In The Front Bar 2017

IN THE ROADHOUSE: The Roadhouse looks back on the events that kept its regulars entertained throughout 2017

3 Feb 2017

Returning to The Roadhouse after a well-deserved break we were greeted by a scene that would not have been out of place in a 1960s sci-fi film.

All the regulars were there, seated around the different vantage points of the Front Bar while the phone rang, and rang, and rang, and rang, but nobody seemed to dare move from their stool, or to even reach out to answer it.

They all sat there – staring blankly like the cold-eyed blond children from the Village of the Damned.
We marched over to phone uttering the usual intonations of martyrdom – ‘don’t worry I’ll get it’, or ‘it won’t answer itself you know?’ – or words to that affect, when a rousing chorus erupted around the room of ‘DON’T ANSWER IT!!”

It was then we noticed our Prime Minister – seated front and centre at the bar, looking as if he been pulled through the wringer backwards, then sent in again the right way around.

‘It might be him, again’, he said cryptically.

All others stood behind him now, nodding in solidarity.

We weren’t sure who ‘him’ maybe, or how many times ‘him’ may have rang while we were away, or what ‘him’ may have said when he did call.

All we knew was that something dark and sinister had permeated the space. It would appear we’re in for a big year.

10 Feb 2017

The regulars in the front bar of The Roadhouse were ruminating over Anthony Mundine’s appeal against the decision of the pugilistic pummelling he received from Danny Green, labelling it as ‘poor form’, when Cory Bernardi swanned in.

Slamming a wad of notes on the bar, CB declared drinks for everybody, but he soon found himself drinking with the flies when nobody elected to join his party.

Even former cohorts Eric Abetz and George Christensen kept their distance, choosing instead to hold uncomfortable conversations with the likes of Scott Morrison and George Brandis, in a display of solidarity.

Just then the door over the front door rang and Malcom Turnbull entered the fray full of vim and vitality after giving Bill Shorten the rounds of the kitchen, itching for another fight.

Bernardi quietly finished his pony of beer, slid of his barstool and silently walked out the door.

Seems that stoush has been postponed for now.

17 Feb 2017

We didn’t realise at the time, but The Roadhouse’s annual past pollie sundowner on Wednesday night will most likely be the last time we host the event.

These are usually one of the most popular nights on The Roadhouse calendar with attendees flying in from the most remote corners of the country.

The main topic of conversation on the night, however, was the proposal by Malcom’s government to rescind the Gold travel card for our former parliamentary representatives.

That they will no longer qualify for 10 free domestic flights each year and instead will have to pay their own way, infuriated our post politic guests.

When pressed to represent the groups’ feelings in parliament, guest speaker, and future post politician, Tony Abbott said that as a backbencher on the outer of the cabinet, there wasn’t much he could do.

And, he added, as a former prime minister, he was – fortunately for him – not in the same predicament.

When Tony was reminded that his time as PM was a week short of the qualifying period for former-PM perks, including said air travel, his demeanour quickly changed.

As he raced out the door, Tony stopped to take a Cory Bernardi Party membership form from the notice board.

10 Mar 2017

Decoration has been the buzzword around the front bar of The Roadhouse this week as we prepared to host whichever team might win this weekend’s Western Australia state election.

Hanging streamers has been put on hold until the last minute until we know whether to hang red for a Labor victory, blue to celebrate the return of the Liberal Emporer, or if we may neeed to festoon the bar with the specially flown-in poo brown streamers should One Nation have cause to kick up their heels.

This conundrum has also stymied menu preparations as we will have to wait until Anthony Green declares a result to put ensure the party pies and sausage rolls in the warmer are do not contain any Halal for the PHON pollies and pollsters to eat.

Just as we were taking down the posters from the previous evening’s child vaccination promotion WA Nationals leader Brendan Grills moped in, threw 25 cents on the bar and demanded a beer – 1964 style.

Quickly making his way through two dollars, Grills began boasting how he had decided that if it was good enough for others to live on a cost of living from over 50 years ago, it was good enough for him.

