There’s a great suburb in the north of Melbourne called Reservoir.
Reservoir is like Prahran and Malvern in one particular way and absolutely no other ways: you have no idea how to pronounce it unless you’ve lived in Melbourne for over 5 years.
Why is Reservoir called Reservoir? Because a bunch of reservoirs were built there back in the day, and the place was named after those reservoirs, in a grateful homage to their sweet water-holding abilities. So, why do we then pronounce Reservoir as “Reservore”? I don’t know. Someone please tell me. Please.
In Reservoir, there is a magical place called 24-Hour Kmart, and it is magical because IT IS OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY, YES, EVEN AT 4am.
So, what’s so good about a discount megastore that’s open in the dead of night, I hear you ask?
The first thing is: the convenience. You need to buy a tent at 5am after a night of projectile vomiting? 24-Hour Kmart. You need a fan at midnight because the summer heat refuses to break and you swear to god you’re going to kill someone if this bullshit does not dissipate soon? 24-Hour Kmart. My mind is constantly boggled by the fact that this HUGE WAREHOUSE of goods made by morally indefensible labour and ecologically devastating processes is accessible WHENEVER I MIGHT HAVE THE SLIGHTEST URGE FOR A CHEAP FAUX-UGG BOOT OR MASS PACKET OF EAR BUDS.
The second great thing about 24-Hour Kmart is: the fact it is a microcosm. On one night in 24-Hour Kmart I observed a woman in traditional niqab inspecting discounted outdoor furniture alongside a woman in a bright red body-con mini-dress with stiletto heels telling off her dropkick boyfriend for doing something shitty, alongside a pretty erratic and slightly abusive guy coming off some serious crystal meth yelling at the security guard.
Which brings me to the final great thing about 24-Hour Kmart: the staff. The most impressive staff members are the security guards. These dudes deal with the most fascinating and horrifying stuff, pretty much as soon as the sun goes down. You would start believing vampire werewolves existed after long enough in the job, because of the fact that your workplace is regularly frequented by human nightmares as soon as it becomes dark. For example, I saw one Security Guard ask to check a guy’s bags once. The guy yelled back at him “fuck you, go back where you came from” and walked off into the car park.
The 24-Hour Kmart staff have a tough job, and while they remain helpful and respectful, the strain of this job shows. Once I tried to return a faulty toaster a 11pm without a box or a receipt, and the woman there was so kind about the fact that there’s no way she was going to replace my toaster because only criminals try to replace stolen toasters without a box or receipt, “not that I’m saying you are, don’t get me wrong.” Her defense became a stunning and convoluted monologue rich in detail and reflexivity, and I enjoyed it, despite the fact that it didn’t get me the goddamn toaster I needed, which was the only thing I actually came to Kmart for, as opposed to the $47 worth of cushions and clever vases that I have just purchased.
Look. Life is a complex and beautiful thing. With joy comes sorrow, with summer comes winter. Similarly, with the joy of 24-Hour Kmart comes the horror of 24-Hour Kmart. If you want the convenience of late-night spatulas and early-morning sports bras, you have to put up with a few doses of world-weary staff, heinous customers, and unnecessary overspending.
If you ask me, it’s a small price to pay.
Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living!
You said it, Dolly. As did you, Lush Cosmetics.
Us at Would Jess Like It HQ have been doing a lot more office work lately, in the pursuit of More Boots, Handbags and Posh Meals, and Also the Minor Factor of Keeping A Roof Over Our HQ.
And, look, it’s not that bad. I get to work with a Receptionist whose vibe is “Vintage Glamazon from the 50s and 60s”, and she rocks a new outfit every day and accompanies it with great phrases like “cruisin’ for a bruisin’”.
I also like the fact that my office has leftover pastries pretty much always, leading to the same conversations with my colleagues at least 3 times a day:
1: “Oh, you sprung me! I couldn’t resist a mini-donut!”
2: “You enjoy it! Oh, I wish I could have one too!”
1: “Have one, gurl!”
2: “I’m trying to be healthy!”
1: “It’s only a mini donut!”
There’s only one thing I strongly dislike about office work (apart from the obvious factor of having to do work when I could be watching Empire and browsing Moschino’s Instagram page in bed for the rest of my life):
The commute to and from it.
Here’s a few hideous things about commuting in a major city in peak hour:
The disgusting people.
