Hear Ye! Since 1998.
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30
Dec 04
Thu

A couple mundane Garage Tales

For as long as I’ve lived here, and I suspect for many more years than that, there’s a small group of Mediterranean people living on the corner of my street, probably retirees, who run a garage sale every single Sunday. I’ve walked past it many times on the way to the busstop and they have an amazing agglomeration of paraphernalia on sale: VCRs, TVs, picture frames, bicycles, tapes, books, chairs, other furniture and at least 3 microwaves. I don’t think they actually ever sold anything, because the pile of junk never seemed to grow smaller. They’d just sit out on the footpath watching people pass by and chat among themselves to pass the day.

One evening, a few weeks ago, I saw flashing red and blue lights from my bedroom balcony. Fire engines arrived down the end of the street, but, not being able to see any actual fire, I forgot about it. The next morning, as I stepped out of the building, I was assaulted by the smell of burnt… something. Turns out the garage had caught on fire (a defective microwave, maybe?). The blaze had blackened everything within a five metre radius of the garage, including the footpath and the grass on the nature strip. The contents of the garage was obliterated, now sitting on the footpath in one large, charred, still-smoking heap. You could smell it from hundreds of metres away.

They no longer run Sunday garage sales there anymore, and I suspect never will again. They still keep the garage door perpetually open, airing out a completely blackened, empty garage which still smells of charcoal.

There’s a taxi sitting in our apartment’s garage. It’s been there for over a year. It doesn’t have any rego plates, and the “Combined Taxi Services” decal has been peeled off from the side. It gathered a layer of dust and dirt so thick you could no longer see through the windows into its interior. One day I decided to scrawl the hackneyed “Wash Me” on the windscreen in big, thick letters. A few days later, the words “Don’t write on me” and “Bite Me” were written underneath it. And that’s when our entire apartment block decided to turn it into a bulletin board. Every day, there’d be a new retort and soon the taxi was overrun with messages in the dust. It was fun until we ran out of space to write and someone wiped off all the dirt. Just have to wait a few months for it to build up again. Well, you know what they say about small things amusing small minds…