AFL Round 18 – Review: A bloke walked into a Sydney bar…

Ever seen the bar stopped. JTH has seen beauty do it. And while at the Royal Exhibition Hotel in Sydney on Saturday he was part of a textbook example of it.


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About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Great story Harmsy just as good in print as you telling it on , Sunday it wax great to meet some members of the Knackery with the Ad Uni FC Greys and Almanac lunch and would love to meet some more re our Melb combined lunch Sun Aug 3
    Sydney was a great day and I am sure , Melbourne will be as well thanks , JTH

  2. Calls to mind, John, the barmaid’s note pinned to the TV at the old Sporting Club Hotel –
    “Stop yelling. They can’t hear you”

  3. JTH, does your trouble-and-strife read this? Because to my recollection J.Welch has never been known to catch up for a “few” beers.

  4. Rick Kane says

    You’re right about beauty stopping a room Harmsy. A long time ago in a land far away (Perth) I was at a party thrown by Dermot Reeve. The party was a summer BBQ thing in his backyard. When Imran Khan walked through the flywire screen door into the backyard the whole party stopped. A couple of girls we were chatting with didn’t even pretend they were interested in anything else we had to say. They just stared. I looked around and every single female in the backyard was blatantly ogling him. I’ve seen other celebs and or beautiful people command people’s gaze but I’ve never seen people quite so transfixed as they were by Imran. And it was his beauty more than his celeb that stopped this party.


  5. Harmsy,

    I recall a story from country SA – far west of the state at Minnipa – at the Minnipa Hotel. It was late one very hot afternoon and a few locals were sitting at the front bar having a soothing cold drink. Like many (all?) small country pubs the front bar door squeaked very loudly whenever anyone came in – probably left un-oiled to allow the publican to stack the fridge but still be aware when a punter came in. This sound also alerted all the locals that someone was invading their personal space and like most pubs they would all turn round to see if was friend or foe who had deigned to call in. On this occasion it was a young “travelling salesman” who pushed the door open – loosened tie, crumpled suit and pants, obviously not used to driving in the extreme heat of summer on the west coast – and bloody thirsty after the drive from Ceduna to Minnipa. In an obviously well-rehearsed routine all the “regulars” watched as he went to the bar and ordered a pint of soda-squash, took 90% of the pint down in one swig, and let out a large sigh of pleasure/relief. The annointed local then caught his eye and said “G’Day mate – where you from”. Said salesman responded with “Sydney – I’m from Sydney”. “Ah – a long way from home – Sydney hey?” “Yep”. “Tell me”, said the local “Who’s got the pub there now?” He didn’t stay to finish his drink.

    By the way Minnipa (about 145km east of Ceduna) is not a well known town – but was the first teaching appointment my (now) wife had straight from Teacher’s College in 1981 – Karcultaby Area School. This school replaced Minnipa Primary and Poochera Prinmary – but the two towns couldn’t agree on which one got the school, so in true Government style they bought a paddock half way between the two and built it there. The local footy club produced Greg Phillips (Collingwood/Port Magpies) and a former Area School student (and now great mate of my son) Brad McKenzie (Sturt/Kangaroos & Marryatville High!!).


  6. Shotgun

    I’ve never stopped a bar.

    But I do recall walking into the Cross Roads Hotel on the Newell one time – Tomingley. Old drovers’ pub. Now the haunt of road maintenance crews because it’s next to the Lucky Strike Motel. They’d been on it since knock off. I had to write a yarn in my room in the motel. Popped in for a six pack of Old. Before I ordered Old Mate says, “Buy ya a beer mate?”

    I said, “Normally I’d love one but I’m busy. Thanks anyway.”

    I ordered the six pack, got the change after an awkward (and silent) wait. As I turn to go Old Mate says, “Hey, Busy Boy” in a voice as derisive as you could muster. “Where ya from?”

    “Brisbane,” I said.

    “Where ya goin’?”

    “Melbourne,” I said.

    He took a drag on the durry, blew smoke in the air, Moved his head close to mine: “Well your fucken lost.”

    And that was it.

  7. David Zampatti says

    Found myself away from televisions and internets over the weekend (well it was almost a bye, wasn’t it), but I put a call in to the young bloke on Sunday just to check in.
    “What was the final margin?” “Around ten goals. 58 points I think.”
    Phone dropped out.
    No wonder the kid sounded disappointed. I thought we’d win by more than that too.

  8. David – I have told Sean Gorman that I am available for the Purple Circus podcast this week, but he says that the program is taking a bye also.

  9. Rick / Harmsy
    Tony Dodemaide played with Imran at Sussex in the mid-80’s. Dodders tells the story (complete with accent) of how Imran would often be late into the change-rooms prior to a day’s play. But his team-mates did not mind, because when Imran finally arrived he would say: “Boys, gather round. Last night I went to a party…..”

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