The usual malarkey: go to a house party with some friends, finish the six packs we’d brought, steal someone else’s beers, get stuck into the host’s whiskey, then (finally, triumphantly) muscle in on the stereo, hip-house brimming iPods in hand. A crushing discovery on this tip: Gen Y appear not to understand the KLF. At all. Parliament, Prince and MJ still in floor-working order though….
A wee boogie, then it's a short stumble to 3am carnage, with nothing for company other than a bathtub full of soggy cardboard and meltwater, huge tables full of half-consumed bevvies and a floor festooned with that sticky black muck that I’ve been told is the residue of an evening’s hopes and dreams.
The normal unfolding of the night, but nonetheless a weird party because of the vibe generated by the gaggles of partygoers, all of whom formed clumps and thieved booze from each other, while not appearing to want to talk to each other, not for much more than a bummed fag. Some mixes just don’t mesh, and this one was a mash.
You think you go to a party to meet people, but who exactly? The very next day, my friend summed it up. ‘Do you remember that girl that X introduced us to? The one with the flesh-toned wedge heels, the jaunty baseball cap and the mouth stuffed full of teeth?’ I said I did – how could I forget? Then he said: ‘She was nice, but… no sooner had she spoken about three sentences, I just knew we could never, ever, ever be friends… and I knew she felt exactly the same way about me.’
Discriminating is inevitable and necessary, even though it is inevitably and necessarily incorrect. Most doctors have your diagnosis sussed to within three possibilities in as many minutes. In a lot of cases, what you actually say about your condition doesn’t matter that much. Sometimes it doesn’t matter at all. Why? The doc’s already got a hunch. After that, she’s just matching and fitting everything about you against it.
The party was not that different – take the hunch off the doctor and stick it on us and our fellow party-goers. Even before actually meeting other people, we’re already sussing the scene: clothes, sure, but also posture, height, complexion, voice – one girl even got ticked right off my friend’s list for nothing more than a piggy guffaw. Okay, so we subsequently found out it was more like a horrendous cackle that ended every upper-inflexed sentence, but hey…
People click, clique, and clump – and this clannishness is fine, provided the feeling is mutual. That’s what love is: stalking in which the feeling is mutual. And it’s nice to find the people you like, the people you’re like, and who (are) like you. But the other side of seeing eye to eye and finding like and love is how wrong we are about our assessments of each other. But this takes time to realise, which is why you mostly only hear people exclaim ‘We were totally wrong for each other’ at the end of a relationship. Could have been that Ms Tooth Mouth (or maybe even Ms Ugly Guffaw) was the right one for you, but you ticked her box off your list, stole her beer, and then totally and finally alienated her by singing along to ‘3 a.m. Eternal’.
in which the naked chimp is unmasked, his machines debugged, and his bugbears debunked
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