Invisible Stranger

Invisible Stranger

Collecting Crises on Old Compton Street and Beyond

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Little Tinker

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Tuesday, July 22, 2003
You Gotta Have Friends?
I'm taking a couple of days off for my birthday this Thursday, and already it's putting years on me. The dreaded Age Thing doesn't worry me, it's just the obligation to have a good time which is depressing. That's why I normally keep quiet about the whole sorry affair, but this year the old Stellas made me let it slip, and now everyone's expecting me to "Do Something".

Perhaps I should remind them what happened the last time I "Did Something". End of one long-term relationship. Piece of serious queeniness over the bar bill, which still hasn't been amicably resolved. Inappropriate use of the ladies' loo, which nearly got us chucked out. And someone's slapper-girlfriend making a drunken pass at a halfway-famous kids' TV presenter. Did I also mention I failed to get off with the person I'd invited along solely for that purpose? And that it rained all the way home?

Oh, but this year, my dears, we are going to be sensible. We are going to have a pleasantly grown-up and civilised meal in one of my favourite restaurants, sexual tension shall not rear its unwelcome little head, and we shall all be home in time for Graham Norton.

Who am I kidding? On past experience, it will run something like this: Friend A has simply got to be there, which means we'll unsuccessfully try and keep it from Friend B, who's certain to sulk if he isn’t invited. Friend B is also jealous of Friend C, who I don't know that well, but have already promised could come as a favour to Friend D (who really looks down his nose at Friend B because Friend B doesn't know which knife and fork to use).

Friend E can't get there till after her cello lesson, but will expect everyone to wait for her, but at least she'll miss Friend F who has to leave early, which is probably just as well, as Friend G will no doubt be drunk on vodka-colas long before the hors d'oeuvres, and will have already reminded Friend F that Friend E used to shag her dad.

By this time, Friend A will have become tired of being ignored, and will have pulled a particularly impressive strop, so Friend C will kindly offer to take him home, which, of course, will annoy possessive Friend B who will then pick a fight with Friends A, C and me, before being bundled off to the ladies' loo by Friend G for some inappropriate behaviour, whence they both return with runny noses and no appetite for the rest of the meal. Meanwhile. . .

Oh, sod it, I'm going out on my own on Thursday night to get me a whole new bunch of friends who actually get on with each other, and then we'll start all over again.