or photo will receive a signed copy of his book In Black and White 2. And if you know someone with a milestone birthday or anniversary coming up, let him know. Email [email protected].

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Written by Perko

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