…and then came Sunday

Don't be fooled by the sweet smile!

Don't be fooled by the sweet smile!

…and then came the reckoning…the hangover from hell!

I spent all day at home on on Sunday – in my PJs and in bed for a lot of the day. My delicate state did not leave me all day. I blame the man in this photograph. He’s a bad influence!

Trent, an Aussie friend who now resides in Dublin, was back in Oz for a couple of weeks. He suggested we get together on Saturday night for a catch up. I was happy to oblige. Nothing better than having a few bevvies whilst spreading gossip about everyone and anyone we know 😉 Including each other of course!

We began at the Columbian – on the corner of Crown Street and Oxford Street where it was fairly low key apart from a speaker right behind us which tended to make CONVERSING A LITTLE DIFFICULT WITHOUT SPEAKING LOUDLY! And the occasional person who decided to sit down on our drinks on the little table in front of us. And show us his rather ugly bum crack. There were a few personal-space-invaders on Saturday night so I didn’t know if this guy was a rude pig or off his tits. It turned out to be the latter.

As Trent and I decided to move down the road to escape the loudspeaker drowning out our conversation, a security guard told Trent to ‘STAND BACK!’ Of course Trent naturally thought someone was going to do Stevie Nicks’ classic number…but it was not to be. Mr. Rude Table Bum Crack was being forcably ejected from the premises by two burly security guards with a third watching. It was all chez-dramatique and we quickly crossed the road and headed to the Midnight Shift.

I was quite surprised because Trent is the original Disco-Energizer-Bunny and usually likes to hang with the children – e.g. Stonewall or ARQ. I don’t like Stonewall because the bar staff are all pretentious wannabe super-model guys who can’t be bothered actually serving drinks to their customers. And ARQ is a drug-filled plastique emporium of muscle-mary attitude that leaves me colder than a night on the slab in Rookwood.

But Trent actually suggested downstairs at the Midnight Shift – ‘he must be getting older and wiser.’ I thought. But no, the Disco Bunny was just in temporary hibernation waiting to jump out and explode at any moment. And one moment we were both drinking beer – and the next minute Trentles was on Vodka and Lemonade with a dash of lime. Real lime. Squeezed. But the barstaff at the Shift couldn’t understand that so Trent changed to Vodka & lemonade. And he certainly gives anyone a run for their money in the boozerama stakes.

The night escalated quickly. A very strange men began to hover around our table and tell us about the facelift he was having later in the year. And also how many times he’d had botox injections. He was close to 40, he claimed but he looked about 25. Granted, a very trashy, faded-glam 25 but 25 nonetheless. A sample of his conversation…”so I was having a piss in their backyard and I fell over and cut myself and then I woke up this morning a friend came over and we did a big line of coke…..” At this point I just silently wished he would go away. Trent and I exchanged looks but we were both too polite (and possibly frightened) to tell him to go away. He was sooooo out of it. And JudgeG ain’t talking about alcohol!

Just then I felt a push at my back and someone mumbling something in my ear. I turned around and another tanked individual was giving me the eye. However I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. “Excuse me, I can’t understand what you’re saying,” I said a couple of times. Didn’t make any difference – he was unintelligible. He kept nudging my back from time to time and even put a bit of his drink on my shirt – just a tiny bit but he did it twice. I wanted to tell him what bus to go and crawl under. However, he looked like Peter Falconio’s killer so I thought it would be safer to just ignore him.

Meanwhile Trent had made a friend with someone who had a broken toe and wanted to borrow his seat. Trent kindly complied and thus we had a third person at our table linking us with people at the next table. Sociable, lubricated, happy, party-Trent was in small-talk heaven. Chat, chat, chat, smile, smile, smile…I just looked at the master schmoozer at work with bemusement.

Around this time, and after an unknown number of Vodka & lemonades (Trent) / beers (me), Trent informed me it was time to dance. ‘You know you want to…,’ he said. Was it the alcohol? Was it me being polite because Mr. Disco Bunny is only back in town for two weeks? Was it the fact that I felt sorry for Trent because he can’t boogie in Dublin because the music they play is all crap? Whatever it was, I agreed. Oh dear. Inside I was screaming…’I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ When The Old Joanna Plays…’

I should point out that Trent is not one of these ‘let’s dance unobtrusively in the middle of the dance floor’ kind of people. He’s a ‘lets get up on the stage, go to the front and put on a show’ kind of guy. So suddenly I found myself on the stage, at the front, at the Midnight Shift, dancing with Jumping Jack Flash in front of a crowd of a couple of hundred strangers. This is probably where alcohol does help situations – because if I hadn’t been a little sozzled at that point I would have freaked out completely. As it was, I managed to stay up there…not so much dancing with Trent as dancing while Trent performed in front of his audience. I stayed until the guy wearing the kilt started trying to crack on to Trent right there on the stage. I just thought ‘I’m superfluous here and I need to sit down.’

