Saturday, December 23, 2006

Locked out

Midnight. I send a text: 'I have lost my keys and am now eating fish and chips on the stairs with my fingers.'

I hadn't eaten anything substancial yesterday (unless you count pub crisps), and I was looking forward to my takeaway until I got to my front door and realised I was locked out. Large Northern Flatmate was inexplicably absent having a social life, so I had to ring the intercom to Moody Female Girls' abode ("Hello, I'm the guy who lives downstairs with the Large Miserable Git and I've lost my keys and was won-bzzzz-, Oh, thanks.)

The day had started with some degree of what was in store. I had awoken sans alarm, regaining consciousness naturally only to notice broad daylight streaming through the thin curtains and lighting up the room. Shit, this isn't 7am. I turned to look at my alarm clock ~ 10.30am. Shitshitshitshitshit. I leaped out of bed and switch my mobile phone on. It buzzes with the frenetic alerts of a series of missed calls.


I phone my boss and apologise profusely. My last day of work this year and I was looking forward to it. I race in and plough through all that has to be done. It approaches 1pm. Our delivery guys arrive so we all head off to the pub next door. Salubrious drinks are drunk (Carling). We chat. I text friends who are beginning to converge in various parts of London. I wish my colleagues a very happy Christmas and head for the tube.

This is becoming tremendously exciting. I am so happy (i.e. bouyed by a couple of drinks), that when I see an old orthodox Jewish guy at Marble Arch, I slap him on the back and wish him a Good Shabbos, it being Friday n' all (Merry Christmas not being applicable in this instance.) He then stops me to ask if I live in London.
'Why yes I do, Sir!'
'And are you Jewish?'
'Indeed I am! Well, my parents are, allegedly.'
'Can I stay at your house?'

I suddenly feel tremendously guilty. No of course you can't stay at mine. Well, technically you can, but a) I'm about to celebrate myself into the gutter and b) Large Northern Flatmate may be a little surprised to find a bearded religious stranger sleeping on the sofa. I felt bad because he was clearly from out of town, and was hoping that by putting his fate in the hands of a fellow co-religionist, he'd be assured that I as a complete stranger wouldn't rob him or take him to a crack den, while for my part I could be pretty confident I wouldn't return home to find him blind drunk on the carpet having soiled himself. That's my job, after all.

So instead I gave him directions to the nearest synagogue I could think of while I got my tube and realised I'd sent him the wrong way. Now feeling less cheerful and really guilty, I met Ali and Luke, who admonished me for taking up smoking again.

In my defence, it's Christmas, ok? An overindulgence of booze, fags, porn, crack cocaine and mass-produced cheap pork sausages are all part of the Season of Goodwill - not that I actually seem to have any goodwill.

We get a black cab to the Blue Posts where the pub clientele have morphed from twats in expensive suits to twats in expensive t-shirts, and meet up with Rob and Hippy Dave, who admonishes me for taking up smoking again. The women are gorgeous and trendy and ignore me more than normal, almost giving themselves whiplash such was the vehemence of their head-turning to face the opposite way when eye-contact was made.

We leave. Some faffing as to what to do next. We go to the Old Coffee House which is rammed and smokey. A cute girl seems to keep looking over, but she's at a table of blokes with tinybeards. Quiz machine. I order 5 lagers, and 5 schnapps. The barman says 'Six Schnapps?' and I reply, 'No, five.' He then repeats 'Six?' and points to himself. 'It is Christmas!' he adds before offering a gap-toothed grin. Oh christ, go on then.

I return to our party. Ali and Rob are having a heated argument about the environment. We all leave.

I get home, buy cod, realise I'm an absent-minded idiot.

I call Large Northern Flatmate to tell him I'm locked out. He's in a crowded bar back in town, and will return to let me in. Not wanting to ruin his evening, I tell him to 'take your time'.

He does, for three hours.

I have to go somewhere and do something. I try no less than five local pubs but despite the new extended hours laws and the fact that it's Christmas weekend, all of them are open enough for me to walk in, yet closed enough for them to tell me they've stopped serving, and 'Get Out'.

