Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Happy Hour

Happy Hour has long been absent from the Wayside Tavern. It is an institution which Mine Host mourns no more than he would mourn a certain prime minister who reigned from 1972-1975.

Progress has finally caught up with the advances made by the wayside Tavern, "happy hour" now experiences the same wowser backlash as does smoking.

For happy hour at the Wayside Tavern went west years ago. This piece of Ozzi social fabric has holds the same fondness in Mine Host's heart as does 6 o'clock closing in the hearts of his clientele.

Mine Host shall explain his rationale in the next posting, however for an alternative view see Slattsnews.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Take the long way back...

Richard Cranium sits at the bar, sipping his 1st drink & giving a fair bit of lip to 4 robust men at the next table. They take it without comment, but are itching to give something back.

This is Mr. Cranium's 3rd visit to the Wayside Tavern, it will also be his last. His behaviour on both previous visits resulted in him being thrown out before he even ordered a drink.

Mine Host is perfectly happy to allow nature take its course. Richard Cranium is 19 years old, feeling strong, nothing can touch him. His aggressive attitude to others is being directed onto the 4 men at the next table.

After considerable bad language & obnoxious behaviour, Cranium finishes his drink, demands another & is refused service for reason of disorderly conduct.

Becoming even more obnoxious, both to staff & the 4 men at the next table, Cranium grabs a bottle of cordial from behind the bar & runs. Nobody does anything to stop him.

Note: Nothing is theft until the stolen object has been removed from the premises.

The 4 men who have borne the brunt of Cranium's insults watch him run, the instant Cranium crosses the threshold onto the street the oldest of the 4 says to his companions... "Get him boys"

The 3 Constables do as their Inspector orders.

Cranium is running & laughing, waving the cordial bottle. Seeing 3 strong young men in hard pursuit, the look of glee evaporates, the cordial bottle is dropped & he runs for his life, fear lending wings to his feet.

The 3 off duty police swiftly overtake Cranium. One grabs him by the waist & uses Cranium's own momentum to drive him into a handy brick wall. Cranium collapses face down onto the concrete footpath.

The next constable launches himself from several feet away & lands with all his weight, knees first, onto the back of Craniums prone torso.

There is no cheek left in Richard Cranium.

Two of the pursuers now take an ankle each, & drag Cranium face down along the footpath, & accross the street.

None of them even look back to see how Cranium is coping with being pulled by the ankles face down accross a bitumen road & along a concrete footpath.

Nobody even checks that Cranium is conscious.

A mobile phone call is made, a police car arrives, Cranium is thrown into this car.

The police station is the opposite side of the block to the Wayside Tavern. Mine Host can make it there at a trot in 45 seconds.

The police car (containing the prisoner) sets off in the wrong direction. It takes 45 minutes for the prisoner to arrive at the station.............

Richard Cranium, in the years since, has never given any trouble or done anything to bring attention to himself.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Come in Spinner

"Can you come out to the lounge" through the intercom came the melodic Irish speech pattern of Mike, highly competent Irish lad, "there's a bloke just come in, he's goin' totally crazy, & I'm not sure I can handle him" (If Mike can't handle him he MUST be a handful)

By the pool table was a crazed Cook Islander, incongruous in stockman's hat & shirt with torn off sleeves, in one hand gripping a pool cue by the thin end, eyes enlarged & crazed, biceps bulging, neck & jaw clenched. A fearsome sight. Backed up to the wall in fear is a semi-circle of customers. Despite the miscreant not having been seen at the Wayside Tavern for many years, Mine Host knew him as a former regular, who had moved out of town ages ago.

"This could be tricky" thinks Mine Host

"Mr. Esmond!" bellowed Mine Host, as hearing their own name often shocks troublemakers into calming down, removing their anonymity is very effective, as running off into the dark will no longer be an effective escape.

However Maori, when drugged or drunk, know no reason. Mr. Esmond dropped the pool cue, & made as if to calm down (known as "dummying"), then from the side he threw a tremendous "king hit", which landed perfectly on Mine Host's lower jaw. Reeling, (but to the amazement of all, including himself, still standing) Mine Host braced for the flurry of follow up punches, as the first one was quite a beauty.

But there was no follow up, through bleary eyes Mine Host saw Mr. Esmond, Mike & one of Mr. Esmond's sons grappling, then the 2 Esmonds ran.

Mike had moved in behind & caught the backswing of the follow up punch, however Esmond Junior then (from behind) threw a couple of punches at Mike, who had his hands full, hanging onto one thug whilst avoiding blows from another.

