It’s been a while since I’ve hit the town and been left standing on the side of the road at 3am, with sore feet, waiting patiently and shivering for a cab to get home. Ah, those were the days. Yes at the ripe old age of 26 I’m over the ‘going out’ scene. From time to time I think, gee it would be nice to go out and have a dance, and then that quickly disappears as I climb onto the couch in my pj’s and watch a DVD with the pooch and hubby. These days our idea of ‘going out’ is dinner with friends at someone’s house or grabbing a bite to eat and being home by 9.30pm. Yes, nanna!
And so, this isn’t a Puff Piece about how I’ve grown old before my time, it is about the real dangers that now face people who decide to go out ‘after dark’. If you live in Newcastle you would have heard the story on what happened in Beaumont Street on Saturday morning. If you’re not a Novacastrian, in the early hours of Saturday morning a man copped a single punch to the head after which he allegedly hit the ground with a sickening thud. The victim died at the scene.
According to newspaper reports (www.theherald.com.au): The man charged with manslaughter, and two friends were shadow boxing outside the hotel when the victim, and his brother left. It appears the accused and his group then sought out the victim’s group. And according to Police Prosecutor Will Thomas “It doesn’t appear the victim plays a significant role prior to being punched’.
When I first heard this story on Saturday morning as I drove to a friends place to feed his dog, I thought thank God we don’t go out and ‘hit the town’ anymore. But then my second thought was, but if we wanted to, we should have that choice and be able to feel safe doing so. The goings on that occur on a Friday and Saturday night are just plain scary. Look at all the crap that happens in Sydney nightlife. And now it appears Newcastle is catching up.
I don’t expect to bring our future children into a world wrapped in cotton wool where every street is like Ramsay Street. But is it too much to ask for human beings to have some common decency and realise that they’re playing with people’s lives.
People are losing their lives and it doesn’t get anymore serious than that.