Hits 2193 | Created 2007-07-21 | Modified 2007-07-23
Before we got to the party, the few people I was walking with decided to head to the Vine and Hops pub for a last pint. It was already 1am, and I thought this ambitious, though I held my tongue. On the phone, I managed to lose most of the them before I started, but someone, perhaps imaginary, told me that they would be round the back and that there was an alleyway entrance that avoided the main door (which was full of bouncers).
I made it round the side, only knocking over one large, incongruous metal sheet that was lying around, but noone seemed to notice the end-of-the-world crashing noise it made. The back was nicely set up and it became evident that there was a wedding on, and that this was a private function. I called Sir Cliff at the bar and put in an order, not wanting to venture inside.
There was some hostility towards us, but nothing overt. Until we left. I took the alley-route again, which was noticed by a local lass who started to scream at me,
'Hey! That barrier is there for a reason! Stop! You! Hey!'
'It's fine', I told her, 'don't worry', walking quickly.
She continued to scream and by the time The Courier and I had rescued his bike and made it to the street, some people were waiting for us. My innards sank and one guy shouted at us as we walked away. Realising that we'd better turn and face him, it turned out that he was a bit drunk.
'You were just given shit for leaving round the back, right?'
'Where?' I ask.
He looks confused, 'There,' he points, 'some guy was giving you shit.'
'I don't remember.' I tell him.
He looks even more confused, 'It was just a minute ago, the guy, there, grey hair, beard?'
'No, I don't remember.'
'What?' He's lost his steam now. 'Well, anyway, he's bad news. Tough guy, you'd better get going.'
'Right, okay, we are.' I say, and we walk, breezily away, expecting bellowing of the grey-haired guy any moment, but it doesn't come and we walk to the party in short-time.
Inside the party some of our crowd are in the hallway.
There is a barrage of crushing whispering as I'm told, 'Don't say you came with Tintin!'
'Why?' I ask.
'The landlady says that she didn't invite him, and that every time she invites Tintin he brings loads of strange people with him.'
'Hmm, right.' I say, as I conjure up the image of Tintin outside the Brit some time earlier organising a group of strangers to go this party.
I'm feeling gregarious and sociable, so immediately find and start bending the ears of any people I don't know and that look interesting. I find myself saying things like, 'But why do you think that?' and 'That's not really the point, you're arguing semantics.' and the like. I am, of course, a bit drunk.
Still, no-one minds a calm drunk that wants to talk bullshit philosophy (so my reasoning goes), so I make my way through the evening nicely enough.
Then I discover the beer cellar.
Ah, it was all going so well, I was about to leave and everything. One guy, The Brewer we'll call him, well, um, brewed beer. As well as a bought-in Lancaster Blonde there was a Weiss beer and, joy of joys, a stout too. Lots of stout. And it was good.
I sipped from my plastic cup and asked the drunkest man there why he felt the need to drive himself to oblivion? He wasn't sure.
We talked of nicknames and accents, of religion and beer.
The Brewer wasn't happy though, as a girl there was, in his words, a bit of a Psycho. The door was locked and we men cowered in the beer room. I wasn't sure what she had done, and am still not sure now.
Eventually she was let in and surrounded by about 6 or 7 reasonable, crusty-hippy male types. For a few minutes she didn't realise, then noticed that something was amiss.
'What's going on?' She said, suddenly defensive and a bit worried.
'You've upset two people here tonight and we'd like you to apologise. If you do, then you can stay and enjoy the party...' Began one reasonable man.
She voiced her opinion, which was something like, 'Fuck you' and then started to get rather upset, at which point, screaming, she was escorted out of the house.
Back in the odd silence of the beer room I asked if she was okay?
'Hmm, she's calling the police, saying that we assaulted her by touching her on the way out.'
'Ah.' I say.
Everyone I know leaves and I'm left with the stout and my new friends. However, I don't really know them, and know that I should leave. Now everyone moves into the lounge and starts to smoke in a cosy, intimate way. Now I don't belong. A gatecrasher at a party where I don't know anyone.