Pretty Much Everything That's Ever Happened in a Nightclub Vol.4
Jeff Brazier! Keith Chegwin! Broken dreams! Clubs really do have it ALL going on!
Hey everyone, here's another collection of things that have happened in nightclubs!
1) The club owner is a financial advisor named Richard, who saw the movie Coyote Ugly in a UCI cinema on a lonely summer evening in August 2000 and thought that the entire premise, design and choreography would work perfectly in a very reasonably priced and modestly sized 1000 sq/ft commercial unit in Darlington. It would be a decent little earner.
2) The club owner is awaiting the results of a paternity test. He has raised little Jordan for five years now, by recent allegations thrown around by a notorious local love-rat have thrown things into doubt. He wants to trust Maxine, he really does. He thinks he trusts her. Jordan looks like him, doesn't he? Doesn't he.
3 The club owner is stood in a large Maplins at 5.30pm. The club opens in an hour and a half. Should he go for the one with the gold-plated male connector, or the one with the bright blue girthy flex and the 1-year warrantee. He did not want to have a Valentines Slow Jamz incident all over again. The security guard has closed the shutters to half-way, and the only till open is at the customer services desk. The manager is rubbing the bridge of his nose where his glasses were, irritated and sighing.
4) The club owner is halfway through Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. He thinks it is "a clever page turner," but not quite as good as The Da Vinci Code.
5) The club owner is being hoisted aloft by cheering revellers and carried through the dancefloor and corridors. He's never looked at the stippled ceiling tiles this closely before. The celebration below him seems tinged with something. Are they happy for him? He's forgotten why they've lifted him in the first place. The scuffed spots on the ceiling are whooshing past him now, faster and faster. He looks down and there are no longer people beneath him. He's being carried on a cushion of air alone, and the floor has disappeared. The ceiling is now dreadfully black and infinite. He is completely lost in the void. And it's Monday. He's not even supposed to be at work today. He realises he's having the Bah Mitzvah dream again.
6) You've seen an adult man dressed as a Smurf in the club. The man dressed as a Smurf has noticed that you've noticed him, and he's now frantically trying to conjure up an impression of a Smurf, but he instantly realizes that his memory of anything to do with Smurfs other than them being blue has vanished. The pair of you are stuck in a no-man's land. You stare at one another, blankly, blinking, both hoping the situation will resolve itself silently and painlessly, except it doesn't and you realise that you're rooted to the spot and time freezes, it just stops, time just stops right there, in that look, in this club, and you remain there forever, and ever, and ever.
7) You've seen an adult man who looks a bit like Keith Chegwin, so you shout, "Oi, Keith," at him, but Keith Chegwin doesn't initially hear you. He will later go on to tell the court that the club's newly installed Dyson Airblade makes "a helluva racket." Because Keith didn't hear you shout, you flick him round the ear. Even mid-flick you feel a gnawing sense of regret. You shouldn't flick a man's ear. No one wants their ear flicked. Keith does not react well to the flick. In a few years time, Keith will sell his story to a Sunday tabloid. There will be a photo of you on the front page—blurry and pixelated, you will look like a chunk of flesh with hair sellotaped on. You will not recognise yourself. But it is you. Keith paid for your wrongdoings. You will never forget it.
8) You've seen an adult man drinking a small bottle of beer. He's stood right at the bar, half leaning on it. He has a slice of lime stuffed tightly into the tight, brown, rim of his bottle of beer. He sucks at the beer, and you realise that, quite plainly actually, this is the first time he's ever tried beer. His lips are pursed, his throat convulses as the fizzing liquid slides down, his eyes tighten as he forces himself to swallow properly, like a big boy, because he is a big boy now, mummy told him so, and mummy said big boys drink beer out of bottles, so he's doing what mummy says, and he's hating every second of it, and as you turn away, feeling sorry for the first-timer, you hear a noise, and the noise is halfway between a guttural groan and a high whinny, and then there's a smell, and that smell is yeasty and sour.
