In the wet season, a lot of people used to sleep the night on our office verandah. Mostly, they weren’t from Broome. Some of them wanted a taste of the big smoke and bright lights. Or they didn’t fancy being flood-locked on their outstation. Some had been exiled. Some of them were drunk. Some of them were lost souls, and some of them brought guitars.
The first time I experienced a verandah sleepover party was a bit of a shock, but I soon got used to stepping over the bodies to start my day on the radio. Sometimes I’d even get a bit of pre-dawn cheer.
“Good Mornin’ sista!”
But one early shift, I arrived at work and there were no bodies asleep on our verandah. No morning greetings or left over green cans or guitars from the night before. But someone HAD taken a shit on our doorstop.
I wasn’t quite sure what to do.
Our office (better known as the Broome cupboard) wasn’t the most luxurious place in the world. It still had masking tape on the windows from Cyclone Rosita. The internet ran at the same speed it did in 1996. A lot of the microphones didn’t work and there was always a faint whiff of urinal lolly in the air.
But there usually wasn’t a human shit on the front doorstop.
I stepped over it, sat down at my desk and waited for the computer to speak to a satellite in China and for a hundred monkeys to start typing and upload my email.
I pretended that shit wasn’t there. Any of it.
My friend Ben came in half an hour later.
“Well, how about that,” he said. “Someone shat on our doorstep again.”
Bless his soul, he shrugged his shoulders, cleaned it up and never mentioned it again.
The Broome post wasn’t always easy to explain to the bosses in Perth.