This Mysterious Broom

I found these brooms when I worked at a kindy gym named ‘Gymbaroo’. For twenty dollars an hour,  for one hour a week, I would set up and pack away a variety of children’s play equipment in a dusty hall in Taren Point, pretending I didn’t smell the teenage janitors smoking marijuana and having pre-marital sex in the janitors closet. I met them once, and they offered me some of their demon-weed and told me how they dropped out of high school to start a family. But this is about this fucking broom.



Look at that broom. Just look at it and appreciate all the nuances of its existence. Sometimes I think this broom was put on earth just to fuck with me. If my friends weren’t lazy and/or good natured, I’d expect an elaborate prank. This must be what a creationist feels like, baffled and alone.There are just so many unanswered questions, so we shall explore them:

* Who is Linda? This is her broom, yet why is it addressed to her? Did someone take her broom, etch a message on it to remind her of her duty? If so, what duty was she neglecting? Was she trying to rise through the ranks to become a canteen lady? Did she then, upon receiving this warning, write a riposte herself, warning her tormentors to not touch her broom?

* Or did Linda write this upon her own broom as a form of self motivation? Why is she writing in third person? Is she a narrator? Is she THE narrator? In this particular blog post, no, I can categorically say she is not the narrator. I am, and my name is Patrick. Hi. But she might still be a narrator. Somewhere.

* Was Linda the previous janitor before the current teens, or as I like to call them ‘The Most Depressingly Real Modern Version of Romeo And Juliet?’ If so,  we can envision her grimly sweeping the hall after the 9pm badminton, gritting her teeth and repeating under her breath ‘Linda, you must RESPECT your duty before you can become a canteen lady’, her powerful strokes driving the dust back in miniature hurricanes. Each time the brooms head hit the floor, Linda imagining she is sweeping the laughing faces of her detractors, perhaps a mocking hegemony of tuck-shop ladies who refused her into their clique.

* Did Linda have a previous issue with people touching her broom? What were they doing with the broom? Was it butt stuff? It was probably butt stuff.

* Is Linda a witch? Was this some kind of Quidditch thing? Probably not.


We can only be sure of one thing – Linda loved her broom. She didn’t want anybody to touch it. Would Linda leave it in a dusty storeroom? Never, not Linda’s broom. We have to assume she is dead. Did she ever reach her lofty aspirations as a canteen lady? We’ll never know. We can only hope she’s sweeping in heaven now, serving sausage rolls to the angels.


5/5 stars.


The Dentist

The doctor for the face bones in your head gash.

Adulthood, for me, tends to come in waves like hot flushes for a menopausal woman or hot flushes for someone who is on currently on fire. In the middle of playing Skyrim or painting my High Elf army, I’ll suddenly find myself doing my taxes or buying a gym membership. It’s a kind of madness, a fever that not only makes me realise my life is stupid and I’m doing it wrong, but that I am strong enough to find solutions to deal with it. This is of course opposite to the regular kind of deep paralysing chill of adultness, when you curl up on the couch watching Buffy with a kind of numbed indifference, desperately ignoring the five hundred dollar phone bill you racked up by using Tumblr on your smartphone.
The other day at work, I suddenly found myself googling dental clinics, and then my phone was in my hand and then I was booking an appointment. It’s like I was possessed by my sensible uncle. All those television ads about ‘sensitive’ teeth had started making sense to me, cold water and ice based cocktails suddenly assailing my talk hole. But my satisfaction with my adult-flush quickly disappeared when I looked down at the mauled remnants of the packet of Oreo’s that I’d just eaten with two hands, and the sudden awful realisation that it has been an entire decade since I last entrusted my teeth to a dental hygiene expert.
When I entered the dental clinic, there was nobody at the desk. There was however, the shrill whine of a drill, and I shit-you-not, the overwhelming stench of burnt hair or flesh. I waited for a while, until a lady came out of the room, sought to take her mask off, yet was foiled by the blood on her gloves.
I spent the next hour reading Men’s Health, wondering if I truly did seek a V shaped torso, and if not, what letter does my torso currently resemble? Then it was finally time, and I was introduced to the very polite and professional dentist. She subjected me to an extraordinarily involved examination, involving x-rays and photographs and randomly tapping my teeth with a sharp hook. She didn’t even berate me after I told her this was my annual ten-yearly visit. Then again, she had seen my details form, where I had written for my occupation ‘writer’ after first crossing out ‘itinerant shepherd’. She probably, and rightly, assumed it was a financial thing.
To cut a long story short, I have one cavity in one of my molars. I will be getting it filled next week. It is all very costly and is making me very sad. But, one cavity in ten years of neglect is actually fairly awesome. But the far more pressing trouble, and the cause of my tooth sensitivity, is gum degradation. Gum degradation caused by me being TOO vehement with my brushing. My daily attacks on my on mouth, wielding my toothbrush like a bristled club have basically flayed my gums away from the roots. And it’s permanent, too. But this is just so me – I tend to cause my own problems by being far too energetic about trying to do positive things. My mother is the same – she recently gave herself calcium poisoning, taking far too many supplements after getting scared about osteoporosis. It’s making me wonder if some of the manic energy I put into my projects might be the same – if I’m mutilating something while trying to make it better. If there was ever an image of me that encapsulates what I’m all about, it would be me drunkenly cleaning my teeth, a fevered glint in my eye, lips drawn back into a rictus as I scrub until I bleed.
1/5 stars