The White Horse Inn was rough, but the pub across the road from it was much worse, it belonged to a bikie gang who sold raffle tickets at the bar for bags of dope. The barmaids drew the raffles and the winner was expected to roll and hand out joints at the bar. Across the road from that was the court house and police station but they never dared come in this pub. Apparently they tried once…. (the stuff of legend)
I don’t really know why the bikies put up with us teenagers being in there with them but we basically kept our heads low and just our drank beers. I don’t remember to many bad situations happening in there but there were a few, like….
I'd been out drinking all night at various hotels and fancied a pizza on the way home so I had the taxi drop me at the pub across the road from the White Horse. I ordered my pizza and somehow…I really don’t know how but I got into a drinking competition with some old bloke. He sculled his straight double shot of Whiskey so I sculled my straight Vodka…. it went on like this for 5 or 6 shots. Remember I'd already been drinking all evening and it was well after midnight by now. I thought I'd won when he covered his glass with his hand and said he'd had enough…that’s how stupid I was.
Eventually I decided to go to the counter to complain about waiting for so long for my pizza, I felt fine…right up until my feet hit the floor. I very nearly kept going face first into the floor but managed to stumble to the counter only to find they'd been calling me for ages. With my pizza under my arm and very, very worse for wear I made it outside. The cold air hit me and I felt like I was not going to make it across the road to my room so I headed off as quickly as I could.
I was vaguely aware of a bunch of guys pushing each other back and forth but since I was unable to step down and back up the gutter to go around them I stumbled on through the mayhem. A couple of guys ran into me and I hit the wall, stumbled on to be hit again and again. I kept my head down and just kept walking.
Ive no idea how long it took me to get across the road, I don’t remember even crossing it but I eventually came to an insurmountable obstacle…the stairs. I tried walking up…it just couldn’t be done so I put the pizza up a few steps and crawled up; moved the pizza up a few and crawled up those. I must have been about half way up when my mates at the top stopped laughing and came down to get me, or so I thought.
They picked up the pizza and returned to the top of the stairs to watch me crawl up on all fours. By the time I got to the top the pizza was all gone…not that I could have eaten any of it in the condition I was in.
The next morning saw me very sick and unable to remember much of what happened the day before. I felt bad…and that was made worse when I found out the fight I'd walked through was way worse than I'd imagined, two blokes were hospitalized and one guy was killed…beaten to death. (apparently by the bikers who owned the pub but no one was talking)
Frankly that scared the hell out of me and it was the starting point of me changing my ways forever. I never got that drunk again, I stopped partying all night and I decided most of my mates were no mates at all. It was about here that I met Red….