The 2 Esmonds ran into the night. From the back door Mike bellowed into the dark "Running are Ye? Scared are Ye?"..... Whilst Esmond Jnr was smart enough to keep running, Mr. Esmond himself fell for it .. (Come in Spinner!) & marched back into the light, announcing loudly what he was going to do to us, etc etc.

His escape thus delayed, Mr. Esmond was still on the scene bellowing with sufficient belligerence for the police to collar him immediately upon their arrival.
Upon sighting the police, Esmond underwent the usual metamorphosis from belligerently challenging all comers to sitting quietly in a chair & acting totally surprised as to why the police would want to grab him.

The sergeant later reported that in his pockets they had found "something which should not have been there..." They had then released him & told him to come back at 10pm the following night (sometimes we wonder if they actually have to fail an intelligence test to get into the force) But they expected that they would issue him with a fine for failing to leave a pub when asked.

In exasperation Mine Host then set about (vainly) trying to talk knuckle-headed cops into actually charging the thug with assault. After all, a room full of people had seen it, & almost been victims themselves.


The following night the same 2 police came to the Wayside Tavern, Mr. Esmond had not appeared for his interview & now he was going to be charged with "serious assault", affray, disorderly conduct on licenced premises. etc etc...

When Mr. Esmond had done nothing more than belt a few people around (because he could) the police had only a most minor interest, but now that he had failed to do what a cop told him, they were going to throw the book at him. Mr. Esmond subsequently pleaded guilty to all charges at a special hearing in his new home town.

Several weeks later Esmond Junior crossed the threshold of the Wayside Tavern, accompanied by a sexy young thing. "You can't come in here" Mine Host said, with palm outward. Blank look from Esmond Jnr, as if he had no idea why he was being refused entry. "Anyone who throws a punch at the staff, never comes back inside, not for the rest of their life."
"I haven't hit anyone"
"Correct sunshine, you missed! But you were man enough to take a swing at someone from behind"
"Don't know what you are talking about"
"Tell you what sunshine, how about we look at the video, & if it ain't you in the starring role, then the subsequent police interview is going to make me look a real fool, ain't it?"

Esmond Junior turned & went, thus confirming Mine Hosts version of events. Shamed (in his own eyes) in front of girlfriend & mates, indisputably the type who hits from behind.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Quiet, polite customer

Jim drank at the Wayside Tavern for years. He sat at the end of the bar, & never made a noise. His large size & early middle age looks helped his face to appear serene.

In all this time Mine Host only ever spoke to Jim to serve him a drink. Jim was quiet, had a sense of humour, held down a high paying job, occassionally took a bottle of Kahlua home with him.

"Chilly tonight" "Yea" was the extent of several years of conversation between Jim & Mine Host. On nights when Jim was in, Mine Host wistfully wished there could be more customers such as Jim.

One evening Jim stood, walked behind the bar to & placed one hand on Mine Host's shoulder. "Jim, how can I help you?"

With the speed of a striking cobra, Jim violently wrenched Mine Host into the coldroom wall.

On the backswing Jim flung Mine Host, by now with torn shirt & trousers, like a rag doll into the corner below the sink. Jim then landed on Mine Host with both knees, then taking a hand full of hair with one hand, began belting away with his right.

Mine Host could not have been in a more helpless position.

A 70 year old bystander, half the size of Jim, came around behind the bar & dragged Jim off by the neck, using his forearm to crimp Jim's windpipe. Jim was suffocating, turning blue, approaching the point of unconsciousness. "Good, that will slow him down" thought Mine Host

Jim was released, his windpipe revererted (slowly) to it's original shape, & he began to gasp out of his catatonic state. All present were incredulous at this uncharacteristic display by Jim.

Still gasping, Jim turned slowly, sighted Mine Host, & began to flail away most violently, with arms like twirling sledgehammers. The elderly samaritan once again put his forearm around Jim's neck & cut his windpipe. Jim gasped folornly without noise (hehe, can't make gasping noise unless at least a little air is coming in!) Slowly he starved for oxygen & toppled to the floor.

Jim would weigh 140-150kg.

Mine Host & his saviour dragged Jim (quite an effort) through the foyer & toward the street. However he slowly became lucid & commenced again to struggle.

Just then 2 police officers (females both) arrived, summoned by alarmed customers. One officer remained outside, & did not enter the Wayside Tavern. The other berated Mine Host's saviour, stating that "choking someone" could land us in serious trouble.

