As the Winter football codes begin to fire up, and the sun re-emerges from behind the storm clouds that have battered the east coast for months, Australians are returning to the pubs in droves to celebrate their newfound lease on life.

And after a years of relentless bushfires, pandemic strains, lockdowns, floods and global conflict – the general pub etiquette that has developed across Australia rules that it is absolutely innapropriate to bring up depressing news stories while everyone is trying to enjoy themselves over a few jars.

Especially with the very real threat of lockdowns returning with a new strain on the covid.

However, some it seems some people aren’t ready to leave the apocalyptic mindset drilled into us by two years of daily case number announcements and oppressive public health restrictions.

One bloke that seems to have missed the memo is local tax accountant Barney Blacklock (30) who doesn’t seem to realise how antisocial it is to talk about that awful moment in history back up.

“You boys see the case numbers in South Korea?” he asks his table of mates, during a peaceful lull in conversation at the pub this afternoon.

“650,000 new positives. Looks like they are going back in”

Everyone within earshot immediately shoots him death stares, including a random glassie and complete strangers from tables surrounding his.

His mate Dizza (34, security) steps up to give him the verbal slap he needs.

“What the fuck did you just say?” asks Dizza.

“Did you just bring the covid-19 case numbers of an east Asian country that none of us have ever been to or care about?”

Barney shrugs, but it does little to snuff out the flicker of rage in Dizza’s eyes.

“That’s completely out of line mate. I couldn’t give a fuck about South Korea. I couldn’t give a fuck about Sydney”

“I couldn’t even give a fuck about the case numbers inside this pub right now. I’m hear to sink piss and talk shit. What you are trying to bring to the table is not conducive to that”

Barney sneers, as if to give a big “Well so-rrryy” – but no one is coming to his defence.

“He’s right Barney, shut the fuck up” says his own brother, Ken.

“Let us relish in this brief window of cold schooners and packed pubs”

“Just fuck up and watch 160 minutes of rugby league like the rest of us”


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