We’re all overworked and overwrought. However, the needle in the strawberry punnet is our way out. We just need to be lucky enough to find one.
What it seems we’re having in 2018, is not a very good time. The national symbol of modern Australia is a shrug, broken eye contact and a defeated galumph of I don’t want to talk about it.
It’s not our fault. Our childhood institutions have failed us. The people who we’ve relied on to tether ourselves to the free, pre-adult happy us-es, have let us down. The Church, Cricket Australia, our parents, our leaders. We’re all working too many jobs, have too few time on our hands, and we have too little houses to show for it.
We’re down on ourselves, because we have nothing innocent to strive for.
We have a deficit of hope.
We do, however, have an opportunity. If we want to view paradise, we simply need to look around and view it.
The recent story about the needles in the strawberries is a prime example of this opportunity. Stretching to four states, the contamination of our fruit is a fear we have, and a fear we build. Each bite of the strawberry brings us closer to a torn oesophagus, all enabled by the hands of one renegade strawberrier who couldn’t take it anymore. So, we take to social media and to dinner tables to register our disgust.
— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) September 16, 2018
I get it. Having your throat punctured (or your stomach scratched) seems like a terrible thing. Sure. But, truth be told, we’re not offered many of these opportunities. Every Australian I know covets one thing: a week off. One where we’re not touched by the ringing of a phone, the dinging of an electronic inbox or the booming of our responsibilities. More than anything else, we need sanctuary. We can handle our lives, but just after we sleep for a bit.
In this frame of thinking, the needle in the punnet is our Golden Ticket in the Wonka bar. It might not grant us the ability to wander in a garden entirely made of candy with chocolate water views, but it will grant us admission to a paradise we desire to view, one of Netflix, of ice cream for breakfast and catch-up reading under the blankets. All it costs us is a trip to the hospital with a non-fatal injury. It might give us a great glass constitution, sure, but the positives far outweigh the negatives.
There’ll be no freaky boat rides, secret tests of your moral fortitude or songs that speak of schadenfreude passed through the mouths of midgets, just fucking peace and quiet and sleep-ins. Look at me! Lazing around!
The strawberries might taste like strawberries, but the needleberries taste like paid sick leave. As the great Wonka himself said, a little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to Coles.