The night we destroyed our feet

So on saturday night I went out. Not just out, but out-out.

I cannot even recall the last time I went out-out, it has been that long. And for the past 4 weeks I’ve got that excited friday/weekend feeling where I want nothing more than to have a drink, let my hair down and dance around like a whirling dervish.  All night long. And yet I’ve suppressed this desire, this urge to cut loose and settled down on the sofa instead.

But on the eve of the 11th of May things changed. Two of my lovely university housemates (T and N from henceforth) came to stay at mine.

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So at 7:3opm they arrived at my parent-free house and we got ourselves glammed up for a night on the razzle dazzle, ooooom paaa paaa. We were going to paint the town red, scarlet in fact. We were so up for going out and cutting some shapes in a little club I like to call; Tiger Tiger. Actually it’s hardly little as it boasts a vast seven rooms.

So we pre-drunk, T downing vodka that could have been used to remove nail varnish, wincing all the while. The TV was on 75% volume and the walls were shaking, Gray C was cowering in her cage and we were dancing on the sofas. We played a rather half hearted game of never have I ever, discussed the suckiness of boys and the lack of any romance in our lives, discovering that no, we don’t have boyfriends, no one may love us, but we love each other. So on that note, with our jog on attitude towards the male gender we clambered into a cab driven by a man named Ifdy (this spelling may be most probably is incorrect).

The epitome of a fool

The epitome of a fool

I love chatting to cab drivers. It is without a doubt my favourite past time. I was famous for it in Canterbury, always the first to sit in the front seat so that I could make the taxi driver a) laugh, b) give me some kind of life lesson and c) give me a free lollipop. Admittedly the lollipop was the main incentive. I used to get everyone warmed up for a night out, with my stupid and hilarious, sometimes personal, questions to the taxi man. If you choose to undertake this hobby then may I suggest always complimenting his/her driving skills, whilst simultaneously acknowledging what an interesting/challenging job driving a car full of inebriated youths, in the early hours of the morning, must really be. It takes some skill to crack that tough taxi driver exterior.

Some are obliging and love a conversation, others think you are just another drunk girl; and that hurts. I take the rough with the smooth. So there I am chatting to Ifdy about the success of his arranged marriage, asking him if he could hook us up, as we are all husband hunting. He laughed this off, saying it wasn’t of my culture.

So deterred by the arranged marriage path, I asked him for any tips on finding love, to which he said, ‘Shop around!’

I, with my ingenious wit, replied, ‘Right, I’m going to ASDA tomorrow (this is an english supermarket,  a lower end one, pretty much everything is a £1, students love it)!’

Ifdy took this literally, unable to sense my very english sarcasm, ‘No, no’, he laughed his head off, ‘Not actual shopping.’

Then N piped up from the backseat declaring that Waitrose (a higher brand of supermarche) would be a better place to look, a better class of men would be lurking in those aisles.

Ifdy found this awfully amusing, obviously envisioning us scantily clad girls traipsing round the aisles of a supermarket, with our eyes peeled for eligible bachelors  As well as amusing him, this clearing worried him as he felt the need to impart this pearl of wisdom, ‘You shouldn’t buy a husband!’

I’ll bear that in mind.

Soon enough we pulled up at Tiger, paid Ifdy, thanked him profusely then tried to climb out of his cab without flashing him. It is the plight of a girl on a night out-out to get out of a taxi without revealing to the world what she had for breakfast. But we eventually managed it.

Somehow all three of us got into Tiger for free, I think the lesbian on the door took a shine to us or it could have been N’s Waitrose discount. The music was banging, some tune was blaring out about finding love on the dancefloor, invariably thanking the DJ for his ability to rock da house, whilst various lads were grabbing somebody sexy and telling them ‘hey’. Ignoring the strong lure of the dance floor we headed straight for the bar where T parted with £9.60 for a double vodka and lemonade, mind you at least this version of the popular russian spirit didn’t make her toes curl or her eyes water.

