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.)
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.
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.
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.