Johnny is away on his honeymoon for the next three weeks so I’m in charge of the bar.
We had Johnny and Juliet’s amazing wedding last weekend. Juliet was the most beautiful bride, wearing her Grandmothers gown and Johnny scrubbed up well for the event.
200 people put on their glad rags and celebrated their civil union in Abberley Park and were then piped down the road by a local bag piper, to the Scottish Society Hall.
The day was incredible and went without a hitch. Highlights of the night were Greg and Tim’s massive party popper, which has been described as being like Tommy’s conception – 2 seconds of fun for a huge amount of work and the Wedding Cheese Cake – so much cheese.
This is Yuki. She is in my top ten favorite people in the world. When she got married I told her she was the most beautiful bride I had ever seen. She said: “Johnny, you’re drunk.” I stand by my statement, even though on the way home from the wedding I had to ask the bus driver to pull over so that I could vomit on Main North Road.
Yuki is old school. She was one of the first customers ever at Cartel and worked at Goodbye Blue Monday the whole time we were open. Since we opened Smash Palace, she has managed to bring some cleanliness and order to what is a fairly chaotic environment. When it’s busy she runs around the place which makes the rest of us work a little bit harder.
I have yet to see a bad side of Yuki. She is always nice. Kids love her. Old people love her. The consensus seems to be that she can do no wrong. A couple of times I have seen her upset and crying, and being the good soul that she is, this made me cry. I don’t want Yuki to be sad, I want her to share in that happiness that she gives to everyone else.
Skip to the Christmas season in Christchurch and a group of horrible middle-aged men with barrel chests, French cuffs and goaties heading out on the town. Imagine the type of guys that drink a lot and think it ridiculous that we would stop serving them when they are trashing the place and behaving like children(in my experience, NZ’s massive cultural drinking problem is not limited to teens). Yuki has to explain to them that we have liabilities with them even being on our site as drunk as they are and one of the fat fucks decides the Christmas season is a good time to get horrible and racist with our dear Yuki.
This upset me a lot, and while Yuki said it didn’t bother her, it bothered me. So Yuki, on behalf of all the good people in Christchurch, I’m sorry you have to put up with that from a prick who should know better. All we can hope is that he becomes part of the holiday road toll.
So to appease my guilt I have written a charming blog post and awarded Yuki the prestigious Smash Palace Employee of the Year Award. This means I will buy her a pack of smokes and a Bodgie Beer and sincerely apologize for the idiots that would dare to suggest that she is not welcome in this country that she has as much right to as anyone else.
Hapy Christmas Yuki. I hope you like your smokes and booze.
It’s only a few weeks ’til the Olympics, then once that is done we will be dangerously close to summer and we can hopefully make a buck. In the meantime we are working on getting the place sorted, warm and dry in an effort to survive the next few months.
We have received warning from the police that they are cracking down on liquor related trouble on Victoria Street.I know that we are not the bulk of the problem as our license finishes at 1am and that is before the real trouble begins, but I am aware that everyone on the street has been warned and we only have ourselves to blame if we get in trouble.
I know that we have made a habit of falling out with every form of authority in this town, but I take the cops warning seriously.Â I have no desire to get on the wrong side of the police or the liquor authorities. So, please be aware that if you are intoxicated you will not get inside Smash Palace. It doesn’t matter who you know, security has been instructed to crack down and ensure we are running a business where we are proud to let the cops in when they come by.
To demonstrate intoxication, here is a video of some drunk guy that none of us know…
If you haven’t already been down, you should check out the Brewery in Woolston. It’s great to have somewhere new to visit and nice to have anywhere to get intoxicated on the East Side of town. Tim is working there which means you can get that surly service that you all knew and loved at Goodbye Blue Monday.
So, if you’re wondering what to do this Saturday Night (July 23), come down and check out Von Klap, Undercurrents and DJ Big Gay Tony. I believe Von Klap are among the top seven bands performing in Christchurch this weekend, so make sure you pop down and check out what the lack of fuss is about.
I miss all the staff from the bar and the fun we had while pretending to work. I used to see Rosie a couple of times a week, now I see her monthly. This makes me sad…
Rosie has been my sister since I was eight. She came into the world early one morning on my parentsâ bed. She was an en-caul birth, which meant she was born in a mucusy wee sac. In the old days, sailors used to believe carrying one of these sacs would save you from drowning at sea.
She was pretty cool as a baby and Pam appreciated having children old enough to babysit. As a small kid, she was very cute (even with terrible eczema), and while the rest of us all hated one another until we were old enough to bond over booze in our twenties, we all loved Rosie to bits.
She’s grown up into a lovely young woman with a wicked sense of humour and since starting work at Addington Coffee Co-Op seems to have developed a work ethic she never had when she worked for me. She’s moved out of home, got a new boyfriend and started the process of growing up. This is hard, because to me she will always be about nine years old; that scratchy wee kid that I used to read bedtime stories to. I miss the way she used to look up to me and think everything I did was awesome (even when I was a horrible white-trash bogan). Isn’t it funny how the early relationships you have with people affect the way you interact throughout your lives?
When dad was in politics there used to be a rumour around town that Anna and I had a different mother than Tim and Rosie. I think if you look at Pam, Rosie and me, you can see three people swimming in a shared gene pool.