So I pushed my way through the rather packed crowd and ended up back at the bar to get a soothing amber ale. And then Mr. Botox/Facelift was back…talking at me at a hundred miles an hour. I was annoyed with him because I saw him give Trent one of those ‘popper’ bottles to sniff earlier on when I was coming back from the toilet. Even at his now more-mature age, ‘Party-Trent’ also still tends to be ‘Out-of-Control Trent’ and one sniff can lead to something else and so on….I didn’t want that happening on my watch.

Somewhere in all of this Trent informed me that Mr. Broken Toe and his friends were going to Stonewall and wanted us to go with them. I really had to put my foot down at this point. Not on the broken toe of course – I’m not that cruel. I said to Trent that he could follow them with my blessing – I was content at the Shift. Trent rather nicely decided to stay.

More drinks, more talking, more madness and then Trent just couldn’t hold back any longer…he had to take to the stage again. He went with my blessing. He really just lives for the dancefloor and being on a stage and in front of a crowd. He just comes alive and lives for those moments. Very ‘Flashdance.’ So I certainly wasn’t going to be a Debbie-Sue Downer about it. ‘Dance on, Disco-Bunny!,’ I said.

What had turned out as ‘a couple of hours together drinking and catching up,’ had become a full-blown night out on the tiles in Oxford Street. And oh god, the money I spent! And I can only imagine the money Trent spent. He doesn’t hold back on spending when he’s on a roll! I almost cried when I actually knocked over a plastic glass containing a vodka and tonic I’d just bought for Trent. I hadn’t even left the bar – I just bumped it. Plastic being lighter than actual glass, it fell and the contents went everywhere. So that’s like $8 plus $8 for a replacement…arghhhh! No wonder I had to visit the outside ATM at about 2am.

A side note: One good thing is that the Midnight Shift is not currently on the Government’s ‘evil pub list’ because there was no lock out at 2am and they didn’t stop serving for ten minutes every hour. Arghh…such stupid Government rules and such stupid police statistics that brought them about.

Anway, with all this drinking and talking and gossiping and pushing and dancing and people poking and prodding…I suddenly realised it was 3am. The original idea was that Trent and I would share a cab home together since we’re roughly in the same direction. But there was no stopping Mr. Disco Bunny – he’d gone off to dance some time earlier and he was still up there in full Energizer moder. I had hit tilt and need to go home – I just pushed my way through the dance floor and waved at him and said ‘I’m heading off now.’ He smiled and waved and kept on boogie-ing. Unstoppable. Whilst I might have been able to keep on keeping on back in the 80s, thesedays there is a definite price to pay for any late night partying I do. At 33 1/3, Trent is still able to pull off all-nighters without critical damage occuring.

I stumbled down a drizzling Oxford Street right into change over time for taxis. Lots of people on the streets and not many vacant taxis. The last time this happened I had to walk all the way into the city and onto George St to get a cab (not a particularly sensible or safe thing to do at 3am in Sydney). But luckily a cab with his light off responded to my hail and stopped. No problem – I was in the cab and we were heading home in just a few seconds. How grateful was I at that moment! Needless to say I was in bed asleep about 2 minutes after walking through the door at Casa-Del-Judge.

Sunday morning….well, about 11am…I woke up with a the kind of hangover that would make a sailor cry. Not Panadol Rapid nor water nor Diet Coke would make it go away. I did manage a phone conversation with Grant but then had to crash in bed again. All day I just moved slowly between the lounge room and the warmth of the fan heater, the PC and bed. I did not remove my PJs, I did not shower and I most certainly did not leave the flat. Sunday was a complete and utter write-off.

I haven’t spoken to Trent since – for all I know he might still be on that stage at the Shift dancing like a demon. He’s a bad influence, that boy. My Mother warned me about boys like him – god rest her soul. Who would have thought that JudgeG would be out partying and dancing til 3am on a Saturday night? After all these years! It was fun. I was ‘into the groove’ for a while there. I even danced to music I didn’t like. Jeez,I must have been sozzled. Still, I suppose I’m allowed to play up like George Hamilton in a smoking jacket occasionally. There’s life in the old Judge still. Trent was even trying to give me pointers on how to pick up hot spunks. Dancing is one thing, miracles are another!

Little Jamie O’Brien texted me on Sunday to ask if I wanted to go out for a drink. Normally I’m there with bells on. But I had to text back and say no! no! no! I was in my own version of the Betty Ford Clinic. I was in Sunday afternoon detox and all I could do was wait til Monday and hope that I was back to normal.


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