Greasy Screens with Becky Lucas (Part 1)
This is the first in a series of written commissions for Comedy Central Australia. Over the next few months we will showcase pieces from some of Australia's best comedians and writers. Keep your eyes peeled and subscribe to our newsletter down the bottom of this page to stay in the loop.
In Australia, more and more women are choosing to live alone without a partner and pursue professions over having a family. This group of dedicated women order pizza and pasta to their front door and chat in group text threads with their friends. These are their stories.
The only thing that got me out of bed this morning was the fact that I couldn't reach my charger. I plug it in and briefly contemplate actually eating some of the muesli that I bought a few weeks ago. Instead I make my way to a cafe that is closest to my house and get a delicious muffin (cake) and cappuccino (extra chocky on top pls!).
Just bought some ingredients to make a salad for lunch! It feels like one of those days where any sort of negative interaction could have me enrolling in a yoga instructor course. I'm one raised eyebrow away from posting pictures of me on a beach with my legs over my head. Speaking of which, I bet my phone is charged above 50%, time to look at my own face for 45 minutes and resist the urge to upload a selfie. Sometimes I end up going through the entire upload process but then discard it at the last minute, like an alcoholic who buys a drink and leaves it untouched at the bar.
I better check my email…
Aargh, the real estate agent has asked that I be home around 3pm to let the plumber in. Like most things in life, this has sent me into a spiral. What if he asks me something I don't feel like answering? Do I offer him a glass of water? What if he thinks that means sex?
I've spent the last 45 minutes taking surprise selfies where I whip my head back and forth really quickly while constantly snapping to see what I look like when caught off guard… Oooh text message!
We arrange to meet at our favorite charcoal chicken place at 1.30. Looking forward to it, will probably get a quarter chicken and chips with gravy and then feel sick for a few hours. Will make the salad tomorrow.
Whoops, caught myself staring at the wall for 20 minutes.
Just got a Facebook notification about my ex-boyfriend’s birthday (from high school)… 15% of my social media notifications are just reminders of someone gross I once slept with.
Might go for a scroll.
He has a neck tattoo and an ugly baby that has to wear a bow on its head to indicate the gender.
Just spent 20 minutes catching up on his life. He and his wife are having legal dramas with her yoga studio! Hah!
Shit, the time… I have to get ready for lunch.
I order my Uber and watch him take the scenic tour of the neighborhood before picking me up. Despite keeping my eyes firmly down and replying curtly I am now somehow talking to the driver who (as well as wearing a bejeweled fedora) has brought up a great point; why isn't there an international men’s day? I mean… when do men get a day?' says Roger (4.2 stars). What I want to say is 'why don't you add up the time it takes you to take your disgusting fedora on and off your head every day for a year… and that can be your day' but instead I awkwardly laugh and tell him I catch Uber all the time, 'so much cheaper' I insist.
'I just had the most annoying uber driver' I say before anyone can talk. This chicken shop is our favorite, it's Lebanese charcoal chicken and it's always packed with people, so we feel safe that we won't be overheard. 'Guess who our driver was?? Says Jessie. 'Who?' I ask. 'Tim! From school!… With the small eyes, remember? ‘He looked like a potato with two raisins pushed in' interrupted Hannah. Jesse continued on only mildly annoyed to be interrupted, 'he told us Kat and Jacob are getting married, can you believe it? Worst couple I've ever met'.
Kat and Jacob were our friends from high school who went to University, got jobs in marketing and could no longer deny that it made sense they should be together. Jacob is the sort of guy who thinks he’s a 'creative' because he once pitched a black and white commercial for Sony and Kat is the sort of girl who sends a group message to twenty people asking if they want to organise a touch football team, then gets peeved when no one responds.
'I bet they’ll get a famous band to perform at their wedding. Or a band that was famous two years ago but is now on the decline', Hannah says, with a knowing look. 'I truly believe the more lavish the wedding the higher the chance of divorce' says Jessie with a serious face, staring into the middle distance. Hannah and Jessie look like opposites but are more or less the same person (Jessie is probably 10% meaner). Jessie has a blond bob and Hannah has brown curly hair and the fact that they knew each other before me makes me constantly jealous.
I drift off and think about how nice marriage would be. 'I wouldn't mind getting a husband' I say out loud 'But apparently you've got to love yourself before you love someone else.' I say this, not really believing it. Sometimes things are just fun to say out loud, it's like I'm trying out a character for a bit. Jessie rolls her eyes, 'God no, don't love yourself too much. I hate all this self love I've been seeing online lately. Nothing wrong with hating yourself, I'm actually hoping it makes a comeback'.
I nod in agreement as Hannah launches in, 'yeah, don't let Kat and Jacob make you feel like you need to get married, they're just bored and craving some online attention. This wedding is only happening because no one is liking their instagram photos.' I consider this. 'I just wish husbands were assigned. Like, if you get an Uber driver twice in a row the law requires you to marry him'. I falter for a moment before continuing… 'obviously it's not a great system but then it's done, you know?'. Hannah pulls out her phone, 'should we sign Kat and Jacob up to a bunch of mailing lists before their big day? Just to add a bit of extra stress? Jessie laughs, 'that's so mean… yeah, do it.'.
We all say goodbye and I order an Uber, the man who is driving me is revealed…
The plumber has arrived, his name is Jack and he's very handsome in a way that makes me think: he'd be strong and good to talk to, but I could also trick him if I had to. Not in a malicious way, more like, if I ate all the leftovers and he got home and was mad about it. I might be able to talk my way out of it.
'You look thirsty' I say, like a drunk southern belle who's trying to flirt with the farm hand. I offer him a glass of water (sex) but he points to his own water bottle. I chatter maniacally: 'That's great, good for the environment, it's terrible… all these water bottles in the ocean killing dolphins, I love dolphins. What's your favorite sea creature? He smiles and replies 'probably turtles, they live for ages'. Usually when there's a stranger in my home there is always this lingering question of sex in the air. This is the first time I actually WANT the question to be asked but he seems distracted with doing his job. Hmph.
Are you doing anything tonight? I ask all gingerly, trying to be cute. ‘Yeah I might go have a few drinks at my local… are you heading out tonight?. 'Yeah I was thinking about it' I say, lying. 'Oh right, well if you're out let me know! Give me your phone and I'll put my number in' he says.
To be continued...
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