Crowds at Martin Place

So today was the voluntary trek into the City to cheer on the cricketing world champions. Of course, as you would have seen on the news, there wasn’t just two people standing at a barricade, rather a couple thousand all crammed in between two office blocks and a stage. And it was crammed tighter than a tin of sardines, or a CityRail train at peak hour. Either or.

However, we arrived rather early (what we thought was fifty minutes, but turned into an hour), and secured a spot 3 deep from the front. I wasn’t all that displeased, until it got busier. Now, of course, Thursday 12pm isn’t going to attract the population of Sydney – people work, people are students, people are busy. So who would you expect to see there? Fanatics, university students and retirees. And after this crowded experience, I have come to realise something.

For the deriding that my generation gets for being uncouth, rude and obnoxious (and I’m not about to say we’re not), the older generation, 55+, they shouldn’t be talking. I was elbowed, slapped, punched, head butted, kneed, glared at and inconvenienced more than I had ever been in my life! To my left: some old biddy. To my right: an old guy with a brimmed hat on. Behind me: a lady shrunk with age. In front of me: an old couple who couldn’t decide on the weather. Let’s start with my left shall we?

This lady had commuted in from some nowhere just to be here, so you would think that she’d be more interested in making the most of the day, rather than talking to two people who she’d never met. Alas, she wasn’t, and my friend and I had to engage in conversation with her. Of course, she wasn’t saying anything applicable, interesting or remotely true to the conversation we were having. Whatever that conversation was, because I certainly was conscious though it.

To my right, well, Satan couldn’t have annoyed me more. Now I’m a frequent Akubra hat wearer. In fact, I think in all non-posed photo of me on my holiday (and then some that were) I have a black Akubra hat on. Now, do you know when I take it off? Indoors (because it’s plain rude to wear a hat indoors) and when I’m somewhere crowded. Why when it’s crowded? BECAUSE THE BRIM HITS OTHER PEOPLE’S HEADS! Being neither short nor tall, my brim doesn’t brush against a person stomach nor ride above everyone, it generally hits other people in the head. That’s if I left it on. Funnily enough, this jackass beside me, who hat a cricketing brimmed hat on with a stiff edge, left it on. And apparently he could see better with his chin on my shoulder and his cheek touching mine. Ok, that’s not literal, but his best vantage point was leaning over my shoulder, so his hat again and again and again kept dinging into the side off my head. It’s not all that annoying the first couple of times, but after the thirty fourth in half an hour (yes, I counted), it’s plain rage-inducing.

Behind me, well, how can you be angry at someone who has been ravished by the process of aging? Quite easily when they kept trying to move you. I’m not talking about subtlety here, I’m talking about arms and hand grabbing you and trying to push you aside. Thankfully enough, I’m pretty solid, and the only thing that can move me has to be between the ages of 18 and 40. Not a 1800s relic. I did feel sorry that she couldn’t see as well as she could – sorry that she could see anything at all actually.

And now for the persons in front of me. If ever I have encountered a more annoying, a more ruder, a more obnoxious couple in my life, I have no memory. They must have come from the North Shore, France or Melbourne because I was elbowed, I had my feet stepped on with high heels, received a face-full of gray and blue hair, and received not one single excuse me or apology from either Mrs. Ass or Mr. Ass. Either these people thought they were the centre of the universe or they were descendants of God. They were so arrogant. Let’s take, for example, when Mrs. Ass tried to take off her jacket. The sun had no competition in the sky since the second it rose – there wasn’t a single cloud and it certainly didn’t look like rain or snow was on the horizon. So why would someone wear a jacket out? Well, apparently up her ass, this lady, while her head was there, detected a chill coming from somewhere. So she donned a jacket. And then when it got too hot, she decided to take it off. So, instead of either moving yourself within the space you take up or stepping away for more room, she decided to step back, onto me, ram an elbow into my chest, turn around, shove her shoulder into my chest as well, then take off her jacket and flop it all over me until she bundled it up. Quite an enjoyable experience. And when I say enjoyable, I mean crap house.

And that’s just one story about this pair of insolent apes. I won’t bother to recite in detail their problem with their empty cups and how Mr. Ass decided to attempt an achievement that The Flash could do, and walk through me (for reference, The Flash could walk through solid walls by vibrating), or how the lady couldn’t decide if she wanted to watch the big screen on the left, the one on the right or the people that were making the damn speeches on the stage!

The common denominator: they were all old people that were pissing me off. Now, there were also three or four people who must have thought I was a thief or a mugger because the looks I was getting from old people just showed their mind: this person is going to steal my 1950s handbag, the pension cheque I got on Tuesday and the blue hair-dye I brought on the way in. I was more offended by the looks I was getting for daring to be in a congregation of old persons, who could only complain that this team wasn’t a patch on yesteryear’s teams, than being physically assaulted by those that surrounded me. And I wasn’t the only one getting those looks; my friend who came in was getting them and this teenager near to us as well. Seriously, if my generation is rude, we only learned it from the senior generation that exists now, and there ain’t no reason to improve if that’s how we’re going to be treated.

Anyway, despite my new-founded disdain for senior citizens, the day was enjoyable. We saw the gang turn up, say a couple of speeches, pose for some photos, then sign a thing or two. By now my friend had abandoned me to the crowd, otherwise I’d have been able to get photos and videos of Ponting, Hussey, Gilchrist and pretty much everyone who had turned up with The 18 Cup. But, alas, he had gone, and I was left to snap photos as best I could. I took thirty. These were the best seven:

The World Cup
Team photo one
Team photo two
Team photo three
Ponting
Hussey
Bracken

My favourites are team photo two and three.

I decided to leave by then because it was way too crowded with people fighting for autographs (similar to the way the crowds fought over the red hats that Emirates through out to the crowd. I tried my best to avoid getting one, but I ended up getting two), and people’s stress levels had begun to go through the roof as a few verbal spats began to erupt between, you guessed it, old people and young people. Before I had a chance to weigh in and say something that I might have regretted (or at least caused a few heart attacks with) I snaked my way through the people, found my friend and we were out. But yes, an enjoyable day despite the problems.

Thomas.

Disclaimer: I don’t hate all senior citizens, I despise those that I don’t hate.

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One thought on “Crowds at Martin Place

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