Secret Pop

May 24, 2005


I have a number of friends who -- for one reason or another -- have had cause to travel to Australia and/or New Zealand in recent months. I am envious as the color green can be. I almost visited when Kevin was there on an extended stay. But it never came together.

And then Kevin and I went to Largo tonight to see the Greg Proops Chat Show with Colin Hay and Dave Eggers. And there was apparently a sizeable New Zealander cohort in the audience, and Greg Proops had a chance to drop the word "antipodean," and I felt a bit cheated, because I had already started this post and entitled it as it is entitled before even leaving my house for Largo, but it will never now seem as if I knew that word first. What a competitive jerk I am. Seriously. All those times Greg Proops would make obscure references and pepper his sentences with arcane synonyms, I kept feeling this inane urge to tell everyone that I knew what he was talking about. Sure I know who Lotte Lenya is. And not just because she was in From Russia with Love. Hasn't anyone in the room heard Mack the Knife? You don't have to know anything about Bertolt Brecht to have heard her name before. Sheesh. But I'm a little embarrassed at how much I thrill to that. I hear Fredo protesting that he's smart. I wonder if that's what people hear when they see me. Knowing stuff. I don't necessarily have anything to prove. Do I?

Anyway, Greg Proops appeals to my elitist self. And when he was talking about his Italian suit, I sat there, a few tables away, and wondered if it was probably viscose. His eschewing of the outdoors falls right in line with my earlier Peter O'Toole-inspired sentiments. I am not a rugged girl. I am not outdoorsy. And I suppose I'm not ashamed of that. I like to go on picnics. But I like to have everything there with me. Even the one or two times I ever went camping, I brought a Coleman stove and made steaks and pancakes and everything. I enjoy the comforts of home. And I am only ever willing to give the appearance of making do.

All that and the addition of Colin Hay's occasional tales of life down under made me feel a certain longing for the travel I've yet to do. I've lived all over, sure. Way more than most people. But Australasia is still not represented in a colorful stamp on my steamer trunk. And I wish I could go there and see what's what.

Incidentally, if you are one of my friends in that part of the world, I invite you to consider this entry to be entirely designed to catch your attention and to give evidence that you have mine.

And if you're feeling like sponsoring me on an expedition or something, I'm game. Mary Forrest. Have passport. Will travel. Nearly anywhere. I'm not going walkabout or anything. But I'll take lovely Lomos of Sydney Harbour. Of that you can be sure.

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