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Patchwork #5

Sounds like it should be titled Mambo #5…Here’s a snapshot of my week…

Horsing Around

There is a lot more traffic on the road these days. We have been told to lay low, as in don’t socialise much, just chill at home, and reduce social involvement due to Omicron cases growing so fast. But that does not seem to be stopping the traffic. I guess we all have to go here and there and come back again in the course of our day, so we drive.

Anyway. I was driving between here and there during my working day on Friday. The road on which I travelled is usually busy, depending on the time of day, so I am always mindful of what the other drivers are doing or more to the point, not doing.

So, I’m driving over a small bridge that crosses the Condamine River which weaves through our rural town, my speedometer says I’m doing less than the speed limit. That is often wise, in case a driver pulls out without looking or turns or any other of a range of ridiculous manoeuvres I see. Well, this time, it wasn’t a car. It was a horse. An older-aged man was on a horse, he didn’t look, slowly the horse walked out in front of me. I raised my eyebrows in my response, slowed suddenly, hoped the driver behind me was watching, and rolled my eyes as the horse and rider took their time to cross the road. Hmm. I didn’t honk my car horn; I didn’t want to spook the horse. That would have been awkward; horse and rider down, busy traffic, not a scene anyone wants to see.

So it was like, no matter how careful we are on the road when driving, something can just pop out and create a new situation. It all ended well, the horse and rider crossed the road (I can see a joke coming from all this) and I drove on as did the other traffic. Being rural, it’s not unusual to see a horse, but right in the middle of a built-up area…neeeigh…not ideal at all.

Checking Out

I didn’t see this, but I heard about it from a reliable sauce. So picture yourself at your supermarket. There are queues… of course there are queues. Some shelves are depleted of stock, especially the toilet paper aisle…

Anyway, you are in the queue. You don’t have a big shop to get through, but you are done with shopping as are most of the other people in your queue. There are two tills going. Bothe checkouts are loaded. Another checkout opens up.

Then, again, just like the horse, out of the blue, a young school-aged child appears out of nowhere…he should be in the other queue where his parent is, but he has strayed. Instead, he decides he wants to be a checkout operator. He gets into the covid-safe enclosed space and sits down. And guess what…he is not going anywhere.

The checkout operator arrives to keep the shoppers moving along, his smile ready to cheer their tired headspace, he asks the child politely but firmly to leave. No response. He asked again, his tone a notch firmer. No response. He asks again with a ‘teacher tone’, still no response. I would be feeling exasperated by now if it were me, but the operator remains calm and professional. One more try, he raises his pitch a bit, lays on a bit for tone, and asks again. No response. I’m thinking, where is his father???

Then, the father arrives from the other queue, grabs the child by the arm, and removes him from the chair. It was apparently done with a bit of force as the child didn’t want to budge. Hmmm. With the child vacated, the operator was able to resume his duties and the comment from his smiling father…? “He wants to work in a supermarket someday, I think!”

I work in aged care and I think I have been blessed to hear some fascinating/crazy stories over the years, but never have I seen or heard of a scene like that. Things that make you go…(you can finish that, but I would say, “what the…”)

Thanks for reading


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