ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
IN THE DAYS BEFORE PUBLICAN Artie Harper climbed up on his high horse, the only thing in his run-down-by-homely-inner-city watering hole that was even close to 80 clams was a warm magnum of Chandon that you’d be lucky to get an ice bucket for.
Known to locals as being a tough, but fair publican, the 68-year-old former prison guard never seemed to have a problem profiteering of the vulnerable until a tragic minor stroke earlier this year.
Mr Harper explained to The Advocate that he believed his cerebral haemorrhage was caused by karma, as the life he led as a pokie-owning publican was seldom spiritually pure.
“When I was lying there in the Mater, I thought to myself: ‘Fuck me, Jesus. If you and your fucking dad are listening, if you get me out of this place, I’ll take all the pokies out of my pub and throw them all in the Brown Snake.’ Next thing I know, the left side of my face tightens back up and I’m fucking cured. It was a miracle.” he explained.
So over the weekend, Harper and a few of his most trusted barkeeps pulled up midway along the River Capital’s Victoria Bridge to cast eleven pokie machines into the freshwater depths of the Brisbane River.
Hotel manager Walter Crumlow revealed that Artie kissed his beloved Pelican Pete machine and shed a tear before pushing it off the bridge and onto the roof of the 4:20 CityCat from North Quay Wharf, severely injuring a crew member.
However, that’s left Mr Harper with a problem.
“How was I going to pay for things now that I don’t have any pokies?”
“Even on a quiet night, they’d more than cover my casual hours. Now what?” asked Artie.
“The only solution was to make a few adjustments elsewhere. If I was going to wanker the place up by throwing the pokies in the creek, I might as well charge something wankers are prepared to pay,”
“I tell them it’s Brahman hump. Little do these inner-city goons know that there’s fucking millions of humping fucking things around Northern Australia. The hump is cheaper than the rump. I’ll be building my own Skyneedle by next Christmas.”