9) You've seen an adult man wearing a Deadmaus mirror-ball helmet and an oversized adult's nappy. He repeatedly lifts the visor up and down over his eyes to see where he's going, stumbling into groups of people, interrupting their conversations. At first people ignore his ploys, until in a desperate grab for attention, he removes the helmet entirely, concealing it behind his back, before walking into the centre of another circle of revellers, and beaming as he shouts "Have you seen one of these?!" quickly donning the helmet again and spinning around with his hands in the air. Whilst he's temporarily blinded by the helmet, the crowd use the opportunity to make haste and leave. His power to repel others seems chemically reactive; magnetic.
10) You've seen an adult man quietly trying to plug the aux cable from his iPod classic into the back of the mixer, but with a very crude understanding of how this works, he seems to be pressing a headphone against the mixer and another to his ear. The bouncer repeatedly asks him to "please stop what you're doing" with increasingly impressive levels of restraint. The man in question is well known to the club - he used to be its former owner and resident DJ until the club changed hands over 15 years ago. Since then his grip on this small town's local nightlife scene has gone from being vice-like to an anemic half-handshake. His career change from club-owner to industrial plastic pipe regional sales rep. had at the time, after a particularly lengthy binge, seemed like the sensible choice of a 35-year-old man finally settling down into the grim actuality of adult responsibility each of his string of partners had chastised him for not understanding. But for the past sixteen weekends of the past four months, he had begun to realise that selling industrial pipelines to other middle-aged men with clipboards in the foyers of countless budget roadside hotels wasn't quite doing what night after night in Bamboogie used to do. He wanted to feel connected again.
11) Jeff Brazier is telling an unnamed young woman about his burgeoning friendship with Gordon Ramsay. Jeff claims the pair met at an awards show a few years back, and they've become good pals, and Jeff's even cooked for Gordon. Jeff says he served up pan fried red mullet with cherry and nut stuffing. Jeff has never met Gordon Ramsay.
12) Jeff Brazier drops a glass of champagne over himself in the roped off section of Fiction, Stoke-on-Trent. The champagne, actually just cava, because Jeff's name on the bill shifted less tickets than the promoters had hoped, is pooling on the crotch of his Evisu jeans. He shouts, "LOOKS LIKE I PISSED MYSELF DUNNIT," because it does look like he's just sat there and pissed himself. Sensing an opportunity to commit a genuinely transgressive act, Jeff just sits there and pisses himself. The piss trickles down his leg, pooling in his loafers. It is one of the happiest moments of his life.
13) Jeff Brazier is dancing to "Uptown Funk" but he isn't thinking about that song or the club he's in or dancing. Instead, he's thinking about the pleasant sensation of driving a Honda Jazz, a car that comes with nearly 400 litres of cargo area. Quentin Wilson says that "visibility is great, with a tall, upright driving position," adding that the "smooth gearshift and light steering make it a breeze to drive," and Jeff would agree. He can't wait to be back on the road tomorrow.
14) Jeff Brazier is alone in the VIP bathroom. He can see in the mirror a reflection of three toilet cubicles behind him. They do not have doors, but heavy red velvet curtains. The thunderous noise of a toilet flush bellows from the first cubicle, the curtain billowing and rippling like a flag atop a fairy-tale castle. Inside there is no toilet, just a gilt-gold framed oil painting of a tiger pacing the beach of a serene and deserted island. Another flush, somehow louder than the first, emanates from the far right curtain, revealing in a flourish another ornate gold framed oil painting. This time it depicts a silver shark thrashing in the waves before a beautiful tropical beach. Only the central cubicle is left, its curtain rippling in anticipation, caught in the mysterious mounting gale. The curtain rips from the ceiling in a storming fury as Jeff turns around; it wraps around his eyes and he cannot see. Peeling it away, horrified, he recognises the woman standing before him. It's June Sarpong, dripping in a sequined Great Gatsby flapper dress. "Welcome back to the Island, Jeff," she hisses, grinning.
15) Jeff Brazier touches the tip of his nose, cheekily. "That's for me to know, and for you to find out mate!" he beams.
16) At the burger van in the club carpark, a bloke you vaguely remember from sixth-form—but he might actually have gone to your sixth-form now you think about it, no, you don't think he did but you can't remember exactly what ties him to your sixth-form memories, there must be something, something that takes you back twenty years now, if only you could remember what it was, but that's the thing you can't remember anything these days, you're getting old and you're creaking and your mind is going and tonight was a bad idea and you shouldn't have bothered really because here you are at two in the morning and you've got work tomorrow and you're about to buy a ½ pound burger, even though you've seen a parade of other pissheads tottering into alleys clasping at their thick, grey discs of boiled meat, and you saw the burbling and bubbling of underdone flesh, and you noticed the grease that was falling into puddles by shoes, and you are so old now, so old—is frying you a burger.
