Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Now Men

“At closing time the cops would come in and they would order a drink at the bar. A middy of beer each.
And they’d finish their beer and then they would go 'round to every person in there and ask them if they needed a lift home.
‘Do you need a lift? Do you need a lift? Do you?  How about you?’
And someone would say yes. Because they were drunk and shouldn’t be driving. So the cops would drive them home. They wouldn’t bust them! They would drive them home.
Then the cops would come back and order a drink at the bar. And after they finished their beer, they would go 'round the pub again.
‘Do you need a lift? Anyone need a lift?’
And someone would say yes. And the cops would order another beer – a middy – and after they finished their beer they would drive the person home. And they’d keep on doing that until everyone was home safely.
But now the cops just bust you if you’re drunk and trying to drive.”

“There’s nothing to do. There’s nothing to do here!
Everything shut down. On the weekend all the shops are shut.
There’s fucking nothing to do in town.
Me and my cousins we had rollerskates.  We used to put on our rollerskates. We used to rollerskate down to the arcade on Balo Street and buy ice creams. We'd skate over the bridge to Boggabilla and fish in the Mehi. When it got dark we’d pack up and we’d skate to the cinema and we’d play pinballs there.
But the cinema owner’s wife died and the owner left. The cinema closed down. Long time ago.
There’s nothing to do!”

"Of course you can have a cigarette. You know, you're a very fine pool player.
Isn't Joanne great! She loves having a good time. She's a beautiful dancer.
So, I'm gay, right? Last year. Last year? I went to the Pride parade for the first time. That's the gay Pride parade. Because I'm gay.
I had some reservations about going. As you can tell I'm a little bit older than you. Ha ha!
But everyone there was so accommodating. The parade, and the floats, and the people, we all started at the Court Hotel, the gay pub, and went down the main street, and turned down Aberdeen Street and we ended up at Connections, the gay nightclub.
Everyone was so nice. People were watching on the street and waving to us. I wore a red scarf! Some of the others were dressed way more ostentatious, though!
I had a great time. I think I'll go again.
So, I'm going this way to get home. You live that way? Well, I'm going this way. Did I mention I'm gay? I'm going now. OK, bye. Bye bye."

"On the trains we didn't have mobile phones and headphones and all that shit.
People used to talk and laugh with each other on the train. We talked about what was happening then. Young people listened to old people.
We didn't just talk. We also sang. We sang popular songs of the time.
At the front of the train carriage there was an old-time stand-up piano. Trains looked different to how they look now. There was a piano, and an old woman used to play it.
She'd play: Mr Sandman, buy me a dream.
We would sing and laugh along. Well, we didn't really sing, we would laugh mostly.
And the old bird would look over her shoulder and say, 'C'mon, children, sing!' and the old bird would bang away at the piano really slow in time to the music.
Make her the cutest thing I've ever seen!"

"Yeah, yeah. Alright, alright."