Saturday, July 15, 2006
Nope. Not the political type, just the regular kinds of party.
5 - 13 years old
If remember correctly things don't change much from when you were a child. You get invited to a party. That feeling of inclusiveness makes you feel special. To be a part of a larger popular group. Then is the process of getting ready for the big occassion. You pick your best frock (or your mother does), put a comb through your hair and even have a bath and spray something nice so you don't smell like you've been running around in a mud pit all day.
On to the big night. You get chauffeur driven to your destination so that your nice garments don't crease or pick up a stain from walking or using London public transport (sorry London transport is ace!). Upon arriving at the party, lots of nice people smile and greet you. Some takes your coat and kindly puts it somewhere safe. A nice lady (could be man) offers you something to drink and something to each. You bump into friends past and present. New exciting people to meet. Up to this point its great.
As the night wears on the music's cranked up and everyone is more at ease; then the inevitable happens. Somewhere in the murky corner, someone has spilt a heavily artificially colour drink over anothers best frock. So starts the crying , the red faces. The surrounding populace of party goers look utterly suprised and awkward. Then to the rescue comes the host of the party to settle nerves. I saw a poor girl projecting vomit once as expertly as an expert vomit erm expert. Probably due to ingesting something she shouldn't have (ie. something from the fake fruit bowl). In another corner, somebody has wet themselves without actually having realised they did and its only when a large empty circle around the poor little fella has created that a mum/dad/adult supervisor ushers the poor person into the bathroom to clean up. Of course no party is complete without a fit of jealousy. I remember once a lad kissing a girl (innocently of course) at one of these swanky do's once while in clear view of his rival. Obligatory punch up ensues. Clearly this is group participation and there for fellow party goers close to the action get involved also. Adult supervisors at this point from dealing the the wetting and spilling incident rush to break up the fight. The local law enforcement are called in promptly (Mum, Dad or both). Party ends.
The thought of being invited to a party during these times mean't really only a few things to the average teenager. Sex, booze, cigarettes and sex. Maybe a bit of glue sniffing or dope if said party was held at the local council estate. I would love to make up stories about my experiences at a teen party but I won't. I didn't get invited to any of the really interesting ones. Just with my fellow geeky, computery types. Bummer!
Although, the outcome of those raging teen parties were all too clear. A couple months down the line slim, attractive and unattainable Tracy looks decidedly chunky (she is normal afterall). A few month down the line and now chunky Tracy stops going to school quite abruptly. So does Kevin. Clearly the rumour mill gets around of that party months back. I hear from various sources of the shenanigans that went on. The wild boozing, the fighting, the various drug taking in the dark corners of a room, the illicit affairs etc.....
I'm glad I missed out on that one.
18 - 20
I was a good chap. I didn't buy cigarettes until I was 16 years old. I didn't buy booze until I was 18 because anytime before would've been illegal!! I suppose it didn't stop me from pinch the odd fag from my Dad's stash of Rothmans (yuck) and a wee drink from the bottle of vodka supposedly stashed so I that I would never be able to reach it (note to parents. Have chair will reach).
So eighteen years old and confident, full head of hair and armed with plenty of hair gel. The college years. All those irritating girls at school suddenly blooming into stunning models (and some of them knew it). Party time again. This time nightclubs. That place that all teenagers aspire to go to. It were you older brother or sister went. Its all they'd ever talk about. All glitzy and glamourous. It were all the cool people went.
So its decided. Saturday night. All the lads have decided to go clubbing down Kingston. In my day that was the place to be for a Surrey lad. So down to the local Boots store pick up some personal hygene and grooming products. At home armed with a razor and with clinical precision, the cleanest shave you've ever seen. On with a splash of aftershave (ouch). Now on to the hair. With half a tub of hair gel now weighing down my hair, I decide on the style. After minutes of poncing about until every hair was in place I was ready for the clothes. This itself was a fairly straight forward affair. I'd being shopping earlier in the day for a shirt (Ben Sherman of course) and trousers/jeans. On with the gear and all ready to go.
Now having ordered and in a cab, off I go to meet the other members of the tribe. We all meet at an agreed place everyone of us looking exceptionally flash, cool and the dogs bollocks (to coin a phrase from my youth). We've finally made it. To the place where the cool people go. The first time always the most memorable (not necessarily the best). To start with we headed off to a restaurant already booked in one of our names. This particular restaurant was clearly a classy place as they hadn't anticipated anyone of our calibre to walk in. Yes six eighteen plus year olds looking decidedly menacing. We sat down and order five bottles of the finest white wine and a JD and coke for the one who didnt like the vino. After much deliberation we ordered six whole shredded peking ducks and then the main course (I kid you not!). After realising that a) ordered too much booze b) too much food, c) we were advised by the owners that we'd ordered to much food and booze at the start, we paid the bill after our fill and left for The Nightclub.
Standing in the queue to get in there is a strange mixture of cheap perfume and aftershave. Well it smelt cheap presumably because of the odd mix of the two. Bouncers frisked each one of us for dangerous who knows what and in we go after paying the obligatory, extortionately high priced tickets. As soon as the eyes got accustomed to the darkness and ears to the loudness of the music did we take in the scenery. Wow! What a scenery. Women. Everywhere. This was what is was all about. All those dance moves practiced at home were finally going to come to use. Booze aplenty, time to move on the dance floor. Using the universal tribal language of dance to impress the opposite sex, we're all swinging our hips, frantically waving our arms and legs in apparently perfect co-ordination. All the ladies are clearly impressed by these well practised moves. Then as on queue, somewhere on the far side of the dance floor a fight ensues barely audible over the loud music. Several huge shadowy figure muscle past me and within seconds all is calm. More booze. Back on to the dance floor. Clearly booze working as over time the ugly girl dancing with her group of friends doesn't look quite so ugly anymore. My friends to the rescue as clearly they must have seen me dirty dancing with said ugly lady.
More booze and can't stand anymore. Sitting down on a chair. Head spinning. Time to go home via a shopping trolley and a kebab. Most of us on route home (walking of course) partake in a competition called vomit.
Wake up next day with I believe the worst ever hangover I (on hindsight) have ever had. Ever. I can't recall a day even now of one ever worse than that one. Didn't pull either. Bummer.
Sex. Booze and Drugs.
The recollection is a little hazy.....
Out with the hip hop gangsta rap music, Snake bites, V&T's and Rothmans. In with Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Massive Attack, Velvet Underground, The Doors and James Brown, Roll up tobacco, Marijuana and cheapo HSL (High Strength Lager).
Here's a chronological flash back account of parties I can remember:
Booze, stoned house mates, dope and chicken 'n' chips meal.
Housemate's birthday party, lots of passed out/stoned strange people in the hallway, dope and sausage sandwiches.
Homebrewed booze, lots of spaced out students, dope and acid, a big snake circling around the room, little smartie type pills scattered on the floor, bugs crawling on my hands, a poster of Jesus's crufix made from lots of dead bodies, lots of lemons and someone elses chips.
Found dead chicken in the bathroom sink after coming back from nightclub. Housemate thought it was funny.
Housemate's friends from Yorkshire, Special Brew, dope, setting fire to the garden, pot shots with a sling at the glass windows of the shed at the back of the garden, angry landlord, no deposit back, fried egg sandwiches.
Conclusion: All this excitment courtesy of the tax payer.