Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Montgomerys Burns (to the sound of hot karaoke action)

So my Dad is asleep the other night, which if you know my Dad isn't a very unusual experience, and he says that his dead friend visited him in the middle of the night to tell him something was wrong, and when Dad woke up, the back door was wide open. He puts this down to his friend looking after him, and my rational explanation that the door being open left him freezing and unable to sleep has been summarily dismissed. This is a great example of my dad doing what he does best, conjuring up a situation where he can argue with me about any topic. My Dad doesn't believe in ghosts, and when my cousin supposedly visited an Irvine town hall to communicate with his mother, he had to bite his tongue to be supportive - however, for the sake of the argument, he is now telling me he's mad for ghosts. just to get a reaction. He has also now started backing the Scotland football manager to keep his job just because I want him sacked. He has had one win today though, the principal at his school, the one who basically said that kids didn't have to stay in class if they didn't want to (I'm so born in the wrong generation) and tried to eliminate failure has just quit, so he's stoked about that. Personally, I'm sad that her experiment to eliminate failure has seemingly passed, as it really gave me hope that one day I could go back to school and just behave like Rodney Dangerfield, slack off and somehow pass the final exam without studying...or did he get to stay in school because he won the diving competition? I can never remember how Back To School ends. Anyway, I think had she been my principal, I would definitely had got straight As without doing anything, because I would have totally made up a large variety of learning disorders, some of them about ghosts. This is a school after all with a selective mute who gets away with doing her oral presentations, but then is struck mute and can't answer questions about them...oh yes, I would have completely stormed that school...and won the diving competition. I still don't believe in ghosts though, apart from the one who locked my door in Queenstown...that one was terrifying...

It's fair to say I don't go to the infamous Hobart pub Montgomerys very often - it's the kind of surreal experience pub I only tend to go to on very strange nights out when the Salamanca pub options are exhausted or someone feels the need to emphasise their cooler than thou credentials by proclaiming, say, Irish Murphys "so 2004" - the notion of applying a thing to a year does bother me by the way, as surely if something is so 2004, that doesn't render it as a bad thing does it, it's like people who say "Oh you can talk!" to which i always say "yes, I can, but there are many poor mutes in the world, so a bit of respect. The key thing you need to know about Montgomerys is it has karaoke, hence why the nights when I've gone there have been a little strange. It's also where I saw a fine specimen of Hobart man try and prove his sobriety to a barman by reciting the nine times table over and over again until security threw him out. One of the great regrets of my life is that I can't sing, so my karaoke experiences are limited in scope. I can shout, but that's only good on AC/DC songs. The first time I ever went into Montgomerys, a shy Twiggy like figure (actually more like Candy from the 60s movie of the same name, but no one saw that) was attempting to woo the masses with a rendition of Norah Jones epic song to drown yourself in the bubblebath to, "Don't Know Why", and she was wearing a retro Belgium soccer top, which attracted me to her far more than the singing. Anyway, a bogan from the crowd yelled out the obvious heckle, "Don't know why you don't shut the fuck up!" (oh, someone let Oscar Wilde in) and she actually walked out into the crowd, hit him over the head with the microphone, and resumed singing. As she was doing this, one of my friends, who has now married a Danish sailor or something like that, was trying to teach a dishevelled and disjointed me how to dance, which really isn't going to happen. As she was banging on and on about how to dance like the cool band of the time (possibly Mis-Teeq) I said to her something along the lines of "leave me alone, I can tap dance!" which has stuck with me to this day - obviously, I can't tap dance, but people, sometimes people I don't know that well, ask me how my tap dancing lessons are going. If my Mum was here, she'd no doubt say I keep falling in the sink, but we'll move on from that...