Some people do the weirdest shit. Last week, a corporate-dressed guy was waiting for a train next to me, and eating a bunch of cut up fruit in a Tupperware container. He would pick up each fruit slice, slurp its pith and juice, and then HURL THE PEEL ONTO THE GROUND IN FRONT OF HIM. This was on repeat for 10 minutes. Which brings me to my general gripe of –
Some of you are aware of my new policy, which is: if a gaggle of corporate dudes are bro-ing their way down the sidewalk together in one line, like the popular kids from Mean Girls, I refuse to get out of their way.
In the past, I would get out of their way promptly, make room for them by walking into gravel garden beds, due to the fact that socialised misogyny led me to unconsciously think I had less right to a sidewalk than these guys.
Ever since I realised my internalised self-hatred, I made a vow to never do it again. This makes a lot of my walk through the CBD more fun, but also more adrenaline-packed and dangerous. (This is because they hardly ever move out of your path until the very last minute, which makes me think they will be taken by surprise when The Revolution comes).
Calm down, Dutton. This isn’t what you think. I am kvetching about the sort of people who see me waiting on Flinders Station platform, near the yellow line, for the train to show up, and come and stand DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF ME AS IF I WERE NOT EVEN THERE.
One of the problems with imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy is that a lot of unhappy people are forced to trudge home with other unhappy people, and sometimes their unique unhappiness spikes into someone else, and sparks fly, in a not-good way.
Tonight, on my way to the train, I witnessed the tail end of a struggle between a middle-aged man and a young hipster on a bike. I don’t know what they were fighting about, but as the hipster rode away he yelled, “”I’m not scared of you. You’re just a stupid old man with no fucking life!”
We all craned our necks to see the stupid old man lacking any fucking life, but I couldn’t work out who he was in the crowd of sad-looking dudes.
And that’s the riddle right there, isn’t it. Maybe he was yelling it at all of us.
The first thing I want to say about the Dog Lovers Show is: what a grammatical quandary. Where does the apostrophe go? Is there an apostrophe? Does the show belong to us, the dog lover? Is there one of us, or are there many of us? (Stupid question: there are way too many of us; more on that later). Is this show just for people who have bestiality dispositions? Why would you host an event for these people?
The motto for this show is “for the love of dogs” and features a very excited young woman herding a mass of Yorkie Terriers, one of whom is barely noticeable in the scrum of fellow teacup dogs because he is crammed between her two hands. Just his little light brown nose peeks out. Does she love all her dogs except for this one? What did he do?
The Dog Lovers Show took place last weekend in a big exhibition building in Melbourne. There was a long list of terms and conditions to read on their website, for those of us who like to do pre-expo research so as to have the best experience ever, because why wouldn’t you want to be over-prepared at all times? (Also why wouldn’t you google the menu of every restaurant you ever go to, in advance, so you can know exactly what to order the minute you sit down, because, really, spontaneity is nice and all, but only when it comes to things like designer bag purchases. Food and dog lover shows are way to important to treat so flippantly).
Anyway. One of the rules of the Dog Lovers Show was that you could not BYO-dog, BYO-puppy, or BYO-furious-and-confused-cat. This show was for lovers of OTHER peoples’ dogs, and we don’t care how much you love your own dog! (Except for the fact there are lots of things here for you to buy your dog, pretty please, and plenty of courtesy ATMs on premises).
Another rule of the Dog Lovers Show pertained to patting and otherwise. Each stand had a laminated sign on the wall establishing a few key rules when it came to dog-interaction. Talk to the owner before touching a dog, ensure the dog is totally fine with any sort of dog-loving you are proposing, and calm the fuck down, I know you’re excited, but for the dog this is just another long day in a moist room having to be leader and spokesdog for its species, and it really doesn’t give a fuck about you and your novelty bichon frise t-shirt.
The excitement of this consensual petting zoo lasted for a few minutes, until we realised how flagrantly Utopia was being disrespected. Kids were running up to dogs and grabbing their butts with glee. Their parents were right behind them, patting heads TOO VIGOROUSLY for the taste of a small-terrier expert like me. There was a throng of dog lovers humming around every dog, forming an impenetrable and overwhelming circle of attention for each dog.
Look, I get it. Dog lovers shows only come once a year. The room was thick with pent up excitement, as well as the erotic energy of Dr Harry Cooper being in the building. People were meeting every flavour of dog out there, and emotions were running wild. The dogs were tired, but were also acting as ambassadors for their breed, teaching people what these dogs are like, so that if these people get the same breed dog one day, they know everything important about care and temperament.
While parts of the day were overwhelming, I regret none of my exorbitant ticket price, except for wondering who made money out of it. I learnt a lot about how smart kelpies are, I made eye contact with a celebrity dog, and I got the new profile picture of my dreams.
Would Jess Like It? …sorta.