I’d just like to say a word or two about the Christmas rush, if I may, keeping in mind that I am an eighteen-year-old check-out chick so it might be a little tainted. Just a little.

I wish I could say I rub my hands with glee and watch and wait for that first customer to walk through the doors, just so that I can share my festive cheer with them and anyone else of a mind. But I don’t, in fact I dread it. I wish it would go away for a bit – let me sleep at least a minute past 6.00 am. Instead, I wake up, at an hour my hair really isn’t accustom to, already thinking of fruit and vegetables and cheese and cake and other various things that will be flying out the doors. And the carols. Oh the carols. I wouldn’t mind if it was Michael Buble belting it out. But it isn’t. It’s some group of – I wouldn’t call them people, they couldn’t be human to make the sounds that they do – I’ll say things, yes a group of bleeping singing things that – actually I’d struggle to call it singing…. you get my point.

But it is easy to blend in, I will say that much. With all the chaos and the wailing and screaming and such I find myself part of the backdrop. In blending in, one does find it easier to tune out and run away to that little place in their mind where you can abide and ride the tide until the madness is over. That’s where I go most days.

Today was a different story. I was spotted. Let me explain.

He looked at me in a way that a child might look at their teacher on seeing them outside the classroom, a little taken a back and quite bewildered. What is she doing here? That’s what he was thinking. I could see it written on his face.

If only I knew who he was. This was going to be awkward I could sense it.

“Next please,” I shouted and over he came.

He didn’t hesitate. “Do you go for Richmond, by any chance?”

I looked down at my shirt, then, for some reason, to the back of my hand. I turned around and looked at the wall behind me. Where was the sign? Was I wearing a badge, a ribbon? How did he know? Weird.

“Ye-es,” I said, “How did y-”
“I see you there with your Dad sometimes. You’re very, um, vocal aren’t you,”

I felt myself turn crimson. Oh dear.

We chatted for a bit about the off-season, about the recruiting and all matter of things, really. He said we’d been quiet. I said it was a good thing, less said the better. He didn’t agree but he said he’d see me in March. And then he left and that was that.

Is it wrong that for a fleeting moment I felt like a celebrity? Probably. But I had been noticed, my face recognised, my passion appreciated. Yes, good for me, go team and all that! For a while I stood a little taller and my head grew a little bigger. For I am a Richmond supporter, after all. Nay THE Richmond supporter. All bow before me and what not.

But then Harry Kewell walked in and put things back into perspective a little.

I went back to hating the carols.

About Catherine Durkin

Catherine Durkin, who has been writing for the Almanac since her high school days, is now a reporter and presenter for Fox Sports News, based in Sydney


  1. I love michael buble :) <3 did you watch his christmas special? Flawless!

  2. Catherine

    How sad that someone who loves to hear the best football song in the AFL has to listen to Carols intead. From the submime to the ridiculous

    As someone who did my fair share of retail work, I am also scarred as hating carols. How I sat through them with the kids last Friday night in Como Park is a show of strength not shown by many Tiger teams of the 80s and early 90s.

    Hope the rest of your Christmas retail experience goes well, and you get to spend the break reflecting on past Tiger glories and Dimma’s plans for us to experience September again soon.

    Yours in Yellow and Black.


  3. Catherine,

    my daughter is being a checkout chick in today at the local Woolies, while on summer break from Uni, with all her Tigers’ gear safely stashed at home in the cupboard waiting for next year.

    The other day I was being philosophical as a very satisfied Cat and said I could just about handle a Tigers flag some time in the near future.

    Her reply was quite direct. “I couldn’t” she said.

    They will play finals next year. My brother assures me. (He does this time every year.)

  4. Cath,

    Just letting everyone know that you work for an Almanac sponsor, Toscano’s, and that Tiger Boy is not the only one watching you.

    Great piece, by the way.

  5. Haha I love the job all year round – just when it comes to the festive season things can get a bit much! And carols have never been my thing props to Sean for sticking it out for the kiddies’ sake!

    Looking forward to fruitful year for the boys in yellow and black but Phantom I’m going to have to agree with your daughter – I don’t think I could handle a flag either

    Merry Christmas to you all!

  6. Phantoms know many things Catherine and this one knows you certainly could handle the Tigers winning a flag, Catherine.

    It would be ine of the most analgesic feelings (post final siren) that you would ever have.

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