Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where the birdies is. Well, wonder no more because at any given moment a magpie is planning an attack on you, talons out, sharp beak at the ready, protective instincts in full flight. Luckily, cowering publicly in fear of a bird is just one of the many joys of the current season! Join me in celebrating the annual experiences of spring.
On warm, windy days you’ll hear someone say “good day for drying laundry!” 10-12 times, many of these from your own mouth. Is this due to a witch’s curse? You say this phrase to a dog, to a neighbour 500 metres away, to yourself when doing the laundry (it is a good day for drying after all).
Mildly concerned, you go to get groceries. Placing items on the conveyor belt, you tell yourself you won’t say it again. You WON’T. But as the staff member politely asks how you are, the words spill out: “good day for drying!” The Melbourne virus of barking “four seasons in one day!” also spreads nationally. Stay vigilant, stay strong, and stay away from witches.
For those of us prone to allergies, spring is known as “scary outside time”. We collectively become Snow White’s friend Sneezy as well as the lesser-known Spluttery, Itchy, and Rashy. Eyeing a stranger on the bus, you wonder if they’re crying or just have hay fever eyes before realising it’s probably both. Kindly, you pull out an antihistamine and lighten the mood by announcing to fellow passengers the fun fact that seasonal trees smell like semen.
Once temperatures hit 20 degrees (especially in the southern states), hordes of people collect their thick blankets, winter coats and beanies and hurl them into incinerators. Won’t be needing these any more! You decide to spruce up the house and make a concerted effort to support local hardware stores, travelling a 15km radius before realising they’ve all been bought by large corporations. You slink off dejectedly to a chain store that rhymes with Wunnings and spend five hours and hundreds of dollars, unsure how exactly that happened. On the return home the temperature drops and rain falls, making you regret burning all your jackets.
Threatening Father Christmas dolls begin appearing in shopfronts and public spaces. Some sing, some dance, all are cursed. You cannot escape consumerist messaging – a store you bought a pen from in 2017 emails you trumpeting “Ho ho ho [INSERT CUSTOMER NAME], Santa is on his way and you’d better buy products or we’ll be mad at you! Use the discount code COSTOFLIVING to get 5% off!” Presumably the north pole is not immune to recent economic downturns and Santa has outsourced gift-giving. And he needs you to stock up on overpriced notepads.
I know, I know, we’re supposed to love all creatures great and small and it’s our fault so many species are extinct or on their way there. It’s genuinely tragic and I support all conservation efforts and animal rights initiatives. That said, since moving to Sydney I do wish cockroaches wouldn’t march through my front door like they pay rent. It would actually help a lot if they did. Their arrogance, resilience and momentum indicate they are a typical Sydney party animal and have probably been up for days.
For respite from our new housemates, we frequent local gardens, only to be attacked by hay fever and swooping birds. We research options for protecting our skulls as per the cult classic video The Eyes Don’t Work. Mosquitoes start to hover at all times of day, bloated from vampiric urges. Swatting bugs away from our faces and sneezing, we smile. At least it’s a good day for drying.