• Being the unpaid chauffeur

    I was afraid this would happen – CORRECTION – I knew it would happen.

    We have a car again, which puts us at the mercy of the many, many people we know WITHOUT one, who then want BF to take them places and drive them all around.

    Let’s put it this way. BF has two main categories of friends. The ones who work/are doing apprenticeships, have steady jobs and cars. And the losers who have lost their licences for speeding/drink driving etc.

    Unfortunately, the latter kind are the one he sees more often. One of them lives with us, so …. yeah.

    Sigh.

    And with him not having work, it just means they have all the more opportunity to rope him into chauffeuring them around.

    Even if they pay for gas, it’s still unnecessary wear and tear on our car, and until he gets his full, I’m the only other person he can legally drive around. It’s completely unfair to put him at risk of losing HIS licence too just so they can get a ride somewhere.

    He’s just left the house after getting a hysterical call from his sister. She needed a lift from her house WAY out west, to their mum’s. Her and her partner were having a huge fight and she was leaving and going to stay at their mum’s overnight…or possibly longer, in fact.

    FFS! They are both WAYYY too old for this! He’s 30plus, she’s 25, they have a fourth kid on the way. Every few months they do this – have a huge domestic, live apart, then somehow reconciliate. But they NEED to get past this. Not only should they have outgrown that stage, it’s really not on given there are kids involved. Sigh.

  • Downtown dining

    When I heard one of my best friends changed the venue for her 21st to a Viaduct restaurant – a Thai one, no less – I was wary.

    We all know what kind of, uh, patrons the Viaduct clubs are famous for. As for restaurants, they’re all overpriced and usually get mediocre reviews at best. Especially “ethnic” ones.

    tom-tom-gai

    It was a Friday evening. I’d left the house at 8am, been to classes, been to work, slashed on a bit of makeup and flipped my head upside down to try entice a bit of body into my pancake-flat hair. I was on time. No, make that seven minutes early. She’s notorious for being late to everything, and this time was no different. The six or so of us who got there on time waited 40 minutes for her. I was tired, hungry and grumpy. And stressed, of course, I’m always stressed. Did I mention stressed? This has seriously been the most stressful year of my life. Moneywise. Uni-wise. Flatmate, landlord, house, car, neighbourhood…you name it, it’s gone sour-wise. Except very, very few of my friends live in the real world. They live in the comfort of family homes, and as much as I love them, uni and family problems are the extent of their stress. They don’t understand what it’s like to actually be a grown up, for lack of a better expression. So I just try to smile, shrug and say I’m fine, because it’s a celebration and all. It’s not the place or time to launch into my woes, even if I wanted to. I don’t want to burst into tears or anything, so I keep quiet.

    Our table was long and thin and there must have been about thirty or so of us. I was the third to order. And I was, for some reason, second to last to receive my food. All I can think of is that soups must take a hell of a lot longer to make than other dishes. At least it was good, I’ll give em that.

    And then it came time to pay. She’d told us to bring cash, so I got out a $20 note and made sure I kept under my limit.

    Except that someone, somewhere had made the decision to split the bill EQUALLY.

    Fine. $20.43 is not that much more than $20, and my dish was (I think) $18 or $19.

    One of my dear friends duly paid her $20.40 in cash, and another kindly pitched in 40c for me.

    The waitress then pointed out that we were short and insisted on extracting a further 10c (no more 5c coins here) from BOTH of us.

    Never mind the fact that ONE SINGLE 10c would have covered BOTH of us for our 3c shortfall.

    No, they HAD to have that extra 7c from us both.

    It was seriously the last straw for me that day, and I had to walk away to take a brief timeout. Thanks to my friends who stumped up a further 10c on my behalf.

    Sorry, I know this is incredibly petty to whine about. But so were they for doing what they did. It’s really not the amount, it’s the principle of the matter, and that that was blatant overcharging for no reason. No two ways about it.

    Wasn’t planning on returning anyway, and definitely won’t again.

    Sorry, WangThai. You FAIL.

  • Weekend wrapup

    It’s been a hell of a week.

    Sunday: Plumber was meant to come, according to LL. Never showed. Man, am I sick of being fucked around.

    Monday: Up at 6, went with BF to sit his full licence. His friend N turns up to pick us up (he was sitting his too, straight before BF, and lending BF the car for his)…only to inform us his registration had run out two days ago and he’d only just realised. But at 6.30am, there ain’t nowhere to buy a new rego. NOWHERE.

