My e-conversation with the kind Nigerian man who wants to buy my Ikea couch….

From the bottom up my friends….

On Sun, May 29, 2011 at 9:02 PM, Annie Kean wrote:

Mark, it’s me again!

Sorry for emailing again so soon – I’m just so pleased to be selling this couch, it’s been such a burden.

It was mine & my exes you see, so it’s kind of symbolic that I’m selling it & someone like you came along to buy it. I must admit, I’m a very spiritual person, & I just feel that maybe you were meant to buy it!

I see on your Facebook page (see the attachment) that you’re a spiritual person too, as your most recent status update reads” I THANK GOD FOR HIS KINDNESS OVER ME & MY FAMILY IN THIS MONTH…” I guess kind deeds repay other kind deeds don’t they, which is why you must be helping furnish your father’s apartment. I can only assume that it was God’s will that you found second hand Swedish furniture at bargain prices on an Australian noticeboard website. He sure does work in mysterious ways.

I’m going to add you as a Facebook friend really soon, so then we can LIKE each others photos & comment on each others status’ & even share the odd poke or too! Do you play Farmville? I never really got in to it. Do you have an iPhone? If so we should SO play Words With Friends OMG I am ADDICTED!!

I see that on your Facebook page your name is listed as Adegoke Oluwatosin though – is Mark your Western name? I went to school with a lovely Korean girl whose name was Seaun but she used to go by the name ‘Tina’ at school. I think it was because otherwise Mrs Hook would have had kittens trying to pronounce it & 3rd Form PE was scary enough as it was. She never fell for the “I can’t swim because I’ve got my period line” They sure did breed them tough in the Scotland in the 40’s!!

Anyway, I digress. Yes I found you on Facebook & have saved all of your details (see attached) on file. I can’t tell you how chuffed I was to see your phone number was listed there too, so you don’t have to worry about sending it! I have it now saved in my phone as +234 807 613 1400 so don’t even worry about emailing it to me. I’ll call you tomorrow so we can discuss the couch further.

Goodnight, sweet dreams!

p.s. My bangers & mash were amazing by the way.
On Sun, May 29, 2011 at 8:15 PM, Annie Kean wrote:

Hi Mark

Thanks too for your prompt reply also. How sweet of you to be buying on behalf of your Dad, even though you live far far away & are very very busy! Is he setting up a new home? Or are you decking on an investment property of his by the Adriatic Ocean? Maybe you are buying many pieces of modular furniture such as this for his up market Swedish bordello? Either way, you are clearly a very kind soul to be going to such trouble.

Oh wow, your work does sounds very interesting. Where exactly is your rig & what do you do?
I’m so impressed that you know that your message came through as a text – can you read minds? You’re amazing!

Perhaps you could send your phone number, so that we can have a quick chat? There are a few things I feel best discussed over the phone as opposed to over email. For example there are a few minor scratches to the couch as my pet tiger used to sharpen her claws on the couch before she got too big to be kept inside. Nothing major of course, just a lovely bit of patina really!

Also which courier company do you plan to use? I’m unaware of any courier company that go to the extensive trouble of filling out the change of ownership papers for selling couches, yours must be very thorough. I must say, so far I am very impressed with your service – I’ll be marking you as an A+ Trader that’s for sure!ūüôā

One small problem however, I can only receive payments by either direct transfer of cash or rice, as I’m not a huge fan of PayPal – I assume this will be fine with you though? Or if that doesn’t work for you – perhaps I could just send you my credit card number & you can deposit it directly? I want to make this transaction as smooth as possible for both of usūüôā

Thanks again Mark – look forward to hearing from you.


p.s. I think I’m going to have bangers & mash for dinner. What are you having tonight?

On Sun, May 29, 2011 at 7:35 PM, Mark Toss wrote:

Thanks for the swift response and do as well advise on the least amount you will like to give it away as i am buying this for Dad and due to the nature of my job and location…i will not be able to come for inspection,am a very busy type as i work long hours everyday,i have gone through your advertisement and i am satisfied with it.

As for the payment..i can only pay via the fastest and secure way to pay online(PayPal) here.

I have a private courier agent that will come for the pick up after the payment have been made …so no shipping included and With the issue of my details,transferring the name of ownership and signing of all paperwork will be done by the courier services company agent so you don’t have to worry about that.

You can now send me your PayPal email so i can pay in right away and also include your address in your reply.If you don’t have a paypal account, you can easily set up one…log on to and sign up its very easy… i would have loved to talk to you on phone but i work mainly offshore, our phone is down on the rig right now due to bad weather, that was why i sent you a text, i even wonder how my message deliver to your phone but for now we can only communicate through the same mailing channel.await your reply asap.

> Subject: Couch

> From:

> Date: Sun, 29 May 2011 19:29:38 +1000
> To:


> Hey Mark

> Sure is still available.

> When can you pop over for a squiz?

