A bad night out isn't that uncommon. Most nights out are bad nights out, or at leas disappointing nights out, nights out that becomes nights you'll never get back, nights where you could have eaten fish and chips in front of Take Me Out and had a wank instead of dropping fifty quid on a gram of terrible coke, forty on a taxi home, and thirty the next day on a diarrhea-inducing pizza. Most nights out drift into nothingness and all that hype and anticipation fizzles out as soon as you leave the house, washing up the next day in a dishwater grey puddle of remorse that crackles like an alka seltzer of ennui. Bad nights are ten a penny. But the worst nights? They come once in a lifetime. Hopefully.
We asked a few writers to delve into the painful past and tell us about the most truly rotten, diabolical, deeply depressing nights out they've ever, ever had. Expect defecation and heartbreak, masturbation and painful realizations. Expect six stories you can tell down the pub at the weekend. We've bared our souls for you and we hope you appreciate it.
Angus Harrison, THUMP Staff Writer
I'd struggle how to define the "worst night of my life." Many of the worst things that have happened to me on nights out occurred during otherwise brilliant evenings, and equally there's every possibility that an apparently terrible night sucks so bad you end up remembering it fondly for all time. For example, the actual worst night of my life was roughly a year and a half ago. I drank way too much, told too many people I didn't really know very well that I didn't know what I was doing with my life, tried to break up a fight unsuccessfully, resulting in both feuding parties turning on me, all the while wearing a stupid trench-coat I'd bought on eBay the previous week. Now that was a terrible night, but largely because of the swelling terribleness it left in my stomach as opposed to any eventful incidents. For this reason it doesn't make a very good story. For this reason, I'm instead going to tell you a story from five years ago, the story of the time I was sick on my own my shit and then shat on my own sick and then nearly threw up on my mate who was having a wank.
We were in Vietnam, in the beachy district of Nha Trang to be specific. The heat in the air that night was heavy with change, as though under the tropical conditions our previous selves were melting, and we were free to be re-moulded into whatever image we saw fit. The night in question took place during three months of intensely predictable pre-University travels, a trip that took in Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. What happened over the course of this night, this one night, all wearing board shorts and terrible vests, felt like a year's worth of weekends in one go. One mate lost his virginity, another broke down and confessed (very emotionally) to being an atheist, and at one point my lighter quite spontaneously blew up in my face. It was an evening that completely reshaped us in the most ludicrous ways possible. A night that left us cowering in fear of our own stomachs the following day, but also refreshed and reassured that there was plenty to still be excited about in the world. Partying beside a midnight blue sea under open moonlight, drinking lurid neon cocktails, smoking cheap cigarettes and talking and laughing until our throats were sore. In many ways it was the best night of my life.
However, on returning to the hotel, I did a shit, was sick on my shit, shit some more on my sick, got into bed without wiping my arse, fell asleep for 30 minutes, woke up to be sick some more, burst into the toilet on my friend trying to smash one out and was nearly sick on his exposed crotch. Funnily enough that's the part of the night that's stuck with me.
John Lucas, Contributor
It was in the candy-cane neon drenched bars and clubs of Ibiza. We'd hit the strip, our eyes gridded with red, and bulging, fuelled by pints of vodka and sparse dashes of Red Bull served up at our San Antonio hotel-cum-bordello. As a youth, my awareness of the island's more salubrious venues was limited. Space on Sunday was big—we'd heard of that, but moolah was in short supply. So we wound up on a bar crawl with the rest of the 18-30 gang, crapulous Brits, flags flying half-mast, gawking at broads, sinking ever lower in a Lethe of Alcopops.
My friend Bill and I broke away from the crew and found ourselves in a small backstreet club whose name might as well have been Jabba's Palace.
"Have you ever tried absinthe?" I asked, as Wamdue Project's "King of My Castle" played at a volume that would constitute cruel and unusual punishment
I ordered two shots of the murky green, wormwood-infused liquid, high on Toulouse Lautrec and Wildean fantasies, trying to reimagine this shiny-faced, Top Shop-halterneck dive as the Moulin Rouge.
"Right, let's count down from ten."
I remember getting to seven. Maybe I finished the countdown, maybe not. When I came to it was not in some gilded lounge surrounded by pulchritudinous night-nymphs and Danny Tenaglia sculpting sweet, melodic soundscapes. It was in a silent, spartan white room.
I sat up. I was lying on what appeared to be a metallic trestle table. There was a busted filing cabinet nearby, a tray with a glass of water on it and a bucket by the bed. The place stank of antiseptic.
I stood up shakily.
"No sir, wait," a voice said. I turned and saw a nurse. "We must check you are OK."
It was a medical centre. I must have passed out in the street, been picked up, brought here. Vague, uneasy, half-remembered dreams nudged at me. Had I been in Eden? Back on the strip?
I will never know.
The indignity of being transported to the hotel in an ambulance after my first night was considerable. So, too, was my concern about Bill. I had assumed he would be worried as it was now after noon. But when I got to our room he wasn't there. Unsure what to do, exhausted, I lay down and fitfully slept.
Finally, noisily, Bill returned. His awakening had been even ruder than mine—he'd come to by the side of the road somewhere between Ibiza Town and San An. He'd had to walk back in the blazing heat, uncertain of the direction and the name of our dive.
Shamefacedly, and reticent to talk about these laughable consequences of our gargantuan bender, we slept. By the next night, though, we were recovered, laughing.
Francisco Garcia, Contributor
If the central core of your identity rests on a rock of grey-tiled, low-level misery, then picking the 'worst night of your life' is quite a challenge. If you're naturally maudlin and prone to pathetic pangs of self pity then it's tough to isolate one night from the vast blurry gallery of pants-round-the-ankle, piss-down-the-trouser-leg nights and early mornings. It feels vaguely sacrilegious, like asking a evangelical Christian which actor does the buffest Jesus.
