So if you’re not Australian or Australian-adjacent (shout out to my fellow drink-slingers over in Whistler) there a solid chance you’re unaware that yesterday, January 26th, was Australia Day. Pronounced Straya Day. It’s a day of beaches and barbecues and arguing about what song will be No. 1 on the Hottest 100 when it plays on the 27th for some people, and to advocate for changing the date to something a little less insulting towards Indigenous Australians for others (#ChangeTheDate). What day that will be is a bit contentious, considering how many bad days have been inflicted on our Indigenous Peoples over the past 230 fucking years or so, but we really need to put some thought into it.
Me, I was at work in the evening. We were pretty goddamn slow for a saturday night, though that wasn’t all that surprising. I work in an underground speakeasy that specialises in cocktails made with premium spirits, which doesn’t exactly gel with sunburnt bogans draped in Aussie flags drinking shit tinnies, or sunburnt backpackers draped in Aussie flags drinking shit tinnies, or families of any stripe enjoying a barbecue or the beach and a couple of shit tinnies if they’re that-way inclined. Not a bad night, certainly, but slower than we like on a saturday.
Meant we got to close up relatively early, so at about 2:30am I was bringing up the garbage to drop into the on-street bin, and the tattooists next door were outside smoking a durrie or three. Pleasantries were exchanged, as you do when you get on with your neighbours.
“How was your night?” they asked.
“Alright. Slow as hell. Dead. But alright.”
“Same,” said a mustachioed hipster, “So slow I haven’t even done a single racist tattoo.”
Brilliant. I was still chuckling as I made my way down the stairs back into our basement bar, and shared that little bit of insight with my black coworker, who also got a laugh out of it. Just goes to show how slow certain parts of Sydney are these days when a tattooist doesn’t get the opportunity to price-gouge a single drunken idiot for an implicitly racist bit of ink on Australia day.
Happy Australia Day folks. Lot’s of love to you and yours, no matter where you’re from.
Now let’s get around to changing the date and getting the refugees off Nauru.