I’ve touched on Lad Culture before. Originally I wanted to write a piece on how much I hated Loaded Magazine, but I’m always told “Show, don’t tell.” So here’s a touched-up entry from my old diary instead…
It’s December 2011 and I’m drinking in the City with some colleagues.
Lads’ Night, yeah? Christmas drinks.
I usually wriggle out of these things, but there are only so many fictitious funerals one can attend before the excuse wears a little thin.
All Bar One, Bishopsgate. Rounds are ordered. “Vodka tonic, please,” I say.
“You a fuckin’ bum-boy?”
I shrug. Does it even deserve a response? The guy admitted he votes BNP about ten minutes ago.
They’re power-drinking lager. Hand me a Leffe on a hot day, sure, but I have no interest in drinking ten sticky pints of Stella to prove my preference for vaginas over penises.
Still, in another hour and they’ll be drunk enough for me to slip away unnoticed. But for now, I’m stuck here.
By 7pm they’re predictably smashed.
I can get away soon.
“I need to talk to some females,” says a blonde Spurs fan. He’s due to get married next month. I thank my lucky stars I missed out on the invite.
“Sorry mate, just a small do of one-hundred-and-fifty friends and family.”
BNP, who is best man, says, “I been seeing this Jewish, bird.” He downs his pint and belches the word slag. “Smashing the life out of it. You wanna see a video?”
He pulls out his phone and, before I screw my eyes shut, I see it. I see him. Night vision. Grunting away. His girlfriend is silent and still.
We walk along Bishopsgate. BNP insists we stop at KFC so he can gorge on hot wings and chips. I have no vote because my sexual orientation is in question and I don’t like football.
Inside Chez Colonel, I’m worried the air is so thick with grease it’ll clog the pores on my skin. But I daren’t mention it. I’ll just make sure I exfoliate when I get home.
If I get home.
I’ll lose them in the queue to the club, I think.
We leave KFC and stagger past The Fishmarket Champagne Bar. Blonde stops and gazes at the punters inside. The women – the females – are sipping glasses of Moet and clutching Mulberry handbags. He jolts, spits a little and then vomits twice on the window. Disgusted cries ring out from the bar as pieces of semi-digested chicken flesh drip onto the pavement. He turns to me and grins. “But I’m not even pissed.”
There’s an orange stain on his starched white shirt. The Colonel’s eleven secret herbs and spices. It’ll have to be bleached.
“I’m out of here,” I say.
BNP punches me in the stomach. “Happy fucking Christmas, gay boy.”
I crumple to the floor and they disappear into the night. I have survived.