Saturday, 31 January 2009

The oldest man in the Nightclub

My 2nd oldest daughter, Colleen is to be married in 9 days to Jim. This is my 4th daughter to be married, and the 3rd wedding in 3 years. To say that this is not good for the finances would be a gross understatement!

Last night was the Stag Night. The British quintessential precursor to the nuptial ceremony.

The evening started traditionally with the younger males drinking as much as possible in as short a time as possible. The older males, my future son-in-law's father and I, exercised more moderation. Then, when all (except we two oldies) were drunk enough – but not too obviously drunk to gain admittance - we went to Taunton's biggest night club, Shout.

Shout has a “proper dress” policy. Males have to wear clean clothes and ladies have to wear as little as possible!

The club was full, with a long queue of hopefuls waiting outside to be allowed in. It was a cold evening and the girls outside were getting goosebumps on their goosebumps! Luckily someone had arranged the VIP treatment for our party, so we were admitted without delay.

It is possible that the club is called Shout because communicating at any level below a shout is impossible. I expected that; but as a musician and a former sound technician, I was very disappointed with the quality of the sound. There was an abundance or deafening decibels of distortion. The light show was equally disappointing.

Attention was brought to bear on boobs and buttocks as the ladies highlighted their best assets. Hem lines were high and trousers appeared to have been painted on to bottoms. Copious amounts of cleavage were available for consideration. The young men, at whom the display was directed, moved around like farmers at a livestock auction. Eyeing up the stock. Ladies were categorised as unappealing, unaffordable, aspirational or attainable and the last category was pursued.

I realised that I was witnessing the mating rituals of Homo sapiens, British subspecies.

Jason, my oldest son-in-law, leaned over to me, positioning his mouth close to my ear. I'm getting to old for this,” he bellowed. He is 37. “As I was saying to Neil, I haven't been clubbing for a few years now. I'd rather have a some friends around for a few drinks at home. I could hear what's being said.”

Neil - another son-in-law and also 37 - nodded, being too far away from my ear to attempt conversation. He apparently knew what was being said. Perhaps he was lip-reading?

Two things occurred to me at that moment. Firstly, Jim would be my first son-in-law to be younger than my wife. Isn't that weird? Secondly, how much I agreed with Jason and Neil. And the fact that I was the oldest man in the nightclub (although there were a couple of others who looked a similar age to me) had nothing to do with it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * * *

Meanwhile Marie, who due to her agoraphobia can't get into any nightclub (too crowded, to difficult to get to the exits, toilets would be too busy etc.) was spending the evening with two of my daughters, Carla and Collette. They watched The Accidental Husband. They had nibbles and related amusing anecdotes about their husbands. They lounged about and relaxed.

You know, I'm pretty certain that Marie had more fun than me.


Kathy said...

The young men, at whom the display was directed, moved around like farmers at a livestock auction.

That is the most accurate description I have ever read! Thanks for the smile and I agree, I would have had more fun with Marie :)

morethananelectrician said...

It really can be fun if you can get a perch where you can see everything unfold in front of you, but don't have to participate.

diver said...

Sounds like you'd love the clubbing scene in rural Australia : the locals here are particularly skilled at clubbing each other with tables, chairs, and beer bottles I'm told. I guess it's to be expected when the nightclubs have names like 'Bedlam' and 'Rage' ... go figure.

Ah yes, it's all part of the wonderful 'normal life' that we aussie agoraphobics are working so hard to return to (lol).

Coffeecup said...

I've seen you in the flesh and you certainly could not have looked like the oldest man in the nightclub. I loved your description of the cattle market, it was wonderfully observed. I'd feel like an old fart in there at 35. A decade ago it might have been vaguely enjoyable to get that kind of male attention but who seriously wants to try and chat someone up over the excrutiating noise? Not a great way of finding a mate that's a fact! Do I miss it? You bet I don't!

Robert said...

Kathy - I take it that you've given up attending these livestock auctions?

MTAE - When I was younger, I might have had fun observing life at the nightclub, but now I'm aware how much pain, disappointment and emptiness are present too.

Diver - "it's all part of the wonderful 'normal life' that we aussie agoraphobics are working so hard to return to" - vert droll!

Ms Cup - I LOVE the compliment. And yes, at the nightclub only looks counted. You're waaaaaay too intelligent to be part of that scene. Patrons could have ended up with really fit total bore!

Nechtan said...

At 37yo I couldn't stand all that noise and prowling either. I've been like that for a long time. It was OK when I young and single but now it offers nothing for me. In fact even pubs to a certain extent offer me nothing.

Well done though Robert for sticking it out. I'm sure a night like Marie had would have suited you better. I'm just glad those days are over for me. I enjoyed them at the time- I think- but really couldn't face all that again.

All the best


rosiero said...

Had to laugh. I am sure I would feel the same!

Bookworm said...

Thanks for sharing this story! Hey, you made it through, and supported your future son-in-law and his drunkiness. I'm sure my Dad felt the same way at my husband's bachelor party, but you both did it! :)

Robert said...

Thanks Nechtan, rosiero & BW

- I guess we all think similarly about this. I don't have any other stag nights/bachelor parties on the horizon, so this may have been my last visit to a nightclub. I'm not sad about that either!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

at least you tried. I think I gave up when my zimmer started squeaking as I moved.

Robert said...

LOL Ken!! or in Olde English - jolly funny, old chap!!

Coffeecup said...

The name of the club "Shout" couldn't have been more appropriate. Any places called "whisper" or "chat" around the Taunton area for us elderly types?

Madison Rose said...

Heh, amusingly described and sounds like my idea of hell! Y'know, in the goth/punk/metal clubs I frequent there's much more of an age range - over 40's don't look out of place because there are plenty of old rockers! If you liked 80s hair metal you'd fit right in...

Thanks for an interesting blog, I'm gradually getting all your older posts read; they tell a compelling story.

Nota Bene said... of those things that makes you happy to have grown up...not even the skimpily clad girls makes up for it. Or does it?

Robert said...

Ms Cup - Elderly types in Taunton visit coffee mornings and exciting functions of that ilk. If you tried to "whisper" here, or have a quiet "chat", you would get "Eh?" or "EH???" or "Whaddid-u-say?" or "Speak up, lad!"....while fiddling about with the volume control of their hearing aid.

So you see, one has to "shout" here, too!

Robert said...

MR - Thanks for the compliment about my blog!

Never got into the goth scene (even when I was in my black leather period), but I used to go to punk gigs & in some of my professional musician days, I played all kinds of rock - specialising in the head-banging type. I know what you mean about the age spread. After all, rock music really got popular in the 60's.

Robert said...

NB - I prefer the beach or swimming pool for my supply of skimpily clad girls. I don't go hoarse or risk tinnitus!