An awakening - Jess' Story


It was night time and we were travelling along Punt Road towards St Kilda, either going to a family event or coming home from a family event. Considering the direction we were going, we must’ve been going somewhere.

My sister Anna was about 12 or 13. I was about 7. Dad was in the passenger seat and Mum was driving, which was usually the case. Anna was sitting on the lefthand side in the backseat, and hadn’t really said much for the entire 40-minute journey into Punt Rd from Diamond Creek. We were travelling down from Bridge Road junction and were across the road from Punt Road Oval, where we stopped at the traffic lights, on the corner of Brunton and Punt.

There’s not many businesses along that stretch of Punt Road or much activity in terms of what to look at when you’re a passenger looking out the car. But at that intersection there’s a pub called the Cricketer’s Arms. And Anna hadn’t said much but she was looking out the window sort of not taking much in, and just said out loud, 'Oh, there’s a pub over there.' And we just said, 'Oh yes.' And Anna said, 'And none of the women have their tops on!' And that was Anna’s first experience of a topless bar.

The excuses or the explanation that Mum and Dad then gave, after the change in the traffic lights, was hilarious:

'Some people feel they want to do those things' or 'It’s just a topless bar'. 

'What’s a topless bar?'

'A place where ladies work with no clothes on.'

'Why would they do that?!'

I can’t quite remember the explanation very well but I remember everyone killing themselves laughing except for Anna, who was mortified at the scene that she’d seen.