"You see" said the Uber driver, "now that's poverty. these kids have never eaten real food in their lives." But this lecture fell on deaf ears, because most of the children in the euphemistically named fine restraunt were, while chewing away, playing on the latest model mobile phones. "Very few of these kids" dad tried again, "have even been skiing. For their holidays they just go down the coast, stay in a three star resort, sometimes even a caravan park, maybe do a bit of surfing and fishing, and then head home again." This did punch through his own children's complacency, and they grew silent, contemplating the kind of dire poverty that could force people to have their holidays in a caravan parks only a few hours down the coast.
"We're sorry mom and dad" they whispered, and were unusually silent on the drive back home, hardly paying attention to "the school of rock" dvd that was playing on the little screens in the headrest. For a change junior did not begin to nag about when would they get a blu ray player in the car, and bigger screens. .
Each day the humble Uber driver would go out in his car, and wait patiently for passengers. Some days a lot of people needed lifts, other times there was no work, and the dad sat in the car, sweating and trying to keep his eyes open in the heat. he would come home and put on a brave face. How was work today, his wife would ask, when she returned from her vastly superior job as a production manager in a factory making winter coats for dogs. Same old same old he sighed. Where are the kids, his wife asked. In their rooms, I presume...haven't seen them.
They phoned Parents line.
You are number 23 in the cue. said a voice. we are experiencing unusually heavy call volumes today, but we appreciate your patience. Your query will be answered in aproximately two hours. In the meantime you may be able to find the answer to your question by going to our website, and chatting with our virtual asisstant there called Edwina.
A sunny day. A small sydney beach upon which people of all ages sunbathe, dig in the sand, throw balls, eat icecreams, flirt, and walk their dogs. Some throw balls for the dogs, others are picking up dog poo and putting it in small plastic bags, others cudle small dogs. Some dogs chase each other along the beach, or paddle out into the water to fetch balls.
Suddenly there is a whistle. Panic ensues. People call for their dogs, grab their collars, put them on leashes, tug and pull and push them into the ocean. There they swim -doggy padle - splash their way feverishly away from the shore towards deep water, as if pursued by the shark from Jaws. The camera rotates slowly off them and turns 180 degrees til it is looking up the beach. A squat man in shorts, a big Akubra hat, and an orange and green luminescent vest appears there. he has a walkie talkie on his waist. he surveys the pandemonium, and then begins striding purposefully towards the sea. he is a council ranger. he stops next to a sign and menacingly taps on an icon which shows this is a dogs-on-leash only beach.
He catches one unfortunte child with her jack russell in tow, and from his hand held machine issues her a $300 dollar fine. Name? Address? Then he moves down to where the water touches the sand, and gazes out into the distance, where the small heads of dogs and people bobbing in the surf can just be seen. Slowly and methodically he draws a plastic objct from his pant pocket and begins inflatingit. It slowly turns into an inflatable canoe. He steps in and beging to paddle out - implacably.
[ 30 metre long leashes in order to get around the "on leash" restriction ]
He is far out to sea. A few metres away fom him is a man and his dog bobbing in the gentle swell. (Could be several people if budget will allow). This is a leash only beach, as the signs say. that's a 300 dollar fine and a warning. If it happens again your dog will be impounded and your dog licence revokes. Address?
Listen mate we're no longer on council property. In fact i doubt we're even in Australian territorial waters. You can't book me....this is not your jurisdiction. (they pelt him with water, jeer at him etc).
30 metres from shore is still in LCA. I'll just wait til you come in. Fold his arm across his chest. The sun sets. they bob up and down in the dark.
Enjoying yourself mate?
(They deflate his raft?)
The nexy morning as sun rises they are all still there....