A Penny Pinkerton For Your Thoughts

Chapter 1

Monday 22nd July

11:37am – Lying in the Castle of Penny

via Text Message
Penny: ‘Monday morning going well. Up at  the crack of 11:32am. Setting new records for effectiveness and motivation. Tomorrows headlines read: ‘Girl breaks mold, uses study day effectively…’
Penny: ‘Also. My groins are about to fall off. Did I ride a horse on Saturday
Snicks: ‘Again…?’

1:34pm – Simultaneously drying hair & brushing teeth in the bathroom

Mother Dearest swanning past the doorway: ‘Penny, I believe you
need a man in your life, it will give you balance’
Penny mid-brush: ‘That’s lovely Mum but at the moment I’m just trying to avoid cavities and hair like Cruella DeVil…’

Good grief.

9:31pm – Back lying in the Castle of Penny

via Text Message
Penny: ‘Study day went well. Absolutely zero study occurred. However, have found a large collection of pens. Have made the executive decision to use said pens, start being more observant and write things down in some sort of diary thing.’
Snicks: ‘Anything in particular?’
Penny: ‘Worldly observations, astonishing moments of original thought, inspirational ideas, you know’
Snicks: ‘So basically how many times a week your Mother tries to marry you off & the adventures of your aching groins?’
Penny: ‘Exactly’

Tuesday 23rd July

8:02am – In the Office of Hell

To do list

– Book 6 portaloos
– Read Art History article on 17th Century stonemasonry for uni
– Shave armpits
– Find husband
– Order inordinate amount of stock from Coca Cola
– Find the suspected rodent leaving a mess in the canteen

Will actually do list

– Fall asleep under desk for 3 hours
– Eat packet of rice crackers
– Discuss the price of portaloos for 32 minutes
– Think about bloke in the ad for Diet Coke
– Pretend the mouse poo is just dirt

5:46pm – Snoozing in Art History lecture at the Land of the Intellectuals

via Text Message
Samwise Gamgino: ‘Urban Dictionary defines my name as:

“Usually a name for a person that is a walking Goddess. Gorgeous
to the maximum, fun to talk to, easy to befriend with a sexy booty. Often pulls
off the innocent act but she gets around.”

This is magnificent news.’
Penny: ‘It would be more magnificent if it were my name too.’
Penny: ‘It would also explain Saturday night’s antics’
Samwise Gamgino: ‘You riding horses again?’
Penny: ‘Possibly. I’ve got to stop doing the splits at the end of my tango routines at CQ…’
Samwise Gamgino ‘Tina Sparkle you are not my friend’


Note to self
Playing netball at 10:15pm in 10 degree weather. In theory,  exercise is excellent. In reality, not after 10pm Penny, not in a lycra bodysuit and not outside you flaming lunatic.

Wednesday 24th July


via Text Message
Penny: ‘I am one of those people walking down the street that the people sitting in the cars laugh at. Today’s episode – Walking Around Coburg Carrying a Cash Register… as you do…’
Charlie: ‘#winningatlife’
Penny: ‘On the contrary that is just #everydayincoburg. #winningatlife would be the fact it’s currently 9 degrees, pouring rain, my hair is matted to my face and I’m wearing chucks with holes in them, whilst carrying said cash register’
Charlie: ‘#myhero’

Thursday 25th July

7:35am – In the Kitchen, Chez du Pinkerton Family Mad

via Facebook messenger
Penny: ‘Just walked past the kitchen bench, found a list Mum had written. Upon closer inspection it seemed to be a draft for a personal ad’
Flossie: ‘For her?!’
Penny: ‘For me. Things have hit a new low’

“Personal Ad:
Tall, beautiful, friendly 23 yo seeks boyfriend (Royal or titled looked upon with favour) with similar interests for long term relationship. I enjoy being out in the sunshine, getting away on weekends, have a bouncy, effervescent personality and am full of life and vitality. I’m looking for a young man who is interested in books, English history, visiting new places and spending quality time together”

Penny: ‘I sound like a bottle of hair conditioner’
Flossie: ‘Yes, but a very intellectual hair conditioner with an extensive knowledge of Canonical literature and nature…’
Penny: ‘Jesus H. Christ’


via Text Message
Penny: ‘I’ve replaced the personal ad with my own version:

“Tall, well airbrushed 23 year old workaholic with scintillating collection of leggings and penchant for vodka seeks similarly tall good looking lad for occasional late night-horse riding sessions and Ashes marathons once every two years. Applicants must be willing to do the tango in public and be available once in a blue moon due to current schedule of concurrent marriage to university degree, full time job, team of footballers and two board positions.”

