A Sociological Study
of the Pursuit of Enjoyment
in Australian Communities

by Neville Davies

When a resident of a fairly average suburban community, one John Citizen, recently held a Saturday night party, a large number of friends and neighbours attended. The gathering included all manner of people large and small, fat and thin, male and female and, even early in the piece, many showed distinct signs of becoming "high."

The guests included a serious-minded and bespectacled academic, accompanied by his attractive, rather fluffy and purring young lady friend. This couple were motivated more by a spirit of investigation than the mere pursuit of partying pleasure.

Their curiosity was soon confronted by the spectacle of numbers of otherwise respectable, stable, and even eminent members of the community, so affected by the liquid refreshments provided as to make the possibility of their recovery to a normal sane state almost inconceivable. The academic’s initial reaction was that excess was a significant feature of the pursuit of party enjoyment.

More examples of outrageous behaviour assailed him. A group of local tradesmen, taking advantage of the fact that their prey were no longer seeing too well, hotly pursued some female employees of a rock radio station. Another pair of apparently sweet young things revealed a much less desirable side of their natures, while their plump friend topped their group performance by failing to make the bathroom in time. A seemingly innocent young woman from the country succumbed to alcoholic slumber, much to the disgust of her unsophisticated farm hand escort. However, she did come to in time to deliver an effective face slap to a hand straying city slicker who tried it on with her.

In the light of these performances the academic confirmed his earlier conclusion of a surfeit of alcohol-induced effects in this partying business, but further raised the question of whether the objective of finding enjoyment was really being met.

The objectionable activities escalated, with more and more people operating on the famous "Jack" principle, stumbling about recklessly or collapsing in stupor around the room. Then when his own girlfriend succumbed to the alcoholic atmosphere and herself plunged into the decadent activities on the pretext of interest in music being played so loudly, the academic formed his final conclusion that it was too much.

Leaving the assemblage to stew in its own ridiculousness, anti-enjoyment and inevitable legacy of biliousness, hangover and loss of self-esteem, he dispiritedly made his way homeward to write his thesis.

© 1990 Neville Davies

back to memorabilia