Sometimes people are amazing, incredible, sparkly creatures that seem to have a cool factor SO out of reach. Sometimes people suck. I review four people I’ve come across in my life, and rate them out of five.
Cool Older Sister: When I was eight, I went home for a playdate with my friend Ella after school. We stood out the front of the playground waiting to be picked up, and when a bright pink Datsun Sedan rolled up I was a little confused. Was that what her mum drove? The answer was, no, it was what her older sister drove. Chipped nail polish, dark eyeliner and bright pink hair to match her car, Janie was the coolest girl I’d ever met. Over the years I tried to remodel myself to be someone more like her, but no matter how many alt-band poster I plastered onto my wall, how many pairs of thigh high converse I wore, or how much feminist literature I read, I just never managed to embody the level of mystery and bad-ass-ness that she possessed. I still find myself wishing I was that cool. Five stars.
Antique Store Owner: There’s this place in my hometown called the Emporium. It’s a crumbling building with rooms like pockets filled with antique telephones and woollen vests – one of those peculiar bazaars found only in country towns and back alleys. It boasts a bug-eyed taxidermy deer and a fortune-telling pirate, but it’s most interesting attraction is by far the owner. Bulbous black goggles that sit just above his monobrow, a ruffled shirt, faded army jacket and paisley neck scarf. His gingham pants are held up by bright yellow suspenders, and peeking out from underneath the flares, a pair of gothic platform boots. The uncomfortable clash of periods and genres is emphasised by his features, his protruding brow bone and deep set eyes giving him an almost caveman-like quality. He’s utterly outrageous and he is perfectly himself. I’d give him five stars but he smells of mothballs.
Lucy McDonald: I was always one of those people adamant that I’d never have kids; to me, they were loud, annoying and off putting. That was, until I met Lucy. This overzealous five year old is the most charismatic person I know. She’s just so… Herself. When she was six, she packed all her most important belongings (a teddy bear, three packs of Oreos, two tutus and a pair of gum boots) into a pink Cinderalla suitcase and ran away. She lived in a tree in her back yard for two days, excluding a brief thirty minute period wherein she came back inside to use the bathroom and retrieve a pot of raspberry jam. Other famous escapades include riding her Shetland pony around her veranda and beating up one of the boys in her class because he tried to kiss her. Coolest first grader I know. Six out of five.
The Worst Mall Santa in History: You know when you’re like five years old and your mum takes you to get a picture with Santa at Myer or Kmart? You get plopped into this stranger’s lap and you’re expected to whisper your deepest desires into his ear? It’s a pretty creepy concept in itself, but made worse when your mall employs literally The Worst Santa Ever. Every year until I was ten, I was forced to sit on this man’s lap, breathe in his garlicky, Jim Beam, three-day-old sausage roll stench and smile for a photo. He had long, dirty, yellow fingernails and his greasy hair peeked out from under his Santa cap. One year I saw him smoking under by the town’s Christmas tree. I’m giving him one star, but only because his beer gut made for a good pillow.