I am told to go to The Gallery. I do. It is shit. Obstensibly one large square room that plays music and serves alcohol, upstairs is a tiny balcony with seats that overlooks said room so, despite being tired and wanting to go home, I sit and wait. And then it occurs to me, this is just the kind of scenario when Something might Happen. A girl approaches me and ask for a cigarette. I nod mutely and offer her one. She sits down.
'Are you from around here?'
'What secondary school did you go to?'
'Secondary school? Uh, I don't know. One in Barnet. No-one's asked me that for years. How old are you?' I ask.
'22', she says. Too young for me, to be honest. So when she says 'I'll be back in a minute' and I never see her again, I'm not that bothered.

When I go downstairs for my final drink to pass the time, a man taps me on the shoulder. It is French Ben, a guy who used to live with Large Northern Flatmate a couple of years ago. I notice he is drinking beer which surprises me as I know he's a recovering alcoholic and was in AA. He tells me that his girlfriend has gone back to her husband, so he's hit the bottle.

He seems to be doing ok, all things considered, even if he keeps referring to 'Ze bitch' more often than I liked and bragging that he's slept with 116 women. And then Pete calls. He's at home.

And so begins the Christmas break. No wonder The Samaritans are inundated this time of year.


Anonymous said...

Greetings Earth-hater! Great blog entry as per usual. Apparently, according to (whispers) someone else's blogspot, I have a blogcrush on you!! I haven't had a crush since Morten Harket of A-Ha, so I am quite pleased with myself. So as the object of my blogcrush I fully expect you to keep me entertained all of 2007!! Hope you have a great chanukah which according to "the Gentile's guide to jewish holidays" sounds a little like Divali!! Have a good break and a happy new year!! xx

Eileen Dover said...

Fancy getting plastered with me while watching sappy American made-for-TV movies?

I'd have to admonish you for taking up smoking again. Nasty dreadful habit. It will kill you, you know, right?

Now.. be a love and when you come over, bring a few bottles of good vodka and a packet of Doritos. I'm hoping the alcohol content of the vodka and preservatives in the chips will help me live a long and healthy life.


PS. Happy Festivus.

Joie DeVivre said...

Your blog rocks. You are tres funny and absent minded.

I gave a guy far more time than i shouldve the other night, purely cos he lived in chiswick, and thats near my old haunts and i thought of you.

Stop the terrible evil smokes, says Joie, inhaling a terrible evil smoke.

luna said...

Your blog is morphing into the Blue Guide to Drinking in London, do you actually write reviews for them?

luna said...

Found you a Xmas present:

The ginger survival guide.
Everything the Redhead Needs to Cope in a Cruel Gingerist World.

by Tim Collins

Happy Hangover!

Anonymous said...

You don't remember what secondary school you went to?

And also ---- stop smoking (in case you didn't already get that message from Joie and Eileen). :)

Happy holidays, you popular boy (see above comments).

Fussy Bitch said...

22 and that's the extent of her chat-up lines? You're well shot of her, babe!

VI said...

Joie told me in her stoned little way on the phone the other night swapping merry christmas's how much she hearts your blog so had a perusal. Amazing how the little cow always tells everybody to give up fags when she is puffing on one herself! I'll share a cig with ya mate! Merry Christmas and happy new year!

fwengebola said...

Anon ~ Welcome back, Kaur! And who's blog is this? Thanks for telling me about Channukah. All I know is something about Romans trying to kill my lot, and a candle burning miraculously for eight days. Amen.
ED ~ Gimme the telly and I'll bring the Ben n' Jerrys and a whole bunch of carb rich treats. And whassa point of me bringing stuff you can get in Boise, Idaho? I'll be bringing Marmite, PG Tips, Double Deckers and Cadbury's Creme Eggs.
And Happy Festivus for the restovus right back atcha.
JDV ~ puff. Enough with the chatting up men from my manor, puff, that's no benchmark of quality puff.
Wait a minute, of course it is.
Lune ~ The BlueGuide? Whassat? I can't help it. I mention a drinking house and I've gotta mention it. Plus, clues, clues, clues.
Wasn't Tim Collins an army bod?
LFM ~ I don't remember my secondary school because I left my primary early and it skewed everything out of kilter. I guess it's the one I went to in Barnet.
FB ~ A chat-up line? Really? I thought she was just after my smokes.
Vi ~ Ooh, you're nice. You chat to Joie on the human voice thing? Good lord. Well thank her for being astute and erudite. She sent me 20 Marlies in the post as she's got plenty to spate so I think you'd best put her right quick.

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

(I've been drinking)

luna said...

Clues? Are you looking for a stalker?
Are we playing Treasure Trail?