ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
In a heartwarming turn of events, an ageing bar fly at a French Quarter watering hole was reportedly seen shedding tears of nostalgia as a young troublemaker was forcibly removed from the premises in a manner reminiscent of legendary Australian detective Roger Rogerson’s final moments as a free man.
Witnesses at the scene recounted the touching spectacle of 72-year-old Harold “Old Harry” Henderson, a fixture in the front bar of the Royal Commercial Railway Courthouse Hotel for the past three decades, as he clutched his beer mug with trembling hands and beamed with pride at the sight of the ruckus unfolding before him.
Young, sprightly Damian Davidson, aged 23, had apparently committed the heinous crime of being rowdy and slightly too boisterous in a place where refined conversation and decorum are the unspoken rules. The “RCRC” is renowned for its fine collection of cigarette burns, sticky floors, and a restroom door that’s been out of order since 1997.
As if taking cues from a textbook case of a rogue cop escorting a hardened criminal, two burly bouncers dressed in black leather jackets and sporting shaved heads grabbed the struggling Davidson by the arms. They marched him towards the exit while Old Harry watched with misty eyes, reminiscent of a grandfather recalling the glory days of his youth.
“Ah, it takes me back,” Harry reportedly mumbled to a fellow patron as he watched Damian’s feet barely graze the ground. “That’s how we used to do it back in the day, you know. None of this namby-pamby talking and warnings. If you caused a ruckus, you got marched out like a real man. If he’s lucky, they’ll take him into the park over the road and give him a hiding.”
Indeed, Harry’s heartwarming nostalgia seemed to stem from a time when the line between law enforcement and pub bouncers was often blurry, and a simple misdemeanor could result in a suspect being treated like a hardened criminal. Back in those days, a night out was incomplete without a bit of rough and tumble.
Davidson, the dashing young rapscallion who unwittingly became the star of this heartwarming tale, offered no comment on the matter. His only response was a series of indignant grunts as he was hoisted toward the door. The bridge of his nose slapped against the “Push” sign on the glass as he was forced out into the September heat.
It seems that the old ways are still very much alive in our town’s French Quarter, much to the delight of patrons like Old Harry.
As Damian was unceremoniously deposited on the sidewalk, joined a short time later by his Jetpilot flat cap, the pub’s clientele burst into spontaneous applause. Old Harry led the ovation, his eyes twinkling with pride as he remembered the good old days when being thrown out of a pub was a badge of honour.
In an era of increased sensitivity and concern for individual rights, it’s refreshing to see that some traditions never die. Old Harry and his compatriots at “RCRC” can rest easy, knowing that there will always be a place for nostalgia, rowdiness, and the spirit of Roger Rogerson in the heart of their beloved pub.
More to come.