Think that should do the trick’
Flossie: ‘Inspirational. You were always the favourite daughter, now you are about to become “Daughter of the Year”.’
Penny: ‘*strokes proverbial beard* yes, I think so too…’

2:02pm – In the land of retirees and kebab stores

via Text Message
Penny: ‘It’s pension day, there are old people everywhere, no car parks anywhere, Coxy is filming “Coxy’s Big Break” in Coburg & three old men smelling like moth balls (of varying intensity) have winked at me in the supermarket… why?!’
Flossie: ‘They’ve heard about your personal ad. Mother Dearest works fast’
Penny: ‘Shit.’

Friday 26th July

10:01am – Back in the Office of Hell & Disaster

Random Pensioner wanders into the office: ‘Ah, there’s a delivery man outside who says he has a big rack for you’
Penny: ‘Half my luck’


Wander out to inspect delivery man. Safe to say those Diet Coke ads are largely misleading…

10:03am – Standing outside possibly rodent infested canteen

Goldie: “Penny, do you know what 134 slabs of coke looks like?!?”
Penny: *surveys delivery*: “Yes Goldie, I do – and now so do you!”
Goldie: “Phwoar….”
Penny: ‘And now you’re going to know what it feels like to move them! We’re all about the learning experiences here Goldie!’

4:53pm – Inside rodent infested canteen

Currently hanging head down ass up in a deep fryer, with my nose three inches away from a chip that is more burnt than an English tourist at St Kilda beach, wearing a cleaning outfit consisting of a garbage bag, with a tea towel tied around my head and garbage bags as sleeves…

Good news: I didn’t find any rodents.
Bad news: I will never be able to eat another piece of fried food again.

4:54pm – Still head first in a deep fryer

Note to self

Four years at university is currently not improving job prospects or the quality of life experiences.

9:33pm – Lying in the Castle of Penny

Two showers later. I still smell like deep fryer.

Saturday 27th July

6:15am – Standing next to the Castle of Penny

6:15am on a Saturday morning and I’m out of bed. What fresh hell is this?!


Standing in the kitchen throwing down a bowl of quinoa with yoghurt that
could possibly still be within date…

Mother Dearest: ‘Ah Penny, you’re awake, excellent’
Penny: ‘Astute observation Mother, I am awake’
Mother Dearest *hiding something behind her back*: ‘Now I have something very important to give you’
Penny *raises eyebrow*: ‘Yes…’
Mother Dearest *brandishing three large Women’s Weekly cookbooks*: ‘Now you see, I bought these years ago and have been keeping them for your glory box, you know, for when you get married’ *hands the cookbooks over*
Penny *confused look*: ‘Right, so why are you giving them to me now?
Mother Dearest: ‘Oh well, I just thought you might be able to use them now’
Penny: ‘Surely I could use them when I actually get married’
Mother Dearest: ‘Of course, but we don’t want them to be lying around in storage for that long!’
Penny *jaw on the floor*: ‘Cheers Mum…’

Suspect Mother Dearest may have skipped reading the chapter on building your children’s confidence in the parenting manual…

1:54pm – In the Office of Hell & Toilet related disasters

via Text Message
Penny: ‘Enjoying another quiet day at work today… We’ve only run out of ice, gas & hot chip cups, had to saw the lock of the public toilets and had a fridge door fall off so far’
Roxie: ‘Has the main game even started yet?’
Penny: ‘No…’

And I thought being condemned to spinsterhood at 23 by my mother was going to be the highlight of the day.

Sunday 28th July

8:44am – Lying in the Castle of Penny

Lying here listening to the sounds of nature from the backyard…

In the back shed…
Father Bear: ‘SHIT! Oww bugger!!’
Mother Dearest *frantic*: ‘What have you done, what have you done!?’
Father Bear: ‘Oh nothing, just cut my finger’
Mother Dearest: ‘Is it bad?! Oh MY GOD! There’s blood!’
Father Bear: ‘Nah, it’s fine, just two pinpricks’
Mother Dearest *high pitched voice*: ‘Two pinpricks!! Is it a snakebite!!?!’

