The only thing holding up his pants were a pair of bright turquoise suspenders. Perhaps, a son or a daughter, had bought them for him in the hope that they would make him look cool. They didn’t. Every second week on a Tuesday, the old man would come in to the same RSL, sit at the same table, and order the exact same thing – Porterhouse steak.
‘That’s him,’ said Jack, returning to the safety of the bar, and flipping a tea towel over his shoulder.
‘Who?’ asked Kailee. She was a young girl, had started work only that week.
After his eighth pint, Graham wiped the gravy from his mouth and threw his napkin down on his plate in disgust. As he teetered to the counter, Jack clenched his teeth. He knew him too well. Just because the guy was a friend of the owner made him feel like he could complain about anything.
‘Everything all right with your meal Graham?’ Jack asked.
‘Bloody bastards!’ Graham shot back, slapping his wallet down on the counter.
‘What?’ asked Kailee. Jack just shook his head.
‘Haven’t ye heard?’ Graham continued. ‘They’re trying to sell the Great Barrier Reef! How on Earth do ye sell a reef? Trust the bloody Liberals. They’d sell ye mothers asshole if ya gave ‘em half the chance! But the reef… I mean there was a time when the government at least created the illusion of care. Now they don’t give a rat’s shit…’
‘And your meal?’ asked Kailee.
‘Bloody delicious,’ said Graham.
An hour later they waived his tab (it always happened that way), pointed him in the direction of the safest street, and watched him stagger around the corner, out of sight.
‘Behind the times,’ Jack said.
‘Maybe,’ replied Kailee.
Then again, maybe not.