Penny Pinkerton is on Fire

Chapter 7 

Thursday 5th September

7:13am – Lying in the Castle of Penny 

Listening to the sounds of the Pinkerton Family Mad awaken

Mother Dearest: ‘Bob, why does your school jacket smell of girls perfume?!’
Bob: ‘It’s the girls at school Mum. They keep chasing me down the corridor spraying me with Impulse! I don’t know what to do, because I really only like the one girl… but all the girls are chasing me. *voice quavering* What should I do?’
Mother Dearest: ‘Remember Bob, deep rivers have still waters’

Good grief, the poor child needs some guidance and instead he’s got Mother Dearest channeling Confucius at the helm…

4:33pm – At the waterhole of communal diseases and men in old lycra

JB Schitz:
 ‘You know, I’d really enjoy these pool sessions a lot more if I didn’t feel like I was featuring in a Sardinian porno’
Penny: ‘Porno/Delicatessen. Most days here I feel like a piece of cheese, wrapped in tight cloth surrounded by continental sausages’
JB Schitz: ‘Your life does have its fair share of romantic food related moments doesn’t it?
Penny: ‘More than I’d like to admit. Always in places I’d like to forget. Never with men I’d like to remember’
JB Schitz *grinning and nodding towards the pool deck*: ‘Then again, every good film/deli does have its Italian Stallion, and I think ours just walked in…’
Penny *turning around*: ‘Aha. Why heeeeello Mr Vanilla. And welcome to our little charade’
JB Schitz: ‘So THAT is Mr Vanilla? *mouth agape* No wonder you need a belt to stay afloat. I’ve forgotten my own name, let alone what to do with my limbs’
Penny *splashing about*: ‘Precisely.’

Friday 6th September 

5:44pm – In the land of retirees and kebab stores 

Casually buying some fish for dinner

Penny: ‘Hi there, uh, is that Trevally skinned and boned?’
Fish man: ‘No it’s not, but for you I could do that’
Penny: ‘Oh, that would be great, I’ll have 1kg of the Trevally please, and if you could skin and bone it, I’d really appreciate it’
Fish man: ‘No worries, I’ll just get Joe to do it for you’
Penny *smiles*: ‘Thanks’ *hands over money*
Fish man *hands back change*: ‘So, what have you been up to today?’
Penny: ‘Uh, oh, um, I’ve just been working’
Fish man: ‘Oh cool, so what do you do for a job?’
Penny: ‘Sports administration… I manage a lunatic asylum, animal menagerie and do damage control’
Fish man: ‘So did you have to go to uni for that?’
Penny: ‘Yeh, I’m still there, I like it though’
Fish man: ‘Ah, so you’re smart then? I don’t just work here, I’m actually a qualified carpenter, this is just you know, my week night job’
Penny: ‘Wouldn’t want to get fishing for nails confused with nailing fish would you?’
Fish man *chuckling*: ‘Too right… so are you from around here?’
Penny: ‘Ah…’
Fish lady: ‘Let me know if he’s bothering you and I’ll kick him’
Penny: ‘Ah, it’s all good’
Fish lady: ‘No seriously, if he’s bothering you I’ll kick him, or I can drag him out there and you can kick him for flirting with the customers. I keep telling him selling fish and picking up don’t go hand in hand, but you’re the only female he’s seen under 65 in the last 4 hours, so I’m not surprised he’s having a crack’
Penny *jaw on the floor*: ‘Right…um, you sound like you might like to kick him? Do you want to do it for me?’
Fish man *hands fish over the counter & stares intently into my eyes*: ‘There’s only one person I’m getting down on my hands and knees for here, and it’s not her’ *winks and smiles* 

I think I just got propositioned by a fishmonger. I’m terrified of piers and allergic to shellfish. This can only end well.

8:14pm – Kitchen, Chez du Pinkerton Mad 

Arrived home after a long week of work, pool antics and being propositioned by fishy types to find Mother Dearest biting her lip with a concerned look on her face…

Mother Dearest: “I’m a bit concerned Penny, I went to the library today, and well, I found a book and I didn’t quite understand what it was about, so I didn’t pick it up because I wasn’t sure what people would think if they saw me…”
Penny: “What was the title Mother Dearest?”
Mother Dearest: “Gay Stories”
Penny: ‘Oh Lord’

