(Originally to be posted on Saturday 14th. I think)
There are reasons that I avoid social activities to the point of spending months living in a pseudo-hermit existance. They were reminded to me last night.
I had misgivings about this week, firstly because I had to go and watch a muscial and secondly because we were going to an abandoned mental asylum that is supposedly haunted due to a large number of patients who died from electro-shock therapy. It may seem odd but the first one worried me more, I guess because musical theatre is further out of my comfort zone than pitch blackness and the threat of angry spirits.
As it turned out though, the Pymble production of Thoroughly Modern Millie was incredibly entertaining camp fun and I didn't even contract homosexuality from it. As for the asylum, though...
Actually, that was alright. I was with a group of martial artists who seemed to be willing to go out of their way to kick some zombie arse any moment which actually unnerved me more than anything in there, but the trip was certainly very interesting. I didn't realise how imposing fifteen-twenty foot high unscalable stone walls are until I saw them looming for what looked like a kilometre in both directions (But I'm a shithouse judge of distance, so that's definitely wrong..)
A lot of the place looked as though it had almost been designed to be as freaky as fuck. The gate sticks out from the blackened walls with a white concrete frame - the gate itself is long gone, and it has been covered by reams of black graffiti that make it look like a set of fangs and nothing can be seen through the space inbetween. (Just a lightsource issue, of course)
Then once you get in the fact that the entire place, for no discernable reason, looks like the remnants of a bombed-out French village after WWII, adding to the feel of a post-apocalyptic world. And then somebody has decided to nail a bride's gown to the wall of one of the buildings - what the FUCK?
Shortly after we were in, though, a torch shone out along with the cheerful sounds of a drunken man smashing shit up for the hell of it. There followed a wonderful game of cat and mouse, because the consensus of the group was that we should check this pace out. And, to give ourselves an 'alibi' we should immediately start fire-twirling in the most open area.
I know, if this was a script you would be shouting "Show your working!". But the funny thing is, and this is serious, I am really not kidding... when we were talking about what to do the first suggestion was that we split up into two groups.
I KNOW! To keep myself sane I need, I really need, to assume that it was a post-modern reference to the conventions of a horror film. Otherwise he just scares the hell out of me.
Anyway, the fire-twirling (which may have been conceived of as a means to exorcise angry spirits, I'm not sure what was going on) believe it or not torch man FOUND us. And when he, understandably, I thought, asked us what in the name of all fornication we were doing the response was given "Just spinnin' some flame"
He repeated his question. The exact same words - "Just spinnin' some flame" came back. WHY would you say that, unless you wanted to sound cool? Why not just say 'fire-twirling', the name everybody knows it by? This guy was fat, drunk, and could barely talk in the first place with one of those bright fluro polo shirts which does seem to be the national uniform of the Grand Order of Dead Head. He didn't strike me as the most socially literate fellow, so I thought a bit of explanation might have been in order.
Anyway, in fairly polie terms he said that this was private property and we should leave. One of our party asked if he knew the history of the place and he responded that it was tribal land. Now, a piece of the puzzle fell into place here as to why this guy could be freaked out - he doesn't know what fire-twirling is, and one night hears strange noises only to find some of the whitest people in the world carrying long, flaming staves. And he is drunk. Generally I am the most empathic person yet also the quietest in a group so it seems nobody else thought of this point of view. One of the group apologised because he didn't catch the name of the tribe and we were informed "Mate, there's no questions and no answers so you'd best fucking get out of here."
And we did. It was only later I heard that he'd been carrying a knife. But this stuff happens every time I have a night out so I thought it went quite well, time to call it a night. What is possibly most disconcerting is the fact that this photo is the only piece of evidence there seems to be online that the place even exists...
(Photo by Damian Tierney and almost certainly a massive copyright violation. Sorry about that.)
It is cool, though. See what I mean about post-apocalyptica?
Instead of the unofficially planned night of Unreal Tournament and Firefly that I'd been quite looking forward to, however, the night unravelled from there. It's hard to convince me to check out a party, especially when it's somebody I don't know and there's only one other person I DO know there, but I was convinced when I was told that there would be pool. The amount that I enjoy playing pool is in a neat little inverse ration to my actual skill at the game, so I jump at any chance to play with drunken and/or spastic unco people.
Unfortunately, what they actually meant was that they had been considering going to a pub which probably had pool tables. The pub in question already being shut by the time they called. So... no pool.
I don't wish to shame any of the bastards involved, so I shall refer to them by code names. In breaking with longstanding tradition of referring to my mate only as 'my mate', I shall call him Mr Dennybar for the purposes of this story. We arrived to find my other loose acquaintance at the door, looking unusually morose, probably caused by the fact we seemed to catch him right at the end of a Guitar Hero session with his girlfriend. Because he was dressed as a schoolteacher lets call him Mr Gormbsy, and his girlfriend shall be Lady Loosepeggs, for reasons that shall become apparent.