Ah yes, never fear world, in the backyards of inner city suburbia, it would appear common sense is alive & well…


via Text Message
Penny: ‘Flicked through the Sunday Magazine, thought I’d read my star sign – first line stated: “You are not a donkey.” Not sure how much they’re paying that astrologer, but am certain it cannot be enough for that kind of insight…
Charlie: ‘I think I’ve missed my calling in life’

Monday 29th July

9:23am – Back In the Office of Hell & Rodent Invasions

Struggling to concentrate whilst reading the instructions for the new CD

“Twist the small centre knob to unlock it & allow the centre plunger to pop up… Using three fingers, hold the knob, allowing your fingers to push down on the spring-loaded plunger…”

Is it warm in here? Or is it just me…

5:31pm – Main arterial of the Northern Suburbs

Flying (read: puffing like an overweight 45 year old bloke with a drinking habit) down the hill on Main Rd into the last 200m of my 7km run when I see a car driving directly towards me with lights flashing & horn honking…

Mother Dearest pulls over and winds the window down: ‘Hello darling!’
Penny *puffing/ready to keel over*: ‘Mum…’ *gasp* ‘what’s happened?! Is something wrong?!’
Mother Dearest: ‘Oh I just wanted to tell you that when you get home you need to watch the pie in the oven.’
Penny *wheezing and leaning sideways*: ‘I *gasp* need to *gasp* WATCH *gasp*the pie? Is it going to do anything?!”
Mother Dearest: ‘Oh no, I’ve set the timer and it’s not due to come out until I get home but just watch it’
Penny: Right. Watch the pie cook. Literally. Thanks Mum. Vital information there’
Mother Dearest: ‘Toodaloo!’ *zooms off*

Ah. Priorities.

7:01pm – Dinner Table with the Pinkerton Family Mad

Father Bear: ‘That was a lovely dinner, very nice pie’
Mother Dearest: ‘Oh I’m glad you liked it’
Bob: ‘What’s for dessert?’
Mother Dearest: ‘Oh I haven’t gotten that far, would you like some of your father’s raw nuts?’
Bob *rolls off the chair laughing*
Father Bear *tears streaming down his  face*

Penny *head in hands*: ‘Sweet Baby Jesus’

Tuesday 30th July

7:56am – Standing in the Lands of Penny

My morning…
– Alarm goes off, roll over & whack head on bedframe trying to turn it off
– Climb out of bed, hit leg on the drawer, fall into wardrobe
– Spend 25 minutes turning house upside down trying to find gym shorts
– Running half an hour late for the gym
– Start car & blow up starter motor, ring & beg Flossie to borrow her car
– Get to pool & realise runners are in car with blown up starter motor
– Get out of shower at the gym & realise have forgotten any underwear to change into
– Get home, realise it’s not even 8am

Safe to say, if this was The Game of Life, I would not be winning today…

5:11pm – Nodding off at the Land of the Intellectuals

Definitely think that…. this lecture…. would go a lot (insert inflection here)…. quicker…. if the lecturer (inflect again)…. didn’t phrase every (you guessed it, inflect)…. sentence, like he was (inflect)…. speaking to a bunch of (inflect and EXTRA pause)…. (mildly intelligent) three year olds.

God give me strength.

Wednesday 31st July

7:52am – Standing in the Lands of Penny

Getting ready for work when Mother Dearest calls out from the kitchen…

Mother Dearest: ‘Are you free on October 3rd Penny?’
Penny *thinks to self* October 3rd? What could possibly be on? Too early for
their wedding anniversary, perhaps they’re going away, probably have to babysit Bob, maybe it’s a stage show or something…:
 ‘Um, I don’t know – is it a Saturday or a Sunday?’
Mother Dearest: ‘Oh I’m not sure…’
Penny *puzzled face*: ‘You’re not sure?’
Mother Dearest *wanders into view*: ‘I don’t know what day it is, but you have to keep it free, it’s the day Prince Harry arrives in Australia. We need to go and start strategically planning your wedding’ *rubs hands together gleefully*
Penny *rolls eyes*:
 ‘Good grief, will I ever be free from this madness?!’

9:43pm – Lying in the Castle of Penny

via Text Message
Flossie: ‘How’s life? Caught any mice yet? Met any cute boys this week? More importantly has Mum married you off yet?’
Penny: ‘Rodents – 0 (this does not include creepy men smelling of moth balls at the supermarket), Cute boys count – 0 but we must remember I am a workaholic doing an Arts degree so we can’t be too hopeful, Marriage count – 0. Although she did give me some cookbooks intended for my glory box on Saturday. And advised me Prince Harry arrives in Australia on October 3rd…’
Flossie: ‘Safe to say the personal ad didn’t work then?’
Penny: ‘Too early to tell, the week is young, it IS only Wednesday…’


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