Bourke Street 1am


Josh and Catherine, with silly hats numbers 1 and 2.

[Iris and I]
Iris and I, with Josh’s silly hat number 3.

[Busker, Iris and Daniel]
Bourke Street, 1am – for our small change, we got a personalised song

To celebrate the tenth birthday of the Toxic Custard mailing list, on Friday night there was a bit of a get together organised at a pub in the city. My girlfriend Iris and I went along, and so did a few friends, which was just as well, as precious few others turned up.

But no matter, because we all had a terrific time – plenty of drinks, good (if not particularly intellectual as the drinks took effect) conversation, pool, watching some ambulance guys peeling someone off the pavement across the street… And most valuable of all, my mate Josh’s silly hats, which proved to provide much merriment. In fact, I had scorned Josh at the start of the evening for bringing silly hats, but they proved to be a stroke of genius.

Happy reader Erin admitted to having spent seven years of her life reading Toxic Custard, and we were all so sympathetic that we let her beat everybody at pool. Then she insisted that somewhere on Bourke or Collins Streets there was a busker who had a guitar signed by Nick Cave, who would sing us a personalised song, so we staggered down Swanston Street to find him. Along the way we collected some bloke called Matt who was trying to find his way to Coburg, after having successfully losing his company car in the Colonial Stadium carpark.

We found the busker in question in Bourke Street, and sure enough in exchange for a few silver coins and a couple of Matt’s cigarettes he ended up singing Iris and I a song, though we didn’t have the heart to tell him he was consistently mispronouncing Iris (it’s Hebrew and is pronounced something approaching "ear- iss" – I think this was explained to him but he didn’t quite hear it right).

After this great late night pavement performance, it was about 1am and most of us (except Erin, who curiously had probably drunk the most) were a bit shattered, so we headed down to Flinders Street to find a cab, but decided to avoid the taxi queue by catching the last St Kilda tram some of the way, a strategy which worked quite well.


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