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A Typical Night Out in Melbourne: Casinos, Clubs, Night Riders, and ……Peep Shows

I’ve said before that it’s best to go into new things with an open mind. That state of mind has paid off more often than not since I arrived in Australia. But let me turn to another clichéd phrase, you win some you lose some, to describe the events that concluded a most eventful Saturday night.

After assembling a crew together, I embarked with my floor mates (whose names will be omitted from this article to defend what dignity they have left) into downtown Melbourne. To give those of you in Boston an idea of the distance, Monash University is about the same distance from Melbourne as BC is to Boston with the bus factored in as well. So it’s a bit of a hike.

We tried our luck at the casino and came up empty. I personally blame this on the lack of Native Americans working behind the scenes at The Crown. Without the backing of Hawkeye, Chingachook, and the rest of the Mohicans, I was destined to fail at the poker table. But the night was far from over.

The next stop of the night was The Deck, a nightclub that was overridden with dudes and nine-dollar beers. The frustration at The Deck was best expressed by Spilly, a female member of the crew best known for slapping bouncers, who smashed every glass she could get on the floor. We’ll never know how many hospital visits her actions caused, but it was probably enough for a pitcher of The Deck’s finest ale.

Five hours of city shenanigans combined with the many hours spent pre-drinking (pre-gaming in America) can lead one to make poor decisions. Even though there were members of the crew who objected, the one called Maccas, who got her nickname for reasons that will probably be made into its own article, led the group on a detour that marked not only the low point of my time here, but also places in the bottom events of my existence since exiting the womb.

Signs that advertise Peep Shows are usually best left ignored, unless someone has something funny to say. But Maccas was having none of this. She bolted down the stairs to the dungeon that contained this horrible Peep Show. This place could be best described as vaguely resembling Jabba’s Palace from Return of the Jedi except with a few inches of water covering the floor. Apparently Peep Shows need to be power washed frequently.

You know you’re in a classy establishment when you can get in after refusing to pay the entrance fee. After squeezing the crew into a crammed, wet, closet with the only discernable features being a cloudy window and a box of tissues, we inserted a single dollar, which made the window clear and signified the beginning of the entertainment. Except there was no entertainment to be had in this dark, wet space.

More than a few people have yelled me at over the course of my life. But I never felt more shame after being yelled at by an unattractive naked woman who expressed dissatisfaction at us for having more than one person in the bunker. Apparently this was not allowed.

Macca’s efforts to locate another cubicle to observe the peep show were foiled when she opened several of them to find that they were occupied with what must be some of the lowest forms of humanity, we cut our losses and went to Hungry Jack’s, the Australian version of Burger King. At this point, no one was particularly keen to talk about that had just happened. I’m not a doctor, but I’m sure post traumatic stress disorder could be blamed.

You’d think that the ride home would be uneventful after what’d just happened. I suppose it could’ve been. Except members of the crew decided to strike up a conversation with a patron of the Night Rider, the late night bus in Melbourne, who was clearly high on hard drugs. The man ignored several attempts at pleasantries before introducing himself to Maccas in a language that wasn’t English but also likely wasn’t recognized by the United Nations either. His many facial piercings seemed to support the notion that he wasn’t from this planet, but I guess we’ll never know. I do know that I never felt happier to be alive than when I returned to Monash after that night.

I’m not sure what to take from this experience. The Peep Show has made for a good story, but it’s certainly not a place I will visit again. While I still stand by the idea that it’s best to go into things with an open mind, I will exercise more caution when employing it into practice.

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