Rustic Herpes.

[Two women enter a kitchen. The first slides her hand along the bench, sweeping away non-existent crumbs. The second mimics her, but instead appreciates, not without a sense of jealousy, the quality and gloss of the timber benches].

“So the vibe we’ve really gone for, as you can see, is sort of a wholesome, rustic look.”

“Oh yes, it’s very nice, isn’t it?”

[Sound of two pairs of high-heels, slowly pacing the kitchen as though it’s a museum].

Wholesome

“It’s nice to be able to look out onto the garden while we eat breakfast, I must say.”

[The first woman stops and frowns at the rug, before crouching to straighten the fringe. While her back is turned, the second woman, though she is not quite sure why, has the sudden urge to see what her sister keeps in the fridge. She gently tugs the door open and finds a single plastic bottle of water, two thirds empty. Nothing else.]

“What did you do with Mum’s gramophone?”

“Hmm?”

“Mum’s gramophone. You said you wanted it because you had the perfect place to put it?”

“Oh! It’s in the formal dining room! It honestly ties the whole room together, and I think it’s just much nicer than it being stuffed in some cupboard somewhere … what are you mumbling? Come on, i’ll show you, follow me, please.”

[The women exit the room, hand-in-hand. Well … not exactly hand-in-hand, the first woman grabs the wrist of her younger sister and tugs her down the hallway like a toy on a string].

“See! Isn’t it glamorous!”

Disease

“Uh.”

“Hmm?”

“You know it’s May, right?”

“May? Yes?”

“It’s just …”

“Just what? Is there something you have a problem with?”

“Well, the room is lovely, but the Christmas decorations…”

“Which Christmas decorations? Where?”

“… the ones hanging from the ceiling?”

“I don’t see any Christmas decorations and I really don’t like your attitude.”

“The baubles! Up there! There must be fifty of them! It looks like the room caught a venereal disease!”

“There is honestly no accounting for your taste, Kate. It’s called frou-frou. It’s French. Perhaps if you owned your own home, you’d understand a little more about decorating.”

[Sound of one pair of high heels leaving the room].

Mindy and the Truck Stop.

“G’day Mindy, this is Tom I was telling you about. He’s going to take some photos for the website so we can pop the house up this arvo. We might just go from room to room and you can tell us a little bit about it so we can write a good description for it too.”

“Well, I think the real selling point is that it’s a family home, you know? There’s lots of space.”

“Nice, nice. It is big, isn’t it? How many bedrooms is it?”

“There’s four.”

“Okay, nice, that’ll look good on the website. So, how many kids did you have?”

“Sixty four.”

“Sorry, four did you say?”

“No. Sixty four.”

“…”

“They’re all here, come through.”

dolls

“Oookay. Um. Okay. Well just … um, Tom if you could just take a quick snap here, maybe just try and crop … okay, I think you know what I mean. Maybe just focus on just the cupboard and window if you can. Try not to … you know, just we don’t want too much wide angle maybe in this room”.

“Some of them are a little camera shy, especially Baby here, so if we could make this quick…”

“Let’s make this very quick! Ok, maybe let’s head outside, it’s starting to feel a bit warm in here. Is anyone else feeling warm?”

“Oh yes! The backyard! Now, the backyard is special. The girls needed somewhere to play, so we’ve done something very nice out here.”

dolls2

“This is … this is just concrete pebbles. And sheds. And dead wood.”

“The sheds are for privacy. Nosy neighbours.”

“And what’s that green thing over there? It kind of looks like … a truck stop or something.”

“Oh yes, we love truck stops! We wanted it to look just like one of those! Maybe you could put that in the ad? Private backyard replica truck stop?”

Accessories.

“It’s too big”
“It’s not too big! It’s actually smaller than I’d like.”
“What the hell do we need four bedrooms for?”
“Are you joking?”
“No, I’m serious. It’s ridiculous. Give me one good reason why we need a fourth bedroom.”
“…Uh, for my scarf collection, duh!”

scarf

The Work Experience Kid

*walks over to work experience kid*

“Hey, I’m just looking at the photos you took of the newly listed properties this morning.”

“Yeah?”

“So this place here, is this photo taken from the backyard?”

*puts photo down on desk*

block1

“No.”

“Oh.”

*picks up photo and looks more closely*

“Is it the front yard?”

“No.”

“Is it actually even on the property we’re selling?”

“No.”

“Oh. Did … did you get any shots of the actual property, then?”

“Yeah. That one.”

*points at second photo*

block2

“Oh, okay! That’s not a bad shot! We can work with that! Did you take any of the interior?”

“No.”

” … So just these two then?”

“Yeah … I’m going to lunch.”

” … Okay.”

The Water Feature.

“You know what I love?”

“What’s that, babe?”

