Monday, March 12, 2007

Club de Misère*

Miss-Cellany, Liam and I were thrown out of a club on Friday night. Which was nice.

Oh, wait... no, it wasn't. Particularly for Miss-Cellany and Liam, who were placed in very uncomfortable looking armlocks and marched out of the club, in Miss-Cellany's case, her feet hardly touching the ground - being all of five-foot-not-much, obviously such force was entirely necessary. I mean, who knows what someone her size might have done to three bouncers. How Liam got involved I'm still not certain. But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Back to the beginning.

A number of us, including our course leader, had gone for a drink at Jacob's Ladder pub. Not ready to go home, we had all successfully navigated our way down the 124 irregularly shaped and irregulary sloped steps to the Moor - not something that would have been easy had any of us been the slighest bit the worse for drink. And we had certainly appeared sober enough to the doorstaff at Remedies to actually be admitted in the first place. So there we were, sitting in the corner behind the DJ booth minding our own business, when Miss-Cellany started acting in a way which might be construed as erratic and dangerously anti-social - or it might be if you're someone with no common sense, no judgement, and a necksize larger than your IQ. She... wait for it... lay down!?!

Curled up on a sofa chair, in fact. And why not? She was tired. She'd been up since 6am, working extremely hard on the latest edition of bloc. No reason why her partner Andy, or anyone else should leave, though, so why not just put her head down; at least, I'm guessing that was what she thought. Very nice of her, really.

Enter the bouncer. As I remember it, it was the young dark haired guy who came over and spoke to her first. I saw him out of the corner of my eye; as I looked around she was just sitting up, talking to him, quite rationally and calmly. From the expression on her face it looked like someone had told her something ridiculous that she couldn't quite believe. Which was exactly what had happened: she'd been told she'd have to leave just because she'd been lying down. If she'd been drunk and incapable of looking after herself, fair enough. But plainly that was not the case, being as she was perfectly rational and lucid. Any idiot could have seen that.

Well, apparently, not any idiot. There were at least three of them who failed to tell the difference (and later a policewoman, too, whose non-idiocy I had grave doubts about). The other two were called over, presumably, in case the situation got ugly, which of course it did with the arrival of a woman who on a bad day might have resembled Alice the Goon (back left - perhaps I'm being a little unfair, but so were they) and a big, bald neckless guy who looked like he'd escaped from a rugby scrum.

Anyway, Miss-Cellany rejoined us all at the table (Andy, Steve, Joe, beyceyar, Ryan, Holly, Christina, Jen, Liam; of whom, Liam and one or more others were, I think, on the dancefloor). Andy tried to reason with the young dark-haired bouncer (I think), whilst Miss-Cellany tried to reason with Alice the Goon - when she and Andy had finished their drinks they'd be more than prepared to leave, Miss-Cellany was saying. Indeed, after a tug-of-war over Miss-Cellany's drink, Alice backed down. However, by now the bald guy wanted a piece of the action - perhaps he felt excluded, or something, poor thug. Or was just baffled by such an alien thing as reason. Here I became involved.

I'd already been trying to say how ridiculous this all was for a few minutes, but it was just then that the scrum escapee asked me to move out of the way so that he could grab Miss-Cellany. Obviously, I didn't.

"Are you going to move, or not?" he continued. I just said,

"No," and remained firmly in my chair.

There wasn't really anything to gain from it, I guess. I mean, I couldn't exactly have stopped him getting to her. Still, passive resistance is better than no resistance.

Anyway, I didn't have long to wait for the consequences. My chair was lifted from the floor, with me still on it, and unceremoniously swung out of the way. Quite why I spent this brief elevation endeavouring to put my drink back on the table I will never know. A bloody strange thing to do. Because not only should I have had a drink in this situation, I should have had other refreshments too, and perhaps someone fanning me - I mean, that was probably the closest I'll ever come to riding in a sedan chair. I really should have made the most of it.

What happened then I'm a little hazy about. By the time I turned to where Miss-Cellany had been she must already have been propelled past me, because instead there were two bouncers there telling me to leave and blocking me from grabbing my bag. Obviously, I wasn't leaving it there, so I just stood asking to get it. To no avail; until suddenly a gap opened up.

I was suddenly left alone. I can only assume it was because one of them had just gone after Liam. So, needless to say I grabbed my bag, and seeing my drink on the table decided I'd finish that too - one of those gestures of futile defiance probably witnessed by no-one, but vaguely satisfying nonetheless. I was then able to just wander over to the stairs of my own accord. Which was where I saw Liam being dragged off in some kind of armlock. Like I said, God knows why.

So, I'm half way down the stairs, when I feel a hand planted firmly in the small of my back: Alice the Goon is now needlessly ensuring that I do what I'm in the process of doing anyway: leaving. Like I said, utterly needless. But then it was all pretty needless, so I shouldn't have been surprised, really.

