This morning I had to go into my new school (I have been made permanent as of next year and have been transferred to a new school, teaching Kinder) to meet the principal and the other two Kinder teachers. The great thing about my new school is that it is literally 5 minutes walk from my house. I would love, love, love to stay put at my current school but...c'est la vie. Things work out the way they are meant to. Teaching Kinder will be interesting- I did a bit of it this year, filling in while another teacher was overseas and it is fun, but full on.
Anyway, it all went smoothly and I was out of there by 11.30am. Friday isn't one of my usual work days unless I am doing relief so I had some free time and decided to head into the city to finish my Christmas shopping. I had the mistaken belief that the city wouldn't be as busy on a weekday...Wrong. Christmas-crazed shoppers were everywhere and the footpaths were packed.
As I negotiated my way through the crowds, I heard shouting. I soon saw three very rough, angry looking men standing right in the middle of the footpath bellowing at each other. Some people in the crowd had stopped, others were trying to get around them without going too close, and the result was that everyone was pretty much stuck, whether they wanted to ogle the scene or not.
"Well, why the *&^% would I have told you that if it wasn't true?" Oaf Number One was shouting.
"You tell me mate, you tell me. All I know is you are asking for a smack right up the *&^%ing arse and then out your head!" Oaf Number Two bellowed back. (What a charming visual, Oaf #2. Thanks for that.) Oaf Number Three just stood there looking tough and menacing. On it went, and just as they were getting right up in each other's faces, violence seemed certain and I was still trying to get through the crowd, there she was. A vision in floral. A grey-haired, floral-dressed, sailor-voiced old lady pushed her way through the crowd and began shouting at them. Phrases such as "Go on, get out of here! Take it to your home! Your mothers would be ashamed of you! Everyone is watching! Get out of here you filthy little fools!" were flung at the startled looking Oafs, who nevertheless turned their backs on the floral-robed citizen of the peace and continued to argue. Undeterred, Old Lady lifted her sizeable, sensible brown leather handbag and threatened them with it, while shouting, "You want something rammed right up your arse and out your head do you?" The use of his own, colourfully descriptive threat against him stopped Oaf Number 2 in his tracks and he stared at Old Lady in shock before turning and disappearing into the rapidly parting crowd. Oafs Number One and Three made to follow, but a wordless shout from Old Lady, accompanied by her handbag waving precariously close to their faces, stopped them, too, in their tracks and they beat a hasty exit in the opposite direction. Old Lady shook herself, returned her handbag to her shoulder and disappeared into the chemist, the crowd dispersed and I went to the Body Shop. Just another quiet day in the Mall.