Missing the club? Sounds like Saturday night fever

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By Orin Carlin, The Croft Editor

The Croft Magazine // A quick fix for your night club nostalgia.

Is anyone else just gagging for a night out? Stupid question. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that I’m not alone, suffering at the hands of my unquenchable thirst for six Jägerbombs and the subsequent, questionable, life choices.

Approximately four months ago (or rather, two lockdowns ago), I enjoyed a joyous night of pent-up drunkenness with my five mates at the pub. Our evening ended rather abruptly at 10PM when we were promptly kicked out but, after raucously wobbling up Whiteladies Road and screeching Shawn Mendes, I secretly rather enjoyed being tucked up in bed by half past ten. All in a day’s work, and considering that one sixth of our gaggle had been fiercely chundering into the loo at 9.57PM, it was a very successful jaunt in my eyes. And how lucky we were!

But what I most remember about that evening was our collective yearning to have our beloved nights out reinstated. It goes without saying that there are larger, more pressing issues at hand, but this does not negate the fact that clubbing occupies a special place in the heart of a Bristol student. We willingly professed our love for a guiltless Donervan pit stop, got giddy at the thought of a communal wee and fell weak at the knees for the sweaty tangle of strangers’ limbs.

When the topic of conversation quickly turned to what we would do in return for a one-off, utopian, COVID-free night out, the responses were endless and, I dare say, downright outrageous. And so, for the sole purpose of giving the people what they want, I shall indulge in pure nostalgia, a sort of clubbing fan fiction, if you will.

Epigram / Orin Carlin 

7.29PM. Yikes. You’re now slightly regretting the fact that your essay (due tomorrow) is still approximately 500 words, or rather exactly 723 words, short of the word count. Admittedly you shouldn’t have left it quite so late, but last night’s 4AM YouTube rabbit hole (NB Search ‘X Factor audition holistic vocal coach’ for a cheerful blast from the past) felt very necessary in the moment. You’re confident you can bang it out in the next half hour so you can crack on with the night.

8.43PM. Fuck! You’re still trying to pluck something half-intelligible out from the murky depths of your silly, polluted student brain. It’s not looking good. You nip to the kitchen and wrestle with the bottle of Cava that you’ve unfortunately forgotten to stick in the freezer. You gingerly pick up a smelly old tea towel off the floor and have another go. Success! The cork pops and you throw the tea towel behind the sofa, to be found, rotting, on the last day of your tenancy. You hastily gulp some of the delicious nectar straight from the bottle and splutter accordingly.

8.51PM. You strip off and jump into the shower. Against your better judgement, you dollop shampoo straight onto your scalp because, having just glanced in the mirror, you decide that you can’t possibly get away with such terrible hair. Normally, you’d chance it (it’s clean, but had air-dried misshapenly) but having dissected the photos from your most recent night out, you feel you ought to acquire at least one that doesn't strike you with the staggering urge to immediately crop yourself out.

Epigram / Orin Carlin 

9.00PM. You rest easy, secure in the knowledge that, like you, your friends will never, ever be ready on time. Aren't they brilliant? Maybe girlfriends really are life’s soulmates?

9.02PM. You’re towel drying a particularly hard-to-reach crevice when the buzzer goes. You scramble into your dressing gown and run down three flights of stairs. Mate A is waiting patiently on your doorstep with a bottle of Smirnoff under her arm. You give her a hug, rescue her from the cold and burble nonsensically about your day while you both hurry up the stairs.

9.04PM. You catch sight of yourself in the mirror: sopping wet hair is strewn across your flushed cheeks. You wonder whether it is actually medically normal to be this red in the face. You’re a certified freak of nature! Well, that’s something, isn’t it.

9.06PM. Mate A kicks off her muddy trainers and makes herself comfortable on your bed. She’s never normally this early to be fair, it’s clear she has matched on Tinder with someone of particular interest and wants to gossip. She plays with your lipsticks while you nearly gas the room with deodorant.

9.24PM. Amazingly, you’ve managed to throw some clothes on and now you’re slugging more of the lukewarm Cava. In an incredibly uncharacteristic unclassy twist, you’ve resorted to plonking a couple of ice cubes into your glass (that’s right, a glass, you are a socially acceptable human being) and it is entirely bearable.

Epigram / Orin Carlin 

9.41PM. Mates B, C and D ring you, demanding to be let in. They’re huddled on the porch like a waddle of penguins (only less colourfully dressed) in attempt to escape the drizzle.

9.43PM. To your collective horror, you realise that you look like a dodgy ABBA tribute band on account of the fact that all of you are sporting flares. Both ABBA and flares are indeed part of the lifestyle that you formally agreed to adopt and honour when you were sworn in as a Bristol student, but clearly the group aesthetic needs some level of variation. You sullenly offer to change and you opt for some cargo pants that are far more DNB-appropriate – which is unfortunate considering tonight is not your annual pilgrimage to Motion. You hurriedly nick your flatmate’s razor and clumsily dry shave your ankles over the bath.

9.46PM. Someone suggests a drinking game and time (along with your dignity) eludes you.

00.08AM. Suddenly reality comes crashing down on you like a ton of bricks and you realise that you haven’t done your bloody bibliography. Regrettably, the inebriation means that you’ve forgotten how to read, write and indeed how to alphabetise a list of works by the authors. You’ve started slurring things like: ‘Does M actually come before P? Surely they’re all just morally bankrupt. Which one of them claimed for a Mars bar on their expenses again?’

00.13AM. You all stumble out into the street and commit an auditory assault on the residents of Whiteladies Road.

00.27AM. Mate E slips through the queue and decides to grace you all with her presence. Her hair is even wilder than yours which means she obviously got caught up shagging and now she is trying (and failing) to sweet talk the stony-faced bouncer. Naturally, you can’t remember whether you took your keys, you’re so desperate for a wee that you’ve actually embraced the searing bladder pain and the reassuring smell of a stranger’s vomit pervades.

All is good and pure in the world.

Featured Image: Unsplash / Louis Hansel


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