It was only 10:30pm, the night was young, in fact it was pretty much premature but the club felt like our own, so we got our best and most embarrassing dance moves out of the way before the too-cool-for-school-kids arrived. I was baking cakes, swimming under water, running on the spot and all sorts, my moves are second to none. It was unbelievably fun as we went from room to room, leaving Groovy Wonderland for some kind of tropical rainforest in which we found several leis which we adorned, making us feel exoctic and hawaiian but in retrospect just made us look even more like drunken idiots.

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All was going swell until we met a hideous man. He looked like Ben from A1. Only on steroids. After recovering from being in hit in the face by a lorry travelling at roughly 150 miles per hour, carrying 25 humpback Whales. His face was like a full moon and he was slimy, sleazy and huge. But not hench huge, just gross, I’m-hiding-my-obesity-with-this-ridiculously-expensive-and-unflattering-Ralph-Lauren-polo-shirt, huge. He was sweaty and leering and he took quite a shine to T, much to her horror.

N and T were intent on getting boys to buy us drinks. But I don’t like this game one bit. If a strange boy in a club buys you and your friends a drink, he wants something. And not just a dance. He wants a private dance. In your bed. Or his. He probably isn’t fussy. Either way I am in no way down for that. And so I was immediately out of this getting-strangers-to-buy-us-drinks game. So I went to the bar on my own, but sweaty, obese, creepy moon face, a.k.a SOCMF wasn’t having any of it.

‘What drink you like?’

I looked at him, suppressing the urge to heave in his face. I was so unbelievably thirsty, all I wanted was a tankard of water.

‘TAP WATER PLEASE!’

Somehow, tap water, where he is from, translates in Jagermeister. The sound likeness is as you’ll admit quite uncanny. Naaaattt!

So 2 minutes later I was presented with the drink I did not want. I looked at it, the flashing neon lights making its brown, murky-ish,  used-bath-water tint hard to register and took a sip.

Hmmm, red bull. My favourite. Just what I wanted. Goodness knows how much money he had wasted on this, all I knew was it was incredibly alcoholic water.

‘WHAT’S THAT?’ I shouted (not because I’m aggressive and annoyed at the absence of water but because I could barely hear myself think).

‘It’s jagermeister and red bull.’

I nodded, did an incredibly sarcastic thumbs up which the flashing lights did well to hide, and passed the drink to N. She seemed happy enough.

And after T gave him a fake email we snuck off to the white room, which is a dead end. And they followed us. So after feigning a need for a group trip to the lavatory we managed to shake him.

But the night turned into an evening of whack-a-mole, because SOCMF kept cropping up when you least expected it. You’d be dosey doe-ing and there he’d be, his great looming face, very present indeed.

Every now and again we’d shake him and then we bumped into a policeman.

How many policeman do you know who go clubbing? He was young, vaguely attractive (despite his baldness, not a hair on his head, I reckoned he polished with his police boot polish because it was acting as a disco ball), with some loose connection to Canterbury, he wanted a chat. WHO WANTS A CHAT IN A NIGHTCLUB? HAVE YOU NOT HEARD OF A PUB?

I hate talking when I can’t hear what the other person is saying, it makes me feel deaf.

Plus, ‘I came to dance, dance, dance, dance…’ not have a full blown debate about detective inspectors. Initially T and N were engaged in small talk, whilst I was dancing on my own, like a loon, but loving every minute of it, completely oblivious to my surroundings. I was hoping this display of blatant disinterest would be enough to deter conversing. But no such luck.

Having only just met us, he declared us the nicest girls in Croydon, which really isn’t that much of a compliment the more I think about it. It’s like the time my sister and I were dragged along to a suit shop with my parents, to help my Dad avoiding buy more sack like trousers, that looked like grey elongated nappies. We were quite young at the time and after what felt like a year in the shop amusing ourselves by giggling at kilts, the shop assistant said that we were the best behaved children they’d had in the shop this year. We smiled proudly but our parents laughed and I caught a wink being exchanged with the credit card. Then the date dawned on me. It was the 2nd of January.

