So, I have been browsing the old Perth Highland Pipe Band website and decided, as a special treat to you all, to be a lazy ass and copy-paste one of my old Chucky Reports from that page onto this one. As time goes by, I will add others, but this is just a taste of things to come.
I get lazier.
Anyway, this is a Chucky Report from March 17th, 2000. Back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. A time of walkmans and The Blair Witch Project. Just to put it in context, I met Janica online around August 1999, and she came to visit Perth in February 2000. She then left, and around May, June 2000 I went to Finland for the first time. This is the St. Patrick’s Day somewhere in the middle there, while I was undergoing my "Chucky the Apostate" period of total sexual deprivation.
Since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and we’re out on the piss for the occasion this coming weekend, I thought I would add this as an historical comparison point.
St Patrick’s Day and a Band Camp in the same week!
Report by Chucky, intro and editorial comments by Monty
Report by Chucky, intro and editorial comments by Monty
St Patrick’s Day has become quite an event in the Perth Highland Calendar even though we are not an Irish band. The reason for this is Guinness. It is a wonderful excuse to take the day off, have a round of golf and then hit the pub for a pintathon. In Australia there is frequently a promotion going on at this time of year and we usually end up drinking our way into a free T-shirt. This year we got a share in a racehorse as well for twelve pints. The horse turned out to be a donkey but this is not my page it is Chucky’s….
St. Patrick’s Day, 2000
Note: This report should be read with that ‘80s classic, "All Fired Up," in the background. Believe me, it works…
The day began, for me, at about ten thirty in the morning, on Friday the 17th. After arriving in town to find the Elephant & Wheelbarrow closed (there is a strange rule kicking about that says pubs can’t open until eleven, and no matter how many times I am told this, it is still a rude shock to see those closed doors), I walked around the block grumpily. The rest of the band (and various others) were playing golf for some reason, but I really couldn’t tell you anything about that. I heard that young Ritchie played a par three hole with a putter, right from the tee. He didn’t do very well – equal last, in fact, with Malcolm ‘Vom-meister’ Maclean. Anyway, they were not due at the pub until after midday, and I wanted to get a head start – after all, they had. A lot of them were already well on their way to completing the twelve pints of Guinness they required to earn their special "Sir Guinness" T-shirt. I had yet to even get myself a passport to begin filling with pint-tokens.
So I walked around the block, and there was Rosie O’Grady’s – open for business and filled with burks with green hair, green plastic bowler hats and – glory of glories at such an early hour – shiny black pints brimming with delights. With a spring in my step as I realised I could pass the time waiting for the pub to open at the pub, I went inside. And suffered my first setback for the day.
"We haven’t got that deal on today," the barmaid said when I asked for a pint of Guinness and a T-shirt passport. It being a St. Patrick’s Day thing, it only made sense that they close the offer for that particular day – I noticed she had a shirt on, though if she’d had twelve pints of Guinness in her life I’d be very surprised. [typical Rosie O’Grady’s experience – that pub and the one in Fremantle are loads of shite and unfit for the presence of a Perth Highlander, Ed] I had the pint anyway. Call it a warmup, I told myself. Set myself a nice steady pace, set my eyes on the goal, and … well, this isn’t all about me. In the meantime the other guys were playing golf, and were probably drinking too – verify please, mister Editor.
I finished my pint by eleven and went back to the Elephant. They had passports, and they gave me one, dammit. I was a quarter of the way to my T-shirt by the time the rest of the guys arrived, and drunk? Oh, yes.
The day proceeded as one would assume it would from there. We had a slap-up lunch (too late for the solids to do much good, but still damn fine eating) at about one, but the shirts had begun to roll in before that. In fact, about one round after the rest of the crowd arrived (there was ten or fifteen of us by this stage), the table’s dress-code began to blacken. I can solemnly say that every person who ended up with a shirt deserved to have that shirt – even Stuart "Stubaggs" MacGregor, who works at a liquor store and thus got his shirt for free, earned his cloth by the end of the day. But we’ve a way to go yet.
