When You Just Don’t Have It Anymore

There have been two stages in my life where I’ve dreaded a night on the town. The first one was when I was around 16 and I had just started going on nights out to pubs and clubs with my main crew (see, I’m still G) and I used to dread going out beforehand because I was of course, under the legal drinking age limit.

Naturally the drinking age over here is 18; unlike you silly American’s who have to wait until you’re early 20s, it seems like a massive waste of time to me.

When I was 16 I’d be getting ready for a night out but the running thoughts throughout my mind mainly consisted of “I hope I don’t get ID’d tonight and have to wait outside for the rest of my mates to come out.”

It wasn’t totally unwarranted because there was a night where I didn’t get let into a nightclub but the rest of the people I were with did and because I was supposed to be staying at one of those friends’ house all my stuff was there including my house keys, so I couldn’t even go home.

They all went in at 10pm, I was the only one that was asked to produce ID. (Damn my baby face.)

When Drinking On The Train To Sheffield Was Cool…

Unable to provide such I just sat at the bus stop outside the club and began my long wait for said friend to come out. I sat there and watched as all these drunk older people were let in; this one girl came and sat next to me, we exchanged smiles and just sat in silence, because I was too shy to talk to girls at that age and she was extremely attractive. A bloke in the queue for the club shouted at her, “ALRATE TART HOW ABOUT YOU SIT ON MY FACE YEAH?” If that happened these days the only thing that bloke would have on his face was the red mark left by the backside of my hand but back then I was just some 16 year old kid and he was bigger than I was and had considerable backup.

The girl told him to fuck off in defence and went on her way; I sat there alone again. Naturally back then phones weren’t as advanced as they are now and there was only so many times you could play Snake before it became tiresome so I just put my head in my hands and sat there looking at the pavement.

Older women would walk past and stroke my hair, give me a sinister smile, men would come up to me and ask me if I had any drugs, a tramp asked me if I could “lend” him a quid.

The hours passed, it got to 2am and there was still no sign of friends anywhere. So I walked off and decided I’d go home and wake my parents once I got there, luckily moments after I called a taxi said friend had finally come out of the club and we eventually went home.

Since that moment until I turned 18 and got ID I always dreaded going out.

Fast forward 11 years and I find myself in the same situation. Not dreading being asked for ID any more but how busy the place I’d eventually end up in would be.

Much Rather Be Doing This…

Tonight for example I went to some nondescript comedy club with some friends for a girls birthday, we then headed into Sheffield city centre afterwards; I was driving so I wasn’t drinking. (Usually when I say I wasn’t drinking, I’d mean I’ll have a few but still be in an acceptable state to drive home but I never chance it with Sheffield any more as they seem to randomly pull you over to spot check in case you have been drinking.) The first bar we went to had these “banging choons” something about Gangnam style whatever the fuck that is? Naturally the first thing I said to one of the guys I was out with was “I’m too old for this shit.”

Asian guys walking in with their “bad boy” walk, sluts wearing extremely short and low cut dresses (I don’t mind this so much). It was rammed, me and a couple of friends retreated to the smoking area where a random girl came up to me and asked me if I was “Ard Pete”, I confirmed this fact to her and she shook my hand, reached into her bra and gave me an Ace of Spades playing card and went off on her way. I had no clue what this was about, I’d never seen her before. I can only assume I’m somewhat famous in Sheffield.

When Everyone Else Was Out On Payday… We Were In Watching The Olympics

We left the pub and everyone wanted to go to a club, I’ve come to the realisation that when you look at a queue and the first thing you think isn’t “It’s going to be buzzing in here” but instead “Fuck it’s busy in there” that’s when you know it’s time to stick to old man pubs.

I wasn’t even drinking so I certainly wasn’t paying £5 just to enter and drink Coke, I hopped in a taxi to where my car was parked and drove home.

It’s got to the stage now where if a bouncer doesn’t let me into a club I thank him rather than argue. There was a time that if I was home before 4am, it’s been a sub-par night. Once I actually left a club at 6am and got the bus home. Now if I’m home after midnight I’ve done well to stay out so late.

There’ll be loads of people my age out and about even now as I write this but people hit their drinking peak at different ages and mines definitely come and gone. I think it went a couple of years ago in China when I was drinking straight Johnny Walkers at a club called Sticky Fingers with a guy from New Jersey called Tony Bottles while he was trying to score cocaine from some Columbian prostitute at 6 in the morning. Already I am fretting about some stag do I have to attend in Newcastle in a couple of weeks, it’s going to be well busy, I just want to stay in bed and watch Star Trek.