Reaching the bottom of the steps with her hand still propelling me, and by now somewhat pissed off, I made a point of not changing course and walked straight-shouldered into the doorman. Again, a silly, pointless gesture, but so was pushing me, so it made me feel better. Especially as I got away with it - I think he tried some kind of minor retaliation, perhaps hitting out behind him, but it only connected with my bag. At least I assume that's what happened, because I felt something hit my bag. Anyhow, Miss-Cellany and Andy were outside already, and possibly one or two others, trying to negotiate the return of her bag.

Liam followed shortly thereafter. Responding to the now five bouncers' quite unreasonable obstinacy, he shouted something to the effect of:

"God, no! Don't let her have it back - who knows what she's got in there."

Apparently, doormen aren't able to detect sarcasm. Not only was it lost on them, one of them took it completely seriously, starting to ask with a very concerned furrow in his forehead "What? - does she have drugs, or..." Thankfully, he eventually twigged, once we'd cut off his question with loud exasperated "Noooo"s (how do you write the plural of "Noooo"?).

The bag was eventually returned, though. I forget how - phoning Steve didn't work, and almost everyone else quickly emerged without it. Probably Jen was allowed back, as she hadn't been chucked out and arrived downstairs a little later. Like I said, I forget.

What else happened?

Oh yes, I mentioned a policewoman. She was bloody useless. She was in a car somewhere up the Moor, so Miss-Cellany made a complaint. Essentially, the woman just came over, listened to us, listened to the bouncers and said:

"Uh-huh. I understand both your points of view." Which was helpful.

We gave up and headed back to Christina's.

So, there you go: don't lie down in nightclubs. Or at least not in Remedies. The bouncers are under strict instructions.

Actually, no, if that's the case, do lie down in Remedies. In fact, everybody should, all at once. I reckon we should return in a few weeks and spread a message to suddenly all lie down at 2am. The whole nightclub. It would be brilliant. They wouldn't know who to chuck out first.

Ooh, I just had a great idea! Why stop there? No-one likes bouncers. So, let's make it a massive nationwide protest against bouncers. Everyone lying down at once in every club across the land. Like some kind of massive flash-mobbing type thing.

Now how to organise it? Hmm...

OK, anyone who reads this, spread the message: Friday 23rd March (or really Saturday morning, I suppose) lie down in whatever club or bouncer patrolled pub you're in at exactly 2am. Confuse the hell out of the nation's bouncers. It'll be great.

Plainly, this isn't going to happen, is it? But it bloody well should.

Any ideas?

*Sorry, I seem to have a bit of an anagram addiction, 'de Misère' being a nicely apt anagram of 'Remedies'. A remedy for what, exactly, I've often wondered. Still not sure. Certainly not misery.


miss-cellany said...

No, certainly not too long; you tell it so much better than I, and I raise a glass to you managing to finish your drink. Nice style.

Actually, I think Andy managed to finish his drink too. And Ben got that coat...Perhaps there is some small justice in the world.

As to the 2am lie in - genius idea. I'm certainly up for it (as my dangerous behaviour on Fri showed). We could cause a night of terror and confusion in clubs everywhere.

The only people who might not like it, other than those poor over worked bouncers of course, would be the ones in clubs who are dealing, fighting, or generally harrassing people. They might suddenly realise that people can see what they're doing if everyone else was on the floor.

Mind you, put money on the fact even if there were a 100 people on sofas and dance floors - first out would be us dangerous pacifists. I say that because I do now think that the dodgiest people in clubs are the thick necked bouncers. Oh, and their friends with the flashing lights and silly hats...

Taiga the Fox said...

>>OK, anyone who reads this, spread the message: Friday 23rd March... >>

That is one of the greatest flash mob ideas ever. Just purely brilliant.

You really should do it. Just few text messages, e-mails and Flashmob web pages, I suppose.

Occasional Poster of Comments said...

Thanks, both of you :)

I'm really quite tempted to see if this is possible. Might try that thing (or more UK specific sites, if they exist) - kind of start small with a lie-in at Remedies and see if we can spread it further afield. Must look into it further, next time I have a free blur. It would be amazing if some nationwide flashmob phenomenon sprang from this one ridiculous incident.

Fi said...

Disturbing incident, brilliant re-telling, and inspired response re lie-down protest! Genius.
I'd be well up for it, but unsure at this point where I'll be at 2am on the 23rd - wouldn't quite have the same effect if carried out in your own front room. Working at the Acorn, and hopefully collaring Midge Ure after the show for an interview. Expect I'll want to be tucked up in bed after such excitement.
Do let me know if you manage to pull off an retalliative (is that a word?) action. En mass at Remedies next Fri... priceless.
Oh, and thanks for your kind comments - really appreciated.