Mrs “Not in My Backyard!”

1980 was a good year for Cynthia & Alan. They purchased a property in Cottesloe with the help of a generous inheritance. Now, some say they simply purchased a block of land but if you ask them, they purchased the right to dictate how the suburb would progress for the rest of their natural lives. All for the low price of $80k. 

If they are being honest, they’d like to see a wall built around Cottesloe and the local train station reduced to ash. Progressiveness is the boogie-man lurking under every rich boomer’s bed and Cynthia & Alan remain ever vigilant against the threat of change. 

While on her daily morning beach walk, one of Cynthia’s friends approaches her in a state of distress, “I was just talking to Larry and he told me the council is considering putting another playground in down the road for us!” Mother. Of. God.

Cynthia scrambles desperately through her bag for her bottle of valium. Then her friend delivers the death blow, “and that new family down the road have put in an application to build a second story!” 

Such a disgusting act of home extension will obscure the view of her favourite Norfolk Island Pine down the way. Nevertheless, one battle at a time. This playground business poses far more of a threat to the serenity and class of her suburb. She demands someone call her husband to pick her up. She has planning to do. 

After a 45minute phone call to her daughter, Cynthia has managed to pull up a Word document on her PC device. She is proceeding with stage 1 of operation killjoy – the letter drop. She details the proposed plan and then hits them with the cold, hard facts of the matter:

“Playgrounds are a proven gathering point for criminal drug gangs. Furthermore, undesirable families will flock to the opportunity to use a playground in a desirable suburb. If we do not take action our parks will be infested with outer suburban vermin. Not to mention incidents of VIOLENT HOME INVASIONS rising to unacceptable levels”

Alan hovers behind contributing to the fiction, “should you add that they wear hooded jumpers in the winter, darling?” Cynthia pauses, “no, that will be our trump card, we must be strategic Alan!” It’s time for the letter drop. 

On her walk, Cynthia happens upon 15 empty nang canisters next to a park bench, she yaps “ALAN, TAKE A PHOTO, IT HAS ALREADY BEGUN”. Now, the air is thick with the sweet scent of vindication. They haven’t felt this alive since forcing a local cafe to re-position their open sign because Alan doesn’t much care for neon. 

It isn’t long before more concerned citizens contact her about the proposal. Ol’ Frank just bought a new Bentley and is concerned a youth will take too many drugs and vomit on it during a munchie frenzy. Ol’ Sue has similar concerns, stating the sickly shriek of children reminds her of the abomination of youth.

At a council meeting to discuss “community concerns”, Cynthia & Alan do their best to inject fear into the sheltered dinosaurs roaming these fertile lands. It’s the topic of everyone’s lips – how long until Cott is reduced to a dystopian warzone if we allow another playground in?

After considerable pressure and Cynthia’s threats to get a journalist she knows to make this “national news” the council has no choice but to scrap the proposed playground and revisit Cynthia’s proposal to ban parking on her street.

A young father consoles his daughter excited about a new playground, “forget about it, sweetie, it’s boomer town”

Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?