We were led to what would be called the patio in The Castle but hopefully not in real life, were I met the bloke whose party this actually was, Mr Treewater. Mr Treewater wore a singlet strategically positioned to show off his chest hair and looked a lot like Dom Monaghan in a dodgy wig playing The Gallagher Brothers. Treewater made himself very apparent as the type who is very serious, earnest, introspective and spiritual, and was trying to arrange a camping trip for everyone, so as a priority matter I ignored him as politely as possible to talk to Count Bouncesausage, the drunkest man in the state still able to talk and whose favourite conversation topics were the sexuality of vampires and how World of Warcraft would help him break into Alcatraz.
The young lady who gave me my seat next to Count Bouncesausage was Miss Tossqueen, who I have to say was quite attractive and, according to something I heard later, worked as a model. She was mildly flirtatious with me, which was something I found nice and irritating in separate measures - firstly, it's good to get signs that the occassional female can fail to notice my alarmingly Pim Verbeek-esque receding hairline and then ignore the Martin Clunes face underneath and find me nice-looking, but then I do actually have a girlfriend now* and all the horrible feelings of guilt that that entails when near any unattached female creature. She was nice though and I would have liked getting to know her, but the problem was Mr Treewater. Mr Treewater did not know how to shut the fuck up and showed no interest in learning. His speciality was telling you something three times and a very quick speed, moving the subject on, then coming back to that thing he's alright told you about three times. When he needs to breath he says "Okay", holds his hand up for silence and acts like he's thinking before just putting his mouth into autogear. As a result you're only able to say "Yes" and "I know" in response, rather than something like "You are the most tedious, pretentious fuckwit I've ever met".
Also present was Ms Stonesong, Count Bouncesausage's mistress who was one of only three sober people present, the other being my friend Mr Dennybar and myself, Mr Turkish-Cypriat. Wait, *I* don't need a fake name - forget it. Of course, Dennybar had the advantage of being the person Treewater addressed most of his rants disguised as conversation towards. Being somebody in tune with human suffering I did my best to make conversation with Stonesong, but she had the air of a person resigned to unfulfulling nights staring at her boyfriend making a complete arse of himself in front of large groups of people. I made her give at least half a smile the one time, though, so I was happy with that.
Anyway, when Bouncesausage needed directions from Woollongong to a very obscure beach sparking a three-way argument about the best route Tossqueen disappeared and I started devouring cold snags left over from an antediluvian barbeque whilst trying to imagine something interesting happening. I noticed that this stage that Lady Loosepeggs had vanished upstairs, with Ms Tossqueen - normally this wouldn't be of interest but Loosepeggs is slightly mad and also bisexual. Sometime around this point I saw Stonesong deciding that standing at the bottom of the stairs and simply look at what was going on was far moe interesting than anything else in the house. Clearly my imagination on its own would be far more interesting so I went back to sit with Treewater and co to try experimenting with the idea of sleeping with my eyes open and pondering when the fuck I would escape from what was already officially the worst party I'd ever been to.
Soon after this the brother of Treewater, Young Master Tublicker appeared and announced loudly that Loosepegs and Tossqueen were undressing each other on his brother's bed. When he noticed Mr Gormsby's presence and presumably made the mental link between them and the relevance of the news he quickly retconned his own statement, saying that one of them "was getting changed" while "the other one" happened to be "lying on the bed. Alone. And not having sex or even showing any interest at all. Or even anything vaguely like that" Master Tublicker had apparently passed out earlier due to Goon overdose and whether there is a connection I leave to you to decide. Anyway, at the latest news of his girlfriend Mr Gormsby did his best impression of Oates and announced that he was going to go for a walk for a while. I never saw him again that night and pondered whether he had gone to commit suicide.**
It wasn't that much more of Treewater's incoherent ditherings later before the night's item of interest happened, but neither Treewater or, by now his lone audience member my friend Mr Dennybar, noticed it and kept talking. For myself, Bouncesausage and Stonesong it was instantly distracting and worthy of comment, yet the sheer wall of shithouse sound Treewater was putting out was as impenetrable as it was boring. Basically, Tossqueen came tumbling down the stairs with a naked Loosepeggs hot on her heels who then tackled her thus hiding them both from our view behind the lounge.
(It is worth noting at this point that Bouncesausage does not believe that Tossqueen was tackled, and that Dennybar insists that Tossqueen was naked. I refuse to believe either of these, because a) Bouncesausage was unbelievably pissed and b) Dennybar WAS LOOKING THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION at the time, and I also think I would have noticed if a hot blond girl was naked directly in my line-of-sight. Denny countered this by stating that I was drunk, further showing the strength of his memory and weakening his case.)
