Norwood Bogan Fest 2006

Well that's another one gone, and thank Christ for that. Each year here in Norwood we have the Food & Wine Festival, or as we've come to know it, the Annual Bogan Fest. What started out as a refined and decent wine and food gathering has turned into a nightmare.

If you get there early enough it's not too bad. You can wander down the street (we started at the Bath and worked our way down past Mantos) even though it's more than slightly packed and it's great for people watching. Two glasses of wine, that'll be $20 thanks. Suffice to say we drank only the two glasses and wandered off home - for $20 for a Chardonnay I can buy a bottle and get suitable sauced.

At about 6pm the Bogans and Schlappers* come out in full force. That's when the noise levels rise (we're located just behind the Parade so we get it all night) and the night is full of the sounds of breaking bottles, bad music, screaming, yelling, talking and just general mayhem. We don't let the cat out because we're not too sure we'd get him back in one piece. And don't the Bogans run wild. They clearly think they're the 'Beautiful People' because they're attending a Food & Wine Festival. Sadly they're not. They're the Ugly Australian, looking for any excuse for a piss-up and a fight. They feel that by coming to an event described as 'cosmopolitan' they become that. The truth is that most probably think the word cosmopolitan is just another name for Cosmo Magazine.

By 8pm, I decided to wander out for a loaf of bread from the Argo. What a mistake that was. I walked out of the gates to find myself looking at a girl giving some passed out drunk a hand-job on the footpath on Margaret Street. Charming - a true schlapper, she didn't look too good, but appeared to be having a fun time. The guy didn't move at all so I wondered if he was dead or just passed out. Over at Argos it got worse. In the space of 5 minutes I saw three fights, piles of abuse, broken glasses/bottles, girls running around like the sauced up binge drinkers they clearly are looking for action, and that was just on the one little spot of road. By 10pm the police have shut it all down and cleared everyone out and hopefully locked a pile of them up via the booze bus.

Not that the booze bus does much good. Someone not only avoided it yesterday, they cleaned up a cop and put him in hospital. Great stuff.

I attended the first one of these, back 1997 and it was great. Since then, sadly, too many people have discovered it, and they're not the people who're going to be wandering up for a fine wine, a nice dinner and good company. The people who now go, especially after 6pm, are there for beer and a quick hamburger eaten on the nature strip.

I'm all for these events. If nothing else they help me keep focused and help me educate people on the effects of binge drinking. But I'm all for a name change, it's not a Food and Wine Festival anymore, it's Bogan Fest!

Roll on Bogan Fest '07.

* Schlapper: a slapper who is truly the lowest of the low, named for the convicted drug runner Schapelle Corby who has a family of Schlappers, from mother down to sister, all of whom get worked up in a lather when anyone dares suggest that someone in the family at least planted the drugs, if not Schapelle. The fact that family members keep getting busted on drug charges doesn't deter them at all.


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