One of the most offensive comments I’ve ever heard was “he said if we paid £40 extra each, we’ll get into the VIP section”. This was one of my friends in a taxi feeling excited about getting off the phone with an “insider” from the club we were going to. Up to that point, I really hadn’t taken notice of where we were going clubbing, I was more interested with what we were going to eat first because I was hungry.
“£40?!”, I exclaimed in shock, “to get into a pub in South East London? You can get a blowjob for £40”.
“That’s for a VIP pass” the argument followed, “And it’s not a pub, it’s a club”.
I’ll come back to this VIP thing in a bit.
It had been a great Saturday that started with us drinking at midday. It’s been a while, but I applied for my overnight visa from er indoors and it was duly granted to allow me to attend a Christmas drink up after a game with my Arsenal supporting friends. Even she knew there was absolutely no chance expecting me back home on Saturday night and promptly granted the visa.
So we sang and made merry, and even thought of opening a book to bet on how many of us would actually make it to the stadium. It didn’t matter that the pub was literally a few minutes’ walk from the Emirates, 5 pm got to us quicker than we could order enough pints. It’s one of those things that always gets you – being in your seat before kick-off is just an elusive bastard.
We quickly got into the cheering rhythm as the first half flew past – with one of my friends who was there for the first time (he supports Liverpool unfortunately) spending most of the time being mesmerized by the magnificence of the Emirates stadium. Seriously, this guy was taking photos of the pitch and the players instead of enjoying the football match. We excused the poor bastard – it was his first time in a proper stadium, one of the best in the world.
The result was disappointing, but I’ll take a point after a European weekday game with our boys coming back with a late equalizer. Everyone was still in a party mood as we headed back to the pub. Those who did not have overnight visas ended up having the traditional ‘one for the road’, and making mental notes for the next time – “make sure your missus sanctions an overnight stay”.
Fast forward a few hours later, and we had been roped into visiting an African club in South East London. When I heard the driver in the taxi being told the address, I said there’s no African club anywhere near that road and it’s a bloody long road with hundreds of nightspots. An African club is not one of them.
So imagine my surprise when they said we need to pay extra for a VIP pass. You see, I have a problem in principle. This whole “VIP status” in clubs or entertainment venues is just taken too far. It makes no business sense whatsoever. Why create second class citizens and try to segregate people in a place that is a shit venue in the first place.
If you’re going to make me a VIP – it better be VIP. Don’t try and entice me with a section of the pub with a few fluffy seats and a huge ugly fuck off bouncer built like a brick shithouse stopping people from entering the fluffy seated area.
I’m still listening to the same dodgy music, still smelling the same sweaty bodies like every other fucker in the pub, fighting like everyone else to get a pint at the bar, using the same dodgy and smelly toilets with the same lollipop selling, chewing gum peddling toilet attendant that’s’ smiling at everyone. If you’re going to make me VIP, make sure you have heated toilet seats, a surround sound system playing jazz fm, a toilet that can wash my ass with soapy water, and blow dry all the cracks and curves that nature endowed on me.
Don’t bloody call a pub a club, and don’t bloody insist that you have a VIP area and tell me that £40 is a discounted price to enter your dodgy VIP area.
True to form, it was exactly the pub I had in mind. And even then, someone was still being nervous about whether we would be let in wearing sneakers.
“It’s a pub for fuck’s sake”, I screamed. I kid you not though, the first bouncer stopped us and told us the dress was smart casual, no sneakers. And our friend instantly took to his phone to try and call his “insider” to bail us out”.
Before he could get his ‘insider’, one of the other bouncers came jumping with joy towards us and crushed me with a huge bear hug which of course shocked everyone at first. Big Ken though, is one of those huge ugly built like a brick shit house bouncers, and it’s understandable why the others were apprehensive. But Big Ken used to work for me in a previous life, hence the joy and excitement from seeing me after nearly 10 years.
“This dude hear tells me I can’t enter your pub” I hurriedly pointed to the offending “you can’t get into my club with those sneakers” bouncer, a huge “fuck you” grin on my face.
