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» Nightclubs

The Slimelight
Back in the 80s, a bunch of us left the suburbs and went up to London one saturday night. One or two of us had heard about this place in Islington. We ended up at a dark doorway at the end of a blind side street behind Angel tube around 3 or 4 in the morning. Had to get a member to sign you in. Somehow we blagged it. I didn't remember much except dry ice and punks and goths and bikers and hippies and their music were everywhere. And some AMAZING goth girl threatening to cut my mate's bollocks off with a rusty razor. The best bit? It was a legit club that stayed open until the tubes started at 7am. No alcohol sold, so you took yer own. £6 for non-members, £4 for member. A real bargain at the time.

A few weeks later I was at a loose end one Saturday night owing to my recent discovery that all my friends apparently hated my guts and wanted me to die.

I decided to go back to this club 40 miles away in North London. I worked in town so the trains were paid for. Stop at the ATM on the way to the station, and off I go. Except the Nationwide ATM was out or order. So were the other 3 in Staines that evening. Oh well, I can sort it in London. Get on the train.

Could I find a single working ATM between Waterloo and Angel? Could I buggery! I ended up getting there at 1 in the morning, all but skint, and walked straight through the door and into the club without paying.

I headed up these wide, deep stairs to the first floor. Pulsing music got louder. My 17 year old brain is being assaulted.

Through another door, and it got proper noisy. The place looked like a hastily vacated warehouse. Bits of furniture and benching and stuff. Chicken wire walls. A tyre swing. Televisions bolted all around showing the same movies and art films. Neon tubes here and there. It was like a massive squat. A dancefloor was over to the right, all dry ice and coloured lights and bass. Beyond that, somewhere you could buy a coffee and amazing banana and honey sandwiches.

The people were off the scale. Every subculture was there. Mostly Goth, but sexy goth and not miserable goth. Fuck me the women were outrageous, so were some of the blokes. There was a big fetish element to the look, because this was before the BDSM 'scene' got out of the Mansions and into the clubs. More than a few off duty strippers used to turn up for a boogie.

The Look was young, pervy and tripping, and makeup for everybody. Boots and hair were spiky. Boys and girls all got dressed up.

Mixed in were a lot of various 'alternative' types. Bikers, hippies, even a few skinheads occasionally. The music was a whole blend of uber-cool shit. Bags of attitude all the way.

I found a corner and sat down and rolled a little joint and wondered what to do for the rest of the night.

I didn't wait long. Two girls, in crushed velvet and crimped hair finery, came over and said hello, are you by yourself? There's a bunch of us, why don't you come over? So I did and met all these people and we hung out all night and went back to waterloo together the next morning to get the train home.

I was a motorbike courier mon-fri, so the mohican had to go under a helmet, and my black nail varnish would steadily chip off through the week. I was known as 'the Black Fingernail'. Every day, I would wear the same shit that I'd taken off the night before.

The following Saturday, I did my hair, did my makeup, and headed back to town to meet up with my new mates.

That was my 7 day week for the next few years.

Work, club, sleep sunday, repeat.

I probably went almost every weekend for the next 3 years. We had mad, crazy times. We took good drugs. I discovered how to dance. There was love, intrigue, drama all mixed up with the speed and the acid and the music. Not to mention the whole pretentious goth thing! Wahay! I loved all that! "If a thing's worth doing, it's worth overdoing" was our creed.

In all the years of going, I never saw any real trouble there. I hardly saw any bouncers, either. No cops, ever.

A few times I used to wander outside at 4.30 or so, daybreak and I've been sweating on the dance floor for hours tripping on the lights, the smoke, the clothes and bodies.

I'd step out the door and it felt like diving into a pool. Looking straight up at the building site cranes towering up from the other side of the small side street we are on, I watch them wave and ripple gently. Quick cup of tea and a giggle, and it's back inside for more. Makeup and hair would of course stay perfect throughout the night's gyrations.