With such a strange night behind me the first time, my second visit being even stranger wasn't very likely, but it was definitely an experience. In 2003, I was pretty much drunk all the time. It explains why I took nine weeks off work for a holiday where I did nothing but eat cereal, sleep til Midday and then get up and watch Felicity and Ed (it was, obviously, fantastic). This one Friday night, I remember very well Collingwood were playing Hawthorn at the MCG, and we lost - I know this because one minute we were all watching Collingwood playing, then I turned around to swear and rant a bit, and everyone was gone - chances are, a lot more than a minute elapsed, or I'm really a boring bastard when Collingwood are playing - but suddenly everyone I was with was up doing karaoke, and I don't remember any of the build up to it. As it turns out, as a group they had chosen to do, I don't know, Bananarama or something, but when they went to sing, some B side from Grease came on, and they didn't know it. Worse, one of the microphones didn't work, probably because some girl hit someone over the head with it, and screeched feedback all across the dancefloor. None of this really worried me, as I was swearing at Nathan Buckley and trying to compute the expensive cost of a rum and coke comparitive to the price of the two ingredients (maybe the ice cost fifteen bucks?) - as it turned out, the feedback laden tribute to John Travolta sparked an uncharacteristic amount of Hobart fury, maybe there were just fans of Two Of A Kin in, and for the one and only time in any pub I've ever been in, someone actually threw a chair, western salooon style. They must have been really bad, someone sang a song about a honky tonk and it was time to leave level bad. The management actually intervened to say that they were banned from singing karaoke, and a red headed girl actually came up to me and said "I wouldn't want to be associated with those losers!" - she was stunningly hot, poured into a midnight blue dress, and she had accutely put distance between me and her and the rest of the pub, singling me out as someone better than the herd, someone who wasn't a loser, to which I replied in my sexiest and most seductive voice "FOR GODS SAKE CHASE HOLLAND YOU DICKHEAD!"...what, Colllingwood were losing, do you expect me to be focused?

It probably won't surprise anyone that some two years later, on another god forsaken Friday night, Collingwood lost again, this time to North Melbourne, but I was already over it due to other circumstances which I will get to one day - suffice to say that the highlight of the evening wasn't someone offering me five hundred dollars for my Gold Coast Chargers top and me turning it down (wait, that was a lowlight surely?). As we stood mulling over the events of the night inside Montgomerys, sheltering from the cold and the homeless, a girl began what can only be described as a feeling out process. That is, she actually was wandering around groping everyone inside Montgomerys, for no apparent reason other than, well, she wanted to. I'm luckily enough an old hand (is that a pun?) at this game, because when I was in woodwork in Scotland there was a girl called Kerri-Anne who used to wander around groping everyone, but it certainly worked a treat on one of my work colleagues, a guy who looks a lot like Warwick Capper as it happens. He not only groped back, he was groped back for his grope back (make your own grope back mountain joke) and proceeded to take his shirt off, get on the dance floor, and pogo insanely to a song that desperately inappropriate to pogo to (it wasn't Bette Midlers The Rose, but lets say it was). He actually screamed out a Yee-haw at one point, and I was thinking this is the guy who reads the Financial Times and will very occassionally muses "interesting", and now he's drugged out of his head, copping a feel and pogoing wildy. As he did this, I was glad for him that he had quite obviously picked up, and as I scanned the scene, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a very very famous pop star, in disguise, but obvious to me. She was sipping an orange juice out of a curly straw (curly straws rule) and I was just about to mention to my friends who it was, but she caught my eye, looked gently and softly at me, and shook her head, just gently, but clearly enough so I could see she didn't want to be disturbed. I understood, understood completely, she just wanted to enjoy a night out...so I left her alone, and then I waited until I was leaving to tell the security guard and about three people standing outside in sparkly boob tubes that she was in. I think they made her get up and sing a song in the end...that'll teach her for charing 75 bucks for her shithouse concerts...

I think the most important lesson to be learned is...some people are allowed to sing, and some people aren't...and some people are born to grope...as for me, I just can't pick when I should sell my top....and I shouldn't go out when Collingwood are playing...but everyone knew that....

5 comments:

grocerystoredates said...

before i read properly through all the blogs i've missed i'd like to make a frowny face at the fact that you don't like disturbia : [
i love that song. such a guilty pleasure. i wanted to cover it but then realised my band never really left the hypothetical confinements of a few conversations. i just wanted to name something.

Miles McClagan said...

Well I hate a lot of songs more than that, I just can't get past the "Am I scaring you!" line...er...no Rihanna, I can't think of many things less scary than Rihanna - it's like when Maroon 5 pretend to be gangsters, it just feels wrong...

I'd have loved to have been in a band, but when I was 16 I didn't have many friends. I think I could easily be a Mark Ronson style super producer, if given the chance

Jannie Funster said...

Grope back mountain!

It seems you are the new Kerouac with your rambling tales.

I shall return.

squib said...

Beautiful writing again

As I don't know my 9Xs tables I would have been well impressed had I been the barperson. I would have given the drunk a 'good work' sticker

Miles McClagan said...

Thanks, I appreciate the visit! I'd be glad for you to return, and I promise to one day to write a beat movie of sub par quality to further emulate Kerouac...

I loved good work stickers - if I got that plus a gold star (for doing my work well especially if it was time for 9x tables) it made my week!