He declared he would now only pay $4 for a packet of ciggies, and when he goes to the footy will hand over just 25 cents for his Footy Record and if his team makes it to the Grand Final this year he expects to only pay $16 for the privilege of attending.

We quietly organised the endless piles of How to Vote cards as he continued his ramblings.

24 Mar 2017

There was much debate in The Roadhouse this week when local Kebab vendor, Kevin popped in on Tuesday afternoon to ask the locals for some assistance.

It transpires that Kevin is due to sit the multiple-choice section of his citizenship exams next week and was having difficulties with one of the questions.

Question 18, asks: When encountering a person of different hue, orientation, height, or age, it is Australian custom to…

A) Immediately contact Andrew Bolt

B) Call Pauline

C) Greet them with a friendly salutation, ask them if they require any help going about their daily routine, or generally behave in a courteous, respectful manner

D) None of the above.

Oddly enough it was response 18C that evoked the most heated responses.

The discussion went on long into the night, culminating in breakaway factions all hunkering in different corners of the front bar discussing strategies for establishing their rewritten version of answer 18C to be the one the entire nation conduct itself by.

Suddenly the front door swung open and Prime Minister Malcom strode into the room.

Somebody yelled at him to close the door.

21 April 2017

The Roadhouse was presented with the opportunity to perform some ‘official duties’ this week following a visit from Federal Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

The Minister declared he held the opinions of our front bar regulars in high regard and was eager to employ their views on a matter requiring much diplomacy.

He needed help formulating questions for Malcolm’s new Citizenship Test and wasn’t too sure where to begin.

The front bar crew quickly drew up a rough draft.

Q1. There is much debate about how tomato sauce should be added to a meat pie. Should the sauce be spread on top of the pie or injected into the meat and gravy?

Q2. True or False? There is only one true code of football. (Applicants should take into consideration the city/state they are sitting the exam).

Q3. The two major Australian political parties, Liberal and Labor, both start with the same letter. Are there more similarities, or any differences, between the two? Discuss. (500 words)

Q4. Name three items of sunsmart clothing Pauline Hanson would not wear to the beach.

Q5. From the list below, choose the person you feel should win the Gold Logie on Sunday.

a) Bob Katter
b) Penny Wong
c) Barnaby Joyce
d) Karl Stefanovic
e) Pete & Manu

Dutton attempted the test, but was unsuccessful. Now stripped of his citizenship, his parliamentary standing is in doubt.

26 May 2017

There was an awkward moment in The Roadhouse this week when Australian Ladies Wimbledon Champion and Maverick Church Minister Margaret Court paid us a visit.

That she was there was not the awkward part, but the timing of her call meant that she was in the bar at the same time as QANTAS Chief Alan Joyce, which hung a frosty pall over the room.

The Roadhouse Hostess moved seamlessly between the two, taking drink orders before we commenced dinner service.

Things heated up when, just before dinner service commenced, Court made the unusual request of being moved to another table.

She was informed this could only be possible was if she was prepared to move into the economy section of the bar, as this was the only section that had seating available.

A kerfuffle ensued, and she stormed out, declaring she refused to return until The Roadhouse tightened – what she described as – obvious loose standards.

As the door slammed behind her, Joyce stood and announced he would shout champagne for everybody in the bar – even hose in the economy section.

Frequent Flyer Cards were tossed in the air in a celebratory hurrah.

9 Aug 2017 (Diggers & Dealers Day Two)

We were reminded, in no uncertain terms on Monday night, just how the Kalgoorlie locals feel about all the shiny bum types from the city who occupy their city for this one week each year.While enjoying a dinner at The Palace Hotel, those who still enjoy a nicotine inhalation, had ventured outside to have a quiet puff.

As they stood on the footpath a group of young chaps drove past yelling, “go home you poofters”.
A quick lap of the block and they were back again, this time armed, and pelted our citified smoking pals with eggs.

Regaling us of their drive-by-egging ordeal, we couldn’t help but admire the perpetrators unashamed willingness to use archaic non-politically correct turn of phrase in concert with a missile that has long proved useful when one wishes to demonstrate disapproval.

