I spent a good deal of time partying in my 20’s and 30’s which was during the 1980s and 1990s. The music was great. The vibe was great. It was a great time to be young and carefree. I was recently asked by a young current-party-goer if I missed my party days. I replied honestly that I’d had my time in the sun and although I enjoyed every part of it I was content to now be a homebody. My mindset has changed, as most people’s mindsets do with age. Raging or having a good time for me now is a catch up with an old friend or two or staying up late with a good book.
During my party days Melbourne had live band entertainment aplenty and I’d often enjoy this form of free quality entertainment at one of the many available venues. Well, almost always free. I had to pay once, kinda.
A close friend of mine was bugging me no end to attend a CD launch that I had no interest in. She was well acquainted with the band and wanted someone to accompany her to the event. I only relented because of her persistence. She picked me up on the night and while we were driving on our way to the venue I lit a joint to help dull the pain of being forced to do something I didn’t want to do. I continued to protest my attendance all the way to the door of the venue. I soon found myself being asked for an entrance fee at the venue door.
“There’s an entrance fee? I’ve never been charged to see a local band before”.
“It’s only $5”, was his response. He points to my hand and continues, “Is that a joint?”
Damn. I was so preoccupied with my bitching that I failed to realise I still had the joint in my possession instead of getting rid of it once I’d left the confines of the car. “Am I in trouble?”, I asked tentatively.
“Tell you what, if you let me have a couple of puffs I’ll let you through”.
“All yours”. I smiled with relief as I handed him the little that was left and walked through the door into the crowded venue.
The CD launch was a huge success and celebrations went on all night long. It finally came to an end with a late morning brunch with some of the band members. As my friend and I stumbled wearily but happily back to the car I thought not a bad night after all when another thought suddenly struck me. It was Father’s Day! I had a family dinner that night to honour that event and I’d still not gotten my father anything. My body was aching to crash but I forced it to persevere and my friend to drive to a local market to get my father a gift.
We got there as the market was packing up to close its Sunday morning trade. There wasn’t much to choose from as most of the stalls had shut by now. The only thing I could see that remotely could be given to an adult male was a budgie in an ornate cage. It made a change from aftershave, jocks and socks. I figured beggars can’t be choosers.
My father christened the budgie Giorgio and it became a common sight to see Giorgio chirping away on my father’s shoulder while he was in the garden. Even though I’d started the weekend kicking and screaming in protest it turned out to be a blast, ending with a happy pater. It just goes to show you never can tell how things will pan out.