Thursday, 4 September 2008

Crashin'!



Transmissions back online, fellas. They were offline for a while because, as I said, I was in London for a couple of job interviews and stuff. (I got rejected by the guys at the first one, but frankly who gives a damn. It was my first interview and it was a pretty crappy job anyway - cabin crew assistant for Ryanair, not nearly as interesting as it first seemed on paper).

However, I did do other interesting stuff while I was in London, and while most of it would probably rank third or fourth place in your list of things you do not give a shit about, the time when I crashed a party on friday might be worthy of your attention for a second or two, if only because it was just about the most stupid thing I've done since standing under a bridge in Newcastle with four friends and betting on who the seagulls would shit on first. And because stupidity is much more interesting to read about than intelligence, it makes for a worthy history.

Basically this is what happened. I got to London on tuesday and I had a couple of things to sort out over there, including the job interviews of previous mention, however on friday I was free. Because I have quite a few contacts in London, I decided to call a friend from university who was finalising his thesis in the big city to meet up. The guy suggests a pub near Covent Garden.

So I take the tube and I go there.

It was around one. We had a quick lunch at a restaurant, then went on to the pub. The intention was that of having a couple of pints of Guinness, but those turned into a couple of couples of pints, which in turn turned into triples, so that by half-five in the evening I was seeing double and I started socialising with these two Italian brickheads next to me just because they were Italian, even though their arguments and personalities were about as coarse and vulgar as a sailor-taught beer-drinking parrot whose whole repertoire of words is composed of abject blasphemy.

Now, the thing about my friend is that he had to leave early. That was the reason we were meeting during the day in the first place; I can't remember what he had to do, I think he had to return to his thesis, though how the devil could he work on his dissertation when he had a tsunami of beer taking place in his stomach every time he turned around is a complete mystery to me. So I'm left alone in the pub. It is six pm, and I'm thinking, Hell: six in the evening and I'm drunk in London. I'm not going home. So I call up another friend of mine and I tell him, 'Dude, let's meet up,' and he's like, 'Dude, let's meet up,' so we're both like, 'Dude, let's meet up,' so I get invited to his place, from whence we are probably going to head to another pub.

So I take the tube, drunk, and walk out in the Northern part of London. It is starting to get dark. I walk up the street leading to my friend's house, and there's a row of houses to my right with very small walls around their gardens, of the kind you can climb over very easily unless you're a garden dwarf. As I keep walking, one of these houses I come across has light and powerful music coming through the white curtains of its broad window. When the music sort of subdues itself, I can hear young people's laughter from inside. I think: Party!

I normally don't do this sort of thing, but I was drunk and I decided I'd crash the damn place. Who gives a damn. I stood for a while pondering Good idea, Bad idea, Good idea, Bad idea, but eventually resolved it was a good idea. So I step over the small wall and walk in.

Now, the thing about crashing parties is that you've got to blend in, yeah? You've got to go unperceived. Look like you belong there. Whatever first room you walk into, you just sail through without looking anyone in the eye; then, when you get to the next room, you act like you got there with a purpose (say, looking for another drink if it's the kitchen, or looking for some person whom you can't find). There, you start up a conversation with whomever you find, so that when other people look in, it looks like you really belong to the group. If you do it properly, by the time they figure out you've crashed the place, you'll already be in the middle of things and they won't be eager to throw you out, or at least not too eager.

So I crash this party, or crash into this party depending on how you want to picture my falling ruinously over the garden wall and staggering towards the house with thistle poking out of my eyebrows. I turn the corner which leads towards the kitchen-door, and take a step in.

It is a rasta-negro party. Every single person in there is black like Michael Jackson, pardons, like Martin Luther King and has dreadlocks falling down to their waist. Excepting the music, my entrance seems to coincide with a ghostly silence. Seventeen pairs of eyes turn towards me.

'Um, hello,' I mumble.
'Hello,' one of them rumbles in reply. That's right, rumbles. He has a voice which sounds like thunder coming from distant clouds over a stormy, desert plain in Arizona.

The thing with crashing parties is, when they go well, they're really great. But when they go bad, the expression 'shit hits the fan' is no longer even funny.

'Party here?', I say. (My conversation skills had drowned in the beer).
'Yeah,' the same one of them replies, while another one is caressing a pitbull at the other side of the room. 'You've got a problem with that?'

Ok, Bad idea. I don't even bother replying. I turn and walk out of there like an ostrich on ice-skates, clumsy like hell but fast like fuck.

Eventually I reached the house of my friend and from there we went on to a pub, where I pretended I was French with an Italian girl and started slagging off the Romans so she would start praising them in defence, which would automatically get her on my side once I revealed I was a Roman, and after that I got even drunker and started chatting in Spanish with the barmaid - but all of this I just know from my friends telling me, because frankly I can't recall a single thing of what happened in that pub after we started on those dreadful Polish shots they have in there (no, I can't even remember their names and frankly I think that might be for the better). I do recall that at some stage we went back to my friend's place and I sort of discorporated on the sofa after eating a four-tiered storehouse of lasagna, but that's the entirety of what is left to me. The rest has been lost like tears in rain.

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