    Instructor tells friend he can fit him in at 3.30. BF rings around to see who he can borrow a car off. My friend M obliges, but turning up with one headlight out. It’s the instructor’s last day, and he says he’ll let it slide. Off they go. But they’re back in five minutes, because there’s a bit of fog and they need both headlights. In the meantime N has hurried off to VTNZ to renew his reg, and has returned. Instructor sets off with him to take his test. BF, me and M gun it to Repco to buy a new headlight. By the time N returns, it’s time for the instructor’s next test and BF has to wait half an hour.

    Halfway through BF’s test, he pulls back into the carpark. He comes over to me and M, stony faced, and informs us that the instructor pulled him over halfway through because of a scratching sound on the left side of the car, got out, KICKED both sides of the bumper, and caused it to fall off. (M’s car is a junker. But it is warranted, roadworthy, and has never had the bumper come off, that is, until this instructor saw fit to assault it). He then declared the car unfit to finish the test in.

    We ask the AA for a complaint form, which we fill out and return to the counter staff. Counter staff flat out REFUSE to fax it off to Christchurch HQ, despite not being busy and having a fax machine right behind them. No, we have to waste more of our morning, after that appalling experience, and invest more of our time and money into following this up. BF is fairly controlled, all things considered, and simply spits out “You make it impossible to complain” and we stalk out. You would think they would appreciate feedback and the opportunity to improve, but clearly their policy is to make it difficult to complain and hope that puts people off.

    BF calls up the LTNZ call centre, has a girl take down all the details, and she says he’ll get a response within three days. She says he may get a full refund. Which would be nice, even if it doesn’t make up for the time wasted. It’ll be weeks before he can get a resit. That’s how backlogged the AA are. Pity we can’t even boycott them, because nobody else does driver testing.

    Tuesday: Lugged BF’s crutches to town and around uni (well, to one lecture). Fax off complaint form to LTNZ for verification purposes (costs me a dollar and ten minutes waiting time). Bussed up to Grafton, walked across the bridge and to Auckland Hospital to return them. Lady at reception told me to leave them “by the doors where the lino starts”. Well, where the said lino started was by the lifts, and a corridor which clearly stated “staff only”. I wandered further down the wing and took a look all around to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. I also stuck my head into the “admin reception” to check there, and the receptionist told me there would be an “equipment pool” at the main reception. Trudged back there.

    Out of all the three staff, I HAD to be served by the same first lady. She snapped at me and insisted there were double doors there and I had gone “way too far”. I went back to the “start of the lino”, saw no doors, and promptly started crying. Stress, tiredness, and tiredness of everything in my life having to be so goddamn complicated. Even returning one pair of crutches.

    Thankfully, a security guard and a female volunteer took pity on me. The guard told me to leave the crutches by the lifts, and the woman had a little chat to me as I blew my nose, tried to dry my eyes and straighten my skirt. Then back to the reception with my receipt for my $35 refund. GOT THE SAME GODDAMN LADY again. She directed me round to the cashier around the corner….who refused to help me and insisted I had to go back to ED and fill out some sort of form there. Seriously. No wonder people go on shooting sprees for less. (Jokes. Sort of)

    Trudged down to ED, on the verge of more angry tears. Amazingly, the staff there were really nice. I filled out a form, and after a brief explanation of the situation to the puzzled girl I offered to go and try retrieve the crutches from where they were. Luckily, they were where I’d left them, and I signed that form and was told to expect a check in the mail. Well, all right then.

    After a full day, went to a pub quiz at the Horse and Trap (great atmosphere, pity the place is always packed, but we’ve been lucky enough to get a table every time as someone leaves right before the quiz starts). Started feeling weird aches in my neck, but tried to ignore them all night.

    Wednesday: Woke up feeling like the behind of a donkey. Except I had six straight hours of class starting at 8, and a test I had to sit and pass. (I aced it, BTW, 100%). I struggled through the day, feeling strange aches and pains in my neck, shoulders and back, alternate chills and flushes, whole-body numbness and that awful burning mouth feeling you get when you’re coming down with the flu. I made sure to hand in the two assignments I had due the next day, texted to say I had the death flu and wouldn’t be coming in to work, and left at 1pm to go home and pass out.

