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Posts Tagged ‘suburban menace’

Ever been on national television with your hair disturbingly unbrushed and your bra showing?

I have.

Ever pimped your children on national television in order to get free stuff?

I have. 

Ever said when being interviewed for national television that “If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the front yard is the window to your home..” and then kept talking crap as if on automatic, all the while furiously thinking “No, NDM. The front yard is not the window to your home, the windows are the window to your home, you stupid stupid woman….”?

Yep, that was me. 

“How on earth did someone as high brow as you, NDM, end up on a current affairs show of ill-repute?”,  I can hear the usual people asking. 

It’s a fair question and one that is far too long and boring to answer. Plus, in answering, I not only might reveal information about my True Identity, but also be forced to admit I sold out to a certain degree. Let’s just say that it was all for a good cause and you will just have to believe me.  And before you start muttering words like “media whore” and “mother pimp” please kindly remember: in surfy culture, I am revered as a God, okay? 

Anyway, for months I went around jokingly telling people I was going to be on [insert name of disreputable current affairs show] as part of some “Suburban Menace” exposé. Of course, all the while I was secretly worried that the camera crew might have secretly filmed the contents of my recycling bin and changed the angle of the story from “suburban mum done good” to (donning best TV presenter voice:) “these children’s shoes have holes in them and yet, look how much alcohol their Alleged Mother consumes in Just One Week…”

But of course my biggest crime of all was that I made friends and family all over Australia sit down watch the show in its entirety on the night of our big appearance. Before the presenter had even finished introducing the show I was already getting texts saying stuff like “I can’t believe you are making me watch this shit” and “My eyes and ears are burning...” 

But before you pity them too much, consider the plight of the friends and family watching on the West Coast who sat through the whole show without even seeing our segment at all. 

One theory is that the segment was deemed not to be “local” enough for Western Australian audiences and was replaced by “local” content for “local” people. My own personal theory was that the TV station in question’s switchboard had lit-up like a Christmas Tree shortly after our segment was aired in the East, mostly with complaints about my unkempt appearance and peek-a-boo bra (citing “decaying moral standards”, etc). And so they’d been forced to pull the segment in the West. 

Whatever. 

Still, at the end of the day, the segment wasn’t too bad. Some might say that the greatest thing about it was that it ended with us all laughing (and my bra showing), like the last scene of those 70s cop shows where someone’s discovered the Alsation has eaten all the donuts and vomited on the Chief-of-Police’s desk (for example). 

But actually – if you ask me – the greatest thing of all was we got the “Segue Laugh” – you know when they cut back to the main presenter and he’s all “Ha-ha-ha!” like he’s been directly infected by our mirth.

I literally punched the air when I realised that I had achieved this life-long dream of mine.

“Segue laugh… CHECK!”. 

Next goal? To be filmed punching the air on breakfast television.

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It may or may not have come to your attention that my Late Pass Counter has not risen past 004 for a couple of months now. Some might think that finally the NDM has learnt to respect School Policy and is putting in 110% effort to be punctual, which is mathematically impossible, but whatever.

Others might harbour sneaking suspicions that the NDM is not reformed at all, but rather too embarrassed to return to the school office and thus the scene of her public meltdown (see “Sorry, It’s School Policy“).

Whatever the reason, just yesterday I found myself screaming “RUN! RUN! RUN!!!!” at my kids as we all sprinted, with me still in my ugg boots and with my hair distinctly uncombed, from the car to the school gates.

Now, one could argue that if wasn’t for the Late Pass Policy, we would have been walking in a calm, genial fashion, all holding hands, perhaps even singing a little ditty about going to school. Any casual passerby might have exclaimed “What a lovely school!” instead of “Eeeshhhh, that parent is clearly unwashed and unhinged!” before concluding “I’m not sending my child there and/or I’m not approving their grant for funding and/or I’m calling ‘Today Tonight’ to report a sighting of a bona fide ‘Suburban Menace’.”

Those same people may or may not have had similar negative feelings about seeing me and my children parked outside the school 30 minutes before the morning bell, eating our breakfast and listening to Razorlight at full volume. It was raining, okay? And I didn’t want to miss out on a parking spot again, alright?

Still, whatever way you look at it, we have had an unprecedented run of punctuality and I have the support of the community to partially thank for it. 

One dad, who we shall call “Mister A”, often meets me on his way back from the school run, while I’m still on my way. One morning, he kindly offered me a”Late Tip” that went something like “Wear headphones so you don’t stop to engage in conversation with Every Single Parent you see on your journey” which of course ignored the fact I had stopped to talk to him. He then signed off with a cheery “Same time, same place tomorrow, for another Late Tip!” and disappeared off into the distance, riding his six year old’s scooter.

The following day, I saw his wife on her return journey, and she told me that Mister A was thinking of standing on their street corner and issuing late passes of his own – to me, only me. “Well, he promised me a daily Late Tip service and he’s late!” was my retort. In truth, I had been interested to hear the next tip in the series, especially since some early experimentation wearing headphones while pushing the pram had almost resulted in me garrotting myself. 

Interestingly enough, in the school newsletter yesterday, Brett (the principal) expressed “safety concerns” because of the large number of parents double parking to let their children alight in the middle of the road. Ironically, Brett says that for those parents “being late for work is not an acceptable excuse” for such behaviour.

But what about “avoiding a late pass”, Brett? Let’s face facts: I have run screaming at my kids like a crazy bitch in public, eaten my cereal in the Tarago parked outside the school like some kind of breakfast-eating stalker, and dabbled with self-strangulation by ipod. All to avoid a late pass. 

At what price punctuality, Brett? At. What. Price.

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