Bricks and Flame

Alright, so someone is just walking around the streets setting cars on fire. That’s not normal.

Really, shouldn’t the police be doing something? Or, like… shouldn’t they have done something before now? Set up stakeouts on every car in the whole city until this vagabond is brought to justice! It’s not rocket science!

Oh, but there are so many cars. This reminds me of the Brick-gilante incident of 1972, when I was a young Triple-Zero operator and I had to field all kids of calls with panicked people saying that the Brick-gilante had struck again, hurling a brick through the window of their family home.

Looking back, I think glaziers Melbourne wide got a big boost from that whole thing, which led some to accuse them of being behind the brick-related crime wave. That turned out to be silly sensationalism, of course, but that didn’t stop the Trumpeting Moon from printing all sorts of slanderous accusations. You could get away with that stuff in the seventies, you know.

So, Melbourne’s window replacement people got an upsurge in work, and the spate of crime continued. I remember the story unfolding, as it would in some sort of silly daytime drama: turns out that a group of youths from an extremely strict boarding school had been driven mad by their confinement and started to sneak out at night to break windows, seeing them as a metaphorical representation of how they were told that their education would open many doors, but those ‘doors’ actually turned out to be thick window panes through which a glorious career future could only be glimpsed and not actually experienced.

They were finally caught in the act after they broke into the warehouse of a glass balustrade installer Melbourne had a particular thing for at the time, apparently attempting to steal enough glass to create a sculpture of a balustrade that went up but led to nowhere. Another metaphor, no doubt. 

And now, it’s burning cars. What metaphor is that supposed to be?