Many people, when I was at University, asked me the same question – ‘what exactly is so bad about living in a small town? Why do you get so angry about it?’. I think it is time I answered this properly – and also make a point. I do not get angry about living in a small town. I get frustrated with it, for so many reasons. This is just one of them.
If you, dear reader, have had the virtue of living in a big town or city for your entire life, I can see how you find it difficult to comprehend how normal it is for there to only be one or two clubs, and one or two serious shopping outlets. The typical night out here in Bridgwater is so well practised, so learned by rote, that you can set your clock by the migration from bar to bar. At any given point you can accurately pin point, to roughly a five meter standard deviation, exactly where some one is. I will play you through the night.
It is 7.30 PM. You are flushed with excitement, looking forward to the night out. The hair is blowdryed to a standard high velocity volume that can dislodge pigeons from their flight paths. Make up is trowelled on, enough jewellery to simulate a brass band and you are ready. Head to a friends house, be it their house or their parents and proceed to pre game. This, for the uninitiated, means to pour as much cheap plonk down your neck as possible so as to not be totally and utterly flabbergasted by the state of play in town. Trust me you need it. The choices from here are small.
Head to Spoons. Choose Pitcher. Drink Pitcher. Order Pitcher. Drink Pitcher. There is a definite pattern, and the neon shades of alco-pops do make it handy later on in the night to work out which vomit is yours. At 10.55 you leave spoons and head to the nearby ‘club’. I don’t dare name them. But it is free entry before 11, so that’s ok. They label themselves a club/pub type establishment, and they do try. But the DJ is playing club tunes from the 1990’s, they can only fit about 350 people in and upstairs isn’t open yet as there isn’t enough people. Also, the drunk girl in the stripy mini dress has just fallen over mid gyration and is now sitting on the floor crying because she thinks people are laughing at her. They are.
If you are lucky you will make it to the towns one and only ACTUAL club, a place so salubrious that you don’t dare touch the walls as no-one is quite prepared to positively ID what bodily fluid is dripping down it, you never wear new shoes to as the floor is so sticky that you will lose them and the average man to female age ratio seems to be somewhere in the region of 35 : 14. After half an hour here you will actually realise that the creeping feeling in the bottom of your stomach is either desperation or depression and you aren’t comfortable in examining too closely which of the dichotomy it is today.
By 1.00 AM I can guarantee that someone near you has started a fight and been kicked out, two girls are yowling at each other over a perceived slight and that the creepy bar tender trying to hit on you will turn out to be the kid you used to babysit and yes he is 18 – only 6 years younger than you so still batting over the average here. Greasy kebab and questionable garlic sauce in hand you will head home, only to wake up in the morning with half a pitta bread stuck to your face, eyeliner smeared and little Matt’s phone number programmed into your mobile.
Now imagine repeating this every single Saturday night since the age of roughly 18. That’s as low an age as I will admit too.
It’s a very personalised type of hell. And that is one reason why you will never see me in a stripy mini dress in town any more. Pass me my hot coco, X-Factors on …