So I’d down at the Waterloo this afternoon having bumped to my old school mate Nina, and we’re chatting about this and that and reminiscing about the Miss Valleys pageant and school and all those wild nights we used to have when Nina had that crackerjack apartment up next to the St Pauls Tavern at Spring Hill, and then the conversation naturally turned to that Sunday arvo way back in the early 90’s year when we bowled into the Sonia Dada concert in the car park of the Brekky Creek hotel on the back end of the night on the Arthur Hoey before with only moths in our pocket and somehow drank piss all day and all night too and ended up waking up one Monday morning on a couch in some strangers flash unit at Hamilton.

Well Nina did anyway. I was actually snoozing happily next to a naked brunette and dreaming about a few hours before until the unhappy couch surfer poured a jug of iced water over my head and hissed “Get out of bed you sl*t, we have to be at work in 25 minutes” (we were working together at the Brisbane City Council call centre at that stage; so were former ARU head John O’Neill’s son, the Branch Stacker, a bird whose Dad used to be a cop but got done in Fitzgerald, an actress, 2 singers, a former bookie and the first girl I shagged at Aspley High, missionary style, which was ironic given that she was now the one on top as my boss).

I remember copping it through the furry fog of my hangover all the way to work about picking up birds when I was supposed to be out looking after her, and how I was a bad influence who had led her (Miss Valleys 1984) astray by scoring those happy Sonny Bills for free and forcing her to snatch one out of my hand and neck it, and how she couldn’t sleep because of all that noise me and the brunette were making and blah blah blah.


Nina got beat a nose for the Miss Brisbane Junior Rugby League title but it was no disgrace to run second to a 1984 vintage Joanne Venamore, or to my team-mate, half-back and captain at Aspley High Dan ‘the Man’ Greasley’s childhood sweetheart and missus still Letisha Johnson, don’t you worry about that. I went to school with both of them, at different schools. But nowhere else to my eternal chagrin. Still, a man came dream. 

“It was the bird not me!” I protested. Well not really, cos I was too hungover to speak, but I was thinking it, just like I was thinking that perhaps it might have been the Sonny’s not the groans and moans of pleasure coming from my one-night love shack that may have been keeping Nina awake, and that fatigue was not the cause of her ill temper at all because the 3rd Sonny Bill has mysteriously disappeared from the coffee table somewhere in between me waking up in Arctic and getting out of the shower, and there were only 3 people in the flat and the brunette hadn’t stirred an inch, which was no wonder because the poor young thing was totally and utterly rooted.

Nah I thought to myself, Nina was just jealous. Who could blame her?

Thirty years later I decided to put the theory to her and see if after 3 decades she’s cough.

“You were bloody jealous of that brunette bird who slept with a big smile on her face weren’t you Nina? C’mon luv, after all these years you can tell old Archie the real lay of the land. It’s alright, the Bible says that the truth will set you free”.

There weren’t any bibles nearby, which was lucky, but a rolled up copy of the Saturday Brewery Snail (Courier-Mail) still hurts like buggery and leaves a hell of an egg let me tell you, especially when wielded by a near-menopausal once-young honey from Chermside who’s shagged every and any bloke she’s ever wanted in her life except one, the bloke sitting opposite her this arvo at the Waterloo who she’d once – while blind on cheap happy hour cocktails from Fridays – made the fatally forever frustrating mistake of boasted to that she’d never been knocked back by a bloke in her life.

“Do you remember what you told me that night when you drank the whole cocktail list at Fridays twice” I asked in  faux innocent voice whilst taking two steps backward to put myself out of rolled up Brewery Snail Range, breaking into a laugh at almost the precise moment her girlfriend, who caught up in my devilment I’d bloody forgotten was even there, stuck out her foot and bloody tripped me.

The next few seconds were a blur of Bruce Lee-like kung-fu sound effects – Whaaaaaa! – and blows and a pair of birds laughing their bloody heads off until I banged the mat like the beaten boaster I was and my torment was over. Almost. There was just one more sledge to come, but just as she did back when Kenny and Cronin were playing in the centres for Parramatta the filly from Chermside f*cked up again.

“How the hell could anyone in this world or the next stay married to you for 5 minutes Archie, let alone 21 bloody years. Has Maggie been in a long-term coma or something? She’d have to be, that or doing life in the can anyway. It’s just not possible that any woman could cope with your carrying on and carousing for that long. Is Maggie just made up or something? Did you just find her picture on the internet and in some type of delusional fantasy call her your own?”

“No I did not!” I indignantly proclaimed as I picked myself up off the floor and checked ran my hand around my head to check if I was bleeding. “Maggie’s as real as Madrid, and more beautiful than Barcelona, and sexier than Seville”.

“There’s a very simple secret to the success of our marriage”

“Oh yeah” says Nina, who’s known me long enough to think she knows when I’m trying to pull one ever to save face, and she usually does too. But not this time. “What is it Bunger Boy? What’s this magic secret?”

I could tell by the look on her dial that Miss Valleys 1984 was never going to believe me no matter what I told her, even if it was the truth so I grabbed my dog and bone, told it “Dial SOAS (it stands for sex on a stick)”, whacked it on speaker and it rang twice before a voice that makes my heart skip answered with an ever-present smile.

“Hello sexy. You calling to talk dirty?”

“Not right now hot stuff, I’m at the Waterloo and you’re on speaker and there are people around”

“All the better” she said and I swear was about to launch into her Linda Lovelace in Deep Throat routine” but I cut her off before she you swing into character.

“No time dude. The Cox Plate’s about to jump. One quick question. What’s the secret to our the success of our marriage?”

“Why that’s easy” she said in a Marilyn Monroe whisper.

“A turkey slap a day keeps the extra-marital affairs at bay”.

Maggie hung up.

I winked at Nina and her mate.

Winx won the Plate.

And Maggie will be home in five minutes.