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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Mystery on the Moops

                                                             Image credit

“A police car just pulled up in our driveway,” observed Scotto dryly, as we were sitting on the couch watching “300 Rise of an Empire” yesterday afternoon.

It’s not the type of movie I would normally enjoy but I’d loved the surreal quality, the cinematic splendor and the artistic integrity of the first “300”; plus the fact it featured more six packs than the refrigerated section at Dan Murphy’s.

The hair on my head stood to attention. 

The kids! Where were all my kids?

I knew Thaddeus (24) was round the corner at my sister Sam’s place. Lulu (17) was working at the Donut shop. Padraic (19) had texted me ten minutes previously to find out what was on the menu Monday night and Hagar (21) had only just walked out the door. Jonah (23) was the only one unaccounted for. 
I began to hyperventilate.

“It’s alright,” Scotto eased my anxiety, “they just used our driveway to turn around.”

As we’re on the cusp of a crescent shaped street people are always corroding our driveway in their efforts to turn around in the street. The surface is falling to bits it’s so ground down. Scotto wants to sue the council.

With a sigh of relief I turned back to the six packs.

Barely minutes later the same police car drove at a crawl past our house again, this time followed by an unmarked detective car. We paused the movie and silently watched as three more police vehicles arrived, jumping the gutter across the road and snaking down towards the riverbank and coming to a stop at the edge of the moops.

The ‘moops’ are what we call the swampy, grassy riverbank (resembling what I presume a moor looks like) extending out towards the actual river. It’s full of snakes, wallabies and itchy, bitey things and personally I’d never venture out there, though lots of people do.

Naturally I did the first thing I always do when anything remotely out of the ordinary happens and immediately took to social media.

I posted on Twitter first.
There are five police cars on the river in front of my place right now.Should I go and ask them, "What's goin down dudes?" Or maybe not?

The response was instantaneous.

One of my favourite blogging pals, Kimberley from Melbourne Mum, was most encouraging. 

Are you wearing a bra? was her cryptic comeback. 

“Get down there without a bra on and you should get some answers, girl!” was her intriguing advice.

Now if I was a hot little mumma like Kimberley, this strategy might have had some viability... and as it happened I wasn’t wearing a bra and the twins were swinging wide and low, like something distasteful you'd find in an issue of National Geographic.

So I sent Scotto out on a reconnaissance mission instead.

But then another vehicle arrived. Two official-looking guys in long sleeved white shirts and ties stepped out. 

It was the coroner. Shite!

Abandoning any sense of modesty I stumbled down to where quite a collection of neighbours had gathered.

“What do you reckon’s goin’ on?” asked the old bloke from two doors up after he’d stared at my chest in dismay for a few seconds.

“A drug bust?” another curious neighbour chimed in. "Could be a crop of mary-juana."

Somehow, I suspected, a drug bust would not necessitate a coroner's presence.

Then we all saw what we’d dreaded. A tarp being thrown around and then four policemen carrying a body up from the riverbed.

We all left the riverbank and wandered back to our homes.

Scotto and I didn’t bother watching the rest of the movie.

There was no crime scene. We assume it was an accidental death or even more likely and sadder; that someone had just found things in this world to be too full of hopelessness and despair and had taken their own life… three hundred metres from our house.

It was somebody’s dad/mother/brother/sister/son/daughter/friend in that zippered bag.

I wish they’d knocked on our door.

We would have bundled them up in a blanket with a warm cup of tea and called for help.

I wish they’d reached out first before taking that irrevocable step.

We are here on this Earth for each other. We should try to remember there’s always someone we can reach out to.

If this post has upset or distressed you in any way, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or head to Beyond Blue.