Disturbingly, and to my lasting disappointment, we suffered the loss of one of our more in-need-of-training recruits at about four in theafternoon. Young Ritchie, having just arranged a nine-thirty finish and lift home with his lady, suddenly departed from the scene when aforementioned lady turned up at the Elephant. Rumours that he had said the nine-thirty part of his phone conversation aloud and then whispered, "Pick me up now," into the phone cannot be confirmed, and personally I don’t believe it. The fact that he made up for his lax attitude in the hours to follow makes his crime that little bit easier to forgive, but we were all a little shaken by the early casualties. Shaken, but nowhere near surprised – it is a well-known fact that more than his own body-weight in Guinness makes Ritchie sleepy, and he’d had a good four pints. Just like the year before, the Boy from Dowerin (sorry, from Gerr’l’n) missed out on a T-shirt – this time by a mere eight pints.
And so the hours passed. We received green plastic bowler hats – well, I say ‘we’, what I mean is the rest of the guys got one, I already had one, since the manager of the Elephant had had pity on me in the long pints waiting for the golfers to arrive. Apart from the hats, we also had tattoos, as far as I can recall they were little shamrocks, with "Jameson’s" written on them. Mine was on my forehead so I couldn’t see it, and it didn’t last very long. Well before the sun went down, we adjourned to the park, into which Rosie’s had expanded in celebration of the occasion. This is where things begin to get fuzzy. We lost Reclining, though he was most certainly one of the last men standing – it is assumed he wandered off into the actual pub, but nobody knows for sure, not even Reclining – he was well on his way to his second T-shirt by the time he realised he was at home in bed. We lost Malcolm round about sunset, and the next thing I remember is our crowd being thinned to myself, Shambles, Dirty, Monty and Stubaggs. There may have been others, who I am now going to offend by leaving out. I apologise in advance. [You have offended Finger. Ed]
The Police Pipe Band, grade two World Champions (our World Champions, if you believe the slogans) played in concert in the park, bagpipes being Irish and all. We thought they were good, so we pulled our pants down and flashed our asses at them as their performance was coming to an end. [One of the nicest moons I’ve ever done. How was Dirty’s form refusing to do it because he wants a job with them one day…Ed]. Watching Bailey choke on his blowstick, and Barry try to return the moon without actually baring his ass (and I have to hand out thanks for that courtesy), was worth the jeers and funny looks from the rest of the audience. In fact, I think they thought it was pretty good too – but in their defence, everybody was drunk by now. We continued to drink. There was a stupid beer-ticket system in the park by which a person wearing a 12-pint T-shirt was expected to be able to tell what sort of drink he wanted, and buy a colour-coded ticket for that drink accordingly. Nobody seemed to have a problem with it.
By sheer luck, I think, I managed to buy myself a huge wad of pretty red tickets, which apparently entitled me to cans of mixed drinks, with lemon juice and coke and all sorts of stuff. Well, the time for Guinness was over. And the silliness continued from there. We met three Americans who increased our numbers for a little while – Heather, Mike, and Josh … no, wait, that was a movie I saw the other day …anyway, they were American, and pretty funny. [3 chicks one from Minnesota, one from Boston and one from New York. Minnesota went away to spew and New York left to help her. Nice girls actually…Ed]
Some bastard stole my hat, and we met Kate from whatever band it is she’s playing in now, who told me something about Alicia, and apparently someone in Perth Highland had given her a necklace [a pearl necklace??? More details Chucky. Ed]. My personal belief is that this information was just drunk talk, or she had the wrong band, but it was pretty intriguing at the time.
After that, I sort of lost everybody except Stubaggs. I have it on good authority that Shambles and Dirty ended up at the Taipan Room, and then went to Subway before heading home, and were refused entry to the Elephant when they tried to go back on account of it being too full. Shambles apparently took the nasty bouncer’s name – a bald fellow with a surname Walker, that’s all I know. Reclining was home by half-past midnight, and the others were all home before that. Stubaggs and I walked around the park for an hour or so, sitting down at random tables and dispensing golfing tips to complete strangers. Then we joined the queue at the women’s toilets for some reason, ranting about equal rights and the abolition of sexual discrimination. We were unstoppable bullshit machines – Stubaggs had already given his ‘card’ to several people needing golf tutoring, and now we were apt to talk about anything. The only objection the women had was that the men’s line was moving faster. Oh yes, now I remember – we joined the women’s line because although the men’s line was moving faster, it was longer, because there were chicks in it. So we were evening the tables, or something. Except by the end of the line I really needed to go, and Stubaggs suddenly revealed he was only in the line for "shits and giggles." So I had to go it alone. And I pissed standing up, dammit. And when I left, I left the seat up, reclaiming my masculinity once and for all. Stubaggs was gone when I got out.
