ASK PETE. YOUR FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS SOLVED

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Lonely? Frustrated? Angry? Well Pete is here to solve all your first-world problems. Ask away!

Dear Pete, I have a problem with these stupid MYKI machines. The train’s coming, I’m standing there waiting, waiting for the damn thing to top up, looking at the screen which says “coding your MYKI…” and meanwhile the train’s come and gone. It’s like they’ve got a frigging Commodore 64 chip in that machine. So slow! What were they thinking?

Fran, Seddon (via email)

Firstly Fran, “thinking” isn’t something governments are great at, so more fool you for being surprised and disappointed! Secondly, those actually are Commodore 64 computers in the machines, in fact Commodore 64s have run this state for years! Remember the census? That was them. Y2K bug? Them again! Adele tickets? Yep! Seems back in the 1980s someone ordered thousands of the damn things and they wrote a 40 year business case for them! They never guessed how quickly microchip technology would advance, and now we’re stuck with them. My advice, come earlier next time and bring a floppy disk with games and a joystick. Yes, MYKI machines have slots for those around the back!


Hi Pete, the most frustrating thing in my life at the moment is the local bus which although it only runs every half hour, has this annoying habit of being 2-3 minutes early. Late? I get that – traffic lights and so on, sure. But early? Come on, that’s unforgivable!

Julian, Williamstown North (via email)

This sounds like the classic bus driver’s game of cat and mouse. You see, a bus driver’s sole professional aim is to drive an empty bus. There have been actual studies. When there are no passengers, there are no hassles – no stopping every 30 seconds, no mindless chit chat, and no one to complain about their appalling taste in music. So you can tsk tsk and point at your watch all you like – believe me I’ve tried – but at least next time you’re stuck on the wrong side of the level crossing for 10 minutes, waiting, watching the minutes tick by on your phone, and cursing the Kennett Government for filling in the underpass without consultation, at least you’ll know why the damn thing is leaving, just as half a dozen desperate commuters break through the barrier and make a run for the bus stop!


Pete I notice young and healthy people always sitting in the “please give these seats up to people who need them” spaces on the train. Well the other day I had a bit of a cold and couldn’t even get these people to make eye contact in the hope that they might see I was in need. There’s gotta be a better system!?

Patricia, Kingsville South (via email)

Patricia what you should do is – try and look sicker! Really get up in those young, annoyingly healthy people’s faces and cough and splutter. Limping is a good one that works for me. You could always go the “Full Ferris” and “barf up a lung”. Or perhaps we need to start being able to book these seats in advance online via an app? Of course we’d have to submit to some sort of triage system, so that say, you with your cold weren’t getting that seat before someone on crutches, heavily pregnant, or a Richmond supporter on a Monday morning. But anyway, those healthy people? Who aren’t noticing you because their heads are all down, transfixed by their phones? The app will alert them to your illness, and they will part like the Red Sea did for Moses!

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