Fangs of the Beast (Tunnel Picket Tuesday)
With vitriol dripping from his fangs: 'Get a job!' screamed the red-faced, middle-aged driver, his designer glasses glinting in the early morning sunlight. Stuck in the traffic exiting the Eastern freeway in his SUV, whose aspirational, personalised number plate: 'Goldie' said it all, this motorist seized the 'golden' opportunity to abuse us. As we responded with our most irritating: 'Have a nice day' and 'Thank you!' his colour heightened. I, for one, enjoyed this chance to actually have a real person to grapple with, rather than the faceless beast that so often confronts us.
After the government said that they had 'completed' the drilling, we had thought our picketing days were over. Until we learned at the weekend that activity was recommencing at the old site on the corner of Brunswick Street and Alexandra Parade.
This time there is no drilling equipment in the cage, but instead two hazardous waste trucks. The presence of these trucks suggests that the object is to take water samples via the bore hole, something that might well be necessary since this area - the site of the old Gasometer - was recently 'outed' as being highly contaminated.
But why two large truck-fulls of contaminated water is required is a puzzle.
|Catching up on beauty sleep|
Puzzling too is that, instead of working, the workers spent their time snoozing in their trucks or standing around. There was also a large police presence and an ambulance in attendance, which suggests that some action was expected. But by the time I left at 8.15am, no work had commenced, as far as we could see, and there was certainly no action. So we had a great opportunity to just kick back and admire the view:
|Glorious sight - the sky, not the divvy wagon|
And I spent time speculating with fellow picketers about why anyone would opt to become the fangs of the beast. All that dripping vitriol, heightened blood pressure and rage seems a particularly poisonous way to start the day.