Plus, I like being driven around the country to an appropriate soundtrack, staying in country pubs, and laughing myself a new arsehole.
A couple of weekends ago, it was time to revisit Quandialla, home of old uni mate Cuzza and her new family, one third of which was merely gestating last time we visited, but by now was, apparently, no longer in utero or kicking her in the bladder. My Mate Milly and I packed up some clothes, music and beer money and settled our delightful buttocks into bucket seats for a jaunt through the rolling hills and less-rolling plains in the west of our state.
If I was David Caruso, now would be the time to say: "And this…" (cock head, put sunglasses on), "… is our story".
Wait - maybe I just mean 'cockhead'. Whatever.
Milly picked me up in St Leonards on Friday afternoon, and we drove into the sunset, panicking about what music to play first until we realised that, by the time we got back to Sydney, we would have listened to each CD around eighteen times. The White Stripes won pole position, as it's possible to drive, unwrap a Mintie, knit and mime Meg's uncomplicated drum "solos" all at the same time. I didn't unwrap any Minties or knit, but I did think about my doorbell a little bit.
First stop was Blaxland McDonalds for a toilet break and some processed foodstuffs. The first rule of Road Trips is: You Do Not Eat Salad On Road Trips. Blaxland McDonalds was notable for two reasons:
1. Milly and I were wolf-whistled at in the carpark. The last time I was wolf-whistled at in a McDonalds carpark, I think they were serving Pat Benatar-themed Happy Meals.
2. Someone had vandalised the sign on the door leading to the toilets, so instead of "PUSH", it just read "PU". Irony kind of follows me around.
After a quick stop for petrol in Lithgow and a couple of hours playing Let'sch Pretend We Have A Schpeech Impediment, we eventually arrived in Bathurst and made our way to our old friend, The Knickerbocker Hotel. After a year and a half, their rooms are still sixty dollars per night, with your own bathroom, telly, bar fridge, tea, coffee and cooked eggs-and-bakey in the morning. Sterling value, my friends. Sterling, I say. Unfortunately I didn't have the means available (read: studly young man-friend) to test the bed in the traditional sense, so I settled for the only method at my disposal:
After settling in, we wandered down the road to Shanahans Family Hotel, or "The Family" as it's commonly known, remembering that the place was heaving with friendly artsy types on our last visit.
"Look out," said Milly, squinting towards a bunch of people on the pub's verandah. "Looks like the cops are here".
"No…" I replied. "…I think that's just a guy in a blue shirt…"
"So it is" said Milly, heading for the bar.
The crowd at The Family was a little less friendly and age-appropriate than the last time we were here, but still pleasant enough, and a sterling example of why a number of local high school students may not be passing their exams this year. We got chatting to the only other two people in the pub who weren't minors, and discovered that they were, in fact, miners. Irony kind of follows me around. They were also motorcycle enthusiasts and habitual mumblers, so we gathered that one of them was called "Rod" and the other one was called something else. After an acceptable number of beers and an unacceptable number of words consisting primarily of vowels, Milly and I called it a night and headed back up to the Pub Named After Pants.
Hanging back in Milly's room, we busied ourselves with three things:
1. The Bible Game. Hotel rooms still have a Bible in the top drawer of every bedside table, and opening the bible at any page and reading out a randomly-chosen passage whilst pretending to have a speech impediment is a reasonably amusing pastime for Girls Who Are Full Of Beer.
2. Cups of Tea. Because we're grownups, and it was free.
3. A Spot of Telly. A confusing 70s war movie wasn't anywhere near as fascinating as the SEVEN racy smut-hotline advertisements shown in every ad-break. Like, seven in a row. I can just imagine a guy dialling enthusiastically after seeing the first one, then hesitating, confused, wondering which phone number will guarantee him the best stiffy.
Once I'd had my fill of gospel, tea and smut, I headed back to my own room and nestled into bed, dreaming of the following day's adventures. And bacon and eggs. But mostly bacon.