I’m not sure why it was chosen. Maybe, because it’s convenient and the tram runs outside the front door. The Kings Head on King William Street prides itself on offering only local beers and wine and its food is also sourced entirely within the state. Brilliant.
So, last night about a dozen old mates congregated in the pub. Congregate’s a good verb for we function as a congregation which, of course, means people attending worship. We exchange the important details. Home. Kids. Schools. Work. And then we get to the evening’s real agenda: the past. The stories tumble like a waterfall.
There’s the footy grand finals, and Lukey’s screamer at Angaston oval. There’s Bongo’s unlikely major from inside the goal square. There’s the boys all getting a hat like Rexy Ryan’s.
There’s the cricket grand finals. Where is Jeff Charity?
There’s schooner schools and the afternoon when Stef dropped four and owed 28 beers and had to drive back to She-Oak Log to get more money.
And then there’s Tarlee discos with Tony Clarke spinning the records and the lads still in their cricket whites.
There’s the boys at Adelaide Oval late in the day after lots of niggle with some rough-nuts further up the hill and someone retorting, “If I want shit from you I’ll squeeze ya head” and then it was on, and as the toll climbed there’s Lukey advising, “If you just lie there, then they won’t hit you” and then with our Spidey senses tingling, knowing to all meet up in a pub an hour or so after scattering.
There’s Chris on the boundary at Angaston and “Gilesy, you dropped an expletive lemon” and the rest of that ragged evening doing laps of Quodlings’ farmhouse with his Dad hobbling after him.
There’s Sundays at the Railway and opening the blinds around mid-morning with Uncle Mick Dermody and raspberry in our butchers.
There’s Mikey’s T-18 and Woodsy’s 180B and Crackshot’s ute and Lukey’s Alfa.
There’s Cathy Coppin’s sympathy when we didn’t have enough for a ‘goon ($2.20) and she said, “Here. Just take the bloody thing.”
There’s spoofy at Puffa’s and Whitey saying, “Good call.” And then he lost and had to shout anyhow. Again. But you already knew this.
There’s the Pines and the Duck Pond and Gundry’s Hill.
There’s Kapunda High and a HQ Holden opening up a rear gate and a Torana having strife out the front one Saturday after a cricket club show.
There’s a woolly-faced monkey (Puggy/Slide/Greg) buying more than one of us our first beer in the Clare Castle Hotel. When he was fifteen.
There’s the Kapunda Pizza Bar and Johnny Guzzo and getting kicked out from tilting his pinball machine. “Fungul! Out! Out!”
There’s Lumpy Nixon and Dobby and black duffel coats and black ripples.
There’s a bus trip to Coolangatta and all falling asleep in a nightclub watching Boom Crash Opera and missing “Onion Skin” after fifty cent Bundy’s.
There’s New Year’s Eve at Lukey’s and Dad saying, “You young lads won’t drink a keg” and replying “We’re already on our second.”
There’s Puffa saying, “Here you yo-yo’s take my radar detector. Buy me a beer when you get back!” And we drove all the way to Brisbane and returned.
There’s Whitey and the Lienert brothers and Beetle Teagle and Wally Moyle and Nugget Coppin and many others.
It’s a ripping night. There’s giggling and tears of laughter and stories. Just stories. No politics or work or superannuation. Just stories.
Christmas is off to a flier.