The Essential Goodness of Humanity

Walking home under this afternoon's blanched grey sky, I followed two jaunty drunks from parking meter to parking meter, their pockets jangling with coins extracted with some sort of wire contraption. Outside the AMWU office on Elizabeth Street, a union lackey sat with his feet up on a collapsible table, bottle of VB in one hand, smiling. As we passed, he offered his wares to the drunks—one donut for a dollar, or a box of four for three. One paused thoughtfully, fishing easily for the requisite coins, while the other stood at the adjacent parking meter, beaming, extracting more. Next door, bent over a concrete landing overlooking the footpath, stood two fat young parking inspectors, each intently gazing at a mobile phone. As I looked up, they looked down with the eyes of the trapped.