Thursday, October 04, 2007

Brighton, gossip and the Willy Wagtail

Photo: Canberra Ornithologists Group
The Willy Wagtail (pictured above) is an Australian bird with a bad reputation among Aboriginal people. You see, he is seen as a gossip. He listens in on conversations and flies off and spreads what he has heard. Not nice. Miss Eagle thought of the Willy Wagtail yesterday when she was walking down the shopping strip at the Middle Brighton shops.
I love to see people stopping to chat while shopping. As communities become large and impersonal such individual signs of community diminish. So I noticed when I saw two middle-aged women in conversation in the middle of the footpath. One woman spoke as the other looked at her intently with mouth agape. As I walked past I heard only the words "and he..."
From the aghast look on the listener's face, I could only imagine what horrible news might have been imparted:
...and he sent the family company to the wall because he gambled everything away in the Mahogany Room at Crown Casino and now the children have had to be pulled out of Brighton Grammar because there's no money for the school fees.
...and he cleared out with the nanny. They are now living in France and his wife has been left with STD - sexually transmitted debt.
...and he......(you can complete this one, dear Reader)
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