Friday, 8 June 2007

Feeling the love

Today I am angry. Angry angry HW. Specifically I am so sick of the assumption that as a gay man all you need to do to meet Mr Right is wander down to the nearest club, dip into the communal gene pool (watch out!; the edge is slippery) and drag him back to your cave. The reality is that gay clubs are freakish abominations where the best you can hope to take home is an obscure Amazonian rash.

Your Honour, I present the Prosecution's case.

Exhibit A: a diminished sense of self-worth

One this occasion H – my ever-faithful wingwoman – has got so sick of me moaning about being single she has forcibly dragged me to ‘Bristol’s Premiere Gay Nightclub’, for which you may read ‘Bristol’s Only Gay Nightclub’. She is convinced that Mr Right is lurking in the stinking damp corners of its dancefloor, and that if we can’t find him we may at least thank ABBA for the music and show those dirty homos some moves. I’ve washed my jumpsuit and everything.

You find us soon after arrival, perched at the bar, knocking back a few G+Ts. I’m trying to build up some Dutch Courage, and I suspect H is trying to ignore the small crowd of women in bomber jackets that is sniffing around her. To get the ball rolling she asks:

H: “So, c’mon, who do you fancy?”
HW: “Ummmm, the barman?”
H: “Oh please, HW, he’ll be some Bristol University dropout who thinks George Eliot was a man. Try harder.”
HW: [George Eliot wasn’t a man? Fuck, what was he then; some kind of hermaphrodite?] “Ummm, the guy at the end of the bar?” I point at a chap wearing a pinstripe suit and loosened tie sitting calmly by himself.
H: “Well, off you go then.”
HW: [Poor bastard, those Victorians must have really given him a rough time] “Oh, I can’t. Please don’t make me”.
H: “Go ON!”
HW: “Please don’t…” [Am sure no one picked on poor George like this].

H makes me.

As I approach Mr Pinstripe I have the horrible realisation that I have never, ever, had to use a chat-up line in my life. This is not a nice feeling. A quick ransack of my brain confirms it is a hollow darkness with a few off-cuts from Woody Allen movies resting in the bottom. I’m fucked.

HW: “Soooo…… Ummmm……Ahemm, yes ah……Do you, ummm, mind… if I join you?”
Mr Pinstripe: [Looking at me like I’m shit on his shoe] “Yes.”
HW: [Momentarily stunned] “……Right. OK. I’ll, ummm, I’ll be off then.”

I skulk back to H, having to admire Mr Pinstripe’s total disregard for my feelings. He is aware of some greater Hierarchy Of Visual Compatibility which grades gay men into strata of beauty, the kind of thing that completely passes me by. I have ventured out of my stratum and been justly punished.

Fuck them all.

Exhibit B: second degree burning to the lips and chin. Medical report confirms symptoms consistent with Pash Rash.

After that little experience you’d have though I’d have learnt my lesson, but no. On this occasion I have not only managed to enter a gay club by myself but have successfully initiated a conversation with a man. I can only assume I thought I was in a hardware store and that my request for plumbing services has been misinterpreted, but so be it. I’m going with the flow.

Things appear to be going well. He works for the BBC World Service writing political stories about Albania, and so far I’ve managed to avoid letting on that I have no fucking idea where Albania is, although I have a suspicion it may be a spoke on Dubya’s Axis of Evil. He also has a head, all his limbs and no outward signs of fuckwittism, so I’m doing better than the apode I got stuck with in the last bar.

Despite all this I’m bloody nervous, so cue Involuntary Fidgety Gesture No. 236; taking off my glasses and cleaning them with my shirt. Possibly because this causes a spooky resemblance to Clark Kent, or possibly because he’s looking for any excuse, The Albanian chooses this moment to stick his face onto mine. One minute we’re talking some rubbish about the privations of the poor in Algeria or Alberta or some place, the next he’s trying to chew off my epidermis.

Minutes pass, during which I mostly ponder whether it’s salmon or atlantic cod he had for lunch. Eventually the respiratory system comes to my aid and The Albanian has to surface for air. I use this opportunity to push him gently away and say, “I’m sorry, this isn’t really what I wanted.” To which he replies “No, it’s not really what I wanted either. I just thought it was kinda expected.”

I’m sorry? What? Expected? Expected? In the way that one expects the use of sugar tongs because fingers are vulgar? Or that you expect a gentleman to avoid the use of spirits, tobacco and onions in the presence of a lady? How about we try this one; I expect to be able to hold a conversation with another human being without my uvula being treated like a smurf-sized punching bag. Good god, gay etiquette is truly fucked.

The Prosecution rests. I don’t give a fuck about the Defence’s argument. It’ll just be some twat in a pin-striped suit anyway.


The Neurologist said...

Great blog HW, but I must disagree with your opening paragraph. Whilst at a club in cardiff some years ago, I was approached by a very handsome young man wearing a lovely pink shirt. we danced,we drank and we talked before I 'dragged him back to my cave' for a mind blowing night of passion. He was most definately Mr Right and totaly rash free, unfortunately he then left the country to work in Singapore or somewhere like that. Perhaps you're just going to the wrong clubs! Have you ever been to Cardiff?

HW said...

Dear Mr Neurologist,

I have indeed been to Cardiff, worn a pink shirt and danced the night away. However, you are reminded that this blog is a forum for serious philosophical debate, not a dating agency, and thus your inquiries are unwelcome*.

*Unless you are loaded. And look like Colin Firth. In which case email me your CV Big Boy.

H said...

you are very funny. that is all.

atticus said...

hw, you obviously weren't paying attention in gay class!

if you’re going to be spending time in ‘Premiere Gay Nightclubs’ it’s important to take some mental health precautions beforehand:

1st. you need to be able to spot (and avoid) c*nts. especially gay c*nts. gay c*nts are worse than straight c*nts because gay c*nts have special wounding powers. lucky, c*nts are easy to spot because:

a) they have cold, dead eyes
b) their faces don’t wrinkle when they smile
c) they wear pinstripe suits

2nd. become the hunter, not the hunted. this is easy and simply requires 10 minutes of growling and snarling tigerishly at yourself in the mirror before you leave the house. this bestows Animal Magnetism – a much sought-after quality in ‘Premiere Gay Nightclubs’ and licences the casual littering of erudite conversation with suggestive sexual innuendo.

more importantly, hunters dictate the pace and timing of any uvula assaulting.

3rd. never, ever – no matter how Involuntary Fidgety you feel – take off your glasses

The Neurologist said...

My apologies sir, I appear to have misconstrued the nature of your writings. Unfortunately I am of modest income and although quite dashing, my likeness to mr Firth is very ill indeed. Perhaps you could enlighten me with regards to the nature of reality?

yeractual said...

My slavishly prepared (and slightly incredulous) response to your blog turned out to be completely misguided when (thankfully) I reread your post and dicovered that the word you actually used was 'uvula'. Also, thanks go to

Excellent and hugely entertaining blog.

HW said...

It's a great word, isn't it? I shall be using it much more in everyday conversation now.

"Anyone got a glass of water? Got a bit of a tickle in my uvula."

"I say! That curry was a bit hot, wot! My uvula feels like it spent a bit too much time in the midday sun!"

"No, no, it's nothing serious. My uvula's a bit sore and swollen, y'know; coughing up a bit of mucus but it'll pass in a few days."