Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Let's Drink To A Quick Eviction

ONE of the best places in Melbourne to get a vodka and tonic is a little bar that fronts the City Square. Unlike many other establishments, staffers always open a fresh, cold mini-can of tonic with every glass, meaning lots of bubbles and a sharp, vibrant beverage. Lesser establishments all too often keep a large bottle under the counter, draining it slowly and caring not all that the contents will have gone flat long before the last drink is poured. It is a cheap, mean and nasty practice that produces nothing but disappointment  with a slice of lime -- and it is one of the reasons why that City Square watering hole is the Professor's favoured spot for rendezvousing with friends and lovers.

On Saturday evening, Opera Melbourne will be staging Carmen at the Athenaeum, just across Collins Street, so the Bar of Fresh Bubbles would have been the perfect spot to meet the evening's winsome companion.

Sadly, the City Square occupantists have put pay to that idea -- and, one assumes, to the profits of the businesspeople who operate the bar and the City Square's other coffee shops and eateries. Who wants to step over rubbish, be hectored by fools or obliged to view a broad acreage of bongo-banging idiocy?

The right to rally and protest is undisputed, and the occupiers have exercised it in spades.

For much longer will Melbourne's city fathers allow the protesters' pleasure to diminish that of others?

It is time they were served an eviction notice, with dogs and fire hoses if that is what it takes.

UPDATE: Reader Jim observes that the calendar will force the authorities' hand. With Christmas coming, the municipal tree needs to go up where the protesters are camped. As for the stage, that is where Santa sites his throne and magic tent, to which he repairs for a smoke (and probably a stiff drink) whenever the Ho-Ho-Hoing gets a bit too much.

Perhaps, if the city council promises that this year's Santa is keen on pogroms and plans to rob rich children of their presents, the occupiers will welcome him. If he is your more traditional Santa, it may be that he finds his most useful elves are wearing riot gear and blue uniforms. With Christine "Golly, Those Fires Make Me Hungry" Nixon no longer in charge, they may be a tad more confident in deciding who is naughty, who is nice, and who needs a truncheon around the ear hole.


  1. Not to mention any tourists who happened to have booked at the Westin and now have to endure the hordes of morons sitting out front.

  2. Just a thought ,I was going to go to Canberra to say G ' day to the Queen , but on reflection NO, She will be surrounded by leftist republicans, CELEBRITES ands prying LEG ENDS.

  3. It's a long time since I saw Carmen. Let's know Prof. if she has been sanitised. Surely, staging her place of employ, the cigarette factory, would cause a riot in the stalls, especially among the luvvies who wear their brushes with culture on their sleeves. Do tell if she now works in an injecting room or dispenses compassion among the oppressed.

  4. The end of my comment should have read "and sporting Leg , Ends

  5. Regarding Carmen: Melbourne Opera is a semi-pro company and will be doing Carmen in English translation, which might suggest the cigarette factory will indeed be replaced with a solar panel plant. Quite a few years ago the Athenaeum saw another production -- Salome? -- in which participants at an orgy were directed to stand stock still (and buff naked) when the singing began. It was a game of musical hairs, if you will, and at one particular performance the positions in which the bit players were frozen sent the audience into a titter fit. One fellow is reputed to have been bent over with two other chaps appearing to be conducting a close inspection of his bottom. But the best of all was the new mum, naked and up a ladder, whose milk-swollen breast began to dribble on the tenor's head.

    I greatly regret missing that show, but an artsy friend (and first-rate golfer) who was in the cast (and naked) swears it was the funniest production in which he has ever been involved.

    Carmen will be more sedate, almost certainly.

  6. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.October 19, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    A decent G and T is made with freshly bubbling Schweppes Tonic and Gordon's English Gin. It is always served in a long chilled glass, never one with a stem, and preferably without a straw. A slice of gently bruised lemon, and ice if you must, are added to the mixture. The Goldilocks technique is utilised through prior practice to ensure that there is neither too little nor too much gin and that there is a sufficient amount of the tonic. To imbibe, the English Public School salute of "bottoms up" is offered; "chin chin" is used only if you are East of Suez. Supervised by a hostess named Hortense or Harriet, served beside the Cam with Gooseberry Fool on the one hot day of summer, after a leisurely punt, it is a civilised delight to be savoured. Some people of course prefer the punch, but that is always a mystery choice.

  7. What about 'the other half' Elizabeth?

  8. Having the whole cast naked rather diminishes the impact of the Dance of Seven Veils, no? And Salome is meant to dominate the overall story by her singular erotic power...

    Meant to titillate and shock, now riotous bawdy comedy - I see, that was your point. Italianate Handel overrun by John Gay!

  9. The Alternate G & T is to start with a can of Tonic, take a good gulp from the top, replace with No-Name Gin, then begin tippling. The lemon is for those who need lemonade, and the ice is excess water.


  10. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.October 20, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Forgot to add that a tab of acid was always thought to help the afternoon along..

  11. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.October 20, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    "The other half" Lazlo? Are you a nautical man?

  12. Dear Prof. Bunyip,

    what you said, in spades.

    What is your opinion on the BDS activists that also pollute Melbourne's shopping centre walkways with their bigotry and their screams?

    A Reader