Friday, February 10, 2006

The pub I lost (was a good pub) 

The Whitehorse reportedly shuts its doors after Saturday and may never be the same again - it's changing hands and an end of an era may be upon us.

I will be quietly sobbing into my pillow (actually, rocking out as much as a broken back permits to James Brown at the Civic, but) at the news a seminal part of my life may be lost forever - all those Southsidesoul Sundays that became sick-day Mondays, the 'quick pints' that turned into lock-ins, the five-second introductions that became two-year love affairs, the hundreds of people who became much as part of the fabric of our own lives as of the Horse's, the feeling you could stand up on a table banging a saucepan in a spangled disco suit and no one would bat an eyelid (but bang a wooden spoon to the beat instead), the knowledge that, brassic or brassed-up, happy or heartbroken, here was a place where everybody knew your name...

I digress. Anyway, were I not an invalid confined to barracks at the arse end of the world, I'd be there on Saturday with hell's bells on. And how...

Tom G, Asad and the Reverberations crew will be supplying Saturday's aural excitations, so get along and raise a glass to the old nag for me. And in tribute, we've brought together some of our favourite examples of photographic evidence collected over the many years we worshipped at its sticky, Sambucca-smeared altar - check out the nonsense here.

INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Glorious, Diefenbach [MP3]

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Join the car crash set 

It's often claimed that your life flashes before your eyes when you're about to die. I'm not in a position to confirm this, however, because when I performed my double loop-the-loop in a Toyota Corolla at 8 o'clock this morning in spectacular fashion, somewhat miraculously I did not die.

I still don't know how I did not die. But as I blinked into the blinding sunlight then swerved to avoid that oncoming bus, hit a gravel patch at 90km/h, careered into a bank, ricocheted to the other side of the road like a metallic blue pinball, smashed into another bank and flipped twice, landing upside down in a tree - as I watched the world rotating in excruciating slow motion, heard the crushing steel and felt the steering wheel, all I could think was, "So this is it, I'm going to die." And I was strangely OK with that, as long as it was nice and quick and didn't hurt.

When I opened my eyes, I briefly wondered why the afterlife was the wrong way up. Did this mean I'd gone 'down' instead of 'up'? (Well, it's what I'd always predicted.)

But it's surprising how quickly that survival instinct kicks in, even when you think you're dead. On autopilot I unbuckled my seatbelt and crawled across the windscreen to kick the passenger door out, wanting to get a move on in case the petrol tank decided to explode.

"My god, you're alive!" a local Samaritan gasped as I staggered into view. This was good, because until that point I hadn't been too sure. Sadly, it also served to remind my back that it was broken, and I collapsed in an ungainly heap.

Luckily, it turned out my broken back was merely two fractured vertebrae (anterior compression fractures, if you must know), and after a thrilling day of X-rays, examinations, tests and hospital-grade cuppas, I'm pretty much back in the land of the walking (and living) and ready to rock, courtesy of my good buddies Tramal, Ibuprofen and Codeine.

I'd love to say I emerged from the whole ordeal without a scratch on me, but that would be untrue, as there's a razor-thin gash on my knee from where I crawled over the shattered (but still intact, go safety glass) windscreen. However, on recalling this morning's Toyotacrobatics, I think I might just be the luckiest person on the planet. Looks like my number's not up yet.

INTERNAL JUKEBOX: Warm Leatherette, The Normal [MP3]

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