This is a handy tip if you are going to relocate to the other side of the world: take up smoking.
Here are a few things about Fat Shite you may be interested to learn. He was unemployed for 21 years. He filled his evening with PlayStation games and beer consumption. His only friends are his two younger, gullible brothers. His mother has wrapped the apron strings tightly around his gonads. He has a girlfriend – I did mention Sour Puss, didn’t I? – three years his junior and she suffers from a terrible superiority complex. He organised a job from Ireland in Melbourne coaching a soccer team, and it was this team’s head coach who organised the house we would be temporarily staying in. And here’s another news-flash – I pretty much hate his guts. That’s about everything note-worthy there is to report about good old Fat Swine.
My initial impression of said house was tarred by the giant two-metre tall “For Sale” sign that blocked my view. The Boyfriend and I stared at it for a while, our bulging suitcases at our sides, our pockets significantly lighter after paying the gibbering taxi man. There was also a car parked in the drive. We checked the address Fat Shite had provided us with. We were at the right place, anyway. So I had a cigarette.
We waited for an hour and finally Fat Shite and Sour Puss rocked up. They had been shopping – for a can of deodorant. Fat Shite informed us that the car in the drive had been gifted him by the same guy in the soccer club who had organised the limousine escort and the house. He kicked one of the back wheels, declared it embarrassing and shuffled up the steps to let us in. I had a cigarette.
Fat Shite gave us a grand tour. He and Sour Puss had gotten the bigger, better room and i had no qualms with that, of course, as it had been his contacts that had sorted the arrangement and therefore it was his prerogative to call dibs. The house smelled of old people, the wallpaper was outdated and stained, the carpet was a bit squishy underfoot – but it had a roof and we were content enough with that.
After making pleasantries with the other two, The Boyfriend and I retreated to our room. It was a decent size and we even had a wardrobe. So we had a celebratory hug and a giggle, revelling in the realisation that all our planning and dreaming had a chance of coming to fruition now that we were in Australia. I jumped on the bed.
There was a crack and the noise of springs straining. Rubbing my injured face, I pulled back the sheets. “We’ve no mattress,” I intoned, hardly surprised. We surveyed the metal mesh and the bars that made up our bed. After several minutes, I went out for a cigarette.
Fat Shite called that he was heading to Woolworths and whether we would like to go with him. Starving and sore from my face-plant on to the make shift bed, I happily agreed to an outing. Two miles down the road, Woolworths was huge and busy. We gathered up some basics – bread, sugar, wine – and headed back to Fat Shite’s complementary car. And then he did something that cemented my opinion of him forever.
“So can I get ten bucks off you for petrol?”
I had a cigarette.