ONE school holidays in Albury I couldn’t find a park anywhere near MAMA.
I ended up on Smollett Street in front of St Patrick’s Parish Church.
It was not my best parallel park ever; a long way from my worst though.
The driver of the car parked behind me was sitting in his front seat, talking on his mobile phone. This put me off completely, meaning I pulled out and backed in three times, in an effort not to go within coo-ee of his car.
When I got out of my car with my two daughters in tow, the other driver got out too.
“Hey!” he blasted, still with his phone to his ear.
“You hit my car!”
Having told my girls to wait on the nature strip outside the church (pray if it all went pear-shaped), I walked to the front of his car.
I knew I hadn’t hit anything but I was prepared to hear him out.
“I didn’t feel or hear anything,” I told him, noting that there were no dents or chipped paint on his car or mine. My car was white, his was black; absurdly the situation was anything but black and white.
“C’mon!” he said, “You pushed my car back a full couple of metres … at least!!”
Interestingly, his car was parked at the top of his parking bay, almost touching the white line. If I had shunted his car back a couple of metres it would have been parked in the middle of my parking bay to start with. I would have known never to try parking there, even in a small VW Golf.
Flabbergasted, especially as he was still on his mobile call to our third party so-to-speak, I said: “Let’s call the police.” (I couldn’t see any damage but I wanted to report a liar-liar, pants on fire!)
“Don’t be f***in’ stupid,” he said.
That was my cue to get my girls the hell out of the church yard.
As we walked off together, I could still hear him ranting to the person on the end of his mobile call: “It’s just some dumb, f***kin’ stupid woman!”
On the way to MAMA to meet my sister-in-law, I tried to explain to my daughters what just happened back there.
Surrounded only by respectful, gentle and kind men in our lives, I am always hit for six when I encounter a real rogue.
“I think that man has some anger issues,” I told my girls.
I like to think disrespectful men are few and far between; verging on extinction, more prehistoric than dinosaurs.
Lately, however, they are getting a lot of air play.
At the weekend former Australian Idol star Shannon Noll’s vile tirade against a fan and his “missus and mum” was beyond belief. Last week Senator David Leyonhjelm yelled a degrading sexist slur at Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young during a debate on violence against women.
When women are verbally abused, it needs to be called out – whenever it occurs. Sexist bullying in the workplace is never acceptable, whether a woman works in a factory, an office or in the Australian Parliament.
I signed the GetUp petition but wonder if they can ever rid Australian politics of misogyny.
While Australia is being far from its best self, Netflix sensation Hannah Gadsby: Nanette is its saving grace in a shitstorm. This one-hour, stand-up comedy routine has gone viral for all of the right reasons.
Gadsby’s poignant, harrowing and ground-breaking show on gender is compulsory viewing. Leyonhjelm, Noll and Albury parking bully would do well to pull up a pew.