1. You define your suburb location by North and South side with utter gangster pride.
The Swan was not only a river, it was like a deathly molten lava flow that separated you and your fellow neighbour’s egotism.
2. You always stayed up to make sure Fat Cat said ‘goodnight boys and girls’ on TV.
No mum, we won’t go to bed. Channel 7 hasn’t told us to yet!
3. You have run across hot sand and almost cremated the bottom of your feet at the beach.
40 degrees and your parents decided you all go to the beach. You forget your thongs. You therefore pay the ultimate price. Slip, slop, slap does not prepare you for this madness.
4. Rottnest was your big summer holiday destination. Every year.
Before the quokka selfie, Rottnest was still cool. Pinkies and bike rides, all day, every day in paradise while you get serious sunburn.
5. You refer to Southern WA as ‘Dowth.’
Australian abbreviation at its finest. Dunsborough, Margaret River, Yallingup… no, they are not Down South — we are too lazy and it’s too hot to say so many words.
6. You remember the days when it took 2 hours to drive to Mandurah without the freeway, before it became 20 minutes.
Literally driving hours through complete bushland, somehow finding the side road exit and entering ‘the South West.’
7. You were a regular customer of the Bunnings sausage sizzle on Sundays.
Why else did our parents need home and gardening equipment EVERY week? White bread, sanga, and sauce for $2… cheapest meal in Australia. You also remember begging they spring the extra $1 for a Coke from the esky because you were being good that day.
8. Your Year 7 graduation shirt had to be the best around, it defined everything about you and the last 8 years of schooling.
Those polo shirts meant the world. You spent long, hard hours in aircon-less demountable buildings in order to graduate. You deserved the best of the best. Morley wasn’t going to beat yours, it had YOUR name on it.
9. You remember the days when we weren’t referred to as a mining city.
Mining? Nah, that is in Kalgoorlie, mate. Prices were actually reasonable back then and it didn’t cost $500 a week to rent a house. Nobody knew who Gina Rinehart was or that FIFO was a real thing.
10. You remember Rollerways was where the cool kids had their birthday parties.
You turned 10 and the only place you wanted to celebrate was Rollerways, but only the rich kids could have parties there. You will also remember making sure you were in the top 10 friends of cool kids so you would be invited. You also recall the speed doge ball was pure carnage.
11. You had a daily battle of choosing a Sunny Boy or Zooper Dooper at the Canteen.
Sunny Boys last longer, but Zooper Doopers have so much flavour. Decisions, decisions.
12. You had Scholastic Book Club and always chose the books with a ‘free gift.’
If you were lucky enough that your parents let you splurge $10 a month on the book club, you always made sure the Goosebumps or Clifford pack came with a free toy. You will also recall that moment when the teacher handed around those bundles of joy, it was like Christmas and you had a sticky putty toilet on the way.
13. The Royal show catalogue became the bible in your household each October.
Oh yes, showbag time! Once a year is never enough, the guide was delivered in the Sunday Times and you were picking out your route to all the rides and budgeting like an accountant what your $30 could get you. Then of course came the hoarding of candy for months on end, seeing who would be the last in school with a Bertie Beetle left.
14. You were a victim of “No hat, no play” or Scab duty.
Teachers can be cruel, but boy did they have some excellent punishments. Every child remembers that traumatising recess where you had to sit undercover while everybody played handball, trying desperately to find somebody with two hats. Being cheeky in class may not have gotten a ruler over the knuckles, but scab duty was much, much worse for your reputation.