Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

It was a testosterone fuelled weekend (Part II)...
My friend Simon is getting married this Friday to the lovely Sarah. The service takes place in Cripps Barn in the Cotswolds and Marky and I will be there to wish them well. As is tradition, Simon decided to have a Stag Night and his was last Saturday. There we're just twelve of us invited (although I think a few more than that turned up or joined as the evening wore on). We started in the Barley Mow in Curtain Street at about 5pm and I eventually fell into bed some time after 4am the following morning - much the worse for wear.

We were a modern sensitive crowd of Stag Nighters – none of the shaving foam, inflatable dolls and handcuffs you might expect from a group men out for a good time. But that was what made the evening so much fun really. It was an evening of male bonding. Not of showing off and acting stupid.

After the first pub we went to a place called Time For Tea directly opposite the Spiral in Shoreditch High Street. Time For Tea is basically a cinema owned by a couple who have converted their downstairs into a screening room complete with a 35mm projector, large screen and proper seating. She is a stunningly beautiful ingĂ©nue. He is an ex-TA, ex-bricky, ex-actor and now a budding art director / production designer – and so gay with his Village People handle-bar moustache and tight T-shirts! “Haven’t we met before?” he asked. “The 70’s?” I replied archly.

Upstairs they have a 1940’s style home that is open to their guests with a roof area and a fridge stuffed full of beer. Simon had hired Get Carter (the 1971 original with Michael Caine not the crappy remake with Sly Stallone the year before last) from the bfi and the plan was to watch it before heading off to eat and drink some more. As it turned out there was a slight technical hitch with the sound (it was too low) but that didn’t stop us filling in with our own comments (the way you do!) We gave up eventually but to keep us happy the guy showed us some 1950 strip tease films instead which were hilarious. We cut our losses soon after that and left for food - promising to come back later as he said he'd soon get the sound fixed.

Next stop was The Social in Islington (big brown leather sofas and posh clientele) where we had an amazing spread of food laid on for us and an open bar. Before long we were downing shots of tequila and the conversation was getting a bit more fruity. Funny how straight men start ‘asking questions’ when they get pissed and there’s a gay guy around that they don’t feel threatened by. “Do you always tell people you’re gay?” “Do you think I’m handsome?” “Would you fancy me?” Hardly original but quite sweet really and I held my end my quite well (missus!)

Having got completely bladdered by midnight we all headed back to the Time For Tea cinema to watch the end of Get Carter. And sure enough Michael Caine voice was now in fine fettle. More drunken revelry ensured and four hours later I was finally in bed. A great night out. Thanks Simon!

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