    Thursday: Awoke around 9, with the aches and pains gone, but a huge lump in my throat. Went back to sleep. Up at noon, sore throat staved off and feeling well enough to email my tutors to explain my absence. BF got the car towed to the workshop which did his clutch in December, where they said they’d have a look tomorrow and if it was in fact the clutch, then it would be under warranty still and all we’d have to pay is labour.

    Friday: No word back from the mechanics. Struggle through morning class, six hours of work, and home to dinner and bed.

  • No joke….this is my life

    And then came more.

    Last night I heard something breaking, like glass smashing outside. And a shout. I rushed outside, with BF and some of our friends who were over.

    Three little gangster lowlifes had just put a brick through our flatmate’s back windscreen. They took off down the street. BF yelled at them/after them. They came back. Started fronting up and acting all hard and tough and trying to pick a fight. They threw our rubbish bin at our cars. They threw probably five or six bottles at the house and cars. Talking absolute shit and saying “we know where you live” and they knew BF’s name (apparently they went to our school). All kinds of crap and trying to stir up trouble. As if the yelling and bottling wasn’t enough, they started shaking and kicking the neighbour’s fence (they luckily have abig wooden gate and nobody can get in at all).

    Throwing bottles is CHEAP. I do not believe in fighting. But if you’re going to fight, fight fair.

    Anyway, we stayed fairly calm and even though one of them hit one of my mates in the chin, nothing happened. We stayed on our property, called the cops, stayed put. They eventually retreated. The cops never came.

    Same thing happened maybe an hour later; they came back, started shouting and swearing etc again. They took off after the LL and his mates pulled into the driveway – apparently they started hassling them too and stepping to them. Called the cops. The cop car came forever later, simply drove down the street, then zoomed off like a shot when they saw nobody on the roads. It was pissing down, it was FREEZING, and we had given up on standing, waiting outside. BF tried to sprint out and flag the car down, to no avail.

    How is it that the police don’t give a shit about these things? And how is it that we have no means of recourse and no way of protecting ourselves? I am not going to face down people trying to throw bottles at me. There is no reason or rhyme with people like that. I asked, SEVERAL times, “WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?” You know, like, why are you doing this and what is your beef?

    I felt so utterly helpless then, I cannot describe how frustrating that was.

    And again maybe half an hour later. Called the cops. We just stayed inside, and I swear this time those hoodrats started actually coming on to our property. I was so worried they were going to do damage to the house, and put me out of pocket. The cops came an age later and actually came to the door. I jumped out of my skin thinking it was those boneheads actually knocking on our front door.

    And then I realised how badly I handled the whole situation. I should have been scrutinising their faces and noting down their attire. The cops wanted to know if we could identify them. I couldn’t have told you one single thing about them, let alone the colour of their hoodie! I was just so freaked out by the entire situation. BF is hyper observant thank God, because I am not, and I didn’t even THINK to try and observe.

    BTW, at least one of them was the same one involved with the burglary of our house back  in the summer. And probably all of them were to some extent, because that’s how these groups roll.

    And it’s not fucking good enough.

    Seriously, I don’t care HOW bad your life is or what a crap upbringing you had or how bored you are or how drunk you are.

    IT’S NOT ON.

    This morning I went and swept up all the glass that I could. There are so many minuscule little shards that I doubt I’ll ever be able to get them all. But they are probably enough to cause some serious pain – so no more barefooting it around outside. There’s also tons of little broken bits sort of below our immobile car, and in the hollow of the tyres and the spokes of the mags that I couldn’t get to. That’s gonna be a bitch to clean up.

    Oh yeah, and BF ended up in the emergency department till 4am. But that’s a post for tomorrow.

    It’s easy to be a bleeding heart liberal and go on about rehabilitation when you’re comfortably ensconced in your middle class existence in Mt Eden.

    Not so much when you’re holed up in your house afraid to go outside, expecting a rock through your window at any moment.

    I would have loved to have pulled a Denny Crane right then and pulled off a round of shots at those little shits.

    What are you supposed to do in that situation? What CAN you do? How is it that we can’t protect ourselves from (insert choice word here) like that? BF called our cop friend, who merely confirmed how powerless and uncaring police are in such matters.

    I kind of wish I’d just booted those f***wits in the nuts, although that would’ve just enraged them and set them off at our guys. Or possibly even retaliate on me, in which case GOOD because that might have got the cops out here, but then set our guys on them to protect my dignity etcetc. URGH.