17) At the burger van in the club carpark a man, seemingly alone, is doing a stunningly accurate impression of Sean Connery.
18) At the burger van in the club carpark you see the person you made a concerted effort to keep chatting to and to 'accidentally' meet at the bar the entire night—the person you were sure things were going great with until, like a thunderbolt, you were struck by an anxiety-shit. That was two, maybe three hours ago. They have a look on their face that says "Where were you? Where did you go? What the fuck happened?" It's now or never. You inhabit your coolest smile and saunter over.
"Hey, sorry ab-mphmmphphh…' you begin, but the burger bread roll is clacking together in your mouth like wallpaper paste, and now its ejecting, ejecting everywhere, it's pouring in reams and reams that seem impossible, it's like a till-receipt covered in the endless transactions of your private shame.
"Sorr-mmhphyyyym…" and its still coming, overflowing now, the entire carpark is filling with it and your fucking swimming in it, it's actually moving you in a torrent like a mudslide, and in desperation you reach for their hand but they've gone under, they've been pulled under by the ferocious torrent. And what would you even say to them anyway?
19) At the burger van in the club carpark, there's a very funny incident involving a fried egg, a former soap starlet and a few things we're not allowed to mention for legal reasons. Very funny though!
20) At the burger van in the club carpark, Jeff Brazier is buying everyone's hot dogs. Everyone who eats a hot dog paid for by Jeff Brazier will always think of him as a kind-hearted soul. Little do they know that Jeff Brazier perfoms the "Go on then...who wants a banger!" routine every night of his life. It has put him in an incredibly tricky financial situation, but he shows no signs of stopping.
21) Ten minutes before closing, you go to the booth and shout in the DJs ear that Gran Turismo 3 is the best of the lot. The DJ, being a man with a quite visible Gran Turismo 2 tattoo on his neck is enraged by your claim. This he realises, with a suddenness that sees him totally forgetting to cue "Sex on Fire" up, leaving the club hanging in the netherworld that's a silent dancefloor, is the first time he's ever been challenged on anything he loves.
22) Ten minutes before closing, you go to the booth and shout in the DJs ear "Can you play "Needin U" mate?" but the DJ slowly turns the volume down in the monitors and looks at you in motherly sympathy, removing the headphones from his perfect skull and catching one of his ears playfully as they come to rest around his neck.
"So you need a new mate?" he smiles, "Why didn't you just say?" and he takes your hand, letting the current track play out, and walks you slowly through the centre of the dancefloor until your beneath the disco ball. It illuminates you both like a Brooklyn streetlamp. You feel like the only two people on earth.
"You should have just said…" he smiles again coyly, and before you can clarify what you actually said, he leans in to kiss you.
23) Ten minutes before closing, you go to the booth and shout in the DJs ear, "the thing is right, mate, that actually, Corbyn was in with a fair chance, you know, he was just…" You realise that you are the most boring person on earth, so you remove yourself from the ear, the DJ, the booth, the club, and eventually, walking backwards the whole time, you find yourself walking slowly into a loch.
24) Ten minutes before closing, you go to the booth and shout in the DJs ear that you wished you'd never even come here tonight, but you say it in the kind of loudly-quiet manner you use when you want someone on the other end of a telephone call to believe there's some trouble with the reception.
"Then why did you fucking bother then?" the DJ snaps back at you, perfectly audibly. It seems you've been perfectly audible too, or maybe, you wonder, DJs just have a very well attuned sense of hearing after spending years in the booth like this. You scramble for something, anything.
"You have a great sense of hearing." She doesn't seem to hear you this time.
25) Ten minutes before closing, you go to the booth and shout in the DJs ear something completely inaudible. She nods back at you, grimacing. You have another go. She nods back at you, grimacing. You have a third and final go, and before you finish, she's already nodding back at you grimacing. You look down at your shirt and it is covered in fucking mustard.