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Stepping out of his new office on Betoota’s leafy Upper West Side, Connor Wales thought he’d be having a few easy schoons of his favourite local bitter while he caught up with mates over a bit of healthy conversation

He even came straight from work with his laptop bag slung over his right shoulder, with all intention to head home to the misso and go to dinner, as planned.

“If I know I’m going to get sideways, like old-fashioned 18-year-old blind, I’d leave my computer at home and put on a pair of fucked jeans and a drinking shirt,” he said.

“A drinking shirt is a shirt you’ve fucked on the turps. A step up from something you’d toss in the rag bin. Anyway, needless to say I was wearing my best kit last night when we got on the rums.”

Last night, around an hour or two before The Betoota Hotel called last drinks, the 28-year-old’s mate came back from the bar with a big grin and a tray of rums.

“Hook in boys, here for a good time not a long time,” said friend Tim Dearden.

“They don’t miss you in this cunt of a pub, you know how much they charge for rums these days? Fucking near $5 – it’s enough to make to cry, it is. Cry with the rum rage.”

After a number of well-poured tumblers of the sugarcane champagne, there was talk of possibly heading to a nearby house-party-turned-book-burning – but there was a mutual agreement that they weren’t really in the mood to burn literature.

“I had stuff to do today and I’ve already burnt all my copies of Cloudstreet so there’s that.” said Wales.

More to come.


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