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Author: 'Ard Pete

Hey everyone, my names Pete, friends call me 'Ard Pete because... well, I'm well 'Ard. Currently in Chesterfield, England, currently working as an I.T. Technical Lead for BT Business and Public Sector; it sounds more glamourous than it is but I'm a dab hand with Microsoft products. I enjoy television, mainly any Star Trek, all of Stargate, Lost, anything Joss Whedon has produced, 24 and House. Favourite music includes; Mumford and Sons, Jason Mraz, Eminem, Chris Cornell, Ludovico Einaudi, Goo Goo Dolls, Muse, 30 Seconds To Mars basically a wide variety of anything that's real, I hate dance, trance and anything like that, I don't consider that to be music. Not much of a sports guy, I like Professional Wrestling, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, I can watch Football but only when I'm forced to watch it. Favourite author is Terry Pratchett, favourite film is Armageddon, favourite comedian is Lee Evans, favourite idiot is Karl Pilkington, favourite game is GTAIII, if there's anything else you wish to know, don't hesitate to ask. I'll more than likely not be busy.

8 thoughts on “When You Just Don’t Have It Anymore”

  1. The older I get the less tolerant I am of other people. Staying in bed to watch Star Trek sounds like a very good night to me.

  2. I think this is just a sign of maturity. When we’re young aren’t we trying to do everything to seem cool when really we’re happier sitting around with a few friends connecting? I always love how you paint a picture of life in England streets. Everyone seems so angry and like a modern day evil Dickens character.

    The big problem I always see is when one person is immature they usually lead the bunch and everyone else gets stupid drunk and doesn’t end up having much fun. Me, I’m happy just to be around people I like.

    Great post Pete! Maybe one of my favorites by you other than my tribute.

    1. Hmm I dunno, I am still pretty immature… I suppose when we’re younger we spend most of our time with friends, due to college etc so we have nothing to really talk about on nights out, as we get older we’re all going our separate ways so I think it has shifted from partying to reconnecting.

      Everyone in England is either a slut or angry on a Saturday night, don’t get me started on angry sluts.

      And thank you, your tribute was certainly the pinnacle of my writing career 😀

  3. I know its only part of your bigger narrative, but the story of your underage exploits is *really* well -written. The details are so singular and yet so universal here that I had to stop and reread it four, five times. You’re a natural storyteller Pete, especially when you get inside your own stories. (Real storytellers are rare. They make great novelists. Hint, hint.)

    When I was young, I stayed out late as much as possible. But there came a point early in my 20s where I was in college and working full time at a job that would help my career— so I couldn’t go out anymore. I didn’t want to go out, either.) I think after a few years of going out, we become more selective about everything— the company we keep, the places we go, the things we do— because we can. We know their are options.

    (And by the way, I too used to sneak into clubs. I got busted once and the door guy made sure I was well humiliated. See, the reason they didn’t bother with me much ordinarily is that I used an 18 or under boy’s ID. They mark your hand with a GIGANTIC black X when you’re underage in Texas.)

    Ah, that well-written underage narrative of yours is going to stick with me for the rest of the day. Love that.

    1. Maybe I should write about my younger years when I’m extremely tired more often! Thank you so much 🙂

      I will say one thing, my nights out are such a relief these days, there was one portion of my life where every week I’d end up getting into a pub brawl with some random drunkard that was trying to assault one of my friends. I was the protector as it were, or I’d get people intentionally trying to provoke me when I’m just there minding my business.

      I don’t tend to get that a lot any more, maybe because I don’t look so much like a baby faced youngster these days haha.

      1. Maybe you should write more about your youth— tired or not! I’dread it.

        Due to circumstances I don’t even know how to describe…. Well, I do, actually— I studied Irish step-dancing for seventeen years. I spent a LOT of time performing in bars and clubs with my dance school, and then later, with visiting bands as a soloist.

        Because of those circumstances, the mystique of bars and pubs didn’t exist for me, really, when I came of age. I’ve seen every kind of drunk person you can imagine. I’ve got a few stories tucked away as a result.

        I think one of the wonderful things about life is that once something becomes a bit predictable, you can look around and find something else to do that isn’t nearly so routine. This always amazes me.

        1. The only time I enjoy going out now is if I’m doing something else like, going to a music gig and then a few beers after. I don’t see the point in night clubs, never did. People seem to go there to meet women but what kind of woman are you going to have a future with when they’re sweaty, pissed up whores that aren’t above weeing infront of a couple dozen people.

          My youth isn’t all that exciting, it’s pretty much like now but more violence on my part haha.

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