That about ended St. Patrick’s Day. I put my walkman on and had a bit of a sleep in the park for half an hour or so, but, like Reclining and most of the others, I was on my feet and on my way home by midnight. And the next day, well, you know what happened. I had a shower, a vomit and a litre of milk, and we did it all over again.
Right. This one was ugly. And sketchy, since by lunchtime I was – and most of the people who celebrated St. Pat’s the day before were – pissed again. I shall hand out awards, though, since they were difficult to hand out for the previous evening. The St. Patrick’s Award would have to go to Reclining for almost doing two shirts, but Last Man Standing Awards should go out to Dirty and Shambles. Anyway, that was then, and the Band Camp sorts out the dross. Generally, all of us. Last Men Standing were myself and Dirty on this particular night, and I am giving the Best on Ground Award, and the very close runner-up BoG to a pair of drummers. BoG goes to Scout Walker, for an incredible demonstration of shotgunning cans. Oh, you may argue that he spilled almost as much as he drank, and compared to some of the older campaigners he wasn’t anything spectacular, but it still added up to about six cans in as many minutes, and that was as impressive as anything else done that night. Well, almost anything else. Before I get onto that, I should mention that a very close runner-up BoG goes to young Michael Hunter, not for any particular achievement, but on general principle. I don’t know whether I should say if he had anything to drink or not – but he did. A glass or two. And they were only little glasses. But he did well, remaining quiet (apart for the occasional smart-ass comment that he seemed to think I would forget) and as well-behaved as can be expected, and apparently not vomiting, despite … well, everything. [I think I heard him vomit some time – I heard someone vomit. Ed]
It’s odd, in all fairness, for two drummers to take out the Best on Ground, as normally they are a sensible lot, happy to sit back and watch the pipers make twats of themselves while drinking at least their own share of the beer. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all – a notable exception being Monty, and Rolf, of course. Tonight, however, it was the drummers that did well. I still have an award to hand out, and that is for Punchiest on Ground – usually reserved for Mr. B, or Dave Reilly, or occasionally Shambles. This award combines the Surly Medallion and the Pissiest Pants Award, and today I award it to the Don. Even though some would argue he was merely a victim of circumstance.
Funny calls: "Oh, you’re a c*nt and a half." The Don, to Ritchie, after Ritchie said something not-nice.
"<insert unpronounceable crap here>" Ritchie, screaming at Phil in ‘Gin’, a language that seemed to consist mainly of high-pitched obscenities and anal-sex hand-gestures.
"What can I say? I like blokes." Monty, when questioned by Shambles as to why, the fuck, he was drinking a coke at lunchtime. [Shit Chucky how did you remember that one? Ed]
"Doesn’t matter, you won’t remember this anyway." Mickey Hunter, to me – and it wasn’t so much that he said it, rather the scorn with which he said it. Well, I thought it was funny.
"Hang on, I’ll ask him." Peter Maclean, after being asked by the Don whether Phil knew what it felt like to be rogered by the ‘nuggetty end’ of a pineapple.
"They were going through puberty." That was me, in response to the Don’s question of where the younger members of the Band had been when he was young and in fighting trim. Then Reclining pointed out that my comment could have been perfected by saying, "They weren’t actually born yet," so partial credit must also go to him.
After the playing ended, the drinking began in earnest. A big-ass dinner of sausages and steak followed a MacDonalds breakfast, a Chicken Treat lunch and several Perth Highland cheese-boards (special mention of the Don’s pickled onions), and then out came the Euro-porn, which was placed firmly in front of our youngest member. Viv Reilly (did I spell that right, mister Editor?) turned up, which sort of threw everything off-centre a bit, and we had to get the porn away from Mickey Hunter (with a crowbar, I might add) lest he be spotted and a stink kicked up.