Saturday 7th September

1:22pm – Lying under the desk in the Office of Hell
Goldie: ‘Penny? Are you in here?’
Penny: ‘If I answer yes does that mean I have to actually move?’
Goldie *crawling under desk*: ‘Possibly… how did you know I was coming?’
Penny: ‘Call it a well attuned sixth sense… what has happened now?’
Goldie *lying down*: ‘Well, we went to open the cool room door before and it seemed jammed. So we got three of us to give it a really good shove to get it unjammed’
Penny: ‘And did that work?’
Goldie: ‘It did. Very well. In fact, it worked so well, we pushed the door right off its tracks’
Penny *groaning*: ‘You’re telling me you broke the door off its tracks?’
Goldie: ‘I’m telling you we opened the door and somewhere in the process it came off its tracks and now we have a not-so-cool room full of food and drink, about 3000 hungry thirsty spectators and one very large door lying sideways in one very small canteen’
Penny: ‘Do I look like I have a hammer, a nail and an engineering degree?’
Goldie: ‘No, but you do look like you know your way around a roll of duct tape…’
Penny *getting up*: ‘Good grief’

1:49pm – Standing on a Crate inside the Cool Room of the Canteen of the Rodent Invasions

Penny *groaning*: ‘Lift high Goldie…. PUSH! PUSH HARDER!’
Goldie *puffing*: ‘I’m pushing as hard as I can Penny!’
Penny: ‘Just a little bit harder Goldie, up a bit more to the left’ *gasps*
Goldie *groaning*: ‘Ok… I’m pushing hard to the left’
Penny *grunting*: ‘One… LAST…. PUSH!’
Goldie: ‘It’s coming! I’m almost there, just… one… last’ *groans*
Penny *gasps*: ‘Oh God’
Goldie *exhales*: ‘It’s in!’
Penny *climbing down off crate*: ‘Phew! Who knew cool room doors were so bloody heavy! I thought we were never going to get it back on its tracks. Thank goodness we finally got it up’
Customer outside the window *wipes brow*: ‘That’s not the only thing you got back up love’
Penny *wide eyed*: ‘Good God’

11:34pm – Lying in the Castle of Penny

via Text Message
Roxie: ‘Penny, you’ll never believe who is here!’
Penny: ‘The love of your life?’
Roxie: ‘MR BEARDY!’
Penny: ‘So once again, I was right *grins* and where is here? In your house? In your car? In your pants?’
Roxie: ‘At the Penny Black! He just walked past me!!’
Penny: ‘Did he give you another raffle ticket with the next number?’
Roxie: ‘No he didn’t see me, I’m currently standing behind a fern watching him’
Penny: ‘I can only imagine that is very effective camouflage…’
Roxie: ‘What should I do?!’
Penny: ‘Well at a pinch I’d say… stop hiding there, stop texting me and start drinking vodka… just an idea’

Sunday 8th September 

10:08am – Sitting in the Office of Hell 

via Text Message
Penny: ‘Just got a friend request on my Facebook from Fletch…’
Charlie: ‘Accept accept!’
Penny: ‘Contemplating whether I want to expose him to my overly excited Facebook life…’
Charlie: ‘You mean contemplating if you want to expose him to 1312 photos of you with various well defined footballers in compromising positions and the full glory of your drunken moments?’
Penny: ‘Hmm yes, something like that’

10:23am – Sitting in the Office of Hell 

via Text Message
Penny: ‘So… have you left your position behind the fern yet, or have you become part of the ferniture at the Penny Black now?’
Roxie: ‘Hilarious. I have left.’
Penny: ‘Excellent work. I’m proud of your progress. Did leaving your position have anything to do with Mr. Beardy?’
Roxie: ‘Possibly…’
Penny: ‘Rox, I’m already going grey, don’t make the process any longer or I may develop crows feat to compliment the greys by the time you finish this. Spit it out. What happened’
Roxie: ‘Well, one minute I was standing there texting you, the next minute ‘You Should Consider Having Sex with a Bearded Man’ comes on, and I feel a tap on my shoulder and Mr. Beardy is standing behind me smiling.’
Penny: ‘And the rest, as they say, is history’
Roxie: ‘Well maybe…’
Penny: ‘I’m going to presume maybe means you danced, you kissed, you groped, you got his number and a date next week?’
Roxie: ‘Maybe means we danced, we kissed, we groped and then he gave me this card, winked and walked out’

Penny: ‘Shit a brick. Roxie. This bloke is the Beardy Spiderman. He’s a hirsute shadow of the night!’
Roxie: ‘I think I should feel flattered?’
Penny: ‘Well, it’s not every week you get talent spotted by a bearded superhero…’