    And no, I do not believe the right to bear arms would have solved this. Guns are too easily turned back on you. And if it’s easy for people like myself to get a gun, imagine how much easier it will be for guys like those.

    Four months left on this lease.

    That’s a long time.

  • I do NOT like

    – People who use “rape” and “raping” as a verb to refer to something other than the actual act. IE, “raping your car”. Especially when it comes from a girl. Yeah, double standards at play, but when females throw “rape” around, well, it just seems wrong. If we can’t take rape seriously, how can anyone?

    – Chicks who get drunk and come on to your BF. Once, okay. Twice or more….. well, I’ve tried, and I really want to like you, but this ain’t a friendship and it’s not gonna work. Keep it in your pants.

    – People who lash out and blame others for their own fuckups, and get abusive. Take some responsibility for yourself.

  • Car troubles and badly cut pizza

    Just because I use a coupon……doesn’t mean it’s cool to slack off on cutting up my pizza giving me 5 massive slices and 3 minuscule ones!

    I’m sure pizza places have a secret policy for coupon users – be as sloppy as possible, and make their pizzas smaller than they should be.

    Not that I can complain, seeing as I got a free pizza, and pizza is pizza. dafazios_pizza

    What did freak me out a little was when I gave my order over the phone, and my contact number. And somehow the girl on the other end of the phone knew my name! They must keep all customers’ details on file, like, FOREVER, because the last time I phoned to order pizza was probably over a year ago.

    BF isn’t a big pizza fan, so we hardly ever go to Pizza Hut or Dominos. He likes making his own at home.

    So we went to get in the car to pick them up (yes, I’m too cheap to get food delivered. Done it ONCE, was horrified at the surcharge and refused to ever do it again), and didn’t get out of the driveway.

    BLOODY EFFING CARS.

    Either the clutch or transmission is out. And obviously we can’t even take it to a mechanic, even if it was in the budget.

    nz01008_sm

    This comes as we have about four loads of washing to do, no food in the house, and I have several things to do out and about. Not to mention that we put in $45 of gas, which would have lasted 2, maybe 3 weeks.

    Deja vu…..the last 2-3 times our car’s conked out, it’s done so with a lot of gas in it.

    FML.

  • Thwarted

    So, our midweek getaway didn’t quite work out as planned.

    It started off well. We got into town a tad early, so drove over to the Domain and decided to check into the museum. I haven’t been there in years, and because NZ has such shitty museums, am not generally a fan of them. I think they’re dark, musty and not that interesting. But Sue the Great T Rex was in town, so we paid $21 to get into that exhibition (and of course looked around the rest of the sections. I really liked the freaky birds. And the giant moa. And the intricate and not so intricate Greek Vases we studied in Classics back in the day…and yes, the dinosaurs were cool. Amazing that they didn’t all have heinous back problems. It must have been really uncomfortable to live in their bodies).

    We checked in our bags, got up to our room, fell in love with it. (BF hugged me, exclaimed “I love it!!” and jumped on the bed). Ran a bath, went up to the rooftop pool (an outdoor one, supposedly heated, but felt barely lukewarm and tasted super thick and chloriney). Back into the room. Started to get ready for dinner, and later the casino. Couldn’t find BF’s shirt.

    “Didn’t you pack it??? Where is it??? Don’t tell me it’s still at home???!!!!”

    “….I think so.”

    Not pleased. Why couldn’t he just have WORN it in? Why did he have to come in his raggedy smelly old singlet?

    Ran down, asked the valet for our keys, and hoped to God there was a nice shirt in the clean laundry we’d picked up on our way over.

    Nope.

    Just as well, since BF picked that exact moment to start feeling sick. After a few minutes in the toilet, he declared himself a victim to the latest tummy bug. Dinner abruptly cancelled.

    I ended up going out to get Thai takeaway from across the road while he lay in bed.

    Casino was off.

    I would still have gone anyway, but the friends we were going to meet changed their minds, and I sure was not going in there alone. I’ve never been before and going in by myself is not how I want to do it. I did go down for a looksee, and it simply annoyed me that there we were in the middle of town, staying in the most central, buzzing hotel and not making any damn use of it.

    BF puked a lot. I felt really bad for him and tried not to feel like everything was ruined. Like he said, we saved a bit by him not eating, and us not going gambling.

