The Sydney Sunday Session

December 18, 2006 at 6:09 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve picked a very, very tricky time of year to hit the moderation booze brakes. It’s the silly season, after all, and silly is something Sydney does extremely well, especially at this time of year. It’s silly, for instance, to lather up in some cloying coconut oil before going and lying out in the searing Sydney sun all day, crisping up to a nice melanoma rich, hot scarlet hue that identifies you as a) a Pom just off the plane b) an expatriate Australian, home for the holidays, who really should know better c) anyone born before they knew smoking, sunbaking, and all the other fun things were bad for you. Now you’ve lived long enough that you just don’t care. Bring on the sun lamps, stogies, deep-fried food, and hard liquor. Good times.

For the rest of us, it’s also silly to roll up for a Sunday session at the pub after a full day of frying your previously lily white arse. You’ll be feeling a little light-headed, and you don’t want to run the risk of an over-zealous pub patron giving you a hearty backslap the second Shane Warne claims another wicket. Ouch. Seriously. That would really, really hurt, and you might even pass out from the pain. Every beer you rapidly down, that you think is relieving the sting around your inner thighs, is really only starting to gently simmer your brain. Sunburn makes you thirsty. Really thirsty. Shot-gunning forty beers seems like a good way of quenching your desert mouth so you might be able to crack a smile, but really you’re just accelerating your dehydration to the point where you couldn’t cry even if you wanted to. Not even if some rowdy long-lost friend came up and crushed your bubbling skin in a bear hug.

So yesterday, even knowing all this, we, like many Sydneysiders, found ourselves in a pub late afternoon, enthusiastically embarking upon a sly Sunday session. There were people there with bandicoot eyes made by the outline of their sunglasses, their exposed red raw arms seeming to scream ‘PINCH ME.’ There was smoking indoors in a really confined space around the bar. This is actually illegal, but no one seemed to care. There was loud music and progressively hoarse yelling, people gyrating to the beat, and a wild, Bacchanalian vibe that gave the whole scene a specifically fecund kind of freedom. Then the sea breeze blew in the door like an irate parent, reminding me to stay sober. I snapped out of the dusky trance, forcibly collected my husband, and made for the exit. This was surprisingly sensible, but sometimes I would definitely prefer to stay silly.

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