The loudest singing was coming from the two oldest blokes in the crowded pub.
Yes, it was well past our bedtimes. We just couldn’t help ourselves.
I’m tired of the city life. Summer’s on the run. People tell me I should stay. But I’ve got to get my fun.
It’s what happens when old mates catch up. No shock to many of you.
The Dragon theme song was given a rousing rendition. At our table. To the bemusement of those around us.
So don’t try and hold me back. Ain’t nothin’ you can say. Snakes eyes on a pair of dice. And we got to go today…
When order was restored, and the tunes returned to this century, we got to talking about serious life matters. Like how pubs, and those who frequent them, have changed.
Our reminiscing was taking place at my favourite Brisbane pub, The Caxton. You may have heard of it. Next door to the city’s most famous footy stadium, the old Lang Park.
If you’re from another land, don’t worry. It’s just like your favourite. Picture the place that makes you feel good as soon as you walk through the door.
Everyone should have a hotel like that. In any city, there’ll be one place that puts you totally at ease. The barmaid might even know your name. Cue the theme song from Cheers.
I should add here, management of the Caxton wouldn’t know me from Adam. So this isn’t about getting a free drink. Unless of course…
I’ve always been attracted to hotels with soul. Granted, in some places you had to look hard through the dust and the grime to see it, but it was there.
Gents of my vintage tend to talk at length over refreshments. Solving world issues. Re-writing footy history. We do this by sitting, or leaning. For hours.
Males of the younger generation seem to like dancing. Not so much sitting or leaning. How do they tell their stories?
The young fellows are also supremely confident. When not busting moves, they actually TALK to girls. Even if they don’t know them. And the females seem to like it.
Thirty years ago, that just didn’t happen. Not in our circle anyway. We were too busy sitting and leaning.
My first memory of a drinking establishment goes back to an age where those of the fairer sex weren’t welcome in the main bar.
On a Friday after work, Dad would drive us to the local. But he didn’t like drinking inside without mum.
He’d find a spot for our old Holden in the car park, disappear for a minute, and return with a tray of drinks. A beer, a shandy, and a red lemonade.
Mum would open the glove box, and they’d balance their drinks on the lid. I’d gulp my soft drink in the back seat, trying hard not to spill any.
Dad stopped going a few years after that. The Friday ritual moved to our backyard, under the famous Orange Tree. Everyone was welcome.
After I turned eighteen, it’s fair to say that a great amount of time was spent on licensed premises. A few cool drinks, punting and playing pool. What a catch I was.
(If The Teenager and Daughter Two happen to be reading this, that last bit was a lie. I totally made it up. All I did as a young man was study hard and clean my room.)
Come to think of it, I might keep the rest of my pub stories for another day. When the young folk are in bed.
It was great to catch up with an old chum the other night. But it might be a while before I get back.
It’s hard for a veteran party boy to admit it, but home is as much fun these days. The deck with the comfy lounge has become my Orange Tree.
You won’t see much dancing. Possibly some singing before bedtime. And lots of talking to three fun ladies. Until they get forced inside by all that noise.
Take me to the April Sun In Cuba. Ohohoh. Take me where the April Sun gonna treat me so right. So Right.