21 September, 2016 17:05
CLANCY OVERELL | Editor | CONTACT
The publican of the Betoota’s Diamantina Hotel, Keith Goddard says when a local councillor mentioned the idea of introducing pub lock-out laws to the main street of town, he nearly dragged the “suit-wearing politician” out the front of the C.W.A hall and flogged him in the street.
Luckily he didn’t do that, because it would have definitely not helped his cause.
Instead, Keith worked with the community to find a solution to the recent scourge of coward punching in the Outback town’s central business district.
“Mate, when they say ‘recent scourge of one punch deaths’ – what they mean to say is some bloke got punched for fucking around with the jukebox and then decided to get in his car with a concussion and a skinful of piss,” says the 68-year-old hospitality veteran who claims to have never coward-punched anyone outside of a rugby league pitch.
Local Charleville pub owner, Keith Goddard.
“He hit a bull on the way home, and now all of a sudden I’m accountable,”
“I’m not saying innocent people don’t get punched from behind, but they don’t in this part of the world. You’d get chased out of town for that kind of grubbiness”
Mr Goddard says the knee-jerk reaction posed by the remarkably detached white collar politicians and community members could have easily resulted in a restriction on opening hours.
“I knew a lock-out law would fuck this entire town. Especially me,”
“I was down in Sydney over Christmas and it made me to sick to think a town of seven million people had less going on than this place did,”
“We have a much smaller population and still seem to have more people in the streets after midnight,”
As an alternative, Mr Goddard proposed paving the entire street with rubber surfacing, in an attempt to limit further damage being caused to the brains of extremely drunk patrons who are felled by other extremely drunk patrons.
“Mate, it never happens inside the pub. It’s always out the front when I’m kicking them out. It was about working towards an alternative to stop these dickheads hurting one another on the street,”
“And then I remembered one night when a bloke got jabbed and landed on the rubber matting in front of the chute. He went headfirst into the bouncy surface that we roll the kegs on, next thing I know he was back on his feet punching holes through the grub that king hit him,”
And that’s when the idea came to him, a solution that plenty of other towns in the district are entertaining.
“I thought, that’s it!”
“I’ll pave the entire street in squishy rubber. That way these blokes can fuck around all they want until they are outside my duty of care,”
After garnering support from the local football clubs and eventually getting his plan signed off by council, Mr Goddard teamed up with a local playground equipment supplier and got to work.
“Well it’s been a year and no one has died so I reckon we are onto something. But coward punching doesn’t happen as much as these fucking prudes in the Christian lobby would have you believe,”
“Luckily God left this town a long while ago, so we were able to work towards a solution that didn’t involve crippling our tourism and nightlife. Nowadays when I see a bloke get dropped in a one-on-one… He’s straight back up and into ’em”
Goddard says that even though he had to pay for the repaving of the main street, he was happy to do it if it meant that his regulars and bank balance could remain safe.
“We even put a couple hopsquatch squares in there for them to fuck around on,”
“That, as well as a decorative alphabet to help them spell out there address for the cab drivers”
“I think Mike Baird needs to get a bit more practical. Killing an entire industry won’t stop this shit. It’s about getting them home safely,”
Hopscotch squares. Fucking classic.