Republic of Moreland

July 29, 2007


Filed under: Brunswick,crime,Sydney Road — Kath @ 8:45 pm

Yesterday I visited my beloved hardware store, a family business, a dusty vestige of old Brunswick, where they greet you by name, serve you from behind the counter and sell nails by the kilogram.

I was there to buy a tap and pvc pipes and elbows for our new tank. From behind me a small voice said, in a broad Australian accent, “Whatya boyin them for?”

I turned and saw a slight woman. A blue woman. The skin on her face was blue, her hands were blue, her limp, mousy hair had blue streaks, as did her synthetic tracksuit. In the few seconds that followed, some possibilities flipped over in my mind. She’s a performer, perhaps a mime artist, perhaps a circus player. Or else she’s got that peculiar skin condition some Vietnamese people suffer, where blue-black freckles appear as you age.

But these weren’t freckles, and this was a most unnatural electric blue. No, vibrant, aquamarine blue.

I said something and looked away, but I noticed that the bluest region of her face was around her lips, and when she spoke, the pink fleshy insides of her mouth looked almost obscene against it. And then I saw what she was buying: three cans of vibrant-electric-aquamarine-blue spray-paint.

She sniffs it! I whispered to C——, one of the storekeepers, as she took me up the back to choose some threaded pipe fittings. C—— told me: I know, I know, but what can we do? We’ve called the police, and there’s nothing they can do, either. Then C—— said: It’s terrible. I’m hard, you know, but I feel sorry for her. And she has kids, too.


  1. I’ve seen this woman heaps in Sydney Rd – if she is the same sniffer – she smacks the paint into plastic bag ansd away she goes. Sometimes she unhinges the folk in Victoria Mall: spooky and yucky and her presence in my neighbourhood is blight on us all. Didnt know about the kids though….

    Comment by peter robertson — July 29, 2007 @ 11:11 pm | Reply

  2. That’s bollocks that the shopkeepers “can’t do anything”. They can simply refuse to serve her. Do they think they’re helping her or her kids by actually feeding her addiction? Kick her out. If all the hardware stores did so, maybe she’d be forced to dry out. Meanwhile, they’re pocketing her money.

    I’ve seen this person on the Sydney Road tram. She was with some ‘mates’ who looked pretty objectionable, but they weren’t covered in paint like she was. I’ve never seen a more repellent sight in my entire life. Everyone not associated with her exchanged revolted glances and moved to the front of the tram — a community of disgust, if you will.

    If I’m not mistaken, kids are limited in the amount of spraypaint they can buy (at least they were in Queensland) as an anti-graffiti measure. Same principle should apply here. Just refuse her service — anything else is unconscionable.

    Comment by Bane of Malakas — July 30, 2007 @ 11:04 am | Reply

  3. A few sinffers (along with junkies) hang out at old Coburg High School and do their stuff their

    Comment by peter robertson — July 30, 2007 @ 1:35 pm | Reply

  4. I think this woman needs help and support. I don’t know if a stick approach works in this sort of scenario. But yes, she looked… disgusting. Most disturbing. I couldn’t stop thinking about her all day. The abuse she’s giving that little body of hers.

    Comment by Girl on The Avenue — July 30, 2007 @ 2:57 pm | Reply

  5. How is refusing to provide her with the abusive substance a “stick approach”, GoTA? If you’re looking for a stick, go no further than selling her a can of propellant to wipe out her brain cells. Pretty damaging stick, that — and I’m sure her innocent kids agree. Profiting financially from that is even more perverse and disgusting.

    Comment by Bane of Malakas — July 30, 2007 @ 3:21 pm | Reply

  6. She’s very New Brunswick.

    Comment by Neighbourhood Pervert — July 30, 2007 @ 4:06 pm | Reply

  7. Forgive me this indulgence: LMAO!

    Comment by Bane of Malakas — July 30, 2007 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

  8. I’ve seen her pictures in retro bars…I think her name is Shiva.

    Comment by The Man at the Pub — August 1, 2007 @ 4:32 pm | Reply

  9. Here I find a whole stack of people commenting on a person as though she’s a …*thing*.

    She’s not. She’s a person, with a terrible problem that has devastated her life.

    Maybe she wants help, maybe she doesn’t. But the smart-arse and crude comments won’t help her and are degrading to the people who wrote them.

    I haven’t seen this person, but what I will say is, where is the sympathy in our society? If all we can do is post comments about how bad she looks, and how disgusting it all is, I’m ashamed to be a part of this town.

