On my first day at Nottingham Trent University all of the new postgraduate students were gathered together in one lecture theatre so that Professor Edward Peck, the Vice-Chancellor, could give us a welcome speech. It was hot and cramped, and a lot of other speakers also took a turn and to be completely honest I don’t remember an awful lot of what was said. I do remember one part which I found particularly resonant. He wanted us all to get drunk. I’m paraphrasing of course, he didn’t literally say that, but I’m pretty sure it’s what he was getting at.
Just because I’m a little older than my cohort shouldn’t mean I can’t get involved in the social side of university life. In fact, precisely because I’m a little older I have to get involved, or else risk living as an outsider. And anyway, I’ve glimpsed life after university, I’ve had a mortgage and a real job; I know exactly how precious this relatively carefree time is so I’ll be damned if I’m staying in to watch Newsnight with an Ovaltine of an evening.
So now I feel good and justified in the life I’ve been leading here, I can share a few things I’ve witnessed so far out and about in the small hours in Nottingham. Please believe me when I say that I do not judge, but I have been amused.
Everyone has that friend or sibling or colleague in their life who won’t let them plough on after an embarrassing incident as though nothing happened. You wake up feeling like a lukewarm sack of poo, remember immediately that you behaved like the worst variety of bell-end the night before, so you open your first conversation with something innocuous like: “looks like the pound is heading for parity with the dollar,” or “did you know the collective noun for hedgehogs is an array?” in the hope that your friend/sibling/colleague (FSC) will take the hint and draw a line under “the incident”, whatever it may be. This FSC won’t let it happen. In wanton disregard of your diversion tactics, they will talk incessantly about your bell-endery, hashing and rehashing every embarrassing detail until you want to assume the foetal position and sob. It’s ungentlemanly, that’s what it is.
On a night out a few weeks ago, I witnessed a whole new level of the unforgiving FSC. A young lady who looked like she’d been trying to keep up with George Best was doing a rapid detox in the street outside a bar in Hockley. All poise was gone, no shred of elegance accompanied the ebb and flow of her body’s contractions as she rid herself of her Hooch and Lambrini cocktail. An FSC was in close attendance, dutifully holding back her friend’s hair, but I soon realised that her words of support or reassurance were falling a little short.
“You’ve been a total dick tonight, I can’t believe you’ve got in this state, you’ve made a complete fool of yourself…” she almost chanted. I can’t think of a worse thing to be told as you throw your guts up! At least she had a friend though.
Late one night/early one morning in the flat we were calmly informed by our flat mate that there was a naked person outside. The news was delivered so calmly that it took a moment for it to register.
“What do you mean there’s a naked person outside?” I asked.
“Come and see, I’ll show you.” he replied.
Sure enough, hanging off the door handle of a door that only opens from the inside, and sporting only a pair of pants, there lay one of the most drunk people I’ve ever seen. Since it was due to reach five or six degrees that night we thought it best to take him in, so we tentatively pushed the door open. He was completely unable to speak in sentences, and struggled to form most words, but by some miracle he was able to tell us his flat number. We set off hand in hand to tackle the stairs together and deliver him home, his jeans were still attached at one of his feet and dragged behind us like the train of a vomit soaked wedding dress.
We dropped him off with his mortified flat mates and carried on with our evening, basking in the warm glow of knowing we helped a fellow human (at the time we convinced ourselves we had saved a life so it was a very warm glow indeed). The following Monday the block received a request for any information regarding the incident from the company who run the halls, presumably because the lad concerned had left quite a hearty pile of his dinner outside the front door of our flat, along with one shoe. As far as I know, no one has grassed him up, but he could still be scuppered if the authorities conduct some sort of Cinderella investigation with the sicky shoe. Let’s hope not.
In the last five weeks I’ve managed to get to ten live gigs as well as five or six club nights, so I have plenty more stories like this, but I think I’ll save them for later…
Things I learned this week:
- Nineties fashion is coming back
- I get too excited about being retweeted
- The collective noun for hedgehogs
- How to embed a tweet (see below)
— Rescue Rooms (@rescuerooms) November 1, 2016