Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Curleys Bar (The Misteeq Remix and the NIMBYs in my head)

The new Snow Patrol song, it's more offensive than any politician I've seen in the last five years. OK, maybe it's not that bad, but I've never known anything more tepid and mediocre in my life, it makes Jason Mraz look like a sage, especially when they nominally "rock out" on the solo. I don't have friends though that I can discuss this with - what we have been discussing though is, as we've munched on our Believe! bars, the fact that the residents (or the NIMBYs) of Bellerive have been protesting against the installation of light towers at Bellerive Oval - and if the lights don't go up, we don't get any international cricket in Hobart anymore. And where will the bogans who want to make towers out of plastic beer cups go then? This is clearly a big deal for me, not just because I'm probably too out of drinking shape to sit and watch an international cricket game all day on the hill, but mostly because I have to, if my stated aim to work in local community groups is to blossom, pick a side. Am I to be a NIMBY or on the side of progress? I think the progress people have more fun, but the NIMBYs have more passion and better sandwiches. Plus, it's just fun to complain and protest - unless you were part of the great whistle protest at uni in 97 and stole the whistle to go to a rave. It's a tough decision, particularly in a small community. I know from experience that Penguin was torn asunder when "the gay guys" (as they were known, pretty much universally, even to people who knew them) wanted to turn Penguin into some sort of international gaming mecca and were run out of town by a combination of homophobia, fear and hillbillies on tractors, George Jones style. The thing is, you had to pick a side, progress or the same old shit. And I kinda like the same old shit - but the same old shit is basically what leads to people buying Snow Patrol records, and thus the circle of life is again complete, Simba. As the finals bars of the Veronicas Take Me On The Floor filtered from my work day radio, I was unsure of which side I would be on, but I was certain that if I chose the side of converatism and sandwiches, I would never attend a meeting in my retro Lyon soccer top, the one from when Lyon were sponsored by "Le 69"...they probably wouldn't like that...

So I've had a terrible day really - I got stung by a bee that snuck into my washing, I got stuck in traffic and my soccer team lost. As I sat in traffic, rubbing my bee sting, I was greatful that I wasn't the man who's car was in bits by the side of the road, and I felt a little bit better. When you get out of a traffic jam caused by an accident on the road I drive home on, by passing the stationery vehicle that's in bits, it's clear sailing and you can bomb along at about 140 (allegedly). In the traffic jam though, I mostly got to thinking about a similar situation, when getting out of a crowded environment lead to clear air. Let me set the scene a little bit - my friends were feeling adventurous one night out, far more adventurous than they are now, and decided to turn their back on the Salamanca scene. Possibly, my best friend felt like trying his collection of seemingly quite winning pick up grunting and apathy on an entirely new set of girls. One of my rules in life is that I never trust a flier - if someone is handing out fliers, no good can come from following their instructions. Accepting a flier lead to me entering Ayrshires new Fila store in search of orange shoes, and that lead to me being harangued by a trendy something behind the counter that my tops were "so 1991" and me saying "but it is 1991 now you idiot!" and an argument breaking out. So when my friend said that he had got a flier off a promotions model (maybe it was Hayley Moxon?) in the middle of town, that entitled him to a free shot of tequila (with bendy straw) at Curleys bar, I felt an instant acid style flashback to 1991. Incidentally, as an aside, the name of this bar is also the surname of someone I hate very very much, and I was concerned he had invested in a bar. However while I wasn't thrilled about the night out that was planned, I was assured in that usually matey way that the night would be no good without me, they'd get me a chick and all that usual rubbish that leads inevitably to no one getting a chick, and a dismal experience on the way home haggling with the taxi driver. Luckily, I'll a wily old fox now, versed in the Hobart social scene etiquette...I know to pretend to fall asleep in the taxi home. Oh, kids today, so much to learn, with their rock and roll eight tracks...

Anyway, I knew going to Curleys (or indeed anywhere with the promise of tequila + bendy straw) was going to be a terrible idea when I saw the queue. Why do nightclubs have queues anyway? Fire regulations? A love of the velvet rope? Or to make the Maori on the door feel important? As we queued, I saw in the queue my netball playing ex, talking amicably to a footballer called Hayden that I also knew, who was talking about how amazing Lano and Woodley was. As perhaps I have established, I am a terrible small talk maker, so I didn't say hello, but as I looked in her direction, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that my friend - with the coupon - had been nudged stage left and out of the queue by something I've never seen before, even from the punch and judy show (minus the punch) outside Syrup. A line bouncer. Yes, I have never to this day seen anyone not even make it to the front of the queue before they get turfed, but my friend managed it, with the old footwear problem striking again. As he was told that he wouldn't be getting in in those shoes, he valiantly waved his coupon like a flag high in the air and whinged "but...bendy straws!" to no avail. He was out of there, and we proved our supportiveness by staying in the queue and trying to get the coupons off him - he wasn't impressed. The line bouncer passed us, but not a girl with Pippi Longstocking chic, or a girl with a buskers hat, or...out of a queue of 15-20 people, he turfed about 12 people, for various infractions. All that was left from the original Kokoda trail of queueing was me, my two other friends, a girl in a Cookie Monster T-shirt who was whispering to her friend "Shit! Fucking shit! I hope he doesn't find out I'm 14! Fucking shit!" - and of course, she was completely fine, because she had pumps. At this point, one of those turfed, a well built man in a "serve steaming hot" T-shirt, decided that the best course of action was to charge up to the line bouncer, and just start laying into his shoes. "Those are STORE BOUGHT!" he squealed with glee, over and over again, and he was still hopping on one leg, like a cheeky T-shirted pixie, as we finally made it into what the flier called "Nightclub Nirvana"...

