On the set of Mad Men

Strange dream, I was asked to sit a test to become a journalist with a local radio station, I think it was linked to 2GB and Alan Jones (The man who speaks for Struggle Street. Of course he does). Anyway the questions were on what appeared to be news print and I had to answer the questions related to the stories. But, every time I tried to finish a page they would give me another page without examining or correcting my answers. Whilst at the same time I had to write and then broadcast news stories. There were also some questions about maths that I attempted to answer, but didn’t really understand the question or what was expected of me. Anyway the questions kept coming and I kept answering the questions and writing stories all to a deadline. I was enjoying the challenge of it all.

I could hear Allan Jones voice in the background and then the other journalists and editors cursing and swearing at him under their breaths; the editor clearly called him “a fucken Wanker of Struggle Street”. The strange thing was Jones was being broadcast from Sydney; I was in a newsroom in Melbourne writing news copy for Melbourne and Sydney.

The office had very few computers, mostly typewriters clanking away with cigarette smoke swirling around the head of the writer. Computers were on the overside of a glass partition, but it didn’t go all the way up to the ceiling. The office set up reminded me as if I was on the set of Mad Men, although nobody was drinking vodka or gin at 10 O’clock in the morning; well not what I could see at least.

Then there was what I was wearing; a light grey suit, white shirt with a grey Fedora with either a black band around it, or a black band with a grey strip around it. Either way it was strange to see me wearing that style of hat as I usually wear Stetson or a stylish akubra felt hat. I once wore a black Stetson, but people often thought I was Jewish. In fact there is a story behind that as well. One day on my lunch-break I was returning to work when I heard someone yelling behind me “It’s not the Sabbath! It’s not the Sabbath!” I stopped in my tracks looking around for where the voice was coming from. Then again “It’s not the Sabbath”. Then I was noticed this large barrelled chested man striding towards me, as if he was on a mission. Then again he yelled out “It’s not the Sabbath” and pointed towards his head indicating I should remove my black hat. It was then when I noticed who he was, Roman Rosenbaum, brother of slain Australian Jewish student Yankel Rosenbaum, who was stabbed and had his skull was fractured during the 1991 Crown Heights Riots in Brooklyn, New York City.  It was a terrible riot in that it turned African-American and Orthodox Jewish residents against each other. The riots began on August 19, 1991, after two children of Guyanese immigrants were unintentionally struck by a car in the motorcade of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the leader of a Jewish religious sect. A child died and the second was severely injured. And Poor Yankel was an innocent victim who was unfortunately caught up in the Riot and paid for it because he was Jewish.  A 16-year-old African-American kid, Lemrick Nelson, Jr. and was charged as an adult with murder and later acquitted.

However, at the time I wasn’t thinking about race-riots or Yankel being stabbed, I just wanted to get as far away from this crazy man yelling about it not being the Sabbath. I thought he was about to knock the hat off my head in disgust at a ‘so-called Jewish person’ wearing a black hat on a Friday afternoon. After that encounter I ditched the big black (Jewish) hat and went for another style and colour.

Later on I lost the grey Fedora and looked everywhere for it, but just couldn’t find it. Which Earlier this year I lost my Stetson hat, actually I had left it in the taxi we caught coming from the airport. Despite all my best efforts and ringing the lost property of Victoria Police I never found that had again. It was a greenish grey colour, not a light grey colour as in the dream.

Whilst working in the news room I was very anxious about my health and suffering or experiencing a debilitating chronic pain episodes, that usually either doubles me over with me clutching at my groin, and has even landed me in hospital at least three times a year in chronic agony. It’s embarrassing and I’m sick of suffering the episodes, which I often suffer on a daily basis. But, despite being anxious of suffering a debilitating episode, it never happened and I was over-the-moon as I was able to work in an area that I love and do so without any pain (I can at least dream). I was working and contributing to society; earning money, paying taxes, providing for my family and felt like a man again. Yes I felt like a man again.

The editor said he’d see me tomorrow and thanked me for the day’s work I’d completed. I attempted to rush home and tell Amy about the job, but had trouble leaving the building as I was pre-occupied with trying to find the light-grey Fedora hat and searched everywhere for it, even in the toilet for some reason! But then the building started to collapse around me and I had to get out without the hat. I climbed over the rubble of the building, which was also grey and managed to catch up with Amy who was pushing a pram with our daughter Siobhan in it. I told her the great news of the job offer. But she said to me, “Are you sure the job will be there for you”? I reassured her it would be and was really happy telling her of the job offer. But with that I woke up and was back in the cold reality of the real world. At least the Morphine was working and managed to keep the pain at bay for a few hours.

So if anybody finds my hat could they please return to me as soon as possible, or else I’m off to the City Hatters in Flinders Street, Melbourne to get myself a new Stetson.

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