It was just a matter of time, really. Perth is famous for this sort of thing. I spent a few months working for Criminal Injuries Compensation, where people who are seriously injured as a result of a crime are given money for their troubles. Most common crime related injury? Punched in the face in Northbridge.
So last night I was leaving a party at a friend’s place right on the edge of that infamous hive of scum and villainy. I was with a few girls and we were going to walk over to a main street to grab a taxi home.
A group of drunk blokes were walking behind us, shouting the standard drunk bloke mating calls. In my memory, they yelled something like “Nice gams, dolls!” But it wasn’t the 1950s and they weren’t at a construction site. So it was probably more like, “Ay, youse cunts wanna bang?” Steff politely declined and they heard her Canadian accent.
"Oi. Where you from? Listen to me. Where you birds- Oi, where you from?"
I can’t quite remember Steff’s response, but it was something like, “your face.” Sure, it didn’t make sense and was probably an ill advised response, but it didn’t warrant the vitriol with which one gentleman chose to respond.
"You’re in PERF now. PERF, you unnerstand?" He was puffing up his chest and sauntering with braggadocio that would funny if it weren’t so earnest.
This is where things took a turn for the worse. I decided that the best course of action was a sarcastic riposte.
"Well shit, really? I thought we were in Melbourne. We must’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere…" I said, looking around with wide eyed surprise.
At this point, the most vocal of the drunk blokes stormed over and said something like, “Oi cunt, you wanna get bashed?”
I had misjudged. Maybe my timing was off. Perhaps he just didn’t like Melbourne. Whatever the reason, he was not impressed.
I was about to respond in the negative, to inform him that I wasn’t particularly interested in getting bashed. But before even waiting for my response (how rude!) he threw a punch squarely at my jaw. Lucky for me, he was kind of smallish and drunk enough that his punch included very little backswing. I think those are called sucker punches? I don’t know, I’m not a punching expert. But also lucky for me, his friends jumped on him with cries of “Oi, mate, what the fuck? They ain’t done anyfing to us. Not anyfing!”
With precision timing, the cops showed up (thanks guys!) and he took off, leaving his two friends to explain that their mate got angry about how some girls were declining his advances and decided to wallop me right in my smart mouth. Truly stand up bloke.
Anyhow, I’m unscathed and that dude probably got a drunk and disorderly or something. Lesson learned: drunk, angry blokes don’t have much of a sense of humour. And you probably will get punched in the face in Northbridge if you live in Perth long enough.