Jeeesh readers, today was a long one. I felt surprisingly OK when I first woke up but I think I was still drunk. I didn't have any clothes on when I woke up, but fortunately I was alone. The thing is, I can't even remember leaving the pub.
I was lying alone in a strange bed, in a strange house. The room was well turned out, crisp duvet and minimal furniture. It felt oddly familiar, I'd seen that lampshade before. Then I remembered. I tell you when I'd seen that lampshade before, it was exactly a week ago today when I went around to clean up Dan's place for the prospective new tenants.
I was in Dan bloody Bantam's place, naked as the day I was born. Nothing came back to me, I remember leaving the office at COB (that's close of business to you and me) and we went to some bar, Jerrie's or Ryan's or something, some wine-bar cum discoteque place as it turned out. I genuinely can't remember much else, I was chatting with the guys from editorial about potentially writing the odd piece for them, I think my Citizen Journalism really opened a door or two.
Seems the sales guys and editorial guys don't really mix socially, which is odd, they seem like nice enough guys if a bit snooty and pretentious, like narky teenagers, except in their 30s. I guess Dan's Chinese walls extended into the bar. I like to think that you can probably see Dan's Chinese walls from space. Of course, you can't really see the actual Chinese Wall from space, that's an urban myth, it's because it runs along a mountain range, and that's what you can see from space.
I tell you what I could see though, I could see the Dan's bedroom walls. Or at least, Dan's spare bedroom walls. That's not to say Dan's bedroom has spare walls, I mean the walls to his spare bedroom. They too are almost certainly not visible from space.
I could hear noises outside the bedroom, thumping about, so I thought I'd better get my shit together. Luckily my clothes were in the room, neatly folded on a chair by the door. F*ck. I never, ever, fold my clothes before I get into bed. Gill used to give me a hard time about it, but I'm a maverick. When you've got to go to bed, you've got to go to bed, and folding your clothes is too controlling. You can never trust someone who folds their clothes before they go to bed. You've only got to look at what happened to Gill to see that.
I got myself dressed and ambled downstairs, and came face to face with the girl who's just big enough nearly too big. She muttered "morning", then Dan walked into the kitchen, he didn't even look at her, just said "Morning Barry. Sleep well?"
I thought I'd better ride it out. "Not bad thanks, bit of crazy night eh?"
"Barry, I'm going to take the MX5 in today, I'll give Becs a lift, you all right to get the train? Course you are, you've been before haven't you. You should be able to get a bus from the end of the road that'll take you to the station.
"Oh, and Barry," he said as he walked out, "can you clean your sick up please? I've got some people coming around later. You'd best get your skates on too, you don't want to be late today, we've got the monthly sales meeting at 9:00."
Things weren't much better by the time I made it to the office at 9:17. Bantam was standing in front of a Powerpoint slide show that featured indecipherable spreadsheets full of tiny numbers (most of which were in brackets, for some reason).
He put me on the spot almost immediately. Which I thought was a pretty low move. I've only been working there for two weeks, I'm just trying to bed myself in. I said as much too, and when I said the last bit, the room erupted. Bantam's face went scarlet. "Get out Barry, get upstairs and start making sales," he barked.
Well, I went out and straight upstairs, but I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me whole when I got to my desk. I was attracting a good deal of unwanted attention. People would occasionally congregate around a PC and starting laughing when they saw the screen. God readers, I'm a Facebook laughing stock I bloody know it. There are bound to be pictures, I had no idea what they'd be off, I was starting to shake with fear, well, fear and nausea. I started salivating at the back of my throat, that all day breakfast bab was a bad idea, it was definitely coming back up.
Thank (your) God I made it to the toilets in time, the whole bloody kit and caboodle came back up. That was waste of £4:50. After a good ten minutes worth of wretching I finally started to feel human again. I flushed the chain and went over to the wash basin to freshen up. At first I wasn't sure what was wrong when I looked at my face in the mirror. Then it hit me. I remembered the flaming sambuca scorching my nose and lips when I spilt it mid-shot. Now I remembered the tequila slammers and the depth chargers. I remembered the turbo cider and B52. I had vague recollections of the Slow Comfortable Screw and chatting up Just Big Enough Nearly Too Big, I remembered the dare by the editor who challenged me to steal a bottle of vodka, getting caught and making a dash for the door. I remembered walking in on Chris from conferences who in the closed off upstairs room of the bar shagging one of the temps from behind, she was holding onto one of the beer pumps for dear life, I remember walking in on Bantam in the toilets, a line of Colombian marching powder on his top lip. It was like being in Motley Crue. I remembered having a few lines with him, and him insisting on going for a piss while we were both in there so the bouncer wouldn't get suspicious. And then, looking into my guilty eyes, I remembered agreeing to have my eyebrows shaved off for £50.
I still don't remember leaving the bar, and I still don't remember what happened back at Bantam's place. But I'll you one thing for nothing, I'm never drinking again.
Newsdesk is on the wagon