    If anyone knows who she is and she does have children, please report the case as soon as possible to the Child Protection Agency. They can help, and at least make sure that her children are safe and cared for. They can also try to help her, then it is up to her to help herself if she is willing.

    Comment by Daharja — August 2, 2007 @ 9:38 am | Reply

  10. I find your comments Bane the most objectionable thing about this post.

    And I’m curios Girl, about your intention behind mentioning her ‘broad Australian accent’. Does it sum up her character in some way?

    Comment by Stella — August 2, 2007 @ 6:35 pm | Reply

  11. “I find your comments Bane the most objectionable thing about this post.”

    More objectionable than Peter Robertson’s typos and spelling? Jeez, that’s a bit rough, innit?

    Comment by Bane of Malakas — August 2, 2007 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

  12. “And I’m curios Girl, about your intention behind mentioning her ‘broad Australian accent’. Does it sum up her character in some way?”

    Sure it does. I would have mentioned, too, if she had a NZ accent, or a British one, or a Texan one. Now, I happen to like a broad Australian accent, particularly compared with these others, so I don’t know what the implication is, here. Can we not describe people’s characreristics, to fill out a picture, out of fear of what it may imply to some individuals?

    Comment by Girl on The Avenue — August 3, 2007 @ 9:37 am | Reply

  13. Right on, GoTA.

    Funny, ain’t it, that of the five people who’ve had serious comments to post on this thread, the three who’ve actually seen the person in question have each expressed their revulsion at the sight. Now, we may disagree on how to proceed from there, but we’re honest enough to admit she’s a confronting spectacle. The two who have instead chosen to pontificate upon how nasty we’re being haven’t in fact seen her at all. At least we know what Daharja will do when she does finally clap eyes on her. Let us know how that works out, girlfriend!

    As for refusing to serve this individual the paint she abuses, I’d remind everyone that if you walk into any pub or bottle shop you’ll see a sign promising to refuse service to any “intoxicated person”. Is that a “big stick”, GoTA? Is that “objectionable”, Stella? One is legally obliged to refuse to serve beer to a pisspot, but when someone stumbles into a hardware store streaked with paint and off their head there’s “nothing we can do”. Utter bollocks. Next you’ll be telling me 12-year-olds should be served cigarettes and whiskey because refusal might hurt their feelings.

    In Brisbane in the early 1980s it was rumoured a certain corner shop kept methylated spirits in the drinks fridge to sell to the Murris who camped in Musgrave Park. Whether apocryphal or not, no-one I’ve ever encountered has reacted to that story with anything but horror and disgust, and rightly so. Exploiting someone else’s frailties for financial gain is flatly wrong, and anything other than refusing service is contributing to this person’s disease and the neglect of her children.

    Comment by Bane of Malakas — August 3, 2007 @ 10:27 am | Reply

  14. Exploiting someone else’s frailties for financial gain is flatly wrong, and anything other than refusing service is contributing to this person’s disease and the neglect of her children.

    Surely the most banal cliche yet posted here

    Comment by peter robertson — August 6, 2007 @ 12:32 pm | Reply

  15. I say, it seems you missed a full stop there, dude. And an accent on “cliché”. Other than that, you’re improving! B+

    Comment by Bane of Malakas — August 6, 2007 @ 1:31 pm | Reply

  16. Grasi pedant

    Comment by peter robertson — August 7, 2007 @ 9:15 am | Reply

  17. Bumper sticker idea: Pedants do it properly.

    Comment by Bane of Malakas — August 7, 2007 @ 10:37 am | Reply

  18. In the spirit of pedantry, should I point out that I think Peter means “grazie“?

    Comment by Girl on The Avenue — August 7, 2007 @ 11:07 am | Reply

  19. Yes, I think so, GoTA. Thought I might let that one slide out of courtesy. Perhaps he meant “greasy pedant”?

    Ciao, ragazzi!

    Comment by Bane of Malakas — August 7, 2007 @ 11:13 am | Reply

  20. I think he means glassy pendant; a thing to hang around the neck of the first person to genuinely do something for the blue lady.

    Comment by leonaaardo — September 11, 2007 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  21. Yes, the Blue Meanie. She staggered up my lawn and demanded to see the inside of my house. I declined.

    She’s actually quite a celebrity around here. Lady Krishna, blessing the Sydney road yuppies with a wave of her spray paint can. Bleeding hearts actually attempt to converse with her, most probably out of a deep seated middle class/left wing guilt. I prefer to chase her off of my property with a broom, followed by thanking Jebus that her kids are far from her painty-can reach.

    Comment by Martin Brody — May 14, 2008 @ 7:55 pm | Reply

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