WHEN I was 17, I didn’t seek out a fake ID. I didn’t need to, because one came to me. I was showing a new friend my licence at uni one day; I have no idea why she wanted to see it, but this was pre-selfie, so maybe that was how we kids shared photos of ourselves back then? I have absolutely no idea!
Anyway, as she reviewed my licence she said, “I didn’t know you were 18 already.”
“I’m not; my birthday’s in November,” I said.
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“Really? ‘Cause this says your birthday is in January…”
What. The. What?!
Somehow, SOMEHOW, the Queensland Department of Transport has misprinted my birthday. And somehow, inexplicably, I had not spied this happy little mishap.
I called my boyfriend – then 18 and oh-so-worldly, because he’d been hitting the clubs without me for months.
I also called my best girlfriends, also already 18, and that Friday night, we got all dressed up and went to ‘town’.
Our first stop, naturally, was Cocktails and Dreams – it was selling its virtues right there in the title. What more could a teenage girl want than a sweet beverage and sweeter promises of a dreamy future?
After a surreal hour of sipping, dancing and brushing away the thought that if this was what nightclubs were, then I hadn’t been missing much, we headed next door to Shooters.
Holy nightclub Batman – it was sensory overload! From the flashy flights on the expansive dancefloor to the cigarette smoke burning my eyes, to the spunky club dancers on elevated pods and the throbbing crowd lining up for drinks at the bar. So this was what nightclubs were all about!
I don’t remember much of that night, but it did light some sort of spark. I became a bonafide club rat for about two years, hopping between a bunch of nightclubs that don’t exist anymore ¬– Fever, The Drink, MyBar and of course Shooters – until the wee hours of the morning.
More years have passed than I’d care to count and now, the thought of sitting in a dark, loud, hot room until 3am makes me feel nauseous.
But I was so pleased to hear that the next generation of club rats will soon be treated to the glory days of Shooters, when it makes its grand return to Surfers Paradise next month, two years after a dramatic fire shut it down. The nightclub will be relaunched “bigger and better than ever”. Maybe I’ll tug my dancing shoes on for one final lap of the dance floor…
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