Drifting in and out of consciousness (oxfordhacker) wrote,
Drifting in and out of consciousness
oxfordhacker

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Old and Panicky

So, yesterday I was in the pub with my mates, as is our wont of a Tuesday, when I learned (from coalescent, Dave and Mike) that our local student indie night, Panic, had changed days and was taking place not tomorrow, but THAT VERY EVENING! And me dressed only in big boots, jeans and a glow-in-the-dark 'Schwa Corporation' t-shirt; already on my third pint of beer! How could I possibly go to Oxford's premier club-night, now relocated to the renovated and renamed Clementine's? You can imagine my relief when I remembered that turning up half-pissed in jeans and a cryptic t-shirt was what I had done every other time I'd gone to Panic. What a stroke of luck! It couldn't have turned out better if I'd planned it...

So, we went, and marveled at the transformation that had been wrought on the club once (semi)affectionately referred to as Latrino's. It must have been strange experience for the new-comers, seeing people clearly old enough to have been in a club before and not yet old enough to be suffering from Alzheimer's stumbling around casting surprised and confused looks in every direction. Even before they had concussed themselves on the playfully mounted wall speakers or (for the freakishly tall) ceiling beams... First impressions on the revamp:
  • You'd think painting it white would have made it look a bit less gloomy. You'd be wrong.
  • Is the ceiling higher? Is this just a result of them scraping off years of nicotine and the scalps of over-enthusiastic or over-tall dancers?
  • Are the brick pillars dotting the floor the result of stripping them down to their bare essentials, or walling up whatever they found when they did just that?
  • Eek! This UV light is strong enough that it looks like I'm seeing though a cloud of mist when I stare past it. Is that my retina evaporating or something?
  • And what the hell is this rectangle on my inner arm that only shows up under UV? Is this a remnant from a forgotten gig bearing mute testament to my lax standards of forearm hygiene, or something far more sinister?
  • What happened to the quid-a-shot, you-know-it's-working-because-your-throat-burns vodka?
  • Why is double vodka cheaper with a mixer than without?
  • Do they host nights that attract clientele profoundly different to tonight's, or is the inclusion on the drinks menu of a £50 bottle of Cava (not to mention the £150 bottle of Cristal) profoundly optimistic?
  • Should I be feeling uneasy at the realisation that the bar is where the toilets used to be?
  • Either they've not got a new sound system, or they deliberately bought equipment that sounds like everything is being played through a sock.
Anyway, we had quite a fun time jigging about to tunes old and new, though the new lack of differentiation between socialising area and dance-floor gave the whole club a curiously apathetic feel. Either that, or everyone there was just curiously apathetic. On reflection, I suspect that both factors were at work.

Also, I got (more-or-less) chatted up by a girl, for what may be the first time ever (or, if I go by the reports of my friends, just the first time that I've ever actually noticed it happening at the time.) I felt a prod on the arm (I tend to dance with my eyes closed, which may perhaps explain my erstwhile lack of hot indie-kid nightclub action) and turned to see a pretty, skinny youth with glasses and longish, straight dark hair, who delivered the irresistible opening line "I'm bored. What's your name?" Naturally, my first thoughts were "Oh no! How can I help this poor child escape my fearsome personal magnetism without dooming her to a lifetime of heartbreak and regret? For escape she must, or tinyjo will have her eyes for cat toys." Coincidentally, my alcohol-addled mouth had already selected the perfect rejoinder with which to gently lead the conversation to friendly but off-putting territory: "You know, I think I danced to this ['Girls and Boys' by Blur] when I first came here, eight years ago." It was quite dark, and the UV light was glinting off her glasses, but I'm sure that in her eyes I caught surprise that one of my youthful appearance, up-to-the-last-minute-but-one musical knowledge and timeless dancing technique could be so venerable, followed by a gradual disappointed realisation that a chit of a girl such as herself could have nothing to offer one so worldly and jaded as me. Our conversation continued along these lines when she complemented me on my necklace (a old-style drinks-can ring-pull on a chain, which has a tendency to make its way out of my t-shirt when I dance energetically.) "Thank you," I replied, "It's hard to get them nowadays." "Why so?", she enquired, which is how we ascertained that she couldn't actually remember when cans came with them... Nineteen she was; and called Rachel. I doubt I'll see her again.
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