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This story was first drafted in 2002.


Old tram rattling down Glenferrie Road
Walkman’s play to the rhythm
Stage is set
Lights please
“Honey I’ll be home soon“.

Personal lives exposed over a mobile phone

Like a passing troupe of actors performing to a sea of faces.

It could be an episode of Jerry Springer.

A woman shrieks at her phone: ”Didn’t you know Johnny broke up with me?! The bastard“!

”I’m flying off to Singapore tomorrow“, proclaimed the man in the suit. ”I’m on the tram. Yeah, catching public transport! He appeared to be irritated. His BMW must have broken down.

A young man appears to be arguing with a friend ”Mate, no…that didn’t happen. Oh mate…I didn’t know you liked her. Sorry mate. Ma-a-a-te…“ his voice fades in the distance, drowned out by a child calling out.

”Mummy, are we there yet?“, a child asks.

A baby cries.

Someone’s music blasts through their headphones. All you can hear is the pulsating bass rhythms…

Suddenly the tram screeches to a halt. The lights go out.

There’s an audible grumble and a collective sigh.

The driver grabs a torch and hurriedly leaves the tram.

”Where’s he going”? Says one of the passengers. ”You can’t just leave us here”!

”Won’t be long”, calls out the driver, ”we’ll be back on track soon“!

Out come the mobile phones! Passengers cry out in exasperated tones – like a chorus of disgruntled teenagers raising their pitch just to be heard.

”The tram broke down. I’ll call you when I get there“.

”Typical public transport!“

”I’ll get off and get a cab“.

”You can’t trust these old rattlers“.

”When are they going to replace these old trams?“.

”This happened to me last week – on the same route“!

Lights back on!

There’s a sigh of relief amongst the passengers. Just a slight diversion.

The old rattler speeds up to make up time. All of a sudden there’s a screech, a rattle and the tram halts. ”Whoa“, calls out the tram driver – like he’s pushing an old race horse, ”sorry folks, last stop. Another tram is on its way“.

The passengers hastily leave the old tram and eagerly queue for the new model, approaching just on time!

”Phew, we’ll make it home in time after all,” a passenger softly exclaims to a friend. They’re the last to leave the tram.


Stage lights off. Curtains please.

It’s the last chapter for this old rattler.
No new interiors or shiny seats.
Just an old tram holding out,
for just one last feat.“