As the old song goes: “Play that chunky soup jig, night Roy.”
As my name is Roy and I work the night shift in a soup kitchen, I’ve discovered the meaning of those words more than ever. And while I’ve never been much of a dancer, in that kitchen at night when I’m the only one there, I do find that dancing my way through my work is a great way to stay motivated. I’m in there chopping vegetables, making broth, moving my feet to the rhythm and thinking about thee poor homeless folks and I how in comparison I have so little to complain about.
I grew up with many things they don’t have. A roof over my head, food on my table, and an cooling unit in my bedroom, put in by the best air conditioning installers Melbourne has to offer. Can you imagine, though? Living and growing up without air conditioning in your bedroom? I didn’t know a single person my age growing up who didn’t at least have that much, besides Jamie Wallaby of course. He only had ducted, evaporative cooling in his room because his parents owned a business selling balloon animals and that was the year that the great economic balloon animal bubble popped, so things were tough for a while. Jamie had to go down to evaporative ducts. Was that what made him weird and antisocial, or did he become that way after we ostracised him for not having proper air conditioning? I cringe thinking about it now.
Some people don’t have that privilege, and that’s something I now realise. I eventually came to comprehend that air conditioning repair people were not government employees who rushed to every single home when they detected a fault; they’re independent tradespeople.
No one should be without air con at Christmas. But maybe having free soup fills that void, a little bit.