12:04pm – Still Sitting in the Office of Hell 

via Text Message
Penny: ‘Just accepted Fletch’s friend request…’
Charlie: ‘And as the drama begins, the question remains… will our Penny be the Madame Butterfly or the Turandot of this tale!’
Penny: ‘Sometimes I seriously question the lack of drama and excitement in your life’

1:27pm – In the Office of Hell and Caterwauling

via Facebook messenger
Fletch: ‘Hey Penny, how are you? This is the right Penny?’
Penny: ‘Well it depends on if you’re looking for a Beatle or a Puccini?’
Fletch: ‘*grins* I like a Penny Lane as much as the next bloke, but I’m in the market for a Butterfly’
Penny: ‘Then you have the right Penny’
Fletch: ‘I thought I did, it looked like you in the picture. How have you been?’
Penny: ‘I knew if I used a profile picture of Miranda Kerr you’d find me *grins* I’ve been well, just trolleying along, working for the man, staying out of trouble, avoiding doing homework. How about you?’
Fletch: ‘The same really, just trying to write up those notes on class last week, have you had any luck?’

1:29pm – In the Office of Hell and possible Facebook flirtations

Goldie *puffing*: 
‘Penny, Penny! Come quickly!’
Penny: ‘Are you puffing because you’ve decided to add exercise to your work regime or because there is some sort of emergency?’
Goldie *waving arms around*: ‘Hurry up, the bin’s on fire!’
Penny *standing up*: ‘THE BIN IS ON FIRE? How?’
Goldie: ‘Long story short, the sausage was so hot it lit on fire, we threw it in bin, then we saw smoke, now the bin is on fire, and you need to come and hose the sausage down… quickly!’
Penny: ‘I long for the days when having to ‘hose the sausage down’ because it was ‘so hot’ meant something entirely different…’

1:30pm – In the Office of Hell and Flaming Sausages

via Facebook Messenger
Penny: ‘Sorry Fletch, gotta run. I’ve gotta go hose down the boys’ sausage. Speak soon’

1:43pm – Standing outside the Sausage Tent

Have just spent 10 minutes hosing down a flaming sausage and the contents of a now half melted plastic bin in front of a crowd of cheering, drunken middle aged men wearing flannel and beanies. This is not the kind of activity I had in mind when I said I wanted to save the world when I grew up…

Note to self

In depth knowledge of metatextual references in Clueless is currently not improving job prospects of the quality of life experiences.

Monday 9th September 

10:02am – In the Office of Hell 

via Facebook messenger
JB Schitz: ‘Are we heading to the pool this arvo?’
Penny: ‘Ah yes, about that… we may need to find a different time, or even just a different pool to go to…’
JB Schitz: ‘A different pool? But isn’t the nearest alternative 25 minutes away?’
Penny: ‘Indeed it is, but that also means it is far, far away from any of the lifeguards, swimming teachers and indeed just general public who may use Thomastown’
JB Schitz: ‘I’m missing something here, Penny, why are we avoiding Thomastown?’
Penny: ‘Well ah, you see, I was walking past the deep end on Friday night, with my floatation belt on, getting ready to hop in and start my rehab, when I saw Mr. Vanilla lying face down four lanes across, and so I, uh, kind of uh, sprang into action’
JB Schitz: ‘You sprang into action eh? What exactly did that involve?’
Penny: ‘Well in short, it involved me running six metres before taking a flying leap across two lanes, diving in feet first with my floatation device attached, getting him in a lifesaving grip (read: headlock) and dragging him kicking and spluttering to the side of the pool…’
JB Schitz: ‘Well that’s great isn’t it? You saved his life!’
Penny: ‘Well… it probably would have been more great if
A. He’d actually really needed saving
B. He wasn’t just play-acting so his 10 year old ‘Advanced Swimming Group’ could practice their life-saving skills and
C. It didn’t happen in front of a group of surprised 10 year olds and their parents and
D. I hadn’t yelled ‘IMA COMING MR VANILLA!’ in an American accent as I went flying into the water…’
JB Schitz: ‘…You didn’t…’
Penny: ‘Oh, I did…’
JB Schitz: ‘So I hear the Greensborough pools are nice…’

3:33pm – In the Office of Hell 

via Text Message
Penny: ‘I just had the President walk in and ask me why there is a partially burnt out bin sitting next to the Grandstand’
Charlie: ‘And what did you say?’
Penny: ‘I smiled sweetly, told him not to worry, and that it was just the smouldering remains of my will to live after spending 49 consecutive days working in this hell hole. Then I walked out of the office’
Charlie: ‘And his response?!’
Penny: ‘An excellent impression of a clownfish’

