ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

With minutes left until David Jones closed, the clip-clopping of Dexter Bradley’s Baxters against the linoleum floor became frantic.

“Fuck,” he said softly.

He ran down another escalator.

“Shit!” he said a bit louder. He was quickly running out of options. Before him, a cemetery of switched-off televisions and sales clerks who looked at him like he was lost.

Down the escalator again to home wares. It was either find something here – or arrive red-faced, puffed and empty-handed to his girlfriend Bernice’s Friday night birthday dinner at the nearby Pisse Dans Ma Poche Cafe on Rue de Faire Crac-Crac.

Speaking to our reporter this morning while he spat intermittently on the floor of the Skase Centre’s designated smoking area, the 28-year-old said he found some fancy-looking knives that were marked down to a sensible price one would expect to pay for fancy knives.

“Turns out they’re cheese knives,” he said.

He took a drag and spat on the floor again.

“Bernice said she liked them. When she unwrapped them at the table, she looked at the knives, then back at me, then back at the knives,”

“Not a bad result under the pump. Mind you, I did have months to research and find the perfect present. I might do that next year but the pressure of having to find something in five minutes inside a largely empty David Jones is as exhilarating as it is terrifying. Honestly, if it weren’t for the internet, I’d go to David Jones more often.”

Unbeknown to Dexter, who was later caught teaching his little brother how to smoke spots off the stove on Saturday night using the cheese knives, his birthday present received mixed reviews from Bernice’s primary group chat.

Bernice told The Advocate that some of her friends thought it was a practical and thoughtful gift, while others theorised that Dexter had stolen them from his mother’s good tableware cupboard.

“Cheese knives? Interesting,” said a lawyer friend.

“You’ll get some good use out of them, considering you eat more soft cheese than Matt Preston on holiday,” wrote another.

“You might be able to return them for cash,” explained another who was otherwise unaware that the police would now consider the knives to be drug paraphernalia.

However, when asked by our reporter what she thought of the knives, Bernice said they were ‘good’.

When pressed for a real answer, she said, ‘No, they’re fine’.

More to come.


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