Once in Adelaide, Australia, a rather strange man tried to enter a site I was guarding. Jittery, and clearly frustrated, he explained that he wanted to cut through the property because the road he’d been following was punctuated with too many roadworks.
I couldn’t let him cut though so I turned him away; but not without a degree of sympathy. In Adelaide, it’s not unusual to get caught in roadworks whilst trying to avoid other roadworks. My record is five sets of roadworks in an hour, though I’m sure plenty of Adelaidians can beat that.
We took turns complaining about the roads, which seemed to calm him down a bit.
“Everywhere you turn, you just can’t escape them! Roadworks, everywhere!” He moaned.
“Sure, yeah, everywhere. Can’t drive five minutes without running into roadworks,” I tried to console.
Suddenly, it was like he snapped. “Do you know whose fault it all is?”
“Umm….probably the council…”
He exploded. “The IMMIGRANTS! All the black people! Africans everywhere!”
First I wondered what immigrants have to do with roadworks. Then I considered mentioning that most non-Indigenous Australians are white. Then I decided to pretend stupid wasn’t happening.
“Have fun in the roadworks,” I said in the most polite tone I could muster. He spent a minute staring at me, trying to figure out if I was being sarcastic, then left without a word.