Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bold Gendarme

Bob, aged in his late 40's or 50's, was the leader of a group of 4 men from interstate who had been in town for several weeks to complete a contract.

They had been good customers, drinking quite heavily each night. Howevever a familiary with the Wayside Tavern bred in them a certain contempt. They became quite rough in their attitude toward some of the bar staff, their behaviour worsening by increments.

Assessing their case, Mine Host decided to take no action, Bob & his crew would be gone in a few weeks, they drank what seemed to be most of their pay, and hadn't actually done anything more than talk violence.

One of the barmaids was detailed to drop a hint to Bob that him & they boys should tone it down a bit, & the matter was left at that.

However they couldn't leave it at that, wankers rarely can. One night when Mine Host was occupied with an extremely aggressive drug-fuelled heavyweight boxing contender, & was trying to keep any of the customers from being killed before the police arrived, Bob began screaming at Mine Host like a lunatic, making a very desperate situation even worse.

When the police arrived & commenced pussyfooting around the boxer, instead of arresting & charging him as they should have, Mine Host informed Bob that he was no longer welcome in the Wayside Tavern. Bob went quietly, as people tend to when there are blue shirts in the room.
A few days later Bob & his crew entered the Wayside Tavern, their demeanour speaking of a desire to make trouble no matter the circumstances.

They were advised that they were not welcome, & were given directions to any number of nearby pubs.

The 3 younger fellows began a hot-headed yelling & threatening session, while Bob charged behind the bar, put his shoulder down & knocked the 19 year old barmaid flying, then he dashed into the office and with mind numbing violence proceeded to smash the telephone.

"Now you can't call the police & I have got you!" Bob exclaimed.

This was rather a tense moment for Mine Host. Having entered the office & endeavoured to prevent any damage, I was now hemmed in by Bob, who was between me & the door.

Perhaps Bob preferred not to grapple with a much younger man when inside an office with no room to move, perhaps he realised the situation he was in. Mine Host was quite relieved when Bob dashed out of the office, out of the bar, & out of the Wayside Tavern, taking his 3 compatriots with him.

They went unhappily, screaming obscenities & horrifying threats as they went.

The barmaid seemed shaken but otherwise okay.

Someone had phoned the police (mobile phones have their handy moments) and Bob & his crew, now more than a block away, were interrupted mid-scream by a car full of police drawing up beside them.

A curbside interview followed, snatches of which carried on the air back to where we were all standing in front of the Wayside Tavern.

The usual denials were made of ever having been in the Wayside Tavern, switching to an admission of having been inside but having been wrongfully mistreated by the publican. "Thats the person who done wrong, yet you coppers come & stop us innocent people on the street, you should go down and arrest him" etc etc etc.

After some minutes the police came down to the Wayside Tavern.

Sgt. Burns (of the previous post) came in & spoke to me, he glanced over to where the barmaid was still sitting nursing her bruises, her face speaking of the pain she was experiencing. Sgt Burns was shown the smashed telephone.

Taking all this in, Sgt Burns said:

"I've spoken to him, he won't be back tonight, really it isn't much to worry about, nothing I could arrest him for, as no real offences committed"

From experience Mine Host has a familiarity with laws regarding street offences, liquor offences & public disorder. At least 15 offences had been committed, 3 of them of sufficient gravity to lock up & charge the alleged offender.

Wonder if Bob & his 3 friends would still have been considered unarrestable had they made sarcastic remarks about "pork" whilst Sgt. Burns was interviewing them on the street?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


All is comfortable in the poker machine room. Dinner & the bulk of customers are long gone, a few regulars are punting away happily.

Then a young man begins to punctuate his playing with loud, exaggerated sniffing noises. Then he begins to speak:
"I smell something... "
"Yes, definitely smell something"
"ahh.. it is pork..."
"Has someone left a pig on a spit or something? The pork smell is really strong.... ohhhh"

This goes on, nothing else is said, & it is as if the young man is speaking to himself.

But we all know what is going on, we can hardly believe our ears, this young man is sticking his neck out......

.....Two machines down, now sitting ramrod straight, is Sgt. Burns.

Completely ignoring the series of pork & swine references, he waits until Mrs. Burns gets up & goes into the bar for a drink.

Then Sgt. Burns (a non-drinker) puts down his coffee, extends his left arm along the back of the stools & speaks directly to the young man:

"Be at the police station before 10am tomorrow, report to me. Got that, dickhead?"

The following day at 3 minutes past 10am Sgt. Burns & 2 ramrod straight constables march into the Wayside Tavern.

"Who was that dickhead who annoyed me last night?" Shrug from Mine Host... he was a face in the crowd to me.

