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Ah, the local pub in Cervantes. Funny things happen in the country, not least of which are some of the methods publicans use to entice people to drink in the pub, a slightly unnecessary thing to do seeing as there's hardly any choice anyway. Andreas and I were sitting at the bar minding our own business, and he nudged me and said, 'Hey, check it out! There's a girl getting changed in the room behind the bar, but I don't think she knows we can all see her. How embarrassing!'
And sure enough, there was this blonde getting changed in the bar office, stripped down to her underwear, completely oblivious to those of us at the bar who could see everything – though, of course, being gentlemen we didn't look. Much.
We were more than a little surprised, then, when she sauntered out into the bar wearing nothing but a two-piece. Andreas was as speechless as me, not that we were complaining; it's just that you don't expect the bar staff to strip off halfway through the afternoon. The attitude of our fellow drinkers was perhaps the most surprising; they didn't bat an eyelid between them. She could have jumped up on the bar, smothered herself in whipped cream and done strange things with a banana, and the old gits sitting and staring at the results of the 4.15 handicap from Fremantle would have probably just asked her to move out of the way. Country folk, I don't know...
So, obviously ignored by all and sundry, she started to make polite conversation with Andreas and me. She was from Tasmania, she said, but I can't remember what else she talked about. We found it rather hard to have a conversation with twin zeppelins homing into view behind the beer taps, so after another swift beer we beat a hasty retreat back to the camp.
Back at camp we met some other campers, a young couple who were heading south back to Perth, and it wasn't long before we all went back to the pub for a drink. The Tasmanian barmaid was still there, and still in her summer gear, but the plan had obviously worked. The pub was packed with leery old men, sex-starved young bucks and tarty girls, obviously the sort of clientele a scantily clad barmaid attracts. It's funny how sex sells the one thing that makes it droop...