Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dear The Shannon Hotel: You've changed

This is an open letter to The Shannon Hotel. I can only hope that my voice reaches at least one sympathetic ear within The Shannon establishment, someone who will listen to my plea and seek to act on it, by whatever means are necessary.


Dear The Shannon Hotel,

As you know, I have been a loyal customer for many years now, even before I lived in Sydney.

I remember the days when I would come up from the "Australian Siberia" (what crimes saw me exiled to Canberra I of course cannot mention in decent company) for day-long meetings of the Central Committee of the Beer and its Role in Human Development; or Where Karl Marx Went Wrong in His Assessment of the Motor Force of History Society.

And, with the inevitability of one of those iron laws of history, The Shannon would be the port of call to recuperate from the intensity of the polemics and factional wars that mark any organisation dedicated to such an important cause.

In those days, a beer garden, free BBQ on Sundays, and a secluded upstairs area with pool table where all sorts of deals could be concluded in privacy — this made you the loved place you were.

That was before all the renovations.

They have taken some time, haven't they?

Not that I ever complained. Hell no! I stood by you. Because I believed in you and everything you stood for.

And when I moved to Sydney, I made you my de facto home.

The reasons is simple.

You, The Shannon, have been defined, more than anything else, by the absence of other people.

Whereas others recoiled in horror at that stench of urine that did pervade your premises for quite some time, I rejoiced!

Because, like any decent pesticide, it kept away forces that stink much worse — the scum of society.

Which, of course, is most of it.

The Shannon Hotel has been called many things, but a cool nightspot for young happening things has never been one of them.

Your chief charm was that, of the tiny numbers who knew of your existence, the majority went out of their way to avoid you.

Oh the peace and quiet! Oh the joy those days held!

You've changed, man.

I hate to be the one to have to say it, but it has to be said. Consider this an intervention.

These days, your "renovations" are pretty much complete. The place is officially "upgraded".

And, against all expectations, this move appears to be working in its bid to actually get human beings walking through the door.

Now, on any given Friday or Saturday, The Shannon Hotel is full of youths.

And good god, is it horrible.

When I started this blog, my very first entry was an ode to you.

Now, no longer can it be said that The Shannon "is a fucking great place for your modern alcoholic to get away from the mobs of marauding young people with their pierced toenails and stupid ring tones, and enjoy a decent drink."

I have nothing against crowds per se. The Phoenix Hotel down there in Hell, finest pub known to humanity, is often full.

But of the right sort of people.

The Shannon too, on rare occasions, would be packed out. But of drunks. (Or Irish people, as they prefer to be known).

But you invite the average punter and you invite in the average fuckwit.

You get drunken young men who proceed to sexually harass any female under 90 years of age within a 75 metre radius of them.

You attract people, you get scum.

We had to fucking flee your premises the other night, so harassed was a female friend when we were just trying to FUCKING PLAY A GAME OF POOL!

This was in The Shannon.

Hell, The Claire, just off Broadway only five minutes walk and full of students? Well what else would you expect?

But The Shannon? God help us all.

It isn't that I don't approve of attempts to make the place better. I like your new beer garden, I really do. It is quite pleasant out there.

And yes, I know. The Rose and the Lansdowne have more people on a Friday or Saturday than you do.

But that is not the point. (And, while we are on the topic, at least the Lansdowne offers a cheap $5 meal deal for it's customers. Apparently. So I have heard.)

But this is not about them. Seriously, if the Rose offered to jump off a bridge to attract the cool young brigade that take up space with their delusions that they aren't actually irrelevant pieces of shit that get in the way, would you do it too?

I don't blame you for seeking new custom. I understand. We've all got bills to pay.

But c'mon! Don't go selling your soul!

We had something. We never cared for the outside world. With the Guinness flowing and the dart board free, we fucking rocked.

Just think about that.

Yours in abuse of alcohol,

Carlo Sands

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