Well, it was probably about as depressing as "In Utero" anyway. The club was split into thirds, a loungey bit on which sat several English uni students, one in a Button Moon T-shirt, whinging about how the club wasn't a patch on the ones in London, a dance floor on which danced one incredibly hot Brazillian girl and several bogan chicks, round a man bag to the thumping strains of Mis-Teeq on the video screens, with smoke machines billowing like an 80s edition of Top of The Pops. And out the back, a smoking room, out of which there didn't seem to be much tobacco smoke, and everyone seemed incredibly fond of Xavier Rudd. We settled initially on the lounge area, clearing our own space, feeling slightly uncomfortable in the fact that we were the only people of legal age in the whole place. Outside, it remained chaotic, and we could several people getting more and more angry, one throwing his shoes at the bouncer. The tense atmosphere spread to the dance floor, where the Brazillian appeared to have latched onto one of the bogan chicks men, maybe by expressing a preference for Holden over Ford. As we sipped our seven dollar green "are you sure this is a Boags?" drinks, to my complete delight out of a bendy straw, a girl came and talked to me, asking me to dance. Actually, she asked me to watch her bag, which is a marriage proposal in some Tasmanian towns. She draped herself over one of the nearby seats and looked directly at me, smiling, showing at least five teeth and a lifetime of flirtacious experience based on blunt directness and too much Midori. "So, what do you think of Destinys Child?" she said, pointing to Mis-Teeq pumping away on the video screen. I thought, well, it's an easy mistake (or Mis-Teeq, you bounding pun based cad) to make. So, gently, I said, well, that's actually Mis-Teeq. She hissed venom and her little eyes bulged as she said "I didn't ask for your nerferkin life story!" (that incidentally has a lot less Mis-Teeq and a lot more days sitting in traffic) and stormed off to hit on a mulleted man in an AC/DC t-shirt. By now, the man who had been winding up the bouncer about his shoes had returned with eggs, and was threatening to pelt the club if he didn't get let in. The tension continued to rise, when the video screen briefly went out, and the Brazillian girl said it showed Tasmanians showed no class, and then to amusement of Miss Warrane broke her heel on her shoe as she twisted. By the time an aggravated barmaid had confronted her boss about not wanting to clean up broken glass, it was clear to me that Curleys Bar was really just an average Dodges Ferry pub on a Saturday night, just with a smoke machine. As violence and tension continued to brew to the thumping strains of commercialised UK garage music that had spawned out of an originally quite undergr...no, you are right, you didn't ask for my life story, and we sculled our strange green drinks, and left, only to find our mate sitting on the step of the library across the road, waving his coupon in the air and drinking Boags he had scavved off a homeless man high in the air. "I had a coupon!" he said, loudly, and angrily. And thus, the wily old fox, having been out for about 10 minutes, was about to get in the front of a taxi and pretend...

Incidentally, I think if I do go and protest against the Bellerive light towers, I'm going to go to a protest dressed as a light tower. You see, I was in traffic for way, way too long....too many good ideas...

5 comments:

squib said...

Are you talking about Take Back the City? Whooooah oah oa? I think it is THAT bad

The only song I ever really really liked was Run but it makes me really maudlin so I always skip it on my playlist unless I want to wallow

I'm definitely a NIMBY, ever since my neighbour put a phone tower on his roof

Baino said...

Haha love yer style Miles although it took just about all my lunch hour to get through it. Seriously though what is the obsession with SHOES? Christ, this is Australia where thongs are considered semi formal. . .My boy's been tossed on many occasion for inappropriate dress when 15 semi-naked pre-pubescent nymphettes have been allowed in. He puts it down to keeping the sexes even, apparently girls don't like being leered at on the dancefloor. Now he's got his own nymphette he drinks genuine Boags at home without the line bouncer or the cover charge but not with a bendy straw (God I like bendy straws, and bendy buses)

Kath Lockett said...

"Actually, she asked me to watch her bag, which is a marriage proposal in some Tasmanian towns."

You. Are. Brilliant!

Mrs Slocombe said...

A prize for you, sonny.

Miles McClagan said...

Yes, I do mean Take Back The City, it's absolutely apalling, it's so tepid and downright weak...I'm not sure if I'm going to be a NIMBY, I need to think about it.

My friend was also refused entry into a strip club because of his shoes - I don't understand it. What I do know is that there a few things greater than an awesome bendy straw! My house is poorer for their current absence...

You should see when a girl asks you hold their drink (that's a request to give them triplets).

An award? For me? Amazing! It's like being Gabriella Cilmi!