Sunday, July 04, 2004

What I Did On Saturday

It's Saturday, hey ho, why don't I just toddle off to the Newcastle Library book sale and waste some more taxpayer money on books? Sounds like a good idea.
So off to Newcastle I go. I walk. It's a long walk, but the money spent on bus tickets is money I won't be able to spend on books. Get twenty more dollars out of the bank to make sure I'll be able to meet expenses, wait for my brother outside Civic railway station (incidentally, is there any other railway station in the world with a palindromic name?!?) and together we go off to the book sale.
Getting the books is the easy part. I force my way through the crowd, and quickly find a Stephen King book I haven't read, a Plato book which I don't think I've read, a copy of Bridget Jones' diary (saw the film, liked it, haven't read the book yet), and several others, put them in a box and get in the line to get to the counter... which is the tough part.
The line snakes around the room, going up one aisle and out along the walls of the Honeysuckle Markets warehouse. It takes 5 minutes to find my way to force my way to the end of the line through the crowd and another 20 minutes to get to the actual counter. The cost of the books? All up, close to $7.00.
Then off with my brother to go through a couple of other stores. My brother runs to a strict schedule; at twelve o'clock, we havea to have lunch. So in to KFC we go. (My brother only eats at the brand-name places - Subway, KFC, McDonalds. I think it's rather endearingly capitalistic of him.) I get a small meal from the girl at the counter.
The cost: about $6.00.
Shortly afterwards, buy some Vile Socialist Propaganda off some commies standing about in the mall. I disagree vehemently with just about everything they stand for, but I kind of admire their commitment. Plus, I like to scoff at their paper. Get into a pleasant (for me, anyway) argument with the girl at the table about (guess what?) Iraq.
The paper is priced $3.00, or 'by donation if you can't afford it'. Would I like to buy some extremist left-wing filth? Hell, yeah! So I buy the paper for three dollars, even though I really can't afford it. (I hate having to pay less than the normal price for anything - it's a pride thing.)
Then off up the street to Graphic Action, one of the best damn comic stores anywhere. Surprise surprise! It's free comic day, says Callan, who's minding the store for the day. The catch? You have to buy a comic (or magazine, or book) to get one.
Well, I'm tempted - but eventually I admit to Callan that I don't have enough money, even for that.
"You can have one anyway," he says. Maybe he's feeling generous. Or maybe it's because I'm a regular customer (well, compared to some, I'm not a regular customer at all).
Still, I feel guilty, and even though I've already had a drink, I buy one from their fridge.
Add $2.00 to the bill.
Then it's almost time for my brother to leave: he's to catch the bus down to Raymond Terrace at 2.00. We make our way down to the Museum bus station (for some reason, my brother has to catch the bus from there. He's a strange person.)
I almost decide to walk back home, but what the hell. I've been carrying a bag full of books around on my back for hours, and I've got enough money to get me back home. I catch the bus and bugger the price. Which, incidentally, is $2.50. (Could be less if I got a concession ticket, but did I mention how I hate having to pay less than the regular adult fare? In some ways I'm stranger than my brother.)

Whew! What a day! All up:

Books: $7.00
KFC meal: $6.00
Green Left Weakly: $3.00
Drink from Graphic Action (optional extra with FREE comic!): $2.00
Bus ticket back home: $2.50.

That's a total of $20.50. Wow, that's $20.50 I won't be able to spend on rent or phone or internet or electricity bills. What a wonderful Government-sponsored world we live in.

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