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Posts Tagged ‘adelaide’

During their first Melbourne Comedy Festival, Bruce and Fran, as part of their crash course in experiencing all things Aussie, were considering going to see Chris Franklin’s show. He’s the mulleted, VB-swilling uber-Bogan who’s been responsible for such musical delights as his ‘Bitch’ parody ‘Bloke’ and ‘Jack Off Australia’. It never happened and, following a trip to Adelaide at the weekend, now they needn’t bother.

In town for a mate’s 30th birthday festivities, the opening night rapidly descended from free drinks and nibbles accompanied by the odd speech into wild, debauched karaoke at La Sing. In the cab on the way there, Bruce thought he’d heard “La Scene” or “La Singh” and pictured somewhere with either a) a modicum of faux 70s chic or b) somewhere they’d be able to tuck into some late night curry if the singing became too unbearable. Instead, it was the sort of place you leave without hesitation: dirty, bordering on sleazy; splashes of fading neon; odd men in booths; smashed harpies overcome with a misplaced self-confidence. Oh, and two men were being thrown out by security as they walked in, an incident that led to the police arriving ten minutes later.

Still, it took approximately ten minutes and the first enthusiastic efforts of fellow party-goers for Bruce and Fran to realise they had La Sing wrong. In reality, it was a fantastic nightspot, easily the sort of place you could spend three hours, fight over pens for the chance to get up on stage and dance wholeheartedly to your friends’ efforts. That, or the free booze kicked in just in time.

Still, the woozy 5am finish was nothing compared to the sights that welcomed them to the following day’s birthday part II bbq. Walking into the kitchen to unload a slab of Coopers, Bruce and Fran were welcomed by the sight of Chris Franklin stumbling in the other direction. In his hand, a tumbler of Wild Turkey swung violently, sloshing over the rim and onto the cupboard walls.

“Who the fuck are you?” he asked. “I’m Chris. Is that your missus? She’s hot. If you wasn’t here I’d have a fair fucking crack a it.”

And they say chivalry is dead.

It transpired he’d flown down from Queensland for the previous evening, got too drunk and not made it, instead arriving at the bbq house many hours early, waking those who’d not been in bed long, and getting back onto the Wild Turkey. What followed was several hours of trying to get everyone to punch him, cooking a bbq with his cock out, falling off his chair repeatedly, wandering around with some form of pickaxe, getting his cock out, sticking his head in an oven, drinking more Wild Turkey with his cock out, singing a new song he’d written, then finally passing out with the axe in the host’s bed, although not before declaring:

“What’s wrong? It’s only a fucking cock.”

He returned soon afterwards, hit the whisky some more and started over. It was clear the stage persona was not a hard act for him to portray.

Several hours later, Bruce decided it was time to walk home and rejoin Fran at the motel. Franklin escorted him out.

“Come on. Hit me. Go on. As hard as you can,” he said.

“Only if you’ll fight back,” said Bruce.

“I’m not going to do that. I’ve been in prison, you know.”

“Well, I’m not going to smack you unless you fight back. May as well test myself.”

Suddenly, he turned serious, explaining that it really wasn’t a good idea. Awakening the following day and recalling that Franklin had slept with an axe and that Bruce’s martial experience was confined to various sporting fields (none of them involving any legal fighting) he was glad that he did. And that he and Fran no longer needed to fork out $20 a head to see his show; after all, what was left for him to reveal? Certainly not his cock.

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Like this, but dirtier

Like this, but dirtier

Sidling down the aisle past the morons who couldn’t understand: “Passengers in rows 16 to 31 embark through the back door” Bruce was overcome with a sense of foreboding. A ripe smell – the sort only emitted by a person who gave up on both personal hygiene and a balanced, healthy diet many years ago – wafted towards him.

At row 23 the smell was still getting stronger. His ticket was for seat 20A.

22 – worse still.

21 – bordering on unbearable.

20C – hello big guy.

Bruce threw his book onto the seat two down and perused his company for the hour’s flight to Adelaide: unkempt black hair; spotted yellow and brown teeth protruding from his mouth at all angles except those that God intended; an excuse for a beard that may have been acceptable for a 14-year-old Goth trying to look mature (long, but sparse); brown stained skin around his eyes; a black t-shirt stating: “I THINK YOU MAY HAVE MISTAKEN ME FOR SOMEONE WHO GIVES A SHIT”; mud ground into his hands and elbows.

