Movin’ On Up | Sean Crawley

A modern con artist will do anything to stay out of the heat.


Movin’ On Up

By Sean Crawley

For The Evacuation Infatuation Award


Technically, the summer heat should be worse up north. But have you been in Melbourne or Adelaide lately? They’re making Cairn’s look comfortably temperate.

Since the psychopaths down south have proven to have short arms and deep pockets, I’m banking on the tropics being a bit more accommodating for my special brand of magic. And now that I’ve switched from guitar to harmonica, my whole life now compresses into a ready-in-a-minute carry-on size backpack. It’s the best move I’ve made in years.

When Sally finds out about the water in the petrol she won’t miss me. Wanting me to mow her lawn as some sort of barter arrangement was a big mistake. I reckon she owes me after I ate that vegan dinner and afterwards managed to get her screaming in ecstasy with my skilful tongue. And all I could find was $32.50 scattered around her trendy Brunswick scum-hole. At least I got her library card, I needed a good book for the trip.

When Mum rings next Tuesday she’ll find out I’m in Queensland and complain that I didn’t stop off for a visit. I’ll explain that I passed 30,000 feet overhead, but she won’t hear that. She hears nothing but her own voice. Mum’s sick. She’s got a personality disorder or five, but who hasn’t these days. Somehow she manipulated me into stealing her boyfriend’s sapphire cuff-links. I struggled with that. Many would disagree, but I do have empathy. And Scott was actually a good bloke. The look on his face as I clocked him cut me a lot.

It’ll be ten years at least before it’s safe to visit Sydney again. There must be half a dozen crazies after me there. Take Rolly for example, that fat bastard advanced me five thousand for a video clip that never got off the storyboard – oops! He acted all philanthropic like, but we all know he just wanted a slice of my inevitable fame. I mean doing an M People cover was, and still is, a brilliant idea.

Moving on up, you’re moving on out
Time to break free, nothing can stop me.

When you plan your last free meal in a city you may as well order up big and bring along a homeless person. The Easy Decision Oyster Entrée is one of my all time faves – three Natural, three Kilpatrick, three Mornay and three Rockerfeller – yumbo! After that a Surf ‘n Turf, aka, Reef and Beef, always goes down a treat. The pretentious restaurant I chose was begging to be ripped off but it wouldn’t dare serve such sensible Aussie fare. So I ordered separate entrées with every style of oysters and prawns on offer, two eye fillet steaks, a large jug of Hollandaise sauce and four shots of Pernod. I ended up doing some messy but impressive DIY plating up at the table.

My lunch companion was Derek, I found him earlier in the library and he smelt like an ashtray. But but he did scoff in, which made me a happy man. He loved the red wine as well. So much so that he didn’t notice that I picked up my backpack when I said I was going to the toilet but actually exited out onto Lygon Street.

These taxi drivers have a hide you know; all of a sudden they’re defending their wealthy bosses who are going under thanks to Uber. I remember they used to curse the lousy arseholes who actually owned the motors with the meters. My driver was such a whinger that I had zero qualms about doing my second, or was it third, runner of the day. As I walked away at the drop off zone at Tullamarine, I called out, “The fare’s on the back-seat, Amigo!” and ripped out a quick refrain of the Mexican hat dance on my harmonica.

He scavenged around in the back and I assume found the two red 10,000 Indonesian Rupiah notes that I’d left. By then I was sitting inside on a toilet and the airport muscle were likely herding him off the ramp.

I thought a stubby or two of Bintang would be nice before heading to the tropics and Sally’s Pay Wave Eftpos card worked a charm. I vowed not to go too hard on it. PINs are so yesterday. Gotta love Caller ID too, the essential filter for all those unnecessary people. Her name appeared and I hit what I call the “No Thanks” button. Then came the text: “Can you PLEASE try once more to start the mower? X.”

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It’s sticky hot in Cairns. I’m thinking if I don’t win some serious cash or a cougar in the casino tonight, I’ll keep movin’ on up. North that is, over the equator and into winter, gotta escape the heat.