Punt Road. Probably the busiest road in inner Melbourne.
At all times of the day and night. My story is not one of warm hearted memories that take me back to my childhood. It is a memory that takes me back to my mid twenties, when I was partying like a rockstar every weekend. Although I am not a rockstar, I do play a mean recorder and can also carry my weight with a triangle. But I digress.
This is my Punt Road story. Or Punt Road epic fail if you like. Or Punt Road hilariousness if you are my friends who were with me.
It was a rainy Friday night in June or July in 2004. I had recently broken my right arm after falling over at work opening a door (sober), snapping my wrist in in the process. After having orthopaedic surgery to fix a plate and screws into it, I was casted up and in a sling for over six weeks. I was also on heavy amounts of painkillers because getting a large metal instrument literally screwed into your wrist, feels like somebody is clawing out your bones with a hacksaw. For weeks.
A group of three of us had gone to see a band at The Corner. I can’t remember what band we saw, and I can’t even remember who the third person was that came with us. Fine details are very hazy due to the amount of beer I had consumed that night. Once we left Richmond (in a taxi? did we walk? I have no idea), we stopped off at the Hungry Jacks on Punt Road. Who doesn’t need a huge amount of HJ’s when you are drunk if you can’t get to a kebab shop? I ordered my usual - a bacon deluxe and large fries. Probably also some nuggets and maybe another burger, as when I am drunk I tend to eat enough food to feed a small third world country for at least two months.
After we got our take away meals, we decided to walk back to my friend’s house in Clifton Hill, as it was just off Hoddle Street. For some reason, we decided to cross the road. It would have been about 1am and the traffic was still busy as hell. As my right arm was in a sling, I was eating my burger with my left hand, trying to look both ways before crossing the wet road in a pair of ballet flats that had absolutely no grip on them whatsoever, all the while being so inebriated that I had one eye open and one eye closed so I could focus. We got to the median strip and I went to walk up. Those huge bloody kerbs in Melbourne drove me crazy and I would like to blame the City of Melbourne council for my incident. As I went to step up the kerb, I slipped, falling flat on my face on the road. As my right arm couldn’t save me, and I definitely couldn’t compromise my bacon deluxe, I decided that the best way to stop my fall was with my face. I literally fell onto the kerb with my left arm in the air to save my burger. I don’t know what I did with the right one but I couldn’t do much with it anyway. The area between my nose and mouth took the brunt of the impact. I had to walk around looking like I had been attacked by someone with sandpaper for weeks, as the huge scab it left was just disgusting.
My friends were no help. I am surprised they didn’t pop a vein in their heads from laughing so much. Or urinate on themselves. The people driving past in cars were no help. They kept driving. And me - well I did what any sane person would do that has just experienced an almost fatal cerebral head injury with possible concussion. I got up, checked my burger first (don’t worry, it was totally fine), and continued on my merry way. I wasn’t worried that I had fallen over. I was actually stoked that I didn’t lose my bacon deluxe in the process. Even if I had, I probably would have picked it up and eaten it anyway, as I have been known to drop a burger in a puddle on Swanston Street at 1am and continue eating it.
So there you have it. My Punt Road story. I also thought that the Collingwood Town Hall clock was the moon. I don’t know if this was the same night or not.
And FYI - my face is fine now. After walking around for three weeks with a disgusting sore on my face and having to explain what happened to people, I became known as the most uncoordinated, Hungry Jacks obsessed dipshit whose random drunken experiences knew no bounds.
Thanks Punt Road for the memories. And thanks HJ’s for the burger. It was delicious.