Lumpentour #2

Okay, I’m back. You didn’t get into any trouble since I left you last time?

Maybe you did… Stiff bickies. It’s Elizabeth. Let the tour continue.

***

High Voltage! (2011)

And some people leave their kids playing next to this…

I could hear something arcing while I was taking this photo. And I could have sworn the sound was closer to the gate than anything else.

Anyway, this being bogan territory, if you’re going to continue this tour of the way I used to walk home from work, maybe you’d like to pop in some earphones and strut to something suitably ridiculous. High Voltage!

***

No really, some people do leave their kids playing next to the transformer station… (2011)

For all of the hundreds of times I’ve walked past this place, to and from work, I’ve never gone in (probably because I stayed the hell away from Elizabeth West after work). I’ve been meaning to visit for some time. Not today though. I’ll get around to it. Honest.

Part of me wants to believe it’ll be a cross between an American snooker hall, Merlott’s Bar and Grill, and a 1960s Elizabeth pub. In reality, it’s probably just wall-to-wall unwashed teenagers slurping energy drinks. But what a cool name ‘Jake’s Pool Hall’ is, and I love the vintage rust on the sign.

***

Lovely! (2011)

Just off to the side of the bridge, you have a plantation populated variously with Acacia sp., Allocasuarina sp., Eucalyptus sp. and Melaleuca sp.. I believe (but I’m not sure) that they were grown from a standard assortment of tube-stock planted in the 1970s by the second Dunstan government.

You can find much the same species, in much the same ratios, in public schools across the state. All that’s really needed now are some steel monkey bars for wayward kids to hurt themselves on, and the picture is complete.

***

There’s a reason South Australians are called ‘crow eaters’, but I’m not going to demonstrate it… (2011)

Wonderful birds, crows. Or ravens. Or whatever you call them where you’re from.

I’d like to call it a crow, and I would on occasion, but at the moment I’ve got this overriding imperative against disinformation and it’s really a ‘little raven’ (Corvus mellori). Even if I weren’t vegetarian, I wouldn’t have to eat it?

It’s possibly contemplating a short flight south to the train station to scavenge bins and beg commuters for a feed… and crow ‘fark fark fark’ in front of the children. Now you know where the bemulleted northern droog learns its mating call – mimicry.

***

Sir Thomas Playford – not a jerk like all the other conservative premiers we’ve had… (2011)

A lot of the results of long-since-taken-for-granted infrastructure projects around the state date from Playford through Dunstan governments. You can find bridges and the like of similar construct and vintage all over the state, moreso where there’s industry, particularly in Whyalla and Port Augusta (‘Porderguster’ in Strine, if you ever find yourself asking for directions).

There’s something wonderfully utilitarian about the older projects. The National Wine Centre of Australia, and all the other white elephants around the state, while usually pretty swish, just don’t do it for me the way the understated old clunkers do. (There’s probably a cognitive bias involved somewhere in this evaluation, not that I care).

***

Back in the day, I may or may not have cut across the tracks, under the bridge… (2011)

The rail yard is fenced off far more securely that it used to be back in the 1990s. You don’t see colourful types zipping across anymore, one side to the other. Nor it has to be said, do you any longer see bogans smoking between carriages on the train. Same mentality. I’m not sure I like it.

Yes, yes, it may save someone’s life some day. A pity about the people who’ve already died at stations and intersections along this line in the past few years, though. The new fences and the increased fines haven’t done them and their lot much in the way of prevention or consolation.

And how’s a guy supposed to traipse nihilistic after work, like they’re Eric Stoltz in a John Hughes film, in this new climate?

***

…aspirational shopping district, ahoy! (2011)

You hear that? The shopping centre is ahead, which means a tour break. Which means I’m going to wind up the windows and leave you in the back seat while I grab a few commercial necessities.

Yes, I know we’re walking. Shut up.

~ Bruce

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