SOME GUYS JUST AREN'T CUT OUT FOR A 9 TO 5…
We ALL do stupid things when drunk. Admittedly some more so than others but the common factor every time is that it always seems to make perfect sense.
One of my ‘things’ whilst at university was stealing shit. Before anyone gets too concerned as to where this may be heading, don’t worry, I’m not talking about items with any real ‘street value’ but more keepsakes or nostalgic pieces.
It started off small; cutlery, plates, etc. usually from Chinatown, which is where we’d often end up in the early hours of the next morning. But gradually things escalated, with my most notable ‘lifts’ being a centrepiece from an Indian restaurant, some patio furniture from the now closed Gardening Club, Covent Garden and a fire extinguisher from Strawberry Moons, Piccadilly.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking:
1. Taking a fire extinguisher is fucking stupid and dangerous. I realise this and refer you back to the ‘making perfect sense’ argument.
2. How the hell did I manage to leave each venue with said item? It’s amazing what you can hide down your trousers or under your coat (when you carry it in your hand).
3. Can I hang out with you some time? Absolutely.
Just on the extinguisher; I was so impressed at having made it out of the bar undetected that I proceeded to pull the pin and use it almost immediately after leaving… Unsurprisingly, I was apprehended, escorted back to the premises and issued with a lifetime ban.
Kind of like this but nowhere near as cool – kiwibiker.co.nz
Thankfully, like pissing in hotel lobbies, this is something I learnt to control over time. And really thought I had the habit beat for good until February last year.
In the run up to my last day at the FIRM, I must’ve been out quite literally every weeknight for around a month. You may find this hard to believe but in addition to the score of guys that I’d grown to love, there were also a few girls who I was going to miss immensely and as a ‘thank you / feel free to sleep with me afterwards’, I booked a table for four at Galvin at Windows one Friday.
For those of you who chose not to click on the link, Galvin is a Michelin-starred restaurant and bar situated on the 28th floor of the Hilton, Park Lane.
I’m telling you this not because I’m trying to appear flash (there are many people out there who don’t even rate the place, I’m sure) but more to convey that I wanted to do something memorable for the girls. As it’s certainly not the sort of place I’d usually hang out. Hell, my ‘last meal’ with Slacks was a Big Mac with Fillet-o-Fish chaser.
However, I ballsed up the dates and although the girls and I subsequently had an intimate evening elsewhere; that night, rather than simply cancel the booking, I ended up taking Panda Bear and the Twins. Which in hindsight was definitely a bad call.
Don’t get me wrong, the venue was fantastic. And the views of Hyde Park and beyond from that vantage point were pretty special. But the dining experience? Not so much.
First there was the encounter with the sommelier; which, as one would expect when dealing with a bunch of uncouth clowns, was just embarrassing. And once the poor chap realised that he was in the company of taste buds more accustomed to pints of Heineken and Jager bombs, he left us be with the house white (I think).
Then came the food: tiny, overpriced portions that tasted of shoe (though I guess we did opt for a set menu). But on the upside, the terrine of ‘road kill and some other shit’ was concealing a two-inch bone that sliced my mouth up so they discounted the wine heavily by way of apology.
Buoyed by our new-found riches we settled the bill and headed for the bar, which is when things started to go awry.
Make of this what you will but given my extensive bromances over the years, I intended to gift something to each of the Frat-Pack members when I left.
Now for everyone else I had my present sorted but for Twin D, I wanted something extra special. As not only are we mighty close but in my absence, it was to him that I was looking to continue those great traditions of:
1. Convincing the others to go out at the drop of a hat;
2. Introducing younger members to the Fraternity; and perhaps most importantly
3. Being ready and willing to sacrifice personal holidays the next day in pursuit of getting yourself and everyone else thoroughly wankered the night before.
The way I saw it, I was ‘passing the torch’ to him and needed a gift that would reflect this sentiment.
I’d already discussed the idea with Northern Monkey and up until that night, I’d accepted that the closest match to what I was after was a light saber, which I planned on purchasing and presenting to him during my leaving speech.
But as we took our seats in one of the booths that all changed. For there, standing tall and shining bright was a table-lamp, which I can only describe as a mini Olympic torch.
And I had to have it.
Read Part II here.
If you liked this then I suspect you might also enjoy my book. Or not.
Either way, thanks for reading; particularly to those of you who share these stories and/or leave comments.