There’s this pub I drive past on the way to work that’s advertising motorized esky races to celebrate Australia Day. And you know, if I’m honest, I see that sign and my first thought is, seriously, what the fuck is wrong with this country.
Except there’s nothing wrong with this country, not in the way I’m meaning it. It’s not that I dislike the idea of a motorized esky – there’s a pro-wrestler, James Storm, who used one for his ring entrance for the better part of a year, and I largely found it hilarious.
I don’t like the idea of motorized esky races ’cause I don’t like the idea of the people who think that’s acceptable way to celebrate….well, anything. ‘Cause I’m a snob, in a lot of ways, and ’cause it’s easier to dislike people than it is to try and understand them.
And ’cause the same pub, years ago, was a dingy little hole that used to have a Goth night run in its basement. It was a place where people came to be freaks and weirdos, to drink wine and wear a lot of black. It was the first place I ever got to dance to Release the Bats with other people. One time, if I remember correctly, we missed the last train home ’cause we insisted on dancing to it. Not a big deal, in and of itself, but we were Gold Coast kids and walking home wasn’t really an option.
I have good memories of that pub. Or, at least, what that pub used to be, back before someone realised it was in a prime bit of real estate and transformed it into this upscale bar that doesn’t look like it’d welcome any kind of goth into the venue. Not even the kind of half-arsed, we-came-from-the-Gold-Coast goth kids we were, all fucking six or seven of us, which largely meant…well, longing. Dreaming of a place that wasn’t where we were from.
This is one of those things I think about when people ask where ideas for stories come from.
And seriously, fuck the esky races. That shit is just sad.