It's not that I'm cheap, it's that my sense of pricing is forever stuck at childhood. A Paddle Pop or a big bottle of Tarax should be 75 cents and a pack of Batman cards should be no more than 45 cents. I grimly accepted the price hike up to 95 cents when Batman 2 came out, only because of the card with Michelle Pfeiffer curled up on the bed. Her leather Catwoman costume stretched over over body came at the purrfect (I'm really really sorry) time for my prepubescent loins.
Back in the good old days I'd get on my bike and ride up to the milk bar and get myself a pack of cards and some mixed lollies with the money raised from cleaning my room (such a sweet deal I worked out with my parents). Are kids even allowed to ride up to the shops unsupervised these days? But a chunk of change was all I needed to satisfy an afternoon so don't blame me when I think twice about shouting you a Cornetto the next time we go to the milk bar.
But milk bars are in a horrible state these days. A pocketful of silver won't buy you squat and all the windows are covered in cheap vinyl signage sporting Arial and Impact stretched to their limits. Thankfully, the good folks behind Milkbars, Laundromats & Urban Beauty on at Arthur's Circus have set out to remind us of a time when going to the milk bar meant something. With a focus on photography but with a proverbial and literal mixed bag of found ephemera as well, the exhibition is full of all the good things that made milk bars, well, good.
Meanwhile, they're selling lollies at yesterdays prices and even have proof of a time when Paddle Pops were cheaper than 75 cents.
Arthur's Circus is at 631 Queensberry St North Melbourne. Featuring work by Natalie Jeffcott, Gemma Jones, Miikel Doomernik and Eamo Donnely. The opening hours are Thursday to Sunday 11am-5pm and the exhibition finishes on the 11th of October.