Viv buggered off after a while, and the shooter glasses came out and the Shambles Game was officially commenced. A very basic game involving six shooter glasses of beer, each with a number from one to six, and a dice. You roll a one, you drink number one. You roll a three, you drink number three. You roll a five, you drink number five. You roll another three, or a one, or any empty glass, and pass the dice on. You roll the dice off the table, you drink all remaining glasses. Once all the glasses are empty, you fill them up and the last person to drink rolls again. It sounds easy, but it was about eight or nine o’clock when we had to send Shambles for more piss – making a grand total of four EB blocks, and a couple of mid-strengths, I think. It must have been no later than nine we sent for more beers.
The Shambles ended rather raggedly as Peter, the Don, Phil and Reclining all joined in, with the express purpose of rolling the dice off the table and chugging the lot, and then telling mudflap jokes. At ten or eleven it was decided Dave Reilly had had simply too much sleep, and the time had come to serenade him. Peter took the bass drum, the Don (or was it Phil? Or both?) took pipes, and we all ran over to the Catholic hut. Peter drummed like some sort of duracell bunny on crack, and everyone laughed, even Reilly. Then, as near as I can recall, the shotgunning began. Scout cut his lip on a popped-open shotgun can, and then Ritchie seemed to think he could do it better (and I have to concur that what he lacked in speed he made up for in not spilling as much – once he got it right), and then Phil and Shambles both had a turn. In all, a lot of beer was wasted. And it was at about this stage the fights started up.
I can’t remember who started it, I think it was Ritchie and Dirty who decided to have a little rumble. Shambles was refereeing, anyway, and the rest of us heckled from the sidelines. Then the Don and Ritchie had a go, and all was in good fun. Then we adjourned to the grass and Dirty and Shambles had a bit of a box, introducing the keep-it-between-the-neck-and-groin rule, and the two of them pummeled each other until they both had athsma attacks and a lie down. Then Ritchie tackled Richard ‘Richo’ Wilson, and they had a roll around until drunken agility won over against drunken strength – not before Jiggers copped a head-butt in the jatz crackers, which just goes to show that even being a spectator can be dangerous if everybody’s plastered. Finally, it came down to the Don and Dirty. And in all fairness, the Don was being a silly cu*t, and should have gone to bed long since. [My last conscious memory was lying in bed listening to The Don complain to Phil after leaving Reilly’s room where he had woken Reilly up for the third time with bagpipes drums and flicking light switches "What a surly humourless c*nt" said the Don. I knew then that the Don was heading for trouble…Ed] In fact, Scout pointed that out to him, but the Don kept talking about there only being two hits in a fight with the Don – the Don’s fist hitting your chin, and your ass hitting the ground.
Punches were swung. Dirty insists the Don got him a shiner on the nose which enraged him, and the Don protested loudly that Dirty was going closed-fist and if that was the way the wind blew then that was fine with the Don. Either way, Dirty walked away from it virtually unmarked, and the Don spent the whole of Sunday morning – and probably the rest of this week – wearing sunglasses to conceal a rip-snorter of a black eye.
Everyone went for a bit of quiet time after that. Dirty and I followed the sound of Phil’s laughter to one of the other huts, where the Don had decided to wake Peter and Phil up and show them his eye and rant about how much of a bastard Dirty was. Dirty sat in the corner and said, "Turn it up," every so often. After running off to Reilly’s hut at about two o’clock in the morning to wake him up again, and almost copping a matching set of shiners, the Don stormed off to bed, calling everyone cunts. After all was said and done, I am led to believe that only Ritchie vomited that night, which was a bit of a disappointment for a Band Camp, since there are normally at least three, and Ritchie is a notoriously difficult person to find while unloading (though I have to add, once found, he is remarkably easy to photograph). And, well, once it was made clear that we were no longer welcome in the Don’s hut, Dirty and I briefly entertained thoughts of going back to the esky, but went and passed out instead.
And that was it. The last two.
This might very well be my last Band Camp, and I’d have to say it was a mint one. Once again, a special hello to the Don, and also to Phil and Ritchie, none of whom have modems so they can’t read this Report, even though they’d probably want to. Also a special hello to Cam Alder, who, even though absent, bitched so much about my last Report he’s copping a special greeting this time. Well, that’s it, Campers. Till next time. I’m off to bed.