I was bemused to note that a Sydney Harbour ferry by the name of Lady Northcott was driven upon the rocks last week. I also saw that in the film "The Changeling" starring Angelina Jolie the ranch on which all the boys were murdered was called Northcott. But for sheer contempt plus loathing nothing beats the horror of Northcott Housing Estate in Surry Hills. At the risk of being a bore I can't help but tell the ongoing story of living there, reality is always more perverse than fiction, it's terrific grisly material for a writer plus I may need a diary of events one day to plead special consideration for my release from such a purgatory.
Concerning the ongoing saga with my awful next door neighbour, Cursula, I took the advice of Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" and figured diplomacy was the best way of winning a battle and besides, I was so stressed by our bitch-fights I risked another heart attack. So I talked to her with friendship and reason hoping she would stop getting on my nerves but this only encouraged her passive-aggression and again she knocked at my door all night long demanding attention and hassling for my xanax stash while I just put my MP3 in my ears and listened to techno music, oblivious to her wailing. When she piled the junk furniture up outside my door I ignored it. When she built the Mongolian Yurt in the garden fronting my place and filled it with garbage I just warned her that the Housing Department wouldn't like it.
On Saturday night I got engrossed in the sci-fi masterpiece "Minority Report", trying to follow its' convoluted plotting, when I heard the "crackle crackle bhoom bhoom" of a large fire erupting in my flat's vicinity. I looked out the door and saw Cursula's Yurt going up like a Guy Fawks' bonfire, the flames a hundred feet high and spreading to the workers' toilet-house nearby. Cursula ran about shrieking in helplessness while the gay guys from the other end of the building got out the fire-hose and sprayed the inferno into submission. Ashes, the burnt detritus of rags and mattresses, newspapers and umbrellas, scattered and floated through the air, making a horrendous mess of our front verandah. The multitude of tenants came out on their landings to stare down at us in dismay, Cursula bawling her eyes out, screaming, "Someone here really hates me! Who did it?"
"Who do you think did it, you stupid brain-dead cow?" I yelled, "the same firebug that's been attacking Northcott for the last few years. If you didn't pile all that rubbish up it wouldn't have happened!"
"You probably did it Toby, you're always hassling me about my recycling."
"You rotten bitch! It's not enough that I have to suffer your rubbish, and then the fire, I've got to be blamed for it as well. I hope you get evicted for this!"
"You should have compassion for me, that's all my precious stuff that's been burned," she moaned as a torrent of crocodile tears poured forth.
"I hate your guts. All that crying is just typical manipulative behaviour. You're hoping attention will be diverted from your dirty slut habits and people will be sorry for you but everyone actually despises you. Look at this fucking mess. A real person would be apologising and trying to clean it up."
I left her wringing her hands, Dravid the gay undertaker pretending niceness and trying to give her a cup of coffee to calm her down but she slammed her door in his ugly mug. I tried to get back into the movie, Tom Cruise agonising with Max von Sydow about "Pre-crime and the Thought police", but again I heard flames crackling and fire-engines wailing. I looked out my door to discover firemen hosing down the front of my place, my bathroom window about to crack from the heat. The firebug had come back for more revenge and set alight to the crap she'd built into a pile near my door. Someone really did have it in for the vacuous cow and I was going to burn at the stake with her.
The police were called and after much ballyhooing they carted the sorry bitch off to St. Vincents for emergency psychiatric treatment. But, sadly, she was back in an hour and hassling me for xanax as the hospital staff knew a substance-abuser when they saw one and refused her entreaties for drugs. She had the Easter weekend to clean up the mess before the Housing Department bureaucats came and saw it but like a sloth she lay in her manky bed for most of the holiday, only carrying out more rubbish to add to the disaster, the front of my place looking like a tsunami had hit it. I can't wait to see what the officials will do about it when they clap their beady eyes upon it, hopefully they'll banish her to the Black Stump in Woop Woop. Or show me mercy and allow me to take a long break from this madhouse called Northcott.
The last thing for me to say about my incarceration at Northcott is that the Sticky Beaks theatre mob have not returned to give succour to the lumpen proles; after swan-necked Kerry Armstrong, a doctor in a TV drama, read lovely poems gushing upon the desperately lonely Northcott denizens, she rushed off to flog her good rep to Coca Cola, endorsing the wonder drink as good for the teeth and low in calories, and now Coke and her sainthood are being pilloried in the press for false advertising. We here at Northcott carry on with the bedlam of screams, curses, smashing glass and breaking doors thundering night after night, unhappy gay Dravid, mortified by the dead-bodies he lays out in his funereal parlour, hanging out his window in a drunken furore shouting his favourite refrain, "You lousy fucking bastards, you no good lazy pensioner shits! You've got no money, you own nothing, you've never ever had a job! Fuck the lot of you!" No god save me. Old Lady Northcott has seen better days.
On hearing my screams many of my neighbours had come out to watch but were helpless as he was a heavily built ogre too strong for anyone to take on. I emanated an egg of protective white light around myself and as he made ready to bring the iron bar down on my head in one finalsing deadly blow I stared deep into his deranged eyes and yelled in an authoritative voice, "Don't do it!" and by some miracle he stopped in mid-air as if hypnotised , the weapon poised above my face, and cursing maniacally he instead pounded my push-bike then charged off up the path carring the weapon with him. This was the 777th time I had narrowly escaped destruction in my eventful life, how did I manage to come away almost unscathed yet again? My hand was cut and swollen, my body bruised , my heart shaken and my neighbours sympathetic, even crag-faced Dravid tried to console me, furious that such brutality keeps erupting at Northcott. Who will be next, 87 year old Dolly?
I told Cursula later that all the junk she left lying about out the front made perfect weapons for the fuckwits and she might be the next victim so she quickly carried the lengths of wood and iron bars back into her lair. I aslo pleaded with her to remove the piles of old clothes, magazines etc but the next morning saw that they they remained piled up there still, burnt and mouldy, ready for the firebug to set the place alight again. Nothing can convince this moron that she endangers us all, that her hobo's camp attracts the low-lifes, but such is life in the desperado's lane. Why do we exist here on Planet Earth? To suffer, pleasure and pain, there is no heaven and hell, it's all here.