> Cheers,

> Annie

> 0406 *** ***

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78 Heaven’s Gate

I recently spotted and thus captured on my phone (I’m getting very good at subtle surveillance photography) Charles Manson v2.0 on the 78 Prahran tram, heading along Chapel Street.

I hopped on the clunky old thing (helter skelter types¬†aside,¬†I do rather love the 78) heading towards The Como to see¬†a movie¬†with LuLu. As per usual –¬†both daydreaming & headphones were intact, when I notice that the man standing to my right was yelling loudly, gesticulating wildly and giving off the unique & umistakeable¬†scent of¬†seldom¬†washed hair & body.

Heaven's Gate

I instantly looked to the two poor souls who surely would be listening but trying to avoid eye contact with the man giving the sermon. However it was then that I realised that not only were they clearly willing participants, but lapping up his every word eagerly, eyes lit with obvious adoration.¬† These two women would have been at least in their mid 40’s (perhaps younger, I don’t think personal grooming was a large part of their morning routine) and were both wearing some type of burqa like shroud.

They both listened lovingly as their L. Ron Hubbard like leader espoused all of the evil in the world. He appeared to be ranting about conspiracies in the US at this point, however as with many cases of this nature he was making very little to no sense. “Washington DC is the world’s most violent state!” He announced. “How’s that possible??” He questioned. Then, by way of explanation he broke in to song and said emphatically; “as Michael Jackson sang … (then sings) they don’t really care about us!” He then points at everyone in the tram knowingly, as if he had just uncovered the meaning of life.


Without even stopping for breath he asks his audience “What about life with no TV, no phone, no Oprah?” again, more singing, more waving of arms, more looks of love from his followers.

Sadly I had arrived at my destination, so was faced with the crisis of staying on board the 78 to enjoy more of the hilarity unfolding in front of me or getting off to meet my friend. I have a wee bit of a reputation for tardiness so I thought I had better do the right thing, and leave the crazies to clunk their way on in to Prahran to rub shoulders with the Ed Hardy clad individuals. So sadly I bid them adieu.

This was my first sighting of true madness on the 78 and en route to Prahran, which pleased me immensely. I’m sure that those roaming Chapel Street like to think that they are immune to the ways of the wayward on their antique public transport but no, they ride & revel amongst you oh yes. They ride amongst you.

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Another Fly Catcher Caught on Camera

As some of you might have observed in earlier Tramblings; I take immense joy from seeing strangers sitting on public transport with their mouths hanging wide open.

I find it amazing that some individuals can day dream so deeply that they’re seemingly oblivious to the fact that they’re affecting the most gormless of all expressions; The Fly Catcher.

Here is one such creature; spotted on the 70 along Swan Street as I went to visit my friend Cathy last week.

One fist or two?

Then, when I thought that his mouth couldn’t hang any slacker, he yawned – but apparently forgot to¬†close his mouth post yawn.


So, for the remainder of the journey he affected this brilliant facial expression. So comical & so unaware. Thankfully also unaware of my subtle camera work just to his left.

It’s pretty much only a matter of time until I get beaten up on the tram… but it will totally be worth it.

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Moist Tights

Now before taking a seat a on a train or tram; it is imperative to do the perfunctory check of any untoward leftovers on the seat or its immediate surrounds eg: coffee spillages, used needles, fresh graffiti, smushed fries etc.

So of course this has become a subconscious part of the chaotic routine that is boarding any form of public transport. Join the queue, file in, weigh up sitting or standing, identify the seat farthest away from junkies (with as we know, sometimes limited success) or tweens, beeline for your chosen seat or stand, cast your eye over the seat, sit, headphones in & drift off in to my usual day dream.

So I did all of this on this particular day, going home from work on the 48 towards the CBD. The first seat that I scanned looked a bit dodgy & there was a funky whiff in the air (not uncommon on the tram) so I chose seat option two.

It was a cold Atumnal day & I remember exactly what I was wearing as this incident has been etched in to my mind forever. I was wearing heels (dressed like an adult at work which is unusual, must have had a meeting or similar), black winter tights, my gray pinafore & my wrap cardigan. I sat on my chosen seat & settled in. A few moments in to the trip it dawned on me that my tights were dampening as I sat there, and thus had begun to cling on to my thighs.

You know how sometimes, when a horrifying incident occurs a large number of thoughts take place in your head all at once? This was one of those moments. In a split second I realised that the seat I was sitting on was in fact very wet, and now as a result my thighs were too, from the seepage. Also in this moment it hit me like a thunderbolt what the funky whiff I had noticed earlier was; urine. Fresh urine. These thoughts all came together at once and it dawned on me; I was actually sitting on a seat which someone had very recently urinated on.

