Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bad Shout Blokes

In a previous post we looked in depth at arguably the most sacred of Australian beer institutions, The Shout. Today we examine this ritual in a little more depth and focus on what can go wrong when the wrong people are included in The Shout.

There are varying theories as to how The Shout came to be so called but I tend to lean towards the story that the tradition was founded on the Victorian goldfields in the 1850’s. A lucky digger would have a large amount of gold turned into cash and then, in order to enlist the help of his mates to ‘knock down his pile’ would walk into the street and ‘shout’ for assistance. Presumably this call was heeded with neither dilly, nor dally and in no time at all the miner and his mates would be at the bar toasting the successful dig.

I can only guess that this generosity was a product of both the camaraderie of the diggers and of the fact that a generous ‘good bloke’ was worth protecting from unscrupulous thieves and other assorted blackguards. I expect that the favour would be reciprocated should another member of The Shout strike it rich.

Sadly the spirit of these old blackguards is alive to this day in the form of various bludgers, baulkers and assorted bastards. Here they are. Learn to identify them, and learn to do it early as the can ruin a perfectly good Shout if not detected quickly. Devise and administer your own form of summary justice as The Shout sees fit.

“Percy Piker”

A piker is one who works slyly and steadfastly to ensure that he never has to shout. He is either low on funds or high on a reluctance to let the moths out of his wallet. Percy is the sort of bloke who does have the money, but it is sitting in a desk drawer at home. He will cry poor when his number is up, or he will ask to ‘bot a lobster’ (borrow a twenty). Make sure you give the twenty a kiss and bit of advice for the future as this is the very last time you will see it again. Take the same approach with Percy if at all possible.

“Barry Bullshit”

Unlike Percy Piker, who is likely to sit quietly like a lizard camouflaged to avoid detection, Barry will be one of the loudest blokes in the Shout. He will talk constant bullshit, pausing only to take breath and drink his beer. This bluster is designed to deflect the attention of the other members of The Shout so that even the most diligent observer will be fooled when Barry is prompted to shout and replies; “I already had my shout three rounds back, are you calling me a liar you little prick?” Not wishing to kill the mood – and because Barry is a big mongrel and may wish to kill you, the shout passes to next bloke. Beware of Barry.

“Tommy Two Group”

Tommy is one of the most feared members of The Shout. He must also be very carefully monitored because he is a ‘double dipper’. Tommy is the bloke who joins your Shout and, after a round or two, but before his, he spots another group of his mates in another part of the bar. He excuses himself for a minute – usually just before his shout, and hooks up with his other mates. He then joins in their Shout and plays ‘keepings off’ with his turn to shout between two Shouts. Earning shouts from both groups while cleverly avoiding his own, Tommy gives his ‘mates’ two reasons to give him the flick.

“Professor Pisshead”

This bloke is a straightforward danger to the other members of The Shout as he will be back from the bar with the next round before you’ve had the chance to knock the froth off the last pot. Drinking quickly and often keeping the pace cracking by ‘Shouting out of turn’ he will turn a nice quiet blokey get together into a full bore lager frenzy. He may buy a couple of extra pots – ‘just in case’- or he might ‘upsize’ by buying a jug or two instead of three pots. A good bloke to have around if you are short on cash, (so, what are you doing at the pub in the first place? Hmm?) but a liability if you have to drive home or operate heavy machinery within the next eight to ten days.

There are a couple of other bludgers who fit loosely into elements of the above as well as bringing various other dastardly traits to the drinking table and the lesson is simple. The Shout works because it is rooted in a deep and almost religious tradition of honesty and mateship. It survives because it is a great way in which to say to your mates that you enjoy their company and value their friendship without it getting all poofy and having to touch each others’ bottoms.

And just as there will always be real blokes with the true integrity to uphold the vows of The Shout, so too will there be enemies of The Shout. They must be stopped and their evil ways exposed and held up to public ridicule and scorn. Hopefully this handy guide will serve to assist you in the identification of these bastards. Good Luck and good drinking.

Prof. Pilsner


Tim said...

You missed the beer Judas.
This is the guy who willingly enters the shout but cannot keep pace. He then refuses to go to the bar while everyone is waiting as he has two or three beers parked up in front of him.

Beer Blokes said...

In our Shout, you don't get two or three beers parked! Keep up or keep out! We will not buy beers so that they may go flat and warm. We would drink in English Pubs if that was the case.

Just kidding.

Prof. Pilsner

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