The day started badly. I’d forgotten I had a “share accommodation” ad in today’s paper, until the phone rang at 7.20. “Randall here. When can I come round and look at the room you’ve got for rent?”
“Aaaaah, why don’t you just give me your phone number and I’ll ring you back later and make a time? I have to leave for work soon.”
“What time do you leave for work? I’m only at Wagaman and I can be there in 20 minutes.”
And he was. Mid fifties, chubby, buck teeth, grey hair and horn-rimmed glasses, Randall looked vaguely like that old British comedian Benny Hill. I half expected him to break into a rousing chorus of “Ernie, He Drove the Fastest Milk Cart in the West“. Randall said he’d just arrived in Darwin from Sydney, fallen in love with the place and was looking for work. “What sort of work do you do?” “Accounts. I’m hoping I might be able to get some casual bookkeeping work before the backpackers arrive and take all the jobs. But you don’t have to worry. I can pay the rent and expenses OK”.
Randall gave me a strangely creepy feeling. I couldn’t help wondering whether he’d fled Sydney after embezzling the Boy Scouts’ funds and molesting the Cubs or Brownies. Come to think of it, this may have possibilities. I could corner the market: “Nightcliff – room in share house – pedophile paradise – across road from high school – panoramic views of primary school at end of street.”
Then there was Enid. She rang before 8am as well, just as Randall was leaving. She sounded like she was one of the Daly River mob, in town for the wet. Enid spoke fractured English at best, and I could hear the rest of the mob shouting in the background. I told her she could come and have a look at 1pm. Wouldn’t want to get zapped under anti-discrimination. With any sort of luck she won’t turn up.
I think it’s going to be one of those days.
PS – Just got a call from Loretta, a nurse who’s looking for accommodation closer to Royal Darwin Hospital. She’s having a look at 11am. She sounds a better bet.