Friday, September 28, 2007

Show eve, the longest night

There’s a crater-hole most adults in Melbourne would have felt earlier this week, even if unconsciously. Since the Kennett government abolished the Show Day public holiday (the Wednesday before the last Saturday in September) circa 1993, on the explicit ground that this public holiday cost employers X-million dollars and so its cancellation was a no-brainer, Show Day has been surprisingly quickly forgotten by the mainstream media.

Wednesday’s (i.e. the day formerly known as Show Day) IR rally in Melbourne was a case in point. I didn’t see a media skerrick about the day’s significance in the quite recent past.

I miss Show Day, needless to say. But not half as much as I miss Show Eve.

Tuesday nights in the 80s and early 90s (and maybe much longer before?) were Melbourne’s best night for going out (for me, that meant bands at POW and clubbing at Chevron, stuff cheap movies). Show Eve was naturally an annual Tuesday night among Tuesday nights. No wonder it had to die, under the sword of economic fundamentalism.

On the ghost of Show Day, you can help yourself to some extent. Take the day off – just don’t call it a strike. And probably best not to mention out loud the day’s significance, either.

On the ghost of Show Eve, however, you’ll be battling with every daemon and every memory. This Show Eve, a friend took the night off, forever.

In memory of Jen McComb, 1964-2007.

Update 30 September 2007

A ghost upon a ghost . . . As Anthony correctly points out in the comments, the day formerly known as Show Day was a Thursday. I acknowledge my mis-rememberance, but for obvious reasons, I'm sticking to it.

My condolences Paul. You know, my distinct memory from childhood is of celebrating Show Day on a Thursday, invariably the Thursday before Grand Final weekend.
Hi Paul,

I used to know a Jen McComb in 1999 but I have been working in Adelaide and travelling overseas.

What happened?


Malcolm King
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