This might be a good time to jump forward a bit to give my reader a chance to see where this missive is headed and he or she can decided if they want to stay with this rant. I can always go back and fill in the gap.
After about six weeks the ‘Wet’ was really humming along, my beer sales were up and I was doing over 10 kils and 100 cartons a week, I had the best beer on tap in town. The Club had the same beer naturally, you didn’t get any choice and of course when my sales went up theirs went down. The Club manager asked me what the hell I was doing or putting in my beer that made the men prefer to drink mine than the Club’s.
Of course I scratched my head and said “damned if I know!” Why should I tell him how I was preparing my lines, what gas pressure and temperature I was using. I had a good idea of his, he was following the Perth and brewery recommendations I could tell, he needed to adjust for the territory but it wasn’t my place to show him, I had my own business to run and I was now showing Poone’s a nice little profit.
It got to the stage now where the mine managers and staff would drop in for a beer occasionally, they couldn’t make a habit of it; slumming with the men just wasn’t on and not only that the women much preferred the decor of the Club and a glass of wine or G & T and as all of the head honcho’s had wives and families and the Club was the place; they did most of their drinking there.
Ridiculous! A mining town a couple of thousand kilometres from so called civilization and they practiced this class rubbish. It didn’t worry me or my boys, the place to go to have a drink and relax was the ‘Wet’
I’d let it be known right from the start that I wasn’t fond of loud foul language and that they could use their expletives, what have you, as much as they liked, but keep it away from my hearing. The men understood this and the language was under the circumstances really quite reasonable. Rarely were voices raised, there was plenty of laughter and even raucous singing along with the jukebox at times but it never got out of hand. And the blokes liked, respected and came to guard this, I’ll probably get around to telling about one very unpleasant incident that occurred later but for now, no.
“Delta Dawn what’s that jockstrap you got on” was the perennial favourite; always the first disk played at opening times, and half the time the last, the other favourite was “Killing me softly with his song” I didn’t know much about pop music but I got to know that these were sung by Helen Reddy and Roberta Flack; and that believe it or not, is the sum total of my recall of all the records that were on and got played on that jukebox!
One evening just after the men had had their dinner and the ‘Wet’ was starting to warm up I had a visit from the law. The town law enforcement officer was one sergeant as far as I could see and I’d seen him once or twice at the Club but he’d never paid a visit to my ‘Wet’ .
I was behind my bar and I didn’t ask him or offer him a drink, my old mentor and mate Goochie had taught me “never offer a copper a drink” and if they requested one during business hours “put your hand out for their money, don’t let them try to free load”; anyway I said “G’day Sergeant” always be polite and call them by their correct title (more words of wisdom from Goochie),
He just looked at me and piped up “What’s going on here?” I said “What do you mean?” he said something along the lines “you’ve been here a few weeks now and you haven’t called me”. I looked at him blank and the asked “Why would I call you?”
“To break up the fights and brawls!” “I don’t have fight’s and brawls in my bar” says me, “There’s always been trouble in the ‘Wet’ and I get called out every night and you haven’t called me at all, so what’s going on”
I was getting a bit shirty by this point (I could see my boys looking on with great interest at this turn of events) and said “Listen Sergeant, if I can’t control my bar then I shouldn’t be here, I don’t have any trouble from the men and don’t expect any but I tell you this, if ever I do need to call on you you’d better get round here pretty quick!”
Somehow I don’t think anybody had ever spoken to him like that, he was the law, however he was in my territory and I considered myself the law where I was and no way was I going to let him stand over me. There was no way I could let him undermine my authority. This little episode did me no harm.
Some months later I did have another uncalled for visit from him but that’s a long story and I might tell later! 😉
There are plenty of gaps to fill in now and I’ll get around to it sooner rather than later; depend upon it!
For a little nostalgia try this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afsp7MU-nTI
and then this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ2t5e7stVM
after all these years they are well worth listening to, coming from me that’s really an admission of sorts.