“What do you mean”, Big Ken laughingly responded, and turning to the other bouncer, he calmly said “I still call this guy boss. If T (the owner of the pub) found out you were freezing him, he’d have words”.
“what’s this VIP shit I hear you guys charge for the price of giving head” I asked Big Ken as he led us all inside. “And in a pub though these guys think it’s a club”. Big Ken just let out a hearty laugh saying it’s for the amusement of customers.
So inside we were – and even without paying VIP prices (for the sake of self-respect I insisted on paying the normal cover charge at the door) – of a pub I might add – and I must say, I felt like I’d lost a few years.
I didn’t recognize any of the songs being played except for one Rihanna hit, but that’s because it’s on radio nearly every day. In fact, last time I went to a club proper was nearly 4 years ago when I lost a bet to my younger brother’s 23 year old girlfriend and the punishment was clubbing with her all night in Nairobi.
I thought clubbing would be what it used to be like in my day, but the young girl really punished my body (wipe that smirk off your dirty face – not that kind of punishment) by keeping me on a dance floor all night.
Saturday was getting to be like one of those “what the fuck am I really doing here” kind of nights. But my friend reminded me that overnight visas are rare to come by so I better enjoy myself. And this I promptly started to do as I moved my bits and pieces on the dance floor before one of the DJ’s took pity on me and started playing some good old fashioned old school music. To me it wasn’t old school, I’d say late 80s and early 90s, but to the crowd around, they danced to it like it was the golden oldies.
One of the young girls next to me looked like she was still in nursery school and still getting used to solid food when House Call by Maxi Priest and Shabba was topping the charts in the early 90s, yet she was grooving to it like she had been in the music video.
There as another one across the floor who unleashed a scream of joy when the song came on and started the crouching dancing move as if to prove to everyone how fit she was. To be honest, the only thing you could think of with her face right by the crotch of the guy dancing with her was Biggy in Nasty girl rapping “Whip it out, rubber no doubt” – with the expectation that any second, the dude was going to whip his dick out and slap the girl’s face with it.
Believe it or not, when I was in the clubbing business, I came across crazy things, and it wouldn’t have surprised me one bit. I remember a few years back when talking to one of my customers outside in the club box office area, another customer walked out, calmly said hello with a smile and looked around as if checking if anyone else was about – nonchalantly lifted her dress, pulled out her stockings and panties, folded them neatly, put them in her hand bag and went back straight into the club.
And by the way, ladies, if you’re going to wear a mini-skirt, please do us a favour and wear one that doesn’t ride, especially if you’re going to get tipsy and drop your guard. A good miniskirt can look great and elegant (on the right body I might add), but when it starts riding every few minutes and it becomes difficult to tell whether you’re wearing a skirt or a belt, then you’ve got a problem.
We ended up talking with this particular girl and her group of friends and making small talk. With industrial strength speakers determined to fuck up your ears, conversation wasn’t easy at all.
At one point when we were sat in the fluffy VIP seats (yes there was a VIP area, she started telling me her life story – hard to keep job, dodgy boyfriend who doesn’t’ value her, ambitions in life, and why the group decided they needed to party hard.
I was also amused when she complained about the challenges of wearing a miniskirt. Especially when she’s had wine, panty removers, beer and all sorts poured onto her thighs by inconsiderate bastards.
“My thighs are so sticky…” she moaned, almost daring and willing me to feel and see how disgusting it really was.
I thought if only there was really a VIP bathroom for the ladies, she could have actually taken a shower.
Some things never change though – like the dodgy mini-cab driver who hang out all night outside the club and want to charge you an arm and a leg to take you home, especially when you’re all going to different addresses. And the one thing that always cracks me up is when they insist you pay them first before they take you – something I always refuse on the grounds that they haven’t taken me anywhere – how do I know they’re not a murderer like the ones you watch on CSI New York.
As far as I know, the only professionals who get away with collecting fees before the job are prostitutes. Why taxi drivers insist on going this direction I don’t know. Besides, if I actually manage to elude a taxi driver in my state after clubbing, they’ve got bigger problems than me not paying them for the fare.