Eat to the beat

There are many things I just don’t understand…The attraction of cropped trousers for gentlemen, perms, what’s so good about 5ive (can anyone honestly say they know ALL their names?), why rich bitches get excited about pashminas etc. But the one thing I really really don’t get is why people feel compelled to eat huge amounts of crap when they’re pissed.

A few weeks ago I was in a horrendously cheesy nightclub. I didn’t want to go, the choice was taken away from me. The friends I was out with that night said they couldn’t be arsed doing the usual club thing, jostling for space with loads of shirtless fashion leaders and impossibly thin beauties in clothes that would cost a week’s wages. No siree, they wanted cheese. Plus, we could get in for free as we have friends who shag in high places…

So fair enough, we’ve had a few drinks, we get into this club, see some of Edinburgh’s ‘finest’ rocking to Dave Pearce’s latest throbbing charty-hearty horrific Techno-lite™. So far, so good. Then a few of the group announce, “Right, we’re away to get something to eat.”
“What?” cried the more sensible members of the group.
“Aye, there’s a diner over there, like.”
And off they trotted. Fascinated, I followed.

In this neon-encrusted black-carpeted nightmare was a large room with banquettes, fruit machines and a cash machine. Along one wall was a series of hotplates with a lacklustre kitchen behind, reminiscent of some dilapidated state school in Hackney. The proceedings were being watched over by a very bored-looking couple of recent school-leavers, along with a middle aged woman with a face that looked like she had just undergone 72 hours of agonising childbirth. It was an amazing scene.

Scores of drunks being propped up by ‘well-built’ girls fooling themselves in shiny size 10 dresses mingled with bored-looking young lads hoping that the extremely drunk and fleetingly pretty stick insect they were holding up wouldn’t sober up before he’d fed and fu… (whoops) slept with her. There was the occasional nasty drunk. “Hey, ya mingin’ bitch, ye, where’s my f***in’ burger like, ah’ve bin waiting ten bloody minutes, c’mon doll, dinnae take the pish…”

Idiot. You just knew that ‘doll’ would head straight for the kitchen and stick his chips up her arse before serving them. The childbirth crone merely surveyed the queue with eyes that told a thousand tales of drunks and their eating habits. It was obvious from her demeanour that such behaviour was nothing new. I could tell from every crag on her face that she had witnessed thousands of intoxicated youths in her time.

“Stop yer catcalling or none of ye’ll get served!” she eventually screamed, as a 13-year-old in a shiny boob tube fell over and was sick in her hair. I made my way, wobbling somewhat (either from drunkenness or revulsion at the situation…I don’t know), to a table and sat down to wait for my friends. They returned with a mass of grease, with a burger in there somewhere and some rancid fries and onion rings. I turned away in horror as they tucked in. I turned away in the same manner when 2 hours later they threw it up in the street.

So why this fascination with getting absolutely rat-arsed and then spending a fortune on dodgy food either on the way home, or as is now ‘en vogue’ in Edinburgh, whilst still in the club? When I’m clubbing, the LAST thing I want to do is eat. I remember at uni how I would moan and sulk at being dragged into the most disgusting kebab shop in Southampton (you know who you are), as my friends ordered chips with chilli sauce, mayonnaise, dog turd and other things you wouldn’t even think about eating if it wasn’t for the 26 pints of Stella you’d just had. The biggest mystery to me is why ANYONE would want to eat a kebab. Oh yes, I’d just love a big slice of horse leg with 10-day-old salad and sauce of dubious origin, ta very much.

More often than not these kebabs would be left to fester on the kitchen table until someone plucked up the courage to throw it away, or indeed in one case, heat it up the next morning and eat it. I would often chuckle to myself as I made my way to my dead-end weekend job and see all the half-eaten kebabs and pizzas strewn across the streets, occasionally with a little pile of vomit accompanying it. Mmmm…lean cuisine, I don’t think.

So keep your freaky diners with silver banquettes and teenage alcoholics. Take away your Environmental Health-condemned fast food vans parked outside grim neon clubs, where ‘burger ‘n’ fries – only £3.99!’ is served by spotty youths in filthy white coats (Hello Leeds). Be gone all you nightmare kebab shops which are just Crimewatch reconstructions waiting to happen (I lost count of the number of stabbing in our local). And don’t even get me started on the deep-fried pizzas and battered black pudding that Scots lap up…

No way, I’m just not playing*. I much prefer to stagger home and attempt to ‘cook’ whatever I find in the fridge/ freezer/ somebody else’s cupboard. Even if I do fall asleep/ pass out/ set the flat on fire, at least I saw myself cook it and don’t need to worry that a school-leaver might have been playing hockey with it in a grease-ridden kitchen. Oh, and slice of horse leg? Er…no thanks, I think I’d rather eat my own eyeballs first…