*sound of the Sunday Telegraph rustling*

“I really love the sound of bubbling water.”

“Mmm hmm.”

” … “

“Do you think we could put a pond in?”

“Sorry, love?”

“A pond. Could we put a pond in? Like a water feature thing?”

“Oh yeah, we could do that. There’s that bad patch of grass out back, we could pull it up and put in a pond. I’d have to duck into Bunnings and maybe wait for Steve to have a free weekend, but we could do that.”

” … the backyard means going all the way outside, though. I just want something nice where I can sit and have a cuppa and just listen to the water. Just somewhere relaxing.”

“I’ll have a think about it, love. I’m sure we can come up with something.”

pond

Sweet Baby Cheeses!

You know that thing where you’re selling your house for $1.4 million dollars and the real estate agent says, “Darling, this place is fabulous! You have taste! Now, our photographer has taken some snaps and let’s face it, it’s hard to get a bad shot of such a gorgeous house, but let me know if you have any photos you’ve taken yourself that you’d like us to include!”?

And you think to yourself, “Well actually, there is one I’d like to include!”

cheese

Because everyone likes a fine selection of cheeses.

One Man’s Dream Is Another Man’s Nightmare.

This one is advertised as being a ‘renovator’s dream’ and mostly I have nothing to say about it because I want to scrub its depressing existence from my mind and eyeballs with some kind of strong cleaning chemicals that don’t get a look in at this place very often by the looks of things.

Also?

A blanket, no matter how closely you colour-match it to your walls, is not going to disguise the fact that you’re missing part of your ceiling.

We can see it.

roofmissing

Bali In My Belly.

You know when you go on a holiday to Bali and the water is just as blue as in the pictures and you wear a sarong for the first time in probably a decade (it’s actually been three decades, but that’s a scary thought, the kind you don’t want to have in Bali) and you lightly dust your freckled décolletage with bronzer each morning because you’re a little more careful with sunbathing these days, although a few hours here and there in Bali won’t hurt, will they?

You have the time of your life. Three weeks away from the kids, you’re acting like teenagers again and the sex is quite good the one-and-a-half times you’re both in bed at the same time. Though, for someone who stopped love making half-way through because he was sure he had “Bali belly” coming on, he sure did fall asleep quickly. Oh well, he’s tired, he works hard and it meant you could stay up and have a few more white wines than you could have had normally and that Jennifer Garner movie was the type of thing he would’ve just complained about anyway.

You buy the kids some white shells on leather straps and make a list of how many bottles of gin you’re going to need to remember to get duty free and you lie on a banana lounge and use a book and sunglasses as a prop so you can watch a family of Russians flopping in and out of the spa.

Does the daughter, is it the daughter? Sometimes she seems to treat that older man like a father, but she’s far too old so be sitting on his lap in the spa in her bikini, so is she his girlfriend? Anyway, does that tattoo on her back actually say ‘BITCH’? It does! Where’s your phone, you need a photo of this to show the girls.

Some people!

You wonder how cheap it would be to get some gel nails done before you go home.

When you get back home, you tell everyone it was fabulous, yes if they’re thinking of going themselves, they should talk to you because you really felt you got a grasp on the place.

He goes back to work, you do a few little crafty projects with some picture frames to house the photos you took of the beaches. So blue!

You start to feel despondent. That gin you were going to give to Linda just keeps disappearing. If you spice it up with a little lime, it takes you right back to Bali.

He doesn’t want to talk about the holiday anymore, he’s busy at work and just wants to put his bloody feet up for one bloody minute at the end of the day and not have to think.

Then you see something so perfect, so … majestic and you must have it. If you have it, every night you’ll dream of Bali, it’ll be like you never left.

You buy it and it gets delivered and it takes three men to carry it in and he’s really bloody angry when he sees it and has to put it together, but you don’t care.

It’s beautiful.

dolphin

Faux on Faux

photoshop

It took me a really long time to figure out what was wrong with this room.

Until recently I had no idea that if you’re fancy, you can hire people to style your empty home and put lovely matchy matchy furniture in it for the real estate photos.

I just thought there were a lot of people out there who didn’t own much stuff and had really, really hygienic homes.

I actually started to want to be those people, who, if they existed, I imagine would be the type who don’t scan IKEA catalogues for the cheapest item on each page, but look at the entire faux room setup and just buy the whole thing.

I wanted to be them and their relaxing Saturday morning coffees from the plunger on their special bay trolley in their shiny kitchens, their white teeth gnashing as they smile at their Labrador.

Fuck them and their love of bushwalking and ability to keep their clothes clean all the time.

The above house, however, wasn’t fancy enough to have a stylist, they just had it Photoshopped Uncanny Valley style and no-one will ever buy it because it’s just so goddamned creepy.