Friday 30 December 2011

Back In The Day

The New Year's party season is almost upon us. Unless you live in Japan in which case the New Year's cleaning, eating cold food, and humouring aged relatives season is upon us. Anyhow, it seems an appropriate time to talk about why, while I still drink, I very, very rarely actually get drunk any more.

That sounds fairly dramatic, doesn't it? Don't get your hopes up, it involves very little in the way of humiliation or bodily fluid. At least on my part.

I used to work as a door supervisor in a bar/club/ live music venue, to help pay for my Master’s degree. Got that, did you? Not your typical knuckle-dragging, carpet-carrying, ‘roid-pumped, skin-headed, hyper-aggressive, shit-for-brains bouncer, me. I’ve got an education.

Of course, the knuckle-dragging etc etc bouncer is, in reality, anything but typical. A lot of the other security staff were from Eastern Europe or the Asian Subcontinent, and had a good grasp of a decent number of languages. Certainly more than most of the punters who, being English, started the evening with one and by the time last orders rolled around could usually manage about 0.2, if that.

Why had so many of my erstwhile colleagues come to the UK? I blame the EU myself, opening the floodgates for thousands of foreigners to come over and sponge off hardworking-taxpayers by being physically and verbally abused by them on Friday and Saturday nights. And don’t try to censor me with your Political Correctness (Gone Mad). I'm simply stating that for a large numbers of foreigners in the UK their working lives involve being insulted by drunk British twats. That’s not racism, that’s just the truth.

In addition to the chance to be called a fascist cunt on a regular basis, many had also come over to study, and a disproportionally high number were studying law. This was particularly pleasing when I had to evict an uppity teenager and her mate for getting into a bitch-fight with some other girls;

“You can’t chuck us out! I know my rights! I’m doing AS Level law!”

“Really? Prakash over there is sitting his bar exam in a month. Maybe you could compare notes?”

Not my finest hour, to be honest. You really can’t let the façade of indifference slip, no matter how much someone is pissing you off. “I’m doing AS Level law!” was the only time I ever laughed openly in a punter’s face.

Nutshells indeed

It had been a long night. Underage gigs were in some ways more challenging than the roughest urban club-nights; the bars were always dry, but teenagers more than compensate for a lack of alcohol with a surfeit of hormones and egocentrism (and by necking bottles of WKD just before joining the queue). The next day the venue would invariably get an irate email from the parents, complaining about how abominably their darling Jocasta had been treated; how they trusted her completely when she said she hadn’t had a drop to drink, and that if she had they would hold us responsible for serving under-18s; how they were CC’ing this email to ‘a friend in the legal profession’.

These exchanges were usually pretty short. I’d like to imagine that it was because that friend had told them they didn’t have a leg to stand on, but also suspect that being ‘in the legal profession’ meant they were a typist at a magistrate’s court.

People also always said/bellowed/screeched that they 'knew their rights'. Which, harking back to the multilingualism of the crew, is one of those occasions when people use words which don’t mean what they think they meanWhen they say, "It's a free country. I know my rights!" What they’re actually saying is, “I’ve had too much to drink and seen too many John Grisham movie adaptations. Also, I think I’m smarter than you and want to make my friends aware of that. Please throw me out less gently than you might otherwise have done.”

Language is a tricky thing.


  1. Wow, Brits sound as annoying as Canadians. I'm SOL: hold both passports.

  2. LOL@ the last passage.
    The "please don't hit me" crew uses the same tactic in a kinda "please strike me with what appears to be a forcefull blow to keep your pride but don't really hit me so hard"

    Language is indeed a tricky thing. :)

    Great post!!

  3. Ant - When sober, brits are no better or worse than anyone else, but we're really bad drunks. Hope you inherited the canadian drinking genes.

    Chris - God yes. There's more on this coming up over the next few weeks, but the amount of posturing shit people indulge in is moronic. The best guys I worked with rarely got *genuinely* physical, because they knew how to make the mind-games work for them, and could keep their egos in check.