Boys Night Out

In order to celebrate the birthday of one of our friends, the “other halves” got together and organised a night out for us all, because apparently if they hadn’t done anything about it, we wouldn’t have organised anything – which is probably true.

So – at about half past seven last night I arrived at said friend’s house with a birthday card in my hand, and was immediately offered a drink. I chose cider, which it turned out was a fruit cider “borrowed” from their teenage daughter. Cue immediate laughter at my “very manly” drink from the growing group of friends in their kitchen. I of course did what everybody now expects of me, and took a photo of the Peroni glass filled with fizzy purpleness.

Half an hour later we found ourselves in a very strange situation indeed – standing outside a pub in the high street on Saturday night. It just so happened that the birthday boy wanted to go to the “pub of the moment” in town. You see – we live in a very affluent area, and every few months a new bar or restaurant will open, and it will be “the place to go” for a while – where people go to be seen, because they are essentially self absorbed, shallow assholes.

We talked briefly with the staff on the door, were told there was at least a half hour wait to get served a drink, so walked around the corner to another bar that was thankfully empty. I ordered the first round of drinks, and for the next couple of hours we set up camp in the pub garden under the heaters. More friends arrived over time, more rounds of drinks were consumed, stories were shared, and we all forgot about the cares of daily life.

After finally deciding to move on, we walked back into the bar, and the closest recreation I can recall of the Cantina scene from Star Wars. It’s literally been years since I last went out on the town on a Saturday night, and it was pretty entertaining – seeing the legions of self conscious twenty-somethings shouting in each other’s faces over the deafening music, and cacophony of nearby shouted conversations.

We wandered along the road to one of the more popular and oldest pubs in town, and ordered yet more drinks. I lost count. I seem to remember at least another couple of pints being consumed before somebody arrived at the table with a tray full of Jager Bombs. I had seen other people get horrendously hammered on Jager Bombs in the past, but had never drunk one myself, so was curious what they might be like. It turns out they are just an expensive variation on Redbull and Vodka – the “craze” that perpetuated bars 15 years ago. I drank 3 over the course of the next couple of hours, inbetween each round of beer.

Then something curious happened.

You know how a group of people go out for an evening, and although you’re all buying a certain person drinks for a birthday, or whatever, but actually you’re all looking out for them? You never anticipate that another of your group will be the one that crosses the line from “quietly having fun” to “life and soul of the entire place”, and you all hold your hands on your head as he dances off down the pub surrounded by fellow revelers.

I took a photo of the unfolding mayhem, expertly cropped it down, and shared it out to Facebook. Moments later an old friend arrived seemingly out of nowhere – she had been sitting with her other half across the bar, and had seen the Facebook update. There were huge hugs, smiles, and greetings of friends that hadn’t seen each other for years. I guess life had happened to all of us, and in those few moments we were taken back a decade or more. It was fun.

Eventually – after even more drinks, a couple of us decided it was time to extricate ourselves from the pub, and begin the walk home. I accompanied the birthday boy back to his door, and made sure it shut behind him before making my own way home – wandering into a quiet house, with my other half surrounded by a half-finished art installation (another story for another day).”Did you have fun?”I grinned, put the coffee on, and started telling the many stories of the evening.  

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