The club would turn the fire alarm on for a few minutes at 7.30am to wake up the sleepers and we'd all shamble off to the tube, and hang out at waterloo for a few hours drinking tea and eating attrocious bacon sandwiches from casey jones while the LSD just tailed off nicely......

The scene of my hedonistic youth climaxed with meeting my future wife. (We were together 20 years this march) After a year or so, we slowly started not going so often, and it tailed off as these thing do.

We didn't completely stop going for years and years. New Years Eves were the final times we went. My 1986 membership card always getting us in, even without the leathers or the makeup.

For us, it was always the best club. Anywhere else we went was just so-so. Camden Palace, Elec.Ballroom, KitKat, yeah so what. This place was cheap and all-night and fucking great. There was nothing like it. When Acid House first hit, we'd get these guys in dayglo smiley gear arrivng cos their clubs closed at 4am!

All were welcome. That was probably the best of it.

Length? As far as I know, it's still going.
(Thu 9th Apr 2009, 3:16, More)

» The B3TA Detective Agency

Mystery of the psychic dog (ok urban legend then)
It's common practice in England to ring a telephone by signaling extra voltage across one side of the two wire circuit and ground (earth in England). When the subscriber answers the phone, it switches to the two wire circuit for the conversation. This method allows two parties on the same line to be signalled without disturbing each other.

Anyway, an elderly lady with several pets called to say that her telephone failed to ring when her friends called; and that on the few occasions when it did ring her dog always barked first. The telephone repairman proceeded to the scene, curious to see this psychic dog.

He climbed a nearby telephone pole, hooked in his test set, and dialed the subscriber's house. The phone didn't ring. He tried again. The dog barked loudly, followed by a ringing telephone.

Climbing down from the pole, the telephone repairman found:
1. A dog was tied to the telephone system's ground post via an iron
chain and collar.
2. The dog was receiving a 90 volt signalling current.
3. After several such jolts, the dog would start barking and urinating on the ground.
4. The wet ground now completed the circuit and the phone would ring.

Which shows you that some problems can be fixed by just pissing on them.
(Sun 16th Oct 2011, 15:15, More)

» Guilty Laughs

I have this file littered all over my hard drive
and on various memory cards, devices

Whenever I see it, I play it. It's only 20 seconds.

First thing in the morning, or whenever I stumble over it in the course of my day, it's like having an Espresso of Mirth. It never fails. Why?

personally, I think it's the wink.

(Thu 22nd Jul 2010, 21:17, More)

» "You're doing it wrong"

Italian speaker's LOL only
Hanging out with a group of cousins and their friends in Sicily one evening, someone asked if i could speak any Italian yet. Modestly, I held my thumb and forefinger about an inch apart and replied, in a clear voice, "un porcino" which, roughly translated, means 'mushroom'. Hilarity ensued.

(Of course, I meant to say "un poccino" which means "a little". By uncanny coincidence this was exactly how much I'd had to drink that night.)
(Thu 15th Jul 2010, 19:42, More)

» Trapped!

November, and the central heating had just started leaking everywhere
It was my own fault, I suppose. NEVER run a 'cleaning' solution through your system if the muck is the only thing keeping it watertight!

So I stayed up all night draining and removing all 4 rads in the flat. At 8am 4 shiny new rads turned up. I lugged them up to the 2nd floor and set about hanging them on the walls. Wifey goes to work.

I drilled a couple of holes for the first bracket, then moved up to the other end and drilled 2 more. Then I stuck my finger into one of the holes "to clear it". The 100-year old, filthy, splintered laths parted easily and then closed on my finger like a vice studded with needles. A little blood. Oh. Then I realised that all my tools were 2 metres away at the far end of the rad. I was alone in the house. What a plonker.
I tried for about 10 minutes to coax a screwdriver towards me with my outstretched toes, the whole while trying not to push, pull or twist my finger. Eventually I took off my trousers (no mean feat when you're one-handed and in pain) and used them to drag/snag a screwdriver to within reach.

My wife was very emotional when I told her about it later.

Be safe, kids!
(Fri 28th Feb 2014, 18:16, More)
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