Anyway, Treewater continued on the truly fascinating subject of how he thought guys who would never go clubbing were freaks, while the Trio of Restlessness that I was a member of kept an ear out and heard various instructions from Loosepeggs to Tossqueen to stay quiet, and the occassional phrase such as "Oh my god there's so much blood" that were somewhat worrying. But it was all accompanied by laughter of the very-close-to-crying variety. Or so I hoped.
Loosepeggs ran up the stairs wearing nothing but a skirt and a bra, before emerging fully clothed a short-ish while later and reprimanded Treewater loudly for not helping - it turned out that when Loosepeggs tackeld Tossqueen the tiled floor had the improprietry to cannon into Tossqueen's face and cut her chin open, spilling her blood around and putting the poor young girl into shock. Naturally I helped as best as I could, and was slightly miffed by Loosepeggs making us out to be the bad guys after she both directly caused the accident and then straddled the stricken girl while she put her own clothes on to protect her own modesty. However, she was a paragon of virtue next to the dishonourable Count Bouncesausage who kept walking up to her, ordering her to calm down and offering her, what else, sausages. Possibly in more ways than one. It then became my job for the next fifteen minutes to drag Bouncesausage forcefully AWAY from the accident scene. In between making mock crying noises he confided to me and Stonesong that his sole motive was getting a coveted "look at the gash".
At this time I decided to get pissed given that I already realised that there was no way things were going to be resolved witout Tossqueen going to hospital and that my ride, Mr Dennybar, was the only sober person to drive there and wait in the emergency ward for at least 5 hours. I thus enjoyed Lower Class Australia's favourite drink, 'Goon' aka cask wine, the 15% alcoholic beverage you can buy for approximately 50 cents to the litre as part of a long-running government project to wipe out the poor of this fine nation. Almost certainly due to my unusual near-total lack of a sense of smell (at least according to a slightly mad Frenchwoman) I enjoyed this a lot more than I did regular wine and knocked it back like I was Matthew Waterhouse and it was tequila, slipping into bliss as most of the party guests left for the hell of North Wyong Emergency Room and Treewater informed me that the house was mine to enjoy.
He did not, however, factor in Master Tublicker into the equation. Tublicker made it clear to me that from now on my life consisted of nothing but GUITAR HERO WORLD TOUR, the most MIND-BLOWING GAME EVER.
This is the opinion of many people. I believe that these people are highly inadequate, terribly easy to amuse and trick, suffering from crippling delusions of grandeur and slaves to society's treadmill of mediocrity as well as brainless trend-followers. No offense to Stonesong, Bouncesausage and Tublicker, aside from the offense I've already dished out, as they were clearly great admirers of this game and quite nice people as human beings not named Alan Stevens go.***
Anyway, obviously I was drunk. But as I had the controller unwillingly forced upon me by the grinning assassin and found myself pitched into The Kill-open brackets- Carry Me-close brackets- by the vehicle for complete arsehole Jared Leto mystifyingly named Thirty Seconds to Mars the first thing to occur to me was - how the fuck is this anything like playing a guitar? The controller is child sized. It would scarcely be adequate for a game of Ukelele Hero. Guitars don't have massive buttons on them. Also, guitars have strings that you need to put some effort into strumming not a tiny flap of plastic that you just hit. And besides, what kind of fucking bands have two lead guitarists who hate one another one stage openly dueling with one another?
In short, I lasted about 20 seconds into Guitar Hero before I threw the controller away, declaring it 'total bullshit' which in hindsight is something of an understatement. I guess wish fulfillment is a very big part of entertainment, and for the sort of people who actually buy albums I guess the dream of being a rockstar would be stronger than normal - and I must admit that it is something that I have fantasised about once or twice in my sadder moments - and that if the yearning was strong enough you could actually believe that hitting the right buttons in nearly the right order while a shirtless 3D model on a screen plays a guitar (that confusingly shoots out lightning) on a screen could actually fulfill this urge.
BUT I HATE YOU ALL AND YOU FUCKERS RUINED MY NIGHT. Slightly more than mad bisexuals who chase people around naked.
I got home at somehwere between 2 and 3 and things went uphill after I closed my eyes.
I did actually see a few of the people a couple of days after the event, despite my deliberate decision to avoid them henceforth. Ms Tossqueen had healed fully and was in high spirits, Mr Treewater was actually considerably nicer and quieter while sober, but equally shirtless, and Mr Gormsby and Lady Loosepeggs were apparently broken up. What were the odds of that?
*That wasn't one of the jokes. One of the blog posts that I've not posted and subsequently not actually posted covered this. Sort of. I'm sure you're on the edge of your seats anyway. Heh, 'seats' plural. Suggests that more than one person reads my blog..
**He didn't. Sorry for the spoiler.
***By the standards of human beings that ARE named Alan Stevens they are the Holy Trinity, the Power Rangers and Mother Theresa fused into one nymphomaniacal being that shapeshifts between everyone you've ever found hot. But less creepy. And with a passing knowledge of the main cast of the first two seasons of Blakes 7.