    The hotel was really nice. The shower/bath was a bit weird, in that there was a lever type thing that switched up whether you wanted the bath or the shower to run. It didn’t seem to work all the time – it was really niggly. Also, we were meant to arrive to two free easter eggs, and the room was meant to have a PS2. Neither of which was a big deal but BF insisted we paid for it and should get it….

    So he rung. And a nice guy came up to give us our chocolate (and I couldn’t work out how to open the door to him; I thought we were locked in, but the doors are just insanely heavy). They insisted that none of their rooms had game consoles, however (oh yeah? why do the TV instructions say otherwise? And your website?) Not that we would probably have used it, but I emailed them a brief feedback email anyway. Because the thing that was the worst, was the fact that instead of keys, they use swipe cards. Not just for the room, but in the lifts as well.

    We ventured out to find the pool and sauna. Our card wasn’t working in the lift.So we tried the stairs.

    Only, we couldn’t actually get OUT of the stairwell, because none of the doors opened from that side.

    It wasn’t fun.

    Eventually we made it down to the ground floor and thankfully escaped through there, but I could have done without those five panicked minutes…

    But the bathroom was amazing, the location and views and the facilities were good (I mean you’ve got restaurants, cafes, bars and the casino, just IN the building). And the bed! I looooove hotel sheets. I must find out where they get them.

    And our free breakfasts included in our Easter package (along with valet parking and a book of vouchers) weren’t too shabby. BF wasn’t up to eating, so I packed what I could in our bags.

    p4140226

    I just….get so annoyed when things don’t work out as planned. I guess that makes me inflexible. Like, I get set on going to a certain place one weekend. And then maybe someone’s car breaks down, nixing that idea. Then I’ll get upset and rail about things, do a spot of comfort eating, and sulk. I wanted this to be, well, not perfect, but NICE. Stupid stomach bug.

    And I guess that’s why I dislike planning things, as they inevitably fall apart. Valentine’s was a nice exception. We didn’t end up going to the restaurant I booked, but got room service (and it was divine). And birthdays are always pretty crap. I think I’ve cried almost every year on my birthday in the last four or five years. It doesn’t really help that it falls in the depths of winter, when it’s cold and dark and damp – not exactly cheer-inducing weather. I don’t like to hype things up. I usually get let down.

    Okay, end self pitying post. Tell me to shut up!

  • Lawn dramas

    Our lawn guy is a total freak. He showed up one December day, offering to mow our lawn, sat outside in our chair and smoked, then took off. He came back hours later, cut our grass and tidied up the edges. We paid him. He said he’d return in three weeks.

    And he did. One weekday at around six thirty in the morning. I couldn’t think what on earth it could be, and it must be vitally urgent – who comes calling at six thirty AM??? Grumpy BF got rid of him and told him to come back on the weekend at a more godly hour.

    He didn’t. same thing happened three weeks later. We ignored him and stayed in bed. Heard him rustling around in our recycling bin and poking around the side of the house. Honestly, he just didn’t give up – he called out, rapped loudly on front and back doors, yelled out again. And again, today. Thankfully, this time he didn’t hang out harassing us.

    Then, just as we were leaving the house around 5 this afternoon, he turned up again.

    Finally. Some people just have no common sense.

    So he’s doing the lawns tomorrow, and hopefully he knows now NOT to come at dawn in the middle of the week. And if he hasn’t learned, well, I think our relationship is well and truly doomed.
    lawn

  • Specimens of “humanity”

    I thought I’d take this opportunity to reflect on certain people I’ve had the misfortune to come across in life. Misfortune, because they really are nasty, horrible, trollish little gnomes. And for no apparent reason.

    One is a cousin of the boy’s, whom I first met while we were munching down at a food court. He certainly seemed like a douchebag that first time. “You speak good English!” Well yes, does that surprise you? Should all non white people be subservient, downtrodden servantly types who bow to their masters and call them sir in broken English?

    He rocked up at this year’s Christmas do, too. After ribbing the boy about this age, he turned to look at me and said “so how old is she now?” Not towards me, I mean, I was right there in his line of vision. Nooo, he said this as an aside to the boy and his mum. He then looked over at V and her baby (the boy’ s nephew) and said the same thing. Now, he was looking at the baby, so we all rushed to correct him – “It’s a boy, not a girl!”

    But no, he was referring to V – “that girl”, as he so graciously clarified. Who again, was sitting right there. Didn’t have the courtesy to introduce himself or get her name…just “So how old’s she?” and totally ignoring her existence as a person.

