Sick as

Mr Miyagi has the flu and is on MC today, probably because he was stupid enough to go play touch footy on Sunday even though his body was telling him not to. Anyway, he will leave you with something he wrote a while ago:

The Pacific Sports Store, Randwick

Yes, Mel Gibson lived around here, I think somewhere on Dudley Street. I dont know which High School he went to, but I know he studied at NIDA.

I was busying myself looking for a pair of sandals that were sturdier than my last pair while he went on to say that Geoffrey Rush also lived nearby during his NIDA days.

The Pacific Sports Store has been on Randwick’s Belmore Road for as long as I remember, and despite the incursions of the likes of Sportsco and Rebel Sport outlets nearby, it has managed to stay afloat. I like it because it has possibly the best collection of rugby-related sports gear across the Eastern Suburbs. The façade is a hideous green, possibly painted two decades ago and impossibly free of graffiti. The store display window is a motley arrangement of rugby balls, headgear, boots, shoes, jerseys as well as rugby posters, which are so sun-bleached I mistook them for antiques.

Back inside, the shopkeeper broke from his conversation with the Irish-sounding woman who was shopping for rugby gear for her son, and turned to ask what I was looking for. And about time he did too. It is near impossible to locate anything in this shop. It is dark, and the shop-space looks like the display window, only messier and with everything and the kitchen sink strung up from floor to ceiling.

Sandals. I am looking for sandals.

The kindly-looking Chinese shopkeeper squinted at me, as if he was about to accuse me of stealing a pair of adidas trackpants last month or something. OK. So I was unkempt. Slightly.

You. I remember you. You play rugby union. You came here and bought gear some time ago.

Before I could acknowledge this, he went on to recall that I had done my ankle in two weeks after I bought boots from him.

Yes, this fella here plays rugby, he said to the Irish-sounding woman who looked in a hurry to leave the shop.

He’s one of the few Asians who do. Very rare.

She nodded.

This lady here is very involved in rugby too. Her husband is a referee.

Rugby talk ensues for five whole minutes. Clubs, matches, divisions, grades. Then from out of the shadows came a voice and the figure of a middle aged Chinese woman.

Yeeees, I remember this boy. Haiyah. You should stop playing. So rough.

I hastily picked a pair of Dunlop sandals even though they didn’t fit very well. Marketing people take note. This technique – boring the customer into buying something, sometimes works. Stepping out into the glare of Belmore Road in the afternoon, it took awhile before my eyes readjusted to the sunlight. Clutching the crumpled plastic bag (which seemed to have been recycled by the kindly shopkeeper) containing my new sandals (at least I hope they were new) I went and looked for Dudley Street to see if I could figure out just which apartment block Mel Gibson lived in.

The ex-car and the ex-girlfriend in the ex-city, little bit north of the Eastern Suburbs, 1995

iTunes’ party shuffle is playing a copy of: I’m on Fire – Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A., of which I have the original CD and therefore didn’t steal music.
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19 thoughts on “Sick as”

  1. I spent some time in UNSW too. At least you played rugby and kept fit. All I did over there was to develop a drinking habit. Just thinking of the $3.50 beers is bringing tears to my eyes…

  2. I spent some time in UNSW too. At least you played rugby and kept fit. All I did over there was to develop a drinking habit. Just thinking of the $3.50 beers is bringing tears to my eyes…

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