Peak hour at the bottlo’s about to begin. The Cascade Hotel changed hands recently and there are new faces among the staff. This eve it’s the young woman I’ve had serve me once before. Short, dark hair and eyes, bouncy air, lively grin, a hint of sassy playfulness about her, the tatt on her inner forearm and the green kerchief round her neck lifting the all black uniform into sure grooviness.
I order my case of Coopers – the promo campaign involving Liberal pollies was dire but hardly the basis for a boycott; plenty of dickhead corporations to target before one of SA’s finest brewers – and Sass Lass disappears into the cool-store.
I look over the counter and spot it hanging up on a hook, the front poking out from under the handknitted pink cardigan draping it. It could be the nose of a mini plane or rocket or submarine, even a Zeppelin but of course it’s not – the pointed end with the four folds of dark brown, stitched leather give it away instantly. I smile.
Sass Lass comes through the door and plonks the slab onto the bench.
“Where did you get that?” I say, pointing.
“I made it.”
“Can I have a look?”
She reaches over and puts it on the counter.
“It’s wonderful. And you made it?”
“Yeah. Gotta keep possession”, Sass Lass answers with a grin as she shows me the purse sticking out from it.
I laugh. “You play footy?”
“I grew up in Newcastle. Played league.”
I’m impressed. I ask to take a few photos and she obliges straightaway, picking it up and putting it over her shoulder, a wink and another grin a bonus. Everything moves quickly, including Sass Lass – two other customers have lined up at the counter.
The bag goes back on its hanger and I hand over my forty dollars and pick up the slab.
“It’d move in Melbourne. Maybe you should start a website to sell them?”
Sass Lass smiles back at me, says nothing. She turns to the next customer.
possession is nine tenths…