28 April 2009

Where did you sleep last night?

Where's the strangest place you've woken up?

Strange as in you have no idea how or why you got there, not because you knowingly went to bed in a strange place forcing you to wake up there, so if you're reading this in Ipswich, then no, that doesn't count.

I only ask because this morning whilst strolling to work (there are witnesses), I passed the time, as I often do, by listening to The Perfect 10 podcast by Phils Jupitus & Wilding.

The premise of the show, is 10 random questions pulled out of a jaunty hat, and all answered within 30 minutes, so it's the perfect length to get me to work. It's fun to play along, and this morning, that was one of the said 10 questions, and it got me thinking.....

I think I have it - but in case anyone else involved recalls and is reviled by the tale, I'll keep it anonymous. Feel free to 'fes up yourselves if you can help fill in the blanks.

I reckon it happened in the Summer of 1998. I'd not long returned from a holiday in Spain with friends, so when he call came for a 'Beach Party' from one of said friends, it seemed the ideal way to relive those glorious summer days.

However, this was no ordinary 'Beach' being over 30 miles from the nearest bit of coastline, and tucked away in the snug of a disused East End pub.

A good friend worked with some guys who actually lived in a run down boozer. A group of us were going to travel down from Nardge, and crash this party. What could be cooler than a party in a pub?

Arriving, it was clear that this part of London was yet to receive any regeneration. Everything was closed or boarded up. There were no new cars. It was like where TV directors shoot something when they need to transport us back to the 70's, or even the Blitz.

The house/pub itself was one of those classic 'corner of the street' jobbies. Just like The Queen Vic, but with boarded up & blacked out windows, and three stories high. There were no optics or working pumps on the bar, but yes, the bar was still there, and if memory serves, they'd procured a keg with a tap on it for the night, and much, much more.

The beach effect was achieved by dumping a couple of tons of builders sand over the floor, and a foam machine. The sand would come in useful later for burying sick (not mine!), if people couldn't be arsed to find the toilet. I do recall one friend giggling like a loon as he spotted a couple getting jiggy with it on top of where he'd recently blown, and then hidden, chunks.

The foam machine may have seemed like a good idea at some stage, but it was clearly designed for large stadium events, not East End Boozers, and the room was floor to ceiling in Matey in a matter of seconds. No wonder people were hurling.

At one stage of the evening we decided, on mass, to explore the upper echelons of the house, and amongst the rooms of folks shagging, we came across the master bathroom. Huge and ancient, with a big enamel bath in the corner.

As we were all covered in builders sand, a clean up was in order. I'm not entirely sure how things escalated from a 'you clean your feet first, then I'll have a turn', to everyone stark naked fighting to not be stuck at the tap end.

I can confirm that it is possible, but not strictly advisable to fit seven people in a bath. I don't think I even got my feet cleaned anyway, as if memory serves I was sat kind of side on, with my feet hanging over the edge. It's a memory I thought I'd erased from my mind, and don't want to dwell on, but I'm sure a couple of friends must have been stood naked just behind me.

.....don't turn round....don't turn round....don't turn round....

There weren't enough towels for seven people, being none, but the inhabitants of the pub obviously liked to use the bathroom as a giant airing cupboard, as there in the opposite corner, were a couple of clothes horses covered in clean dry clothes.

Of what we did next, I am not proud.

Oh Hell - yes I am...

We used the entire contents of these poor generous schlubs clean washing to dry ourselves, then threw the evidence out the window.

Wet, filthy clothes back on, we returned to the party - beyond suspicion, since the whole episode had been an act of futility anyway.

My last memories of the party itself were loitering around outside - waiting for a taxi as the sun rose over London. I didn't know where we were going, just that it was somewhere to refresh a little before the journey back to Nardge.

Friends tell me that the journey itself was pretty bizarre, with Arabs burning black rubbish bags at the roadside as we drove through a distopian landscape of inner city despair.

I wouldn't know.

I recall nothing more.

My next memory is of Buzz Lightyear....

...attacking my head....

...'to infinity and beyond'...

It would appear that we had crashed at a friend of a friends house, still in London, and this friend of a friend had a small child.

...who owned a Buzz Lightyear doll...

..and was hitting me over the head with it.

As my eyes adjusted to the light, it seemed that 8-9 people had slept in this living room, some of whom were already upright, some of whom were still coming to.

I, for may sins, which must have been many to deserve an awakening like this, was lying prostate in the middle of the living room floor. No pillow under my head, but stark bollock naked, save for a scatter cushion pressed to my groin in some kind of last ditch attempt at modesty.

That cushion stayed pressed there for a good 10 minutes as I made myself a coffee, and wandered around like a soul lost, in search of my clothes, and beginning to wonder if they even came back from the party with me.

So there you have it. Strangest place I've ever woken up is naked, among several strangers, on a complete strangers living room floor, being assaulted by a small child with a plastic doll with a superiority complex.

Great party though....

Any advance on that dear reader?

Where is the strangest place you've ever woken up?


  1. and then we spent a good ten minutes throwing a cat around that living room, if I remember correctly.

  2. Did we? A live one? That is a new one on me...Mand will be furious