    Then in came a little girl who looked about 14. No word as to who she was. We were left to assume they were ‘together’ if you get my drift, as she certainly wasn’t family.

    Wanker.

    Oooh yes, and person number two. I don’t know her name, actually – she was the gf of a guy from the boy’s company, and we were at their Christmas party. I have no idea why, but she really had it in for him. Now, this was the first time they’d met. There was no reason to be snarky at all. But she was a total bitch! She did not know him but took it upon herself to insult him at every turn. What’s worse, her bf (the coworker) did absolutely NOTHING to stop her or point out how goddamn rude and immature she was being. Nope, he just smiled and laughed along, brushing it off like a big joke.

    She made snide comments all night and would take any opportunity to get a poke in at him. The one that stands out for me was after their company ‘awards’, some of which were serious like best worker, etc, and some were silly jokey ones.

    Afterwards we stood around drinking and winding down. She actually goes, to his face “I’m surprised you didn’t get the Shrek award!!” EH????

    To this day I’m still baffled and it still irks me. Plus, she was really ugly, the kind that dumb guys think is hot, but is really trashy and fake and is going to one day look like her tragic, saggy, alcoholic “watch me dance” mother. Who was also there. And is the boss’ wife. Yeah, it’s all very incestuous over there.

    All the way home I was super tensed up. Like my body was itching for a fight, primitive instincts kicking in. I just wanted to go back and really let her have it. Of course, the boy was super cool and calm and got in the last word before we left (something about needing therapy). I’m so proud of him.

  • A day in court

    Relief is mine. And I have almost no faith left in our police force.

    Suffice it to say that the boy is free and clear and I should fucking well think so.

    I think it’s woefully inadequate that police spend their time prosecuting people for minor traffic charges while major issues are left alone. This morning I watched as they convicted a guy for pulling up the handbrake of a car, while it was barely moving, so he could get out and away from some less than savoury people.

    Over to our problem. Anyway, after the boy requested a Section 106 as I said, he got awarded that and discharged without conviction. Thank God! After seeing the way they treated the first guy, and given this was more serious, I was feeling pretty hopeless. That and the police prosecutors we had seemed like complete wankers.

    Not only did they completely fail to do their job, their case fell apart when their witness didn’t show. In their original file they failed to question the boy, despite him being one of the two main parties, and his sister, a witness. The cop helped the other party to sort out their insurance. It was never mentioned in the file that they were insured. The other party said they were doing 40k /h. My ass. They were speeding and didn’t want to admit it. Given that the cops that night told the boy to just go on home and he didn’t need to worry, the issue of them speeding was not noted either by him or his sister. And of course, the cops weren’t witnesses, they only turned up after. Not much of a case without the witness (lying bitch that she was, but I guess we all cover our asses when the chips are down). I bet they were none too happy once the judge delivered his verdict and chastised them for doing such a poor job on this.

    It could have been dragged out another six months given the dispute of key facts. But the cops went over their file statement with Twink and corrected most of it (seeing that very little of it was actually accurate). Given that he was well spoken, polite, knew how to utilise the basics of proper English, and well dressed (relatively) and knew enough to request a 106, he got it.

    Had they continued with the fabricated charge of loss of traction and spinning out of control, that would have been huge fines, loss of licence, demerits and reparations of 80% to the other party.

    That is something we would have fought tooth and nail; something patently ridiculous, untrue, and lazy work by the police.

    As the judge said, there was a lot of negligence on the part of the attending cops and it was not their place to get involved with the insurance claims, which I assume is why the insurance factor was never mentioned in the paperwork. But I have to admit they did us a favour in this respect, as they put it through as an accident of “no one’s fault”. Which is good, very good, as he wasn’t insured yet at that time. And trust me, if it comes down to insurance company vs. individual, you are screwed. They will get their money out of you, even if you don’t have it, even if it’s not your fault, anything so they’re not left with the bill.

    Meanwhile I reckon I could write a whole column on the freaks we saw this morning. It’s a great place to people watch, if you can tolerate it! Court sucks, frankly. It is full of lowlifes, the scum of the earth. Make an effort! You get unwashed, unshaven, smelly people in totally inappropriate clothing – hoods, short shorts, basketball shoes, whatever, usually with an attitude problem. Let’s face it, court is about presentation. The image you project, much like in any other situation, affects the outcome. Scrub up a little and you’ll stand out from the crowd as the standards are so low.