Snap Shot #42: Read This

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I am buying the weekend edition of the Sydney Morning Herald from one of Bondi’s many Ezy Marts. I pay my money, smile at the guy behind the counter and am just about to grab the paper when the Ezy Mart guy beats me to it and starts flicking through the pages. This throws me and I watch him, bemused. I’m about to ask him what’s up when, again, he beats me to it. “Read this.” He points at an article at the top of page six with a photo of a guy taking a beach selfie with a couple of mates. “Ok – will do.” I grab the paper and leave before he has the chance to suggest any other articles. Once I’m home, showered and ready to read, I of course immediately turn to page six. The headline is: “Terrorism probe of fatal stabbing at service station.” As I work my way through it, I realise the article is about the Caltex shop worker who was killed by a couple of crazed teens in Queanbeyan the day before, possibly as an act of ISIS inspired terror. I had seen something on the news the night before. It was a sad story. But why had the Ezy Mart guy wanted me to read it? The Caltex worker was Pakistani. It’s possible my Ezy Mart guy was too. Did he know the victim? I look at the photo and notice that the two mates in the background have had their faces pixilated. Why? Maybe it was a Facebook photo and the paper didn’t want to track down the mates to ask for consent. I wonder if any of my Facebook photos will ever appear in the paper. Maybe the one of me dressed as a Japanese medieval warrior, sword in hand. It would be an ironic image if I’m ever a murder victim. My mind wanders back to the Ezy Mart guy. What if he had no other connection with the victim other than having shared a similar job? Maybe he just wanted me (and whoever else he urged to read the article) to simply think about people like him who work in such shops – potentially vulnerable to crazed killers. If so, he succeeded. I go back to the front page and read about how a tweeting president is getting closer to his goal of starting World War Three.

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