Mine Host leapt to his feet & pointed out in a most undiplomatic tone of voice, that he had been in trouble, & now was not. Furthmore, Jim's state of health was of little concern, if Jim didn't like being knocked out, he could only blame himself!

Due to his mild drunken state , the police refused to interview or arrest Jim at the scene, telling him to go home. Then proceeded to berate Mine Host & his saviours about "using violence"

Mine Host acidly pointed out that the police had delivered no such diatribe to Jim.

Some months later the police informed Mine Host that "nothing can be done" about the "alleged assault" by Jim, as they had arrested Jim at the scene & charged him with public disorder.
Subsequently, and without Mine Host's knowledge Jim had already been found guilty of public disorder.

He cannot be tried twice on the same evidence. Thus no assault charge could now be pursued. The police took the opportunity to deliver a further sermon on the evils of using violence to defend oneself, stating that instead Mine Host should have "called the police".

Having had enough of this rot, Mine Host thundered most direspectfully at the officers that if someone had not dragged Jim off, the only call being made would be to the funeral director.!

Mine Host will go to his grave without any comprehension of why Jim attacked him, nor without any idea of why the 2 police were not only unhelpful, but were downright hostile to the victims of crime.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Having lived his entire life in the bush, Mine Host had enjoyed a life free from (amongst other things) Islam.

This is not to suggest that Mine Host was ignorant of Islam. On the contrary it is Mine Host's belief that country people are by far the best informed on current affairs & the world around them, being scrupulous readers of newspapers & devourers of all sorts of books & magazines.

Islam remained a foreign & irrelevant thing which nobody ever imagined they would come in contact with, or have any practical use for. (Thus putting islam on a par with a university education)

However when economic reality forced Mine Host's career path away from cattle-punching (& ultimately into pubs) he began to rub shoulders - unknowingly - with adherents of this faith.

Much of Islam held great appeal to rural folk, and were it not for the grog-free aspect, (a guaranteed recruiting blooper) the faith would be almost revered among the humble farming folk of the inland.

For Islam is seen as one of the few places where toughenss on villany can still be found. A Fair Dinkum attitude toward crooks is percieved to be most definitely absent from the Australian judiciary, & with do-gooders campaigning in favour of criminals & other bad eggs, there seems little hope for improvements.

For much of Mine Host's young life many a conversation was had accross the sawn timber bar of a country pub: "See that blank pansy judge in Brisbane/Sydney/Melbourne acutally let off some thug/rapist/murderer/burglar, .. christ.. in Saudi Arabia the bastard would've had his hand chopped off... maybe even his head... .. christ! I wish we had laws here like that.. stop all those dole bludgers in SydBrisMelb from running amok & bashing grannies I tell you... sigh.."

When years later Mine Host was as far from the bush as an ex-stockman can get, running a halal kebab shop in the far western suburbs of Sydney, he sold to Turkish, employed Turkish, was supplied by Turkish, recieved detailed advice, help & follow up support from operators of Turkish kebab shops in his area. These people are the salt of the earth, Mine Host will go to his grave still a defender of the Turkish people of western Sydney.

When one day in the office of the kebab factory, Mine Host made a positive comment about a photo on the wall of a big round mosque, & said how nice it looked, & how it would now be difficult to imagine Sydney without it on the skyline... and they were off!! This comment was taken as a desire to be converted!

For the record: Mine Host will never become an adherent of islam. Ever since the day he discovered fine Barossa reds, he was never going to forgo the grape!

However the teaching went on, & every visit to collect kebabs now included a lesson on islam. However, much to the distress of Mine Host, no mention of chopping of hands or heads of wrongdoers was ever made. This main selling point of Islam was explained as being "not representative". The "do-gooders" had reached the Turkish immigrant community years in advance of Mine Host, & the damage was now irreversable.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Wedding Bells

This post triggered by comment on the preceding post:

Mahmood Al-Yousif said...
is this story real? I know that some people (regardless of religion) are arrogant to excess, even surpassing your Ali, rather than keeping quiet about the impending "problem" I would have first "shamed" him with his family, refused to marry him and then bludgeoned him to death, thus reducing the asswipes in the world by one.And Allah, being mercyfull, would have condoned my actions.But then, that's only me. A male Muslim talking.

To clarify: All posts in this blog have happened to me, in a pub I was running, every word is true (excepting chronological & other small changes, to preserve my anonymity).

To address Mahmood's comment: Yep! This story is real.

