They call her “Cats Bum”.

Tuesday, 31 January 1996  10:38am

Hey S, just heard some news that falls somewhat short of what might be described as serendipitous.  Do you remember that fuss I worked myself up into over that girl from the Croissant Connection Cafe girl? The name they gave her here at work (everyone here gets a nickname – except me – call me Mr Teflon, nothing sticks) was Cats Bum. Her name was Kara, and she always had a slight pout, hence a cat’s bum mouth, hence Cats Bum.  Well, it seems that a Croissant Connection Cafe girl got a job here, but no-one was sure which one it was.  J stressed.  After much investigation, I’ve discovered that it’s not Cats Bum, but one of her contemporaries (they have a high staff turnover there, she’s another long-termer). Her name is Hayley or something.  Simon is ecstatic, he wants to see me squirm as he asks her all about where Kara is now, as I shrivel – stage right.  She starts next week, doing subscription calls.

Sigh.  One of those days. My pile of work seems in-sur-mountable.  Shitty about being fat.  Shitty about being on a diet.  Shitty about being on a budget.  I’m a feelin’ shut in Sis.  I’m gonna have to grab me a shotgun ‘n blow me away some shoppers at a mall.  Yesiree…. BORED!

Sorry, there’s not many things more boring than listening to someone whinge about how bored they are.  Can I tell you something interesting? Simon’s bored too.  He gets cruel when he’s bored.  He’s banned Neda from speaking unless spoken to.  Only kidding around of course, but you can see the glint of cruelty underneath it.

Neda is telling me how she cuts her own hair. I think, “It’s a good thing she doesn’t drink.”

Oh God I’m bored. Inane, inane, it’s not very far from insane.

Same day,  time 3:19pm

Oh God, oh God, oh God.  I just went over the road on account of how I haven’t had a lunch break yet and I thought I could go another coffee.  So I lope over the road, hands deep in pockets, Hawaiian shirt flapping in the breeze.  I go through the swinging ten-foot plate-glass doors and veer to the left of Croissant Connection, coz I wanna get to Pomegranates for the $1.50 cappuccino.

And there she is.

It’s bloody Cats Bum.  She looks great of course.  Wearing something black and skimpy, slightly flared trousers.  Her hair is a little shorter, she had one arm on her hip, her weight resting on one leg so her body is bent into a slinky S shape.  She was talking to some other girl, didn’t really notice her, and then some tall, balding, paunchy (but young) guy walked up to her and said hello as I scooted down the corridor on the left to get away.  It’s amazing how much you can notice in a split second eh?

Shit.  I was so optimistically hoping that she had gone for good.  Perhaps she’s just on holidays.  Perhaps she was just visiting her old workmates.  Cling, cling, cling to any hopeless hope that I can.  I haven’t mentioned it to any of the others here, Simon would probably go and invite her in, just to freak me out.


map 001

Hey, guess what?  My book’s in the paper! I was standing ’round the back office, doing my photocopying, when 2nd in charge drifts by me and says “Oh, J. Have you seen the Herald-Sun today?  You’re in there. I’ve got the clipping in my office, why don’t you come up when you’re finished here.”  So with my natural bent towards assuming the worst, I conjured up a poisonous little piece somewhere down the back of the business section, lampooning the book and maybe even the boss (they’ve done it before, quite a few times actually). So I finish my photocopying, trembling and preparing for the worst.  I sidle up to No. 2’s office, knock gingerly on the door.  She’s at her desk, looks up and says “Oh J. Here it is here, from the Herald-Sun.” I walk across the office, and pick up a piece of paper cut from the business section.  Some of the article is underlined in the boss’s pen. (I recognize his pen.)  I read it quickly, scanning for the deathblow.  There is none S. It’s a nice article.  It’s kinda taking the piss, but it’s not negative, so in my book, that makes it positive.  Relief steamed out my every pore as I crumpled on to the carpet, deflated without my fear and apprehension.  Just kidding, I didn’t faint or anything.  A bit annoyed they didn’t mention my name though. They could have said something like “…the fourth edition under the Jovian guidance of J, that roister-doisterer, man-about-town, drop-dead-sexy-guy-who-pulls-lots-of-birds…”  Nothing extravagant, just a little outlandish praise is all I’m after.  Easy pleased, me.

PS 001



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