Monday, January 22, 2007

Drinking with the internet. On Friday night I went drinking with the internet. This is in line with one of my New Year's resolutions: to broaden my circle of acquaintance. These people go out drinking together every Friday, and I decided to go because: a) they were drinking in the city, rather than in Richmond or Fitzroy, so it was convenient for me; b) some others who'd never been had expressed interest in going, so I got a "newbie-friendly" vibe; c) Reuben and Elaine were going to be there.

I would say the enterprise had mixed success.

My first impression was that the internet was fatter than I had expected. Not that they were unattractive; some people were indeed hot. I was just relieved because I had been worried that everyone was going to be gorgeous rock scenesters and that I myself would prove a disappointment in the flesh. I should add that it was a pretty spur-of-the-moment decision to attend this event, and so it was only because I had plans later that I was even looking half decent. (The rest was indecent, as I was wearing a low-cut little black dress.)

The second thing was that I got really, really drunk. Oh, the litres of beer I must have drunk. I don't really want to think about it. I was drinking pints like they were pots. I must have had about four pints, and then I went for dinner with four others, at which I drank a glass of white wine for no particular reason, and then we returned to the pub and I can't recall whether I drank any more alcohol, and then I bought a longneck at the bottlo downstairs and took it to Amanda's housecooling, where I had meant to go many hours earlier but had been waylaid by the internet.

I'm unclear about how I got to be eating dinner with the four other people, in a cheap and cavernous Chinese restaurant that I had never been to before. I must have been invited because I would hardly have gone otherwise. One of the four was this chick who had been rather cool to me for the entire evening. She had been a chat for some time, and I got the impression that she was annoyed by my puppyish enthusiasm, when she was looking forward to seeing her friends and having some drinks. When I was first introduced to her, I believe she actually rolled her eyes.

But anyway, you must imagine the scene: the five of us sitting at a round table like poker players, my bag occupying the sixth seat as if it was going to be ordering a meal of its own. (YEAH STAM YEAH! Okay, I've got that out of my system now.) I was so drunk that I was having difficulty keeping up with the conversation, which in any case was peppered with references to things and people the others knew and I didn't. Anyway. At one point this chick mentioned this guy Alex who was in the English department with me, whom I can't stand. Gemma can testify that I once sent her an email with the subject line "Alex is such a cunt."

"I can't stand Alex," I chimed in. "I think he's a cunt."
She replied, "He's actually a good friend of mine."

Nobody else said anything. "I went to uni with him," I added lamely - as if that explained everything! Now I realise the correct follow-up ought to have been: "Well he may be a cunt, but he's not a fucking cunt." As it was, I recall an awkward silence which wasn't as awkward to me as it could have been, seeing as I was so drunk. After the dinner, it was decided to return to the pub to see if anyone else was still there, as the others had decided to go to some strip club.

Now back at the pub was where the manboob-groping incident occurred. My memory of how this occurred is in pitiful shreds, but again, I console myself with the thought that I wouldn't have felt up two complete strangers unless I had been invited to do so. Here are some random memories from this part of the night:

there was a reality show with chicks in bikinis on the pub's TV
I remember thinking to myself, "I am actually talking quite eloquently right now"
my trivia nemesis has the same mobile phone as me
I recommended not going to Charlton's on a Friday night but was most effusive in my support for M+N karaoke on a future occasion

At some point I looked up from my conversation and realised the people I'd dined with and inadvertently insulted had all vanished, presumably for this strip club. I banished the nagging thought that they had deliberately given me the slip, and headed to Amanda's. By the time I got there my memory breaks down more or less completely and I have very little idea what I said or did, except that sitting in a circle in the backyard were a bunch of people I was most delighted to see. Although I am assured that I was lots of fun ("on fire" was allegedly the expression bandied about) and danced to MC Hammer. And I remember stumbling down Rathdowne Street - actually stumbling so that I ricocheted off walls and fences.

I am pretty sure that I didn't throw up or get naked, which to my mind is a successful avoidance of drunken embarrassment. Astonishingly, I managed to spend the next day waitressing with relatively few ill effects. My high point was telling a customer who asked what Scottish kippers were: "Well, they're much the same as English kippers, but with a slightly different accent." He looked at me blankly and said, "What are kippers?"

Jeremy was excited and scandalised that I had been drinking with the internet. "Screen names! I want screen names!" he said. He's just jalooz because they shouted him down on a thread this one time.

Today I was back on the internet without shame. I'm going out to dinner with the internet this Wednesday.

Edit, 23 January: This morning I picked up the dress I was wearing that night from my bedroom floor and noticed it had crusty white stains all over the front. I am choosing to believe that these are from dip at Amanda's party which I dribbled all over myself in my lack of hand-mouth coordination.

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