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But the fact of the matter is, I don’t really like boys in clubs. I used to love them. When I was 18, it was exciting and flattering being chatted up and feeling a warm male hand on your arm as you queued at the bar. Boys hadn’t fancied me at school, apart from a boy who hacked into my hotmail account. I thought six form would have brought some romance and it did, just not for me. But now, now that I’m 21 soon to be 22 in a mere 2 and a half months, (crikey thats a bit terrifying) I have a low tolerance for the stereotypical LADS, who linger in clubs, with the belief that girls are disposable. It angers me greatly.

As soon as the typical LAD enters a club, it becomes acceptable for him to grope any girl in sight. The amount of times some lad frisked me on his way past me to get to the toilet, was unbelievable.  I don’t think sexual assault exists in clubs, that law seems to get waved when you walk through the vibrating doors. Not cool.

Something else that wasn’t cool, was me. Texting silly boys. I texted a certain male a song lyric that reminds me of him, a hilarious jokey song that we used to dance to. My attraction to this male has remained a permanent feature in my life, I suppose I will always have a soft spot for his cheeky charm, and so I texted him this lyric, and the question, ‘How ate you?’

And here it began. He replied with ‘Will you marry me?’

To which I replied, ‘You have the best arms ever!’

Which became the joke of the night.

At around 1:45am our feet were bleeding and encrusted with blisters and after declining electric shisha, which looked like a felt tip pen, we headed in search of something to soak up the alcohol. I had vowed not to part with anymore cash plus I had free toast at home, but the girls wanted something more filling and preferably fried. We popped into Subway for T, and laughed at her eyelashes falling off and teased her about her new secret admirer SOCMF.

And as we left we made some friends. Only they were scary and wanted to see us naked. And they followed us to Roosters where N ordered her chicken. I was silently praying that these burly men would not follow us home/get in our cab/stab us/rape us and/or mug us. I was chewing my lip, whispering to N about whether they had left yet. No, they were still there loitering, waiting for us to leave the comfort of this chicken shop.

I suddenly saw my facebook profile picture on the front of a newspaper, with a headline reading, ‘3 graduates, cooked their Goose? Three close friends, ‘bright girls’ their devastated parents called them, were last seen on Roosters cctv and are now believed to be dead.’

My leg buckled slightly as my thoughts ran wild and I could seen my Dad’s heartbroken face as he learnt of my fate.

But they got bored waiting for N’s chicken to cook and sauntered off looking for more female prey. And we left with N’s box of chicken, our clothes still on, very much alive, slightly frozen and then huddled into a cab.

This cab was driven by a man named George and the conversation started with heels. He liked what they did for women, good to know George, good to know. He wouldn’t spell out exactly what they did do for women, maybe he has a fetish for sore feet, but his laugh suggested he wasn’t talking about blisters. As the journey progressed we learnt that George’s life was a sad mess. His wife didn’t like London and so had moved up north with his sons. They’re still together but she just can’t deal with the smog. George is very bitter about this, he blames Heart radio for advertising the regeneration of a city in the Midlands, which enticed his wife to move away. Needless to say, he had Magic on his stereo.

In truth his story was heartbreaking, he sees his wife and kids once every 2 weeks, if that and told us that marriage gets sour when you get old. And the bedroom will become cold, bitter and stale. Bit too much information, but we let him talk. Turns out he’s a great cook, he told us all about his African cooking skills and it seemed that this was a hobby that would help him through this lonely and hard time. When we finally arrived back at my house, we stayed in the car chatting for a few minutes, wished him well and hoped things would get better soon, that he would find a new driving job so that he could join his family.

We detached our killer heels from our throbbing feet, popped the kettle on, made some toast, peeled off our makeup and fell into bed; vowing to sleep in until at least midday. It had been a fantastic night indeed. Just like old times.

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