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Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve learned that you don’t have to leave your suburb to find something new. Two weeks ago, finding myself overwhelmingly bored with my life, I was all set to uproot myself and buy a cheap plane ticket to somewhere new and exotic. But then I remembered that I have no money, nor a job, nor a passport, and I’m only fifteen, and I have school to go to, and SACs to do, and I’d have to pick up the courage to go alone, since I’d never find anyone to accompany me. As you can see, my plan was crumbling all around me. Losing hope, I thought, “Well, at the very least, I can see the wonderful, exotic sights of… my suburb.”

This doesn’t sound very exotic, I know. Even I was discouraged. But that was before I encountered the strangeness of Johnston St ((Which is not actually called “Johnston St”, but for privacy purposes we’re going to assume that it is, OK?)). I ventured down that street once, and never again — there’s just something about a street in which large, muscular men walk around carrying axes that unsettles me.

I’d be lying if I claimed to feel a sense of foreboding as I entered the street. I was confused as to why there was a footpath on one side of the street and not the other, sure, but at that moment, any sense of foreboding was distinctly absent. At its entrance, the street looks quite nice. The road itself is narrow, and native trees line each side. It looked like a beautiful, quiet street, and I chose to explore. Scarcely half a minute had passed before I realised my mistake.

Firstly, I discovered that the native trees were only an illusion — there were none once you’d walked through the first ten metres. More worrying was the difference between the two sides of the road. On the northern side of the road, the houses looked as many middle-class suburban houses look: period homes, freshly painted, intricate gardens in the front. On the southern side, however, the houses were dilapidated shacks. One even had a roof made of tin. Wooden fences had crumbled and fallen over. Burnt-out cars adorned the front yards; as I walked, I saw a man smashing away with an axe at one of the few cars that were not burnt out. He glared at me as I passed, and I walked even closer to the northern side.

Sadly, there was one feature which distinguished the northern side of the road from normal middle-class suburban homes, and that was the abundance of large, aggressive dogs. When I say “large”, I mean these dogs were over half my height, and when I say “abundance”, I mean there was at least one in every single yard. They stood in their front yards and growled at me as I passed. They were not impressed with my attempt to distance myself from the man wielding an axe, and barked at me to back off. Which I did, but only because I’d passed the axeman.

At last, I came to the end of the street, and looked around for the next street to walk down. It was then I realised the horrible truth: it was a “NO THRU ROAD”. If I wanted to escape, I had to go back the same way I came. Imagine my despair! I have since realised, through careful mental mapping of the layout of nearby streets, that the “NO THRU ROAD” sign lied to me and I could actually have fled through a carefully disguised path southwards to a nice, non-threatening street. I didn’t know this at the time. Since I clearly escaped unscathed, I don’t think I need to be too upset about it, either.

Since that eventful day, I have chosen to walk next to the railway line, instead. There are just as many trees and just as many dilapidated buildings, but fewer angry dogs and no wielders of axes. And, strangely enough, I’m not quite as bored with life as I was two weeks ago.



  1. you told me this wonderful story


    • pillow,monisha the best 4 life
    • Posted June 10, 2008 at 7:54 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    hey jess nice story, i mean adventorous encounter btw where is this street i will call u soon !!!

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