When I used to work in London and commute by train, this time of year was known to the cognoscenti as ‘Amateur Hour’ or ‘The Muppet Show.’ This was because the late trains back out of town would be full of people who normally don’t drink but who for some reason think that at the office Christmas shindig it’s a really sound idea to guzzle their own bodyweight in premium lager, or neck 15 Bacardi Breezers and grab a bottle of Lambrusco for the journey home. The resultant carnage made the trains look as if they were returning from the Somme offensive.
I was reminded of this on Thursday. I was in one of my local watering holes, minding my own business, quietly having a contemplative pint, and doing the Sudoku. (Does anybody else have the problem that they can do the Super Fiendish level Sudoku, the level they use for The Times world championship, and then completely cock up the Easy or Mild ones? No? Just me then.) Anyway, there was a party of eight women of a certain age, and my theory is that nobody is more dangerous than a group like that when they’ve been hitting the Prosecco. My theory was born out.
As the afternoon wore on they became more and more raucous, and the level of cackling rose to the point that it sounded as if they were in a group audition for the witches in Macbeth. Fair enough. Then the cackling turned to salacious shrieking and some pretty near to the knuckle shouted comments. Turns out a couple of them were accessing dating sites via their phones, and repeating comments to their friends.
My own view is that it’s poor taste, when asked what you’re best at, to shriek the words ‘blowjobs’ in a crowded hostelry, but maybe I’m just an old fuddy-duddy. The group of women thought it was hilarious. I have to admit I thought it funny too, not least because at some point the woman who shouted it will wake up and groan, ‘Oh bloody hell. I wish I hadn’t done that.’