Dining Chez Styx


In spite of the big freshes over the last few days the area under the bridge was strewn, not just with wrappers and bottles but with your actual food. I could have had an entire meal within the space of fifty metres. To start with, a simple green salad.

With Vegemite. Well, why not?

Onto the main course. The mullet is particularly good at the moment, sir. This fellow was about three feet long. I can’t really blame StarStruck on him; his eyes had gone and I think he’d been bobbing around for at least a day.

Time for dessert. There were various bits of watermelon lying around, and entire carton of assorted creams.

Instead, I climbed out of the creek and toddled off down the night-soil lane. Here, a kindly flock of sulphur-crested cockatoos were stripping a mandarin tree. There were plenty on the bitumen, nice and ripe with just the one naughty bite.

Then round to the park for toadstools. Would they go with the mullet?

Finally, a rest at the 235 bus stop on Boreas Road.

When I’m back in England I use the word “lad” much more freely than I do here. Up North, “lad” can mean any other male, but usually someone in the same age bracket as the speaker. I might find myself saying, “See that lad over there? I went to school with him.” And The Wife, seeing only a bunch of balding middle-aged men, would respond “Which lad?” And I’d say, “That lad – the one in the donkey jacket.” And she, following my gaze and seeing a stoop-shouldered man in his early fifties, would sigh and shake her head at yet another cultural curve-ball.

But now this! The “lads” of the 235 bus stop! This is exciting! It’s so exciting that it feels churlish to unleash my inner editor and point out that their tag should actually be LFB. Or perhaps the reversal of the F and B is all part of the “back” backyness? Insane!