Mystery Pub tonight saw the inclusion of four old friends Mozz and Kath, and Paul and Ali.
As such they’re special guest stars. Just like Jonathan Harris on Lost in Space when he played the outrageous villain Dr Smith. Pleasingly during our time at the pub, nobody is called a ‘bubble-headed booby.’ We all share an ancient Kimba connection. Claire, of course, was a star of the TV show Cartoon Connection.
Yet again, Claire has done a tremendous job in organising Mystery Pub. Here are some, but not all, of this episode’s key decision-making criteria:
- Close to my work given I was travelling back from the Barossa
- Accessible by public transport for Mozz and Kath who are staying on King William Street
- Proximate to the Northern Expressway for Paul and Ali
- Near the tram stop for Claire, who works by Light Square
- An open and trading pub, unlike the Land of Promise which given its current boarded-up status is particularly unpromising
- A front bar free of wandering livestock, given an undisclosed number of our entourage may suffer from capraphobia, or fear of goats
Paul is nervous that we might break a number of the rules governing Mystery Pub. He states, anxiously ‘Your one-hour limit rule could be ignored.’
Channelling Meatloaf, I reply, ‘I’ll do anything for love, but I won’t do that.’
Today’s our last opportunity to see Mozz and Kath as they’re going overseas for six months to visit New Jersey (lots of turnpike action), Canada, the UK, Scandinavia, and continental Europe (inexplicably not Wank Mountain in the Bavarian Alps) among other varied destinations. They’re only avoiding Abyssinia, Persia, and the Ottoman Empire as these all, sadly, no longer exist.
Upon arrival I duck out to check the beer garden. It’s a big and functional space entirely devoid of any living plant or vegetable which in my book makes it not a garden but an ode to cement. There is a group at a table and they’re overseen by an odd-shaped and silvery helium balloon and this screams, ‘Private function. Stay away.’
Inside the pub is warm and charismatic. Exposed bricks, beautiful stain-glassed windows, a range of curious craft beers on tap. A point of difference is their Happy Hour runs from 3 to 5. With mere seconds remaining, we sneak in a couple quick refreshments so as not to embarrass ourselves (spiritually and fiscally) and settle into our table’s compelling Friday rhythm.
Outside it’s Hindmarsh.
The pub appears to the world as modest, reserved, and almost a little shy. Across the road is the soccer stadium where Adelaide United play while it’s also a drama and music hub with the Entertainment Centre, live music mecca The Gov and the always fun Holden Street Theatres all nearby.
We have known each other for decades but haven’t assembled since our dear, absent friends Annie and Bazz (currently perspiring profusely in Darwin) had their Adelaide retirement party at the Broady on a wintry November afternoon last year.
We used to share tales of footy and golf and cricket and associated late night exploits. Now we provide retirement visions and medical updates (executive summaries only).
Once upon a time this could evolve into a elongated evening. But Paul and Ali are off to a McLaren Vale wedding tomorrow, Mozz and Kath are heading home to sort things ahead of their vast international odyssey, and Claire and I have Escape to the Country obligations. Will that hugely self-pleased couple from Canary Wharf buy a six-bedroom property in Shropshire?
It’s been a lovely, affirming time with friends. We see the very best versions of each other.