Shaming "Ali" to his family was the advice I gave to Iris.

After cooling off, she didn't want his money, didn't want anything from him, & never wanted to hear from him again.

At his wedding to a nice decent Turkish girl, it would be great her take the child to see his/her father being married. This revelation should cause all the revenge Iris could ever want.
Especially if the Turkish bride-to-be has lots of brothers & other able bodied male relatives.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Iris came to work at the Wayside Tavern from down south. She arrived in style, by rail, & lasted 18 months, becoming the Wayside Tavern's all time longest serving backpacker. (Iris is a New Zealand citizen, for the information any immigration staff who may be aghast at the thought that an employer has so blatantly breached the conditions of a 417 visa)

She was quite friendly & very hardworking. Even though she was often a trial for Mine Host & her co-workers at the Wayside Tavern, Iris always turned up for work, worked quite hard, & was not afraid to throw her weight around when confronted with those who tended toward rowdy behaviour.

As is usual for backpacker females (who each have their own room upstairs in the Wayside Tavern) Iris formed a series of short friendships with local males. Her choice of quality in males was similar to all the Wayside Tavern backpackers, that is: varying from the mildly unsuitable to downright no-hopers.

As the months wore on it became apparent that Iris was seeing someone seriously. All were shocked when it transpired that the "serious boyfriend" was Ali. Hailing from way down south, although a native of Turkey, Ali had blown into town a year or so before and taken over a vacant Turkish kebab shop.

Ali was flash, albeit a somewhat budget version of "flash" (due to the impecunious nature of the kebab shop's trading figures) He was one of the Wayside Tavern's best customers, sitting all night drinking, playing poker machines, & most energetically trying his luck with the lovelier looking of the female staff & clientele.

Mine Host, though allowing that Ali was a regular & hassle free customer, never had respect for him. Occassionally, when a more pushy lady was trying her luck with him, Ali would decline, stating that his religion (islam) would not allow him to have anything to do with the "sort of girl" who would pierce her ears or allow herself to be tattooed!

Wryly Mine Host noted that liquor, gambling & casual sex (well, at least attempts at the latter!) were habits which Ali pursued to excess, despite his religion viewing such pastimes at least as seriously, if not more so, than girls with pinprick ear piercings or hidden tattoos.

Shaking our heads, we all watched as Ali (businessman with his own shop) & Iris (backpacker with lowly paid pub job) carried on their affair. Iris bought a fancy car stereo for Ali's car, at the same time installing large & expensive speakers. In return the charming Ali allowed Iris to ride in the car with him while he drove fast. As the affair progressed Iris' wage allowed Ali to present himself as a flasher & flasher version of a rat than ever before.

Iris became pregnant, possibly her only tangible gift from Ali.

Suddenly Ali became difficult to find. Iris could not get him on the phone, or find him at the shop. In exasperation she left a message with his staff, to the effect that if she didn't hear from him very soon, his precise role in her predicament would be brought to the attention of his sister-in-law (a very Bossy Turkish Lady.)

THIS brought Ali out of hiding quicksmart. He was pathetically desperate that his family not find out that he had been dabbling with a blonde "anglo-saxon" girl.

In an act which demonstrated that his character was as weak as Mine Host had always suspected it to be, Ali told Iris that if she was Turkish he would marry her, however as she was not, he could never have anything to do with her (rather a bit late for that old chum) & she had better get rid of "it" soon as possible. Not understanding how the dynamics of the relationship had altered, he then crassly delivered what he imagined was an ultimatum: he would not be "getting it on" with Iris until she had gone & got rid of "it".

Shocked to the core, Iris left the discussion without a further comment, & never spoke to him again. Arrogantly Ali believed Iris would carry out this latest directive (remove the "problem") with the same degree of compliance with which she obviously had carried out his previous directives ("buy me a car stereo", "spend all your salary on me" etc etc).

Far from being being only a clinic visit from resuming sexual relations with Ali, Iris was quite likely to coldly, calmly & perfunctorily kill him. For some time he avoided the Wayside Tavern, although he was occassionally seen driving past, with his car stereo cranked up to full volume.

Iris declared that she was going to keep the baby, begged Mine Host to be allowed to work right up until the last possible moment, as she "needed money" & hadn't been able to thus far save any. At the exact moment she said this, Ali drove past with his car stereo booming.

Over the following days Iris glared daggers in the direction of Ali's shop, her return to New Zealand to give birth all planned, she was ready for her new direction in life, & unforgiving in her hatred now that she had reviewed her relationship with Ali through suddenly more mature eyes.