6:12pm – At the waterhole of communal diseases and men in old lycra

Penny: ‘See, these Greensborough pools aren’t too bad…’
JB Schitz *gestures to a slightly ripped older gentlemen*: ‘You’re not wrong, it seems this area attracts a higher class of speedo wearer too’
Penny: ‘Those hairy lotharios of the Thomastown pools are but a mere memory now!’
JB Schitz *giggling*: ‘Uh Penny?’
Penny *furrowed brow*: ‘Yeh, what’s so funny?’
JB Schitz *giggling and splashing to stay afloat*: ‘You might want to turn around… it seems the Greensborough pool attracts a higher class of swimming teacher too’
Penny *mouth gaping*: ‘He’s not…’
JB Schitz: ‘Oh yes he is’
Penny: ‘Do you think if I just removed my belt and drowned he might not see me?’
JB Schitz: ‘On the contrary, I think if you removed your belt and drowned he might just save you’
Penny: ‘Excellent point. Well made. I’ll just hide behind you instead then’
JB Schitz: ‘Yes… because that seems to be common sense solution’
Penny: ‘The chlorine’s gone to my head, I can’t be held responsible for my decisions!’
JB Schitz: ‘Yes well you made that pretty clear when you had your Baywatch moment the other day didn’t you?’
Penny *paddling furiously*: ‘Oh just shut up and let me hide behind you’
JB Schitz: ‘Some days I wonder if you’re a grown up’
Penny: ‘Don’t worry, some days I wonder if I’m a lunatic. It’s a tough call…’
JB Schitz: ‘Only some days?!’

Tuesday 10th September 

8:01am – Driving in the Beep Beep Barina

via Text Message
Penny: ‘I just saw a black Lamborghini in Reservoir…’
Chloe-Lee: ‘They’re either A. Lost, B. Doing a drug deal or C. Very Lost. My money’s on B.’
Penny: ‘You forgot D…’
Chloe-Lee: ‘D? What is D?’
Penny: ‘They’re D. Batman’

7:11pm – Dinner with the Pinkerton Family Mad 

Another night, another riot act…

Mother Dearest to Flossie: 
‘No boys this week Flossie, only homework!’
Mother Dearest turning to Penny: ‘No homework this week, only boys!’

Her dedication to my love life would be somewhat impressive if it wasn’t bordering upon obsessive.

Wednesday 11th September

10:06am – Sitting in the Office of Hell

via Facebook Messenger
Penny: ‘Hey sorry about the other day, nothing like a flaming sausage disaster to brighten up your Sunday’
Fletch: ‘Ah… the old flaming sausage… uh, did you sort it out in the end?’
Penny: ‘Of course, it was nothing that a level head and a firm grip on a hose couldn’t fix’
Fletch: ‘Right, well, a firm grip… I see… Did that require another one of your duct tape solutions?’
Penny: ‘Oh no, the situation was sticky enough. Besides, I know my way around a hose so it was over before anyone got hurt or needed to be taped down’
Fletch: ‘Ah… well, that is certainly excellent news. You seem to have a particularly lively workplace, is it always that intense?’
Penny: ‘I’m not sure intense is the right word, perhaps disastrous, challenging or mind-numbingly insane might be more apt?’
Fletch: ‘*grins* well at least you don’t sugar coat it. So I’m assuming you haven’t had a chance to look at the readings we did last week then?’
Penny: ‘Sadly not, my life has been overrun by sausages lately and my mother has put an embargo on doing homework for this week’
Fletch: ‘That sounds serious, what would she prefer you did instead?’
Penny: ‘Focus on sausages that are attached to men, and not flaming in a bin outside my office’
Fletch: ‘Oh my… wow’
Penny: ‘Yes, I believe that is the reaction she’s hoping I might have if I follow her advice…’

6:44pm – Dinner, Chez du Pinkerton Mad

Flossie: ‘So Penny, how’s the no homework this week, only boys clause going?’
Penny: ‘It would be markedly easier if I didn’t have a 2,500 word essay due and wasn’t doing an arts degree. In short – only homework and no boys.’
Flossie: ‘Gee that’s a shame, perhaps you might have to post that personal ad you wrote for her on the internet after all Mum?’
Mother Dearest: ‘Well perhaps I just might!’
Penny: ‘You mean you know how to use the internet for things other than googling Elephant Porn? Well I never…’


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