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.