We've spoken time and time and time again about the murky underworld that is one's living room the morning after a big night out. The air practically furry with cigarette smoke, your eyes stretched, the sun an unwelcome pale ghost, come to highlight just how too old for this you are now. By now the music's some indiscriminate, indeterminate deep house mix that some v-neck bro none of you really know has put on and immediately fallen asleep to. This is the elephant's graveyard; where all the fairy dust that's been sparkling around everybody all night settles and turns to ash.
Think about this world for a bit too long and you'll start to feel sick—with regret, and the numb inevitability that you will be doing the exact same thing in a fortnight's time. Which is why I was left feeling sick, sick to the pit of my hairy little stomach, when Scottish sketch comedian Limmy released a brand new Party Chat last week.
If you haven't seen or heard of Party Chat, then you probably haven't seen Limmy's Show—meaning there is also a high chance you haven't heard of Limmy. For complete newcomers, Limmy is a comedian from Glasgow. He's probably best described as a "cult comedian"—shorthand for, his material is weird and most of his audience exists online—but for my mind, I can't think of another comedian who speaks with such chilling accuracy of the world of crushed pills and half smoked cigs.
Feast on this, his latest offering:
That's you that is. Rolling around in the same conversation like lukewarm, grey bath water for the best part of two hours, suddenly aware that you should have left this party a long time ago, but that now it's reached 8AM you've basically got no choice but to lose yourself even further. It might just be a short video, it might literally only feature one actor—Limmy from different angles—but it is harrowingly real. It's the same thing he did on the Party Chat skits from the original series, painting the debris of the afterparty that never really was. The intellectual wasteland you will spend the next week trying to forget. If anything, the cuts from the original series are even darker. The anonymous heads asleep in the corners, the weird slurred questions about Coronation Street, the tinny, pulsing music, the complete lack of atmosphere. I hate watching it, but I can't stop.
Effectively, we have all spent time with this guy. It takes a certain kind of night, and a certain cocktail of drugs and chronic fatigue, to reach this point. He's the central figure in every sketch, his eyes winding around the room like two marbles rolling off in opposite directions, his teeth sliding back and forth as though breaking the seal on an invisible Mars Bar wrapper. We have all known him, he has asked everyone one of us if we've had a good night, suggested to all of us we go and find a pub and keep going. He is the friend nobody quite recognizes, the friend everybody assumes came back with somebody else.
And if you don't recognize him, then he's probably you.
It's probably because Glasgow has such an amazing after party culture, but you definitely get the feeling Limmy has been here countless times before. Not only that, but you get the feeling he's been here before and come out the other side. Otherwise, it's unlikely he'd ever admit this reality to himself. All of us, when we're leaving the club and heading back to some living room somewhere in the opposite direction to where we live, paint a very different picture of what we're heading back for. We trick ourselves into believing the party will only get better, the conversation fuller and the music more glorious. We tell ourselves this will be it, this will be what we're waiting for. We tell ourselves, that guy must be somebody's else's mate.
It's not all desolation and mumbled sentences, but the Party Chat sketches are a window into the side of the crack on we so often fail to talk about. The shit side, the 'I should have gone home hours ago' side, the so tired but so awake side. And maybe, in a few years, when they are fully behind me as well, I might even find them funny.