Driving down Smith Street today to get to the post office, I saw a monk getting a parking ticket.

Smith Street is quite a "colourful" street in Melbourne. In fact, I once had to go to the magistrates court and make a statement in relation to some of the more colourful behaviour going on there in the early hours of a Sunday morning (a bloke was trying to glass another bloke because he'd found him in his house, removing certain items and placing them in a large rubbish bag, presumably without prior permission). Smith Street has a Cash Converters, a money-loaning shop, a TAB, and eight billion cafes, many of them vegetarian and quite a few of them requiring you to ask for a key to use the toilets.

Anyway. So I'm in Smith Street and I see this monk. It's not terribly surprising to see a Franciscan monk in Smith Street because they live around there somewhere (in a converted warehouse loft? In a terrace house with peace flags out the front? Who's to know?). Still, it's never exactly par for the course to run into a monk, is it. So I do notice him, solitary, walking away from the post office, in long, brown robes and sandals. And he goes to a little red Holden and he unlocks the driver's door.

You know that moment when you're half in and half out of your car and you see a parking ticket under the wiper and you just freeze?

Monks do that too!

I could see him spot it - a bastard parking ticket from the bastard council on the windscreen of his car - and he sat with the door half open just staring at it for about five seconds.

Then he calmly reached around and removed it, placed it on the seat next to him, and resumed whatever it is monks do on a Tuesday afternoon.

I was very impressed. No rage. No horror. No walking around the car and checking for chalk marks. No inspecting the ticket machine and gestering furiously in case the inspector could still see him and realise the error of his ways. Nothing!

I bet the monks pay for it, though. I bet it doesn't come out of his monk wage.

PS Melbourne had the spookiest weather today. Yesterday was the coldest day since August tenth last year, and the planes were grounded and the air was like pea soup. Today, it was that but with the added weirdness of some really spooky light and a huge orange sunset, like in a breakfast cereal advertisement. Thought everyone else should know - if anyone wants to shoot a horror film in the next four days, I'd get yourselves down here.