"Well, 10am has come & gone, he failed to front up, now he is going to feel some pain."

For most of that day, the Sergeant & two Constables do nothing but search for the pork sniffer.

By lunchtime they have his identity, address, place of work & have formed a plan to begin making life in this town a world of inconvenience for this young man.

At varous times during that day the 3 police call in to the Wayside Tavern, to check if the pork sniffer is back playing the poker machines. They update us on the progress of the "case".

Mine Host & his staff say nothing, but behind the straight mask of our faces, we are wondering what would be the police response if we went accross to the station & reported that last night someone in the pub had made a rude remark about us ..............

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Sold Out My Conscience

Alpalca, in comments, has suggested that Mine Host has "obviously" sold his conscience on the "free market" & has "chillingly" forfeited his humanity, furthermore Mine Host apparently has no time for anyone who does not fit his "perfect mould"

Obviously Alpalca has no grip on reality. Perhaps Alpalca is accustomed to being given money for doing nothing?

For the benefit of Alpalca, & any others who are reality challenged, I state this:

The department of social security exists to service bludgers.

The Wayside Tavern exists to serve clients.

Not being able to comment on the obvious free ride & soft background of Alpalca, Mine Host can only refer to his own jobs from the past.

No boss of mine would ever have tolerated a bludger. The blokes I worked with even less so. If someone did not pull their weight (mine host included) they were most robustly advised to mend their ways.

Failure to mend your ways would lead to a most physical "blue collar reprimand" being dished out, usually by the other blokes in the stock camp, but by the boss if necessary. The consequent black eyes & swollen lips were not permitted to be an obstacle to immediately starting to pull your weight.

There is no room in a shared accommodation and work environment for anyone who is a lone wolf, drug user, bludger, or has bad personal or social habits.

Walking off the job, lying to the boss about feeling crook, & getting drunk while a workmate covers for you (as Wacka did) would have at the very best have resulted in your departure on the first available transport to town. (Anyone who stuck up for you would be on back of the mail truck with you). At the worst... well, just imagine the ire of blue collar workers toward someone they feel has "had a lend" of them........

Anyone who did not eat or drink would not only be rightly considered an idiot (& told so) but would have been at risk of being held down & force fed in a most unpleasant manner. Also there is an almost 100% guarantee that the other workers would insist that the boss "get rid of him".

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Can cook but can't organise himself

Chefs at the Diver's Arms are quite well paid. A 2 year contract with Mine Host leaves them with $60,000 in savings with which to re-enter the southern world. Alas most of them are unable to keep off the grog, live from hand to mouth, & are broke when their contract is finished.
In short: They can handle a frying pan, but not a chequebook.

Of course there has not yet been a chef who has lasted 2 years. Their artistic temper rapidly leads to them being either, locked up, hospitalised, sacked or run out of town.

Illegal drugs are one of the main causes of chef downfall. How can one who is so brilliant with food be so incredibly stupid with their own metabolism?

Wacka has just finished up, involuntarily. When he started the job he concealed from his employer a few things about himself;-
A chronic liver condition, which alone would have prevented him from completing his contract.
His employment history with at least 2 other businesses in the same town.
A significant criminal record dating from his previous sojurn in town.

Wacka collapsed on the job. Right in the middle of the kitchen, passed out *unconscious*. This happened 3 times over a fortnight. Each time we got him awake & off to the hospital. Later that night the hospital would release him.

Mine Host tires very quickly of unreliable staff, and nothing is more unreliable than a chef who continually falls unconscious at work & has to be carted off to hospital.

Asking Wacka what is wrong was a waste of time, as a certain element of the population is too dumb to be able to answer a question with any accuracy. Wacka is one of these.

The hospital naturally was most confidential about Wacka's condition. However a fishing companion of one of the staff, who may or may not have worked at the hospital, may or may not have revealed that Wacka was suffering from dehydration & malnutrition.

"Sounds about right!" thunders Mine Host when he hears the news, "the blighter looks awfully pasty, never drinks water, guzzles coca cola, & nobody has ever seen him eat. Typical druggo!"

The dilemma of how to get rid of the useless bastard (THANKS to the rump bandits who brought in unfair dismissal laws) was solved however, when Wacka knocked off work 4 hours early because he felt "a bit crook to work".

Wacka then returned to the quarters, got stuck into the rum (as sick people do.. haha) & after a couple of bottles fell down the stairs & broke his shoulder.

Mine Host was waiting on the hospital steps the following morning, handed Wacka 2 cardboard boxes which held the contents of his room in the staff quarters, advised him to not set foot back on the property, & wished Wacka all the best, as his final pay was not enough to purchase a ticket out of town.