I'll be honest, it's a struggle. It could feasibly be the night I clipped my ex's heels in Glasgow Garage, and she immediately landed an elephant felling right-hook to my jaw of thin, smug, easy-shatter glass. Did I cry in front of a gaggle of our appalled and astonished friends? Did I ever!
It could just as feasibly be the night that I was Jazzy Jeffed out of a house-party in Bermondsey after the mum of the bloke who's house it was heard me say that 'Bermondsey is a shit-hole' on the phone. She wouldn't even let me get my wallet. Or my coat.
Or is it the night I tanned a bottle of Frosty Jacks and ended up howling at passing cars by Anniesland station? That was good. Or the night getting belted in the face outside of Tickety Boos (great pub, great clientele) in Dundee? That was great because it meant I had to wear foundation to my cousins 40th the next week and I love, love, love looking pretty on the big family functions.
They all mean so much to me, that I can't just isolate one. No, I like my misery in bunches and, anyway, I'm hoping the worst is yet to come.
Natalie Davies, Dummy
Imagine being in the club. Imagine playing a pretty decent DJ set in the club. Imagine walking out of the booth and ultimately, trying to have fun in the club. Then, the next thing you know, you're hiding in a pot-wash cupboard with a lump the size of an ostrich egg on your head.
Yes, I once went out in Manchester and got bottled by a maniac. As usual in the Cottonopolis, the club was run by a Hacienda affiliate and looking back, the line-up was awful. I was warming up for Rusko. I did my thing. I left the booth. I went and stood with my friends. Next thing I know, there's a bouncer next to me, asking me to come upstairs. "This girl says one of your group glassed her." I got frog-marched upstairs, then the girl runs at me, wraps a bottle of Stella around my head and then, I'm not really sure. I ran downstairs and hid in the pot-wash cupboard, with a female glass collector trying to shoo me out. I tried to get into the DJ booth to get my bag and leave, but Rusko's wife must have thought I was a groupie because she wouldn't let me pass. The mood was heightened and then the police came. I got taken into the green room. It was very strange. The CCTV got examined and sure enough, the girl didn't get glassed by 'one of my group'. I remember the policeman was from Bolton and talking absolute shit—laughing because the girl who smacked me knocked the bouncers front teeth out when she got dragged through the door.
She was wearing a fucking Run DMC t-shirt, too.
RYAN BASSIL, NOISEY
I did a very explosive shit in a toilet that didn't have a lock on it.
JOSH BAINES, THUMP
The worst night of my life ends with the girl who'd just dumped me sleeping with her ex-boyfriend. It starts with six cans of Special Brew. Somewhere in the middle I managed to get dumped, lose my debit card, and spend six hours either slumped on the floor or trying to protest my sobriety to an increasingly irritable doorman. Oh, and it was my 19th birthday too.
I don't like birthdays, really, so I was fully prepared to maybe ask a few friends if they wanted to go for a pint later that day, fully prepared to pretend not to care that they were 'busy' and 'really sorry' that they couldn't make it. Instead, my then-girlfriend had arranged a surprise party in my honour. We were going to have some drinks and then go to a club. In Kingston-upon-Thames. I had never been to Kingston-upon-Thames and did not really want to go to Kingston-upon-Thames. Rather than saying this, I smiled weakly and ploughed through can after can of very strong. very thick, very syrupy lager, mixed with very strong, very thick, very metallic cider. There was a birthday cake. There was probably Animal Collective on the stereo. There was also a very real, very tangible, very palpable sense of dread in the air.
The last thing I remember being said before we left my flat and stumbled to the train station was, "I don't think this is going to end well." The friend who said that made a quiet exit. He was, obviously, predictably, horribly right.
Somewhere between boarding a train at one station and alighting at another, I lost my debit card. At this point, I could barely think, let alone speak. People kept asking me where I'd last seen it. "Hrzhzgh….may…fuckkk…heufghcc," was my response to each of them. Or something along those lines.
Somewhere between getting on another train and alighting at another station, my girlfriend had dumped me. I watched her stand up and have a piss in the section between carriages.
We arrived at the club in Kingston-Upon-Thames, the club in Kingston-Upon-Thames that I hadn't wanted to go to. By this point, I'd experienced several nervous breakdowns and was exceptionally, headfuckingly pissed. It was no surprise then that I didn't make it into the club. Everyone else I was with did. No one stopped to see if I was OK being left, alone, outside a nightclub I hadn't wanted to go to, newly single, on my birthday. I made a string of phone calls to my now-ex. A flurry of texts somehow squirmed from my fingers. "plz i cant get in club plaz hlp me," that kind of thing. Sent over and over and over. Every ten minutes I asked the bouncer if I could come in now, and every ten minutes he'd tell me to go away for an hour and every ten minutes I'd come back and ask the same thing. This happened for hours. Eventually I received a text. "We're all inside. Go home." I didn't know how to go home.
I remember, vividly, though I am not sure if it happened or not, being stood near the banks of the river. A group of lads, in a boat, moored up near me. They asked if I was ok. "It's my birthday," I told them, over and over. I don't remember how they reacted, if they did at all.
The hours went by. I slumped on the floor, waiting for something to take me away from here. A tap on the shoulder. A familiar few faces. "Where were you? What happened to you?" I didn't know, I told them. I don't know what happened.
I am in a taxi, driving from Kingston to New Cross. The taxi drives past streets I sort of recognize. I am sort of home, I think. I am sat in the taxi with my now ex-girlfriend. The taxi pulls up at a house I know isn't hers. She gets out. The taxi takes me to the gates of my flat. I pay. I get into bed. I realize what has happened.