The OBH: a drunken rodeo of cashed-up cowboys, school boarders, backpackers and loose units that have been denied entry to the Cottesloe Hotel down the road. A venue that has inexplicably served as a giant flame that attracts the loosest-moths to congregate and clumsily bump into one another while desperately trying to get their piece of the glowing promise of a fair dinkum time followed by a punch-up and a “root”. Ring, ring, Kalgoorlie called, they want their Pub back.
Rooster has just finished a 3-month stint in the Pilbara mustering cattle or some shit. His Holden ute has the complete “Deni Muster” kit: the roof has several large floodlights, front and back mudflaps, obnoxiously large roo-bar, two massive antennas and a galaxy of stickers plastered all over the back and bonnet of his car. His proudest stickers are the large Bundaberg Rum logo on his bonnet and the Brahman Bull on the back window. “Ain’t Nothing like a Country Crowd”. Let us not understate this: Rooster fucking loves this thing. We don’t want to cast aspersions on his character, but let’s just say his exhaust pipe has spent a few nights up in old Brokeback’s Shack if you know what we mean.
Rooster pulls up in his Ute/lover at exactly midday on a lazy Sunday in Perth. He steps out of his car, dressed as you would imagine he would: shin-high leather booths, R.M Williams Jeans and flanno combination, a large Brahman Bull belt buckle and his “lucky” Akubra. “Fingered me first Swedish fruit-picker at a B&S Ball in me Akubra”. Rooster sits at the bar and starts demolishing pints of cheap domestic beer while making simple-minded country banter with the pretty English bar-chick, “don’t get sheilas as nice as you up in the station, unless you count me horse Betty”: um, thanks?
He swivels on his barstool, tips his hat up and surveys the crowd: a group of tough guys in motorcycle vests are wearing their Oakleys inside, a group of backpackers are being bored to death by some English cunts never-ending stories, a couple of crusty old men are grasping TAB stubs with gritted teeth and a voidness of dreams and finally there is a group of golden triangle kids who like to come to the Obi to rough it: “you fucking be-aut-yyyyy”, Rooster says to no one in particular. Rooster is now hammered and needs to “drain his lizard” and makes his way to the “dunny”. While taking a slash, an overly aggressive OBH bouncer is in the bathroom checking out his muscles in his tight black shirt. “Fair squeeze mate, that’s dead set turkey behaviour ya galah”.
The bouncer got into this game for one reason: to fight, and Rooster’s strange comments have angered him in ways that his own steroid-riddled brain struggles to comprehend. “Tough guy ay?” Rooster is evenly matched. He grew up on a farm where one of the only things to do was to punch and get punched in the face. The men exchange blows in the toilet to the sounds of grunting and yahoo’ing. Rooster is having way too much fun.
A couple of ex-Aquinas College boarders enter the shitter and recognise Rooster from their towns annual sister-swap. “Cool down ya tractor cobber, let’s go have a punt on the dogs”. There’s a couple of birds from Marble Bar who has challenged us to a pint skolling contest too. “You fuckingggg beeee-uaaaaaatttt-yyyyy”.
Rooster sits at the OBH’s TAB and blows $2k betting on the greyhounds. “She’ll be right”. It may sound like a heavy blow, but in reality, all Rooster needs in this world is his disgusting ute and the occasional punch-on in a male bathroom. You are, I am, we are Australians.