Newcastle is known for a lot of things. Our tiny little Universe has some of the best beaches in the world, a super quirky and hardworking collective of wonderful people but… we’re also apparently, a solution. The Newcastle solution in fact. It’s now going on almost a decade since the lockout laws came into effect and no matter what side of the fence you sit in the debate, surely it has to be time for a review. I’ve never been one for numbers or stats, so I tend to take the reports relating to the lockout laws containing them, with a grain of salt. Because the only people who know what really happens when the clock strikes 1:30am, or even between the hours of 1:30 and 3:00am (or 3:30 in some cases). So, here are the top 5 (not so awesome) things that happen at 1:30am in Newcastle on a Saturday night.
I haven’t actually seen Fight Club, but after living here for what, 22 years or so I really don’t think I have to. Every single fight I have seen in town lately has taken place right when the lockouts kick in. Tempers are high, vast groups of people are congregating in the one spot, milling about not really knowing where to go and what to do. It happens because someone was late, or someone missed the cutoff, or someone was just that little bit too drunk and got kicked out right before 1:30am. When someone gets kicked out, all it takes is for one tiny little temper to flare, one mental slip from a security guard, one idiot move from one club goer and suddenly you’re hearing that familiar school yard chant. One in all in right? Which leads me to my next point…
Westside Story Reenactments
I feel like 1:30am is when tensions are at their peak. And this isn’t even a gender thing either, I’ve seen girls throw down just as much as the boys can the night of the grand final. It’s about groups of people congregating in one spot, not really knowing what to do, pissed, and pissed and looking to drain out that last little bit of pent up frustration and aggression that’s hiding in their bones. It might be seeing an ex for the first time that starts it, or that one girl in High School who made your life a living hell, or that guy who hooked up with your girlfriend last week. Regardless of the cause, I’ve seen groups of people, piling out of clubs on a Saturday night, only to have at it Westside Story style in the middle of the street.
Vomiting, and then crying, and then more vomiting
So much vomiting, so much crying, which is probably why y’all got kicked out in the first place. Also boys cry when they vomit too. Probably even more so. 1:30 just seems like the prime time for your body to do that crossed arms emoji to all the alcohol you just ingested over the last 6 hours or so and make like an abstract artist and spray it all over the pavement. A work of art to some, especially if you chose to down that bottle of green sour monkey you had lying around in the back of your parents cupboard before you left the house.
The great kebab scramble
It’s 1:30am, your best mate just got kicked out so of course, you followed, and now all you want is food. Mostly because it’s a $150 fine if you vomit in an uber (FUN FACT RIGHT) and all that dancing and booty shaking has left you ravenous. Whether you’re on Hunter Street or Beaumont Street, Kebabs will always and forever be the best-drunk food ever. There’s just something so nostalgic about getting a kebab after a night out. It’s also the one place where the most drama happens. Simply because we live in the smallest big city in the world, you can’t leave the house without running into someone, and that someone is usually someone you don’t want to run into especially at 1:30am when your mascara is running and you look like you’ve been swimming in a sea of your own sweat.
Uber forever Taxi Cab never (until you can’t get an Uber or the surge pricing makes you cry)
You just cracked your screen, I heard it smash on the bathroom floor of the lass and you weren’t mad about it. In fact you almost bragged about just how little you care about your screen being cracked. My heart broke for you, shattered in tiny little pieces just like the glass of that phone you refuse to put a case on because #aesthetic. But now you’re standing on the street, trying ever desperately to work out exactly how much the surge pricing is for the uber you’re so desperately trying to order. You pick the wrong location, the uber driving is trying to call you and sends you vaguely friendly yet slightly passive aggressive messages trying to work out where you are. You see it then, on the horizon. The late model Toyota which looks like it belongs to a divorced father of three. He takes the long way home, the way he says avoids all the traffic, at 1:30 am the streets are packed. But upon arriving at your doorstep you realise you just paid $67 dollars to get from Wickham to the East End and you just have to stand there and accept your fate, and try not to cut your fingers on the glass as you fire off an angry tweet to uber which you will never follow through.
1:30 is awesome right? Article aside, I think maybe it is time to reconsider the lockout laws, even things up a bit. Take time back into our own hands for a teeny tiny second. Disperse the masses and reclaim the 1:30am time slot. I am so about that life.