Sunday 17 February 2008

The Lobby

Right now, there's nobody here in the lobby. There was a big group of people when I came in a few minutes ago, they've all petered off now, all Irish except for a single brassy blonde Aussie woman, clearly being brought into the family by one of the sons, and when I came in she was holding court about Australian wildlife.

So I think she was probably talking about kangaroos, but anyway she was talking about how everybody has a license to shoot them, that they breed in droves and they're a pest in Australia, and the family was asking questions and went all quiet in the face of her vehemence. I mean, when you've grown up watching Skippy (a kid's programme about a bush kangaroo, made in the sixties and repeated on Irish tv until the nineties), then your next actual connection with Skippyland is a big bottle-blonde woman saying how happy she is to shoot Skippy, something in you probably goes all quiet, alright.

And then they asked about snakes, and she said they were everywhere, under the floorboards, in the wheels of the car, in the letterbox, in the loo.. and they went all quiet again. "Thank God for St. Patrick", says the dad, and laughs, alone. "I think the Aboriginal people eat them", says the brassy lady, and and the dad gives a loud cough, and the brassy lady goes off to the loo. Nobody said very much after that, but everyone slowly moved away, in twos and threes.

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