Blackdog Night at Tattersalls Club

Surfmuppet and wife enter the hallowed halls of the Tattersalls Club Friday night to take part in the fund raiser for el supremo blackdog himself, Sir Justin of Vladland, and his upcoming swim across the English Channel.

Catch up with Fearless Fi in the foyer of the wrong Tattersalls club around the corner in Pitt Street. Interesting history of a spat between bookmakers back in 1895.

From the website – “City Tattersalls Club was formed in 1895 by a group of twenty bookmakers disgruntled with a judge’s decision on a race at Kensington; an objection was lodged over a jockey weighing in with his whip, the end result being a disqualification of the horse first past the post and the bookmakers refusing to pay out on the second horse, a hot favourite. By way of protest, the bookmakers left Tattersalls Club, the institution now on Elizabeth Street, Sydney, and City Tattersalls Club was born.”

The trio traipse around the corner onto Elizabeth Street and into the right club this time. Themed from the TV Show Madman, it’s all retro 50s and 60s, guys in suits and hats, ladies in cocktail dresses a la mode of Pussy Galore back in the early Bond days. Deano, Jai, Martin and others from the squad already well oiled. Champagne all around as Rachel in floral frock and enormous eyelashes whips the crowd into a frenzy. Blackdog Hanby has gathered a big crowd and lots of goodies to be auctioned off – including one giant cowboy hat of which more will be said later.

Speeches from the head of the Black Dog Institute, a retired Judge and the world record holder for the English Channel, Trent Grimsey. Key message is that probably 10% of the population has bipolar and that long distance swimmers are just pure mad, plain and simple.

Lots of swimming royalty swanning around. Spot and Vlad are there with members of both squads mingling together as brothers and sisters of the Briney Realm.

Big John now takes the stage for the auction and pretty soon the bids are flying left, right and centre. Surfmuppet gets caught up in the frenzy and is soon in a bidding war for the giant cowboy hat. The bidding gets above 500 and for some reason el muppetayro begins to get the “must win, must win” focus happening. Heart thumping stuff. Suddenly it’s going, going, gone and SM pays $700 for the cowboy hat and a book! Bargain!

All in a good cause.

It’s a special hat however, a magical hat, from the head of Bob Katter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Katter)  no less, signed by the man himself as is the book. Meet his lovely Chief of Staff afterwards and inadvertently insult her by asking her if she’s his PA. She offers to have the book personally signed by Bob but politely declines Mrs Muppet’s request that he signs it “To my dear friend Kevin Rudd”.

Later, walking back to the car park, a bloke on the street loudly exclaims to a drunken mob outside a kebab shop, “Look, that bloke is wearing Bob Katter’s hat! He’s stolen it the mongrel! After him!” Mrs Muppet stabs him in the eye with her stiletto and SM slices off his head using the hat as per the villain Oddjob in the Bond movie Goldfinger

Beat a hasty retreat to the car (after retrieving the hat of course) and blaze off in a swelter of Subaru fumes direction The Gorge.

Bidding war of the night was for the Stand Up Paddle Board, the “Ben Buckler”. Around and around the bidding went, with Big John doing his “ibiddy-bibiddy-bobiddy-can I have $1,000-boo?” auctioneers battle cry. Told SM earlier in the week it was done to build momentum, get the punters excited and placing bids. Certainly works with hats. The board finally goes to a gaggle of Spot-ettes, led by the Sea Nymph and Caroline J, who pay about $2.25K for the thing. Spot well happy later that the board “will stay in Bondi!”

Next up in a glass-work piece of art which Fearless Fi snaps up for a couple of grand. Surfmuppet makes another faux pas when remarking to an arty looking eastern suburbs matron beside him, “not a bad price for a vase”. Turns out she’s some kind of art expert and gives the muppet a withering blast along the lines of “how dare you call that a vase, you uneducated prole Neanderthal you”. Slink away.

The finale of the night is provided by a 6 foot 6, blonde haired drag queen who leaps about the floor in a pink tutu to the tune of Beyonce’s “if you like it then you should have put a ring on it” and other numbers. High C ending for the night with all and sundry in a scrum of champagne, wine, beer, pockets emptied for a good cause, talk, laughter and well wishing for Mr Hanby and his up and coming great adventure in the English Channel.

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