Last weekend I headed to Maitland Gaol to embark on something called a team building day with a bunch of people I work with. First up was a tour of the gaol with a former inmate, and t I was also surprised (and delighted) to discover that there’s a lot more bum sex in Australian prisons than I thought there would be. I was all set to sign up for a life of crime until I realised all the bum sex is man-on-man, which doesn’t really appeal to me. It sounds like it was a real party in there, with blokes offering up their coights with little fuss.
It truly is a fascinating tour, and I highly recommend it. This place has a brutal history that’s worth learning about, and a day at Maitland Gaol will be a memorable (and grisly) experience.
After that we listened to a motivational talk from Paralympic gold medalist Kurt Fearnley. Now, being born with only half a spine and a set of legs as useful as a Labor politician would suck, but life in a wheelchair has its benefits. You’d never have to do the Hokey Pokey at school, and no-one could crack the shits if you spent every day sitting around watching episodes of The Wire. Kurt, however, decided to become a marathon
runner roller, and spent an hour or so passionately telling us about all the races he’d won. In fact, the passion veered close to aggression, and I got the impression that old mate would beat the shit out of me if he knew that my only goals in life are to eat as many sausage rolls as possible and have sex with Magda Szubanski.
At the end, I thought about giving Kurt a standing ovation, then realised that would be taking the piss and didn’t.
Next up was an epic game of laser tag through the gaol. While crouched in an abandoned kitchen and snipering co-workers, I realised that I wouldn’t exactly flourish in a war situation. Firstly, my legs became tired after about five minutes of crouching, and I really don’t like it when my legs get tired, and secondly because I’m really not a very good aim and would struggle to hit anybody. But maybe that was just because it was almost six o’clock on a Saturday and I was completely sober, so I was starting to get the shakes.
I finally got to have my first beer around 7:30, when we headed to Newcastle’s Honeysuckle Hotel. I was nearly mad with sobriety, so I ordered three schooners and downed them in short order, my hands finally steadying as the booze flowed through my system. There were some good sorts filtering through, most wearing dresses as short as a midget’s walking stick.
After a quick feed at Hog’s Breath (alright, it wasn’t so quick – they made us wait 90 minutes to be seated, but fortunately plied me with enough free Long Island Iced Teas that I didn’t give a shit), we headed off to a nearby nightclub called the King Street Hotel. I haven’t been to a proper nightclub in years, and the mixture of blaring music and wall-to-wall people was overwhelming. The music sucked, the kiddies were dancing in ways I didn’t understand, and everybody kept taking selfies of themselves. In my day, if a dude stood in the middle of the dance floor taking photos of himself, he’d be taking photos of himself with a schooner glass wedged in his face before long.
I was with a few good sorts, but they know me well enough to not give me the time of the day in the kissy-kissy stakes (and I’d hate for a pretty lady to be reminded of her mistake every time she rocked up to work), and I didn’t have great success with the barely-legal babes who wiggled around me, either. Still, I enjoyed the beaut company and had a good laugh, even if I’m not quite the disco inferno I used to be.
I didn’t fit in at all, because I look a bit like I live in a cave and most of the other fellas looked like they’d be right at home sucking cocks at The Wall in Kings Cross. Deadset, these blokes had it all – skinny jeans, boufant hairdos, crap tatts and lady-drinks in their hands. A whole heap of them were wearing these weird shirts that went down to their knees and looked like something you’d sleep in. Fucking hell, what a bunch of gronks.
After a time, one of the chaps I was with came up to me looking somewhat concerned. Apparently a large lass with an arse like a lovesick cat had slipped her hand down his trousers and attempted to wank him off, and he’d stopped her. I was shocked and appalled by what had happened, and was even more disgusted when I started dancing near this girl and she didn’t try to jerk me off. I can’t really blame her, though – her hands were more than full with two Indian blokes who were smiling their heads off and slapping each other high fives.
I used to party until six in the morning, but we bailed at around one, and I spent the train home trying to pick up a group of overweight 18-year-olds. I wouldn’t share my pie with them, though, so I had no chance.
I learnt that nightclubs are very much in my past, and that the current crop of youngsters are fucking idiots who listen to shit music, dress like they’re ready to hop into bed, and take photos of things that don’t have any reason to be photographed. It was great to be out with a top bunch of people, but give me a box of cheap wine, some nachos and a Charles Bronson movie any day.
Am I sad that I’m getting older, and that scene is behind me? Nope. It’s not as if I’ve settled down, and wild shit is behind me. I drink heavily, travel the world while almost getting killed, paraglide, and occasionally entice a lovely lady back to my castle. I don’t need to wiggle around to some talentless African American champion’s songs to feel young.