Fetch your pitchforks and clubs, light your torches gather your prejudices and leave your intellect, compassion and empathy in the cupboard, there are mad people afoot! Well in Morrinsville there are. If you are a Morrinsvillian then you may know who I am talking about, it doesn’t matter really as most places have their own Mad Max. In this instances I will give you a thumbnail sketch, he weighs about 45 kgs, walks with a bit of a stoop these days, often wearing a full length oil skin coat, at times quite a natty dresser but then something missing you may see him in gumboots, an incongruous sight. He is in his late 80’s now by his reckoning but gets out everyday and walks downtown, it used to be with a suitcase in his hand but these days he uses a Zimmer frame.
Why Mad Max you ask, well his name is not Max, he is called Aubrey. Now Aubrey is an articulate man who is full of stories, I am not sure how much is truth, legend or just plainly made up to fill a gap of memory. Aubrey is probably autistic, he says he plays the piano every day (complains that he needs his glasses and that he is not allowed to play before 8:00 am). Aubrey lives in supervised accommodation these days, he used to have his own house. Now as I have written before kids can be cruel, they are like chickens really. If chickens see something different about another one or they sense a weakness they will peck that chicken to death, turn on it and harass it hence the expression a pecked hen. Well Aubrey is different, viewed with suspicion (an old man who lived by him self and wears a long coat). Kids would walk along past his house on the way to school and throw things or insult him, invariably Aubrey would have enough and chase the kids and throw things on occasion.
Now I know this as a fact because he did it to my daughter once, she assured me that she had not wound him up that it was the girls in front of him that had. On this occasion Aubrey threw something and it hit her and made her bleed. I was outraged who the heck is this Mad Max? I called the Police and insisted that they deal with him, a menace to society, should be locked up. Mad Max roams the streets looking for kids to harm. Well the Police contacted Aubrey and told him off, issued him with a warning. The story could end there but it doesn’t. He wrote an apology letter and I saw something. We invited him to church and he came to our house for Tea.
Aubrey is a harmless man who is different, he is talented articulate and even engaging.
He like most of us want to be seen as normal and to have the things that we all want. He was even married briefly, unfortunately it seemed to be an attempt to fleece him and the community stepped in and sorted it out. I saw Aubrey this morning whilst I had a coffee and we chatted a while. I thought I should see him a bit more but I won’t. Truth is I am too busy and life is like that. I will stop and say hello, always wave and no doubt mourn his passing when he leaves this mortal coil. Aubrey tells me he is looking forward to be in a place where everyone is friendly.
It is no secret that I dislike Morrinsville, for a whole lot of reasons but probably more than anything else I dislike my personal situation right now. But let me say this. Aubrey is safe in Morrinsville, he can walk the streets without fear, he became unwell one day and we bundled him into a car and took him home, no problems. There are a few people, simple souls, the Delta Dawns of the world who live here and live here safely. The cannot count some of them but lord help a checkout operator who gives them the wrong change, our community watches as they are dealt with and deals with those who would exploit them. So thank You Morrinsville, lets extend that to the entire community, lets give a dam,who knows what may happen. Wherever you are, next time you see a monster in the street, put your pitchfork and clubs away, and smile or say hello! I cannot guarantee the response but it is worth a try.