After a brief hiatus of about 4 months where I've been so bored of staring at computer screens all day at work that I just can't be arsed to do it in the evening, I have decided to put pen to paper, or more correctly carpals to keyboard to document a jaunt to London before my aging synapses auto archive it to my minds irreversible recycle bin.
Taking inspiration from the 130th Anniversary of HP Lovecrafts birth, the closest we could get to doing Detective work in Dunwich, was assembling a collection of freaks, geeks and gargoyles to Stoxies stomping ground of East Dulwich and just being wrong.
Prime mission for the day - cricket. Unfortunately due to the ECBs complete incompetence by starting a Test on a Wednesday, and some shocking batting by the home side it was all but over by Day 4 on the Saturday. However there was still the prospect of getting a few hours of entertainment, followed by plenty of booze time.
Myself and Ali trained it from Cambridge to meet Stoxie and Tim already assembled at The Hanover Arms for a prematch warm up drink - soon to be joined by Nick and Stevo and into The Oval to start racking up the pints whilst wondering if the last wicket stand could rack up more runs. A little sweepstake on how many balls England would face was short lived as Broad swiped recklessly at the 3rd ball of the day and as soon as play started, it was back to the pavilion to prepare for a Pakistan run chase.
They were quickly out the blocks, and the chase looked as one sided as Mo Farah legging it after Heather Mills, bludgeoning her with her spare leg as he goes.
As it became more and more apparent that it would be over as soon as it began, the only way to make the most out of the day was going to be to just keep getting the pints in and soaking up the atmosphere.
Seemed atmosphere wasn't the only thing we could soak up, as our section of the crowd became less interested in cricket, and more interested in drinking, and feeding the snake.
I'd never seen a snake at a sporting event before, but the execution was so sublime and simple I'm stunned to be a viper virgin. Simply collect up your empty pint pots in a stack, and feed it by passing it around the stand. Busy hands gather discarded plastic pots adding vertebrae at an exponential rate whilst its head waves ominously several feet above you. Eventually the snake reaches critical mass and it's body collapses, spewing it's innards of warm dregs of Fosters and Pedigree over all and sundry, only to be reborn from its broken body parts.
A phoenix from the flames, or a serpent from the spillages.
Some more incisive bowling from Jimmy and Swanny slowed things down enough to make for a slow painful death, but all over too late to find a local football ground, so instead back to Dulwich, Stoxies local, and Soccer Saturday on the big screen.
What followed was 8 hours of systematic abuse, bullying, and character assassination as each individuals physical and mental flaws were ruthlessly laid bare for the cheap amusement of the others - and it was great.
An extended episode of The Inbetweeners made real, but with 36-37 year olds who have somehow despite holding down responsible jobs and raising families are deep down no better that the 17 year old versions of ourselves sneaking into pubs compiling lists of dream women - some of which remain the same after 20 years despite the fact that some of the women are now world weathered hags, and heavily soiled goods.
Food came courtesy of Stoxies local Mongolian Barbecue joint, which went down just right, as did the drinks which were switched from ale to pitchers of margarita, or as coined by Stevo "Tasty Drink". An accurate description which worked well enough procuring refills in the restaurant, but slightly ambiguous when requested at the next bar, so onto bottled lager it was.
Next up - something we've never done before. We've dabbled in all sorts of nonsense on all day sessions with things getting particularly messy. The full stories of which can only be pieced together using combined flashbacks, and contents of cameras, phones, receipts in wallets, and an absence of all cash money.
What had we never done?
Six men, let loose in the big city with a weekend pass from six very trusting ladies?
Six men with a combined track record of some of the most debauched puerile shennanigans?
What's left to do?
An early night....
We went home before 11...
No late licenses, no clubs, no titty bars, no casinos, no roaming the streets naked looking for random trophies to transport home balanced on our heads.
Home - Match of the Day - all tucked up in separate beds by 12.
And if you believe that you'll believe anything.
For which I commend your trust - because sadly, it's true.