None of the men who in this country have left footprints behind them have been cold water men
Australian drunkenness, so far as it exists, is not of the English type. It is more reckless, more extravagant, more riotous, – to the imagination of the man infinitely more magnificent; but it is less enduring, and certainly on the whole less debasing.
Anthony Trollope, 1873
His head was always aching, or rather so he said,
He thought he had neuritis, for he suffered with the head;
His breathing was erratic and his system out of gear,
He used to blame the weather, but he never blamed the beer.
His liver was inactive and his food would not digest,
So he swore he’d change his scenery and quit the wild wet west;
He didn’t believe in doctor’s dope or drugs from chemists’ shops,
He only blamed the weather, but he never blamed the hops…
G.A. Finn, quoted in ‘Folklore of the Australian Pub,’ by Bill Wannan, 1972.
Men of the world know that another little drink next morning or an ‘eye-opener’ as it is known, is the best cure for a hangover. If the morning headache is accompanied by the dry heaves and a touch of the squitters I would personally recommend the GRAPPLING HOOK, a favourite Australian dawn beverage consisting of a tumbler containing a fifty-fifty mixture of port wine and brandy. When the barmaid puts it on the counter, wait till her back is turned so she doesn’t see your hand shaking. Then reach out and surprise the bastard, down it in one and walk briskly to the gents, shut yourself in a cubicle, lean on the wall and breathe deeply through the mouth. You’ll sweat a bit but if after two minutes you haven’t spewed all over the dunny seat and halfway up the wall, simultaneously shitting razor blades, there’s a fair chance you’ll be in good shape to order a couple of double Teachers’ when you are once more comfortably seated at the bar. Pretend to scan a newspaper and when it stops trembling so you can read the headlines, you’re back in business, no worries.
Sir Les Patterson, ‘The Traveller’s Tool,’ 1985.
If you were only to peep into the Sydney police office on a Monday fore-noon, you would then see a lovely specimen of our morality. Scores of men, women, boys, and girls, who had been dragged off the streets on the preceding evening for drunkenness, fighting and other similar offences, standing with brazen faces to hear their respective sentences. You may then every to or three minutes hear thundered forth with the voice of authority from the magistrates’ bench, ‘Six hours to the stocks – ten days to the cells – twenty days to the treadmill – fifty lashes (on his bare back)’!
The Reverend David McKenzie, ‘Ten Years in Australia,’ 1845 quoted in ‘Knockers,’ by Keith Dunstan, 1972.