My first year of university can best be described as ‘adrift at sea’, where at best I worked as hard as I could at being a good journalist and at worst I worked as hard as I could to forget I was a student. I’ve found nothing does the job like dancing like your dad after one too many Stella’s to Earth, Wind & Fire.
Now Medway isn’t exactly renowned for its sparkling nightlife, but a smarter man than me said “you have to make your own fun,” which involves a steady diet of Echo Falls and Leffe, followed by stumbling blindly to the nearest cab or toilet and hoping your body leads you somewhere fun. This never works, so we normally just head to Tap ‘n Tin or something.
Gillingham’s finest (and only) nightclub is called Moomoo’s, previously known as Bliss before it got closed down for one too many stabbings and sexual assaults. This new branding has actually worked wonders for the place, because normally it just houses a weird mix of locals and students. Everyone keeps to themselves mostly, and only really mingle in the smoking area.
Then came one fateful night in April, where me and a friend went to the smoking area to get some fresh air. Immediately two older women came over to us. One of them had a tattooed husband with ‘Britain First’ on his arms, clearly unimpressed by the two guys who were talking to his wife. I don’t think he thought we were flirting with them, more that we were probably gay and that he wasn’t a fan of that.
I say this because after we left the smoking area, we went to the bathroom, where the big guy followed us in. “Shame they let shirt lifters in the club these days. You two wouldn’t last a minute back then” he barked.
I was shocked. I mean homophobia is shocking anyway and a big no-no for most, but he delivered this statement with such conviction, as if he expected everyone to cheer for him when he left the bathroom. No-one did surprisingly.
So I went to wash my hands, because hygiene is important in a club. By this point my friend had left and the husband was shouting at me about how I’d get my neck rung if I didn’t go or something. In my eyes this was just an absurd situation, and maybe he was too drunk to be conversational so he just went with what he knew. Something blue flashed in front of my face, and I dodged instinctively.
A urinal cake hit the mirror and fell into the sink with a splat. I shot a glance towards the door where he stood, bold as brass, hand dripping with piss: “Tell your poofter mates don’t come back either.”
That inked-up husband couldn’t be any less of a character if he tried. He looked like a political cartoon of a Brexit voter ripped from any LGBT+ person’s nightmares, fuelled by paint stripper vodka and cocaine. His actions clearly came from a place of ignorance. He probably didn’t understand what he was mad about anyway.
Personally, I didn’t even mind his behaviour. It gave me a story to tell, and ultimately the only person he bothered was his wife, who apologised to me on his behalf later that evening.
Moral of the story here is walk into situations with the knowledge that you’re probably going to be wrong about a couple things, and that you’re not always going to come off as you intend. I mean, who has their facts straight at 3AM?
Just keep shit in the toilet man, and check yourself at the door. You wouldn’t shake hands with a man with piss on his, make sure you aren’t spitting it yourself.