Yesterday I went to a primary school pantomime in the sports hall of a very well-run new school in Woodford, Essex. The work put into the thing was amazing, but the Disney-esque innocence of Beauty & The Beast as performed by Year Three of Churchfields School was slightly undercut by the smell of stale plimsolls.
Such is the glamorous life I lead.
While I was doing that, though, the So It Goes blog’s first ever Foreign Correspondent was donning his shades and Trilby hat and sending me what could and should be the first in a series of exclusive reports from Australia.
Esteemed Irish playwright Brendan Behan once described himself as not a writer with a drinking problem but a drinker with a writing problem.
Esteemed English comedy performer and entertainment entrepreneur Bob Slayer is, in the same way, not a comedian with a drinking problem…
He is in the land of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo to perform his show titled Bob Slayer Will Out-Drink Australia.
So here, for the first time…
SO IT GOES IN AUSTRALIA
from Bob Slayer
Long flights don’t normally phase me, however I now know why my flight was the cheapest. Royal Brunei Airways don’t serve booze and nor do any of the stop-off airports (although the in-flight map did helpfully tell me at all times what direction Mecca was).
24 hours of sobriety did something strange to me. I started to notice things… like how people with kids on planes look like they are psychotically about to kill them all the time until someone looks at their baby and then they transform into uber-proud parents. The fear that sobriety could turn me into an observational comedian was enough to keep me drinking.
Fortunately, I was able to max out my duty-free at Melbourne Airport. I enquired if the limit applied to how much you bought or how much you actually took through Customs because, if it was the latter, I planned to drink an extra bottle of Jägermeister there-and-then… Unfortunately, this seemed frowned upon.
Melbourne seems to have become very en-trend since I was last here. They have guerilla knitting on lamp posts and gourmet Taco vans that scenesters get very excited about and queue at for hours.
I met a lady called Domani who took me to a busy park full of hipster Melbonites having Australia Day Bar-B-Qs. Later, she taught me the art of peeing in public without getting caught.
The secret is all in the position. Instead of the traditional squat that gives away what a lady is doing and often leads to wet feet (as demonstrated by some English girls I met), it seems Melbourne ladies have learned to adopt an asymmetrical curtsey-type squat which can be perfectly disguised as a stretch or lunge. This technique does require that the exponent is wearing a summery dress.
I am still learning how knickers are dealt with.
I intend to investigate further and hopefully get photos.
I also had my first run-in with the Australian Police last night. I had been told that they can be somewhat heavy-handed over here and, as darkness fell in the park, a number of police cars appeared and drove through, herding everyone out. The revellers seemed to accept that the party was over.
Unfortunately, the police did not seem interested in my questions as to why they needed to clear the park. Even when I told them that this information was for John Fleming’s So It Goes blog.
They refused to give me a lift back to my flat and I declined their offer of a bed for the night. So, alas, I still have a lot to learn about Australian policing but I am sure there will be more updates in this area before my tour of duty is up.