Getting into the spirit of impending motherhood, Iris arranged to tag along to ante-natal class with the expectant daughter of one of the barmaids.

Ante-natal classes must paint an accurate & earthy picture of the realities of giving birth. The day after her ante-natal class Iris failed to show up for work, having had to make an urgent appointment with a specialst on the coast. She surfaced later that week down south in Brisbane, having "lost" the baby. She returned to the Wayside Tavern only to collect her things.

Ali continues at the Wayside Tavern, simultaneously drinking & gambling to excess. Still chasing every piece of skirt he can, he occassionally rejects a girl who displays traits (usually pierced ears) which offend the sensibilities of "him & his religion"

Saturday, May 14, 2005

You can't tell me what to do!

Growing tired of a cook always arriving late for work, Mine Host delivered "a right bollocksing" when the cook arrived 15 minutes late for work, (the 11th consecutive late start for this person)

So many written warnings for being late had been issued to this cook that one saved copy of each may have been near enough to clog the office hard drive!

The following morning was another late start (a quarter of an hour, despite the rather unforgettable nature of the previous day's "reminder").

Actually it wasn't a start at all, Mr Slow Coach was sitting outside in a car. Mine Host went out & inquired ever so sweetly if Mr Slow-Coach would be starting work this morning?.. Or was his heart not in the job, in which case he should go home?

"What do you mean?" asked Slow Coach
"I mean get into the kitchen & start cooking, or go home, as you are of little use here."
"Go & get blanked, you can't tell me what to do!"
Without pause Mine Host reached into the car in which Slow Coach was sitting & removed the ignition keys...
"Come to think of it" drawled Mine Host, "I rather think I shall go & get blanked, & another thing sunshine, you get out of my car & walk home, staff priveliges just ended for you 3 seconds ago, you're sacked!"

Having dispensed with a liability, Mine Host went did breakfast the only reliable way, himself.

Later, in the midst of mid-morning scrubbing of the kitchen, a shadow was noticed out of the corner of an eye... with a double take it was seen to be the recently terminated staff, (Mr Slow Coach) moving around the kitchen as if he were still on the payroll.

"Excuse me sunshine, staff only in the kitchen!" exclaimed Mine Host in disbelief.

The ex-staff cum intruder turned, in what he imagined was a slow, deliberate & tough manner. Brandishing an ever so sharp, long & nasty chef's knife, he spoke slowly & ominously:
"Don't try to tell me what to do or else I'll stick this into you!"

Not doubting for an instant the seriousness of this threat, Mine Host pondered his options.

Mine Host has no shortage of experience in dealing with people who refuse to acknowledge that they have been sacked... for this is a characteristic of a certain demographic, however never before has he encountered one who is prepared to enforce with a sharpened blade the annulment of their termination.

Faced with the choice of being tackled for possessio of the knife, with the unfortunate consequences of losing said possession, Mr Slow Coach chose discretion over valour, walked home, vacated his room & booked an airfare south.

Friday, May 13, 2005

You can't please 'em all

Recently the Diver’s Arms suffered “Mr. Tosser”, a problem diner, 2 nights in a row. This man is impossible to please.

In an attempt to deflect any possible criticisms from the diner, the Bistro manager gave undivided personal attention to Mr Tosser's table.

University educated, in a high powered government job as regional director with the health department, mixing with the cream of the up & coming public service, one would expect Mr. Tosser to have some manners & be able to conduct himself in a social setting. (Haha...)

However nothing pleased Mr Tosser, (as usual). The drinks were "too long coming", meals were "off", were "cold", & were "not what we ordered" etc etc.

Each & every complaint was delivered in a most unreasonable, brusque & rude manner.
Before long we had:
Refunded all payments made for drinks
Bought a further round of drinks
Replaced all meals
Refunded all monies paid for meals
Still Mr Tosser demanded that we satisfy him.

The Bistro manager explained:"I am sorry Mr Tosser, we have given you everything free & replaced everything. At this point there is absolutely nothing more we can do for you. We have done all that we can."

Glaring at all of us, Mr Tosser departed with his entourage, but without the emotional victory for which he had been hoping.

Later, on a day off, the Bistro Manager of the Diver's Arms, stopped for a cold one at the Bosun’s Tavern.

"Right you *redacted bad word*, now we are going to smash you for what you did to me the other night!"

The Bistro Manager turns at these words & sees Mr Tosser, accompanied by a half dozen or so brawny types, his cousins.