As these thoughts settled in to place in my mind, I reached down & touched my legs to confirm that yes, the legs of mine which were previously dry were now moist. Not just moist but wet with someone else’s urine. I sprung up & tried to find a new spot to hang on to whilst I died inside. Then the questions came. Who would do such a thing? Why? How? Had anyone noticed?¬†It would have to be either a homeless person¬†or a junkie type for sure. Then I realised that maybe those around me had tried that seat but knew it was wet & were now judging me. And they didn’t tell me. How could they not have told me?! I wonder if I could catch something from this. Some kind of horrific (probably fatal)¬†skin disease passed only between urine, pantyhose & then on to my innocent skin.¬†The entire focus of my being had¬†turned to the moment when I would finally arrive home & could peel off my tights & let scalding hot water wash someone else’s sins away.

Then my friends called me from the pub so I went there instead.

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Goldfarb’s Doppelganger Unleashing on the 112

Last week I took a wee mid week trip to Fitzroy to collect my lovely new 50’s bikini from Scully & Trombone (hurrah!). I was quietly sitting on the¬†112 back to the city when a woman hopped on who was an absolute deadringer for Ellen Burstyn’s character Sara Goldfarb in Requiem for a Dream.¬† This woman was quite a sight to behold; massive wiry orange red hair with gray roots, a bright blue dress/smock thing on, a blue over coat plus one of those vinyl push trollies. She was also very tall with massive knee touching bossoms. So as you can imagine, when she boarded the tram yelling “Get out of the way fuckheads! Get out of the fucking way you fuckheads!” it was hard not to notice her.

The subject of her abuse was a nice looking couple who were standing in the tram doorway holding on to the posts & their shopping. Not an unreasonable thing to be doing, given the tram was packed & there was very little standing space. When the Goldfarb woman boarded the tram the couple stepped aside to let her on, it was at this point she unleashed her tirade of abuse which coupled with a face like thunder, went something like this:

“You fuckheads! You selfish fuckheads! You’re not allowed to stand in the door. Fuckheads! How can other people get on if you’re in the door fuckhead?” At one point she even advanced menacingly towards the male who seemed more than a little frightened when confronted with this huge, screaming, red in the face, abomination of a woman. I was certain she was going to belt him in the chaotic manner of someone who seems to think its OK to scream fuckhead at the top of her lungs, at strangers on public transport. Obviously the most amusing part of all of this was her love of the term fuckhead. I honestly lost count of the number of times she screamed it over the course of her 10 minute long tirade. When she realised everyone around her was ignoring her screams (pretending to read books & listen to music, all the while glued to the unfolding saga), she pushed past everyone to the front of the tram & loudly informed the driver that there were people standing in the doorways, being fuckheads.

At this point everyone else on the tram was doing their best to stifle giggles as the threat in question had relocated to the front of the tram to harrass the poor driver. As we approached our next stop, the driver announced “Parliament Station stop, and please be sure to stand clear of all tram doors” and the entire tram full of people erupted in to laughter.

Tram camraderie in the face of adversity. Brilliant.

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A Teachable Moment

From time to time I shall blog about various events, unrelated to public transport, but definitely related to the chaos that is My Life. Here is one such moment.

Lately my asthma has been particularly troublesome (apparently also for a number of Melbournians, due in part to the horrific hay fever about). So recently I was feeling rather breathy, and went in search of my inhaler. It was at this moment I remembered the folly of my weekend past.

I was at a friends’ party post the races. It was very very large day, perhaps the largest I’ve had in quite some time. Towards the more treacherous end of the night I was talking to a lovely chap, who just happened to be an ex gang member. We were discussing his previous life at which point he began to hyperventilate at recounting stories of the old him, saying he was asthmatic. So I gave him a few puffs of my ventolin inhaler from my handbag.

Now by the light of day, I need to use my puffer but can’t remember which¬†one I lent him so am now paranoid of diseases borne of spit & having a wheezey occasion sans puffer. I think this is what my mother calls “a teachable moment”

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Fist In Mouth

I am currently being tortured by the worst hayfever I have ever experienced. My eyes are watering, my nose is red¬†raw from the frequency with which I’m blowing it & of course breathing is not coming naturally.

So I have assumed the pose of a gormless twit, with my mouth wide open to facilitate breathing, and thus life. A few weeks ago on the 48 tram (irrelevant detail) my daydream was broken as I spotted a girl sitting across from me in even deeper a daydream than my own,¬†with her mouth hanging absolutely wide open. She had one of those Mick Jagger-esque¬†mouths that when hanging open in all its fly catching glory was really quite¬†sizable. As with most¬†people sitting with their mouths wide open she looked utterly ridiculous. Which of¬† course gave way to ridiculous thoughts on my part. Surely she knew it was wide open & could feel the wind flow? Was her mouth larger than my kitten’s head? Were her teeth colder than my teeth with their extra contact with the outside world?¬†Could the people sitting opposite her see if she still had her tonsils intact?¬†Would I be able to put one of my fists in to her mouth cleanly, without touching the¬†sides of her lips? Which was weird, as being a straight female, it’s not often I think about fisting on the tram.

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