1. There’s a house being extensively rebuilt two doors away from my apartment.
2. Most councils allow power tools to be operated on suburban building sites after 7.30am.
3. My apartment building is a product of the 1960s, and has the sound insulation of a stretched Chux.
So every morning, on the stroke of half past seven, I’m woken to the sound of nail guns and circular saws.
To be fair, it could be a lot worse. On a similar building site in the suburbs of Perth, the nail guns and circular saws would be accompanied by men shouting “Oi Jezza, chuck me the eight-bars and the flange goblet, ya f*ckin’ c*nt!” over the blare of commercial breakfast radio. But Richmond doesn’t tolerate that sort of behaviour in its tradesmen unless they’re doing it ironically, which would probably cost more. So the tradies… sorry, ‘architectural artisans’… work in monastic silence, no doubt focusing on optimising the chakra of the homeowner’s new media room.
Although, now that I think about it, they’d probably give me a condescending sneer if I referred to them as architectural artisans. That’s so 2014. “We’re builders”, they’d say, pronouncing the word with a subtle inflection that indicates that they’re like makers, only on a larger scale. I imagine their depot as a renovated shopfront filled with Eames chairs and Apple iPad Pros, with the word “Builders” over the door in a crisp white minimalist font on a black background.
On the subject of business names, one of the micro trends in Melbourne at the moment is for shops named after imaginary children’s books, usually “(name hipsters give their children) and (name of the hipster child's spirit animal and/or imaginary friend)”. There’s a shop here selling pastel cushions and concrete pencil holders called, for no obvious reason, 'Lily and the Weasel'. Further up the street there’s a café called 'Iris and the Secret Squirrel'. Last week I had a very nice breakfast at 'Porgie and Mr Jones', which sounds like a child’s retelling of Gershwin’s famous musical, and is thus probably an oblique example of Hipster Racism, or Hipster Anti-Semitism, or possibly both.
No doubt I’ll walk around a corner soon and see a bakery called 'Flora and the Bandicoot', or a hardware store called 'Avery and Captain Bunnypants'.
Back in Perth, of course, it’d be 'Shakira-Jayde and the Staffy', or 'Jaxon and his Parole Officer'. We just can’t have nice things.
Speaking of shop signage and Hipster Racism, there’s an industrial bar/restaurant down the street called 'Ladyboy', which doesn’t appear to have anything to do with actual ladyboys or their subculture. So it’s probably an example of Hipster Transphobia. Who knew that was even a thing?
I have seen the future, and it is hipsters doing every thing that’s been newly revealed to be offensive and phobic, only ironically, so it’s okay.