If there wasn’t documented proof that the senior realms of the Federal Liberal Party had indeed made it back to Canberra for its Plebiscite Pow Wow, there could have been some solid, if unsubstantiated claims made on the identity of the ovum tossers.

Fortunately, our heroes were uninjured, but were on the receiving end of a few wise cracks throughout the night.

25 Aug 2017

There was a twist to the opening of The Roadhouse annual comedy festival this week with the announcement of a new competition.Punters were given the opening line of a joke and then asked to complete the gag.

The witticisms were to open with – A New Zealander, an Italian, and an Englishwoman walked into the Front Bar…

Third Prize was picked up by a seemingly confused Front Bar Frequenter in Frank who opined: I don’t care who they marry!

Second Prize went to Roadhouse regular, Reg with: and asked for a large table as they were expecting others to join them.

The winning entry came from the Roadhouse’s new multicultural commentator, Masood, who observed: and although they all looked like and behaved in the manner accepted by Australian society, all three were deemed to have allegiance to a second sovereign state, which in effect draws suspicion to their patriotism and how they may truly represent the good people who elected them, a sizeable percentage of which also, without doubt, hold dual citizenship.

After being presented with his Halal meat tray, Masood was off to the local Council Chambers to celebrate his own Australian Citizenship Ceremony where he could swear his loyalty to his adopted country and its Queen.

13 Oct 2017

It was Learn About Science Time in The Roadhouse this week, culminating in our annual volcano building competition.

The Front Bar was chock-a-block with chicken wire and papier mache contraptions, of which a few caught the judges’ eyes.

The first was a confusing number belonging to Greens Supremo Richard Di Natale. Although shaped like a volcano, Di Natale explained it represented a coal mine and the associated lava and ash plumes were designed to flow into the pristine marine environment below.

The judging panel appreciated his efforts, but quietly admitted in an aside that they found the work as confusing as his piece for The Roadhouse interpretive dance competition earlier in the year.

Bill Shorten impressed pollsters with his small, but effective, display consisting of a small volcanic display that puffed out tiny, yet abundant amounts of smoke cleverly triggered by a voice recognition device tuned into a recording of Malcolm Turnbull.

The largest, most grandiose, display was that of former PM and current backbencher Tony Abbott.

The six foot tall exemplar boasted a wide mouth skirted by suit-clad effigies of both gender waiting to be sacrificed to the insatiable gods within.When asked how many sacrifices would be required to appease his volcanic masters, Abbott whispered in a foreboding tone – as many as it takes.

10 Nov 2017

Just when you thought it was safe to enter The Roadhouse again, the citizenship debacle reared its ugly head once more.

It now appears there are, as has been suspected for some time, any number of MPs from all vantage points of the political divide who are possibly unqualified to hold the positions they were elected to hold, albeit they should not have been running in the first place.

The irony is that as our country’s political standing is being jeopardised by a lack of qualified participants, while our friends in the USA, thanks to the recent spate of sexual harassment claims against elder statesmen of its entertainment industry, now has a surplus of middle aged white men who are qualified to run for President.

The grumblings of the Proletariat have been growing louder in the Front Bar of late, as the frustrations of the people draw them together.

Forget The Far Right or The Far Left, these are the folk of The Far Vacuum, inexorably tied to system that demands we are represented by true blue citizens of our great land who are ultimately answerable to the unelected sovereign of a land located far, far away.

Christmas can’t come early enough so we can open our Easter Eggs.

24 Nov 2017

The Roadhouse was surprised this week when PM Malcolm decided to give his fellow lower-house parliamentarians a week off.

Surprised mainly because if there was ever a PM who would skive off work for the first week of an Ashes Test Series, it would have been Howard, J. W.

However, what most commentators have missed, is that Malcolm obviously has an ulterior motive in allowing the peoples’ lower chamber representatives an opportunity to show their true patriotic colours.

A day in the outer – or Members’ Stand – at the cricket is a much more stringent litmus test for potential dual citizenship loyalties, than appearing in front of the wigged and gowned folk of the High Court.

It will be interesting to see how many by-elections we can set off from a Gabba Gaff.