So, that’s my kid sister. I thought I’d better introduce you to her. People have been hassling me to write something, and I thought I’d introduce you all to the cast of characters that populate my life.
Hey Rosie. Get you nose out of Facebook you little skank and give me a call. It would be cool to hang sometime…
Since February, there has been a plus side to the whole disaster situation. I’ve been hanging out way more with Juliet, my old friends and my family.You see, I used to work most hours of most days and then I’d sleep my way through Sunday and “bang” it’s Monday and you’re back into it. Now I have a lot more time on my hands.
My nephew Tom is one of the most awesome blokes I know. His main interests are phoning Jock and motorcycles. Over the past few months I have been spending heaps of time with the little man.
At two years old he can already ride a push bike with trainer wheels and competently balance on the front of a motorbike at pace. In CYF related news, he has a scar on his head from where he split it open on the motorbike. In our defence, we did buy him a wee helmet after the accident and besides, he’s smashed his head open doing all sorts of much safer activities.
Today Tom and I hung out. We went to the cafe for a fluffy and a flat white, to the bike shop for a browse, dropped off a few things about town, looked up motorbikes on the Internet, went and looked at a building to see if we could make it into a bar and ate gingerbread men (actually Tom ate the lollies and icing off the thing, then pretended it was a cell phone and talked to Jock until his ear and hair were covered in the remaining chocolate).
The best game we came up with was driving at pace along earthquake damaged roads. Where you normally avoid pot-holes and Madras Street, in this game you head toward the hazards at full noise and shout “bump” as the old ute bounces about the place. Look at how stoked he is in his little jersey. Don’t you think he’s choice?
Tim and I have spent a lot of time together over the past few years. We worked together most days, fought about once a week, slapped one another in the face with wads of cash after especially busy nights and generally made each other laugh.
For the record I am the better table tennis player.
Now we live in seperate houses in different parts of town and are doing our own things. Tim is going to be working at the new Cassels and Sons brewpub and I’m going to become a painter like Tony de Lautour/Mark Gore.
For those of you that miss him too and want to come to a nice, family friendly event and see Tim in his daytime guise, I will see you down at New Brighton library on Sunday evening.
Tim will be playing with Handsome Marlon and Lawrence Arabia for the launch of New Zealand Music Month in Christchurch. The event runs from 5.30-7.30.
It is with much sadness that I wish to announce that Goodbye Blue Monday is over. It is strange that something that I put my heart-and-soul into over two years has suddenly ceased to be. I think the building is still there – standing sadly with rain getting in and ruining those toilet walls I fought to keep clean and graffiti free – but the business is buggered.
And so, I think of the things that I loved most about the place. The bands and all the amazing music that was performed on that little stage, the back wall and the relentless labour of changing it every month, the monthly posters as they came in from different artists, Motorbike Night, Monday Debates, life drawing in a bar, table tennis, the pie-cart finally running, the Buzzcocks playing pissed at our piano after we locked the doors one night…
We created something that didn’t exist before we made it and now its over. We have started talking about Goodbye Blue Monday in the past tense.
It’s hard to pin down what it was that I loved the most? But the one thing that really made that place my favourite bar in the world was the people. It was the staff and my family working together on this madcap bar that liked to think it was different from anything else around.
When we opened, sometimes on a Monday Tim and I would be the only people in the place. Then slowly, over time, people began to visit. Then more regularly. Until the place was steadily popular. Sometimes, I looked about the crowd on a packed Saturday night and would know almost everybody in the place. And this was something I loved. We created a place that people chose to visit time and time again. And it was those people who showed up and sat on the couches and talked shit with Tim and I that made it special.
So, thank you to all of you that supported us. You know who you are. We like to think there were good times had at that pub. I hope you all had fun. We did.
I don’t know what we are all doing next. I will keep you all up-to-date.
Greg came into our family through marrying my sister Anna.
The Moore family can be a bit overbearing for some boyfriends/girlfriends with all their scat-talk andÂ insistence on playing the “rate the order you would have a bath with the members of your/our family” game. But we couldn’t phase Greg or gross him out one bit. In fact, he reckoned he realised he truly loved Anna one night when he rolled her over in her sleep to check she hadn’t shit herself. Pleasingly it was only a fart and Greg had a great story to tell us at the dinner table.
Greg has spent a lot of time working with older men and uses old-fashioned similes like “Steep as a hen’s face,” and “he’s all cock and ribs like a cocky’s sheepdog”. His time with old men has, however, given him excellent mechanical training. With his short, sausage-like fingers he can turn his hand to anything mechanical.
It is his mechanical skill that I am most in awe of; his ability to think through a mechanical problem that he has not necessarily encountered before.
Greg works fucking hard. He drives to Ashburton every day so that he can feed and house my sister and the kids. In my eyes, he’s a bit of a saint. But I suppose there’s still plenty of time for him to start hitting Anna and the kids.
On Thursday nights he comes into the bar on his own time and fixes motorbikes. He’s worked so hard on the Matchless that if I die he gets to own it (so long as he stays married to Anna).
He’ll be down tonight after he’s had dinner at Warrington St. Make sure to wish him “happy birthday” and buy him a beer. I reckon he deserves one for being such a bloody good bloke.