Oh, and the stench. The stench.

Bruce took up his seat and prepared to bury himself in his book.

“You alright there?” said the man and launched into conversation.

Turns out he was terrified of flying and needed to talk to distract his mind. What’s more, he was also an alcoholic, nocturnal, internet freak who’d graduated from years of War Hammer in his youth (as his fading tattoo proved) to spending the night on internet chat rooms abusing people under the moniker “Angry Bastard”.

In the 20 minutes that passed before takeoff, Angry must have asked the stewardesses half a dozen times for Jim Beam. He also successfully persuaded Bruce to join him in a early evening beverage, despite Bruce’s awareness that a boozy night already lay ahead. Rarely can a flight crew have hated someone so much before leaving the ground.

Still, turns out old Angry, despite the frequent burping, threats to “leave GT marks in his pants” as the A320 lifted off and putrid stench, was  rather amusing company, certainly the best Bruce had enjoyed inflight in a while. (Although quite whether anyone else in Bruce’s position would have been so accepting is another matter…)

He lived in a “dark box” in Warbuton, only leaving the house to buy more bourbon and coke – or occasionally to go and shoot things (anything that moved) with his friends. He was a self-confessed “anti-social bastard” (despite evidence to the contrary) who hadn’t flown since 1997 or left Victoria (and possibly Warburton itself) since 2000. He succeeded, with Bruce’s help, in getting two cans of Jim Beam for the hour-long flight against the stewardesses’ better wishes and also revealed that his favourite tipple was Old Crow bourbon – only distilled for three years, but mixed with better Coke than other varieties – thereby unwittingly unveiling to Bruce the origins of the fantastic Old Crow Medicine Band from the previous weekend’s Golden Plains.

His reason for being on the plane was the highlight, however. One of the women he regularly chatted to online was celebrating her 38th birthday (to avoid anyone bringing attention to her subsequent 40th) in a town two hours from Adelaide that he couldn’t remember the name of and had decided – less than 24 hours earlier – to invite Angry along. She’d called him to say they’d bought him a flight – one-way! – and that he could stay for five days either side of the nine keg-plus-karaoke party on the Saturday night.

“Look, I’ve got the details here,” he said, pulling a piece of card from his pocket and, by drawing attention to his hands once more, alerting Bruce to the fact that he was going to meet these people for the first time with mud ground into his hands and elbows. “She told me to grab a piece of paper to get the flight details and this was all I could find.”

In his hand was the torn off front of a Home Brands value pack of Barbecue Snax.

“See – flight details here. Password – FRONTBUM. Pet’s name – HELLCUNT. And her phone number.”

“So,” asked Bruce. “What’s this woman like? Have you ever seen her on a webcam or anything.”

Angry turned. His eyes lit up and bore into Bruce…

“Scary!” he said, before tittering with glee. “She’s got big purple bits of hair coming up from the top of her head.”

“Why are you heading over there anyway?” asked Bruce.

“She said her and her mates had decided I sounded like a mad cunt so wanted me to come along.”

Sure enough, Beams demolished, as they walked into the arrivals hall at Adelaide Airport, Angry heard another of his nicknames ring out and there was a purple-haired woman (looking older than her declared 38) waiting for him.

Farewells said, Bruce watched as they left the airport locked in conversation, wondering if his new acquaintance’s body was likely to turn up in a landfill in the not-too-distant future.

***

Simultaneously, a friend of Bruce’s was travelling on another Melbourne – Adelaide flight and was sat next to a man who spent the entire flight tearing up photos of his family into little pieces and dropping them into a tube of fluorescent water he was carrying.

Occasionally, he would turn to her and say: “They’re talking about me. Can you hear them? Can you hear them?”

So, should anyone fancy a new, slightly surreal – possibly terrifying – experience, hop on a flight to Adelaide.

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Moving house is really no excuse for a total lack of activity here for the past two weeks. However, it’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

But, while Bruce attempts to eat into the G’day, G’day backlog, here’s something he got involved with in an attempt to understand his new home…

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