The Belfast Incident: Harmless Fun/Electro House/Pampelona Bulls
Mischief / Devilment / High Jinks / Outright Roguery… We are all capable of such things during our finer hours. Personally, I can fulfill all these requirements on any given night when the planets align sufficiently and I am set loose, fueled by copious amounts of imported French lager, THC laced muffins and the epic shrill of my most trusted cluster of experienced Fellow Warriors.
There have been far too many insane nights of dice-rolling luck and break-neck 90 degree tangents to chronicle in any sort of sane manner – so rather than skim over the surface of each like a well greased narratory eel, I will instead recount, in vivid and sometimes disturbing detail, one particular episode.
I arrived in Belfast fairly early on the Saturday morning of Halloween. The intake of alcohol commenced almost instantaneously. Breakfast consisted of premium cider and black pudding (oatmeal, lard and pigs blood) sandwiches; the diet of the professional booze-hound and one of the many reasons behind Scotland topping the cholesterol leagues for Western Europe. A source of much pride indeed. The day passed relatively uneventfully, and was spent reacquainting myself with long-lost University friends, Belfast Skunk, and those dangerously standard triple measures of Vodka, seemingly commonplace in Northern Ireland, that hit you like a freight train in a snow blizzard – hard, fast, and with only a semi-blurred partial warning.
One thing lead to another, and with the “one thing” being near-purified alcohol, we naturally found our way to a suitable club in the city centre around midnight. One of our party had lost a shoe along the route, seemingly trading it with a passing merchant for a look at her breasts, but these minor details no longer mattered. We had arrived.
We were taken into the “VIP” section of a club: full of high-class women and long haired men meandering around in a pseudo “I am important, hear me roar” sort of way. Yours truly stuck out in an under-dressed and overly drunk manner.
After what seemed like hours of pointless searching, I eventually found a long and flexible pole hidden in the corner of that particular velvet lined room. It had a length of fiber attached to its end which I believe was for closing the smoke vents sited at the top of the fire exits. I decided, logically, to use it as a fishing rod/lasso combination. Perched in my leatherette beanbag like it was some sort of kamikaze fighting chair; strapped in as if I was about to do hand-to-hand battle with a vicious sea serpent so powerful that it was systematically destroying the killer whale population of the Atlantic Ocean, I cast off into the sea of bodies and bass-heavy noise in front of me.
In my utterly inebriated state, I would hold the “rod” out into the middle of the dance floor, ask passers by to tug on the end of it, then scream like a banshee, aggressively and directly in the face of the latest catch. “We’ve got a biter, we’ve got a biter, get the nets and the killing stick, this is the money shot!”. And all this in a mock sea-dog accent – like a Cornwall deep-sea trawler captain sent wild on tequila and ayahuasca.
This is when the bouncers, the hired muscle who had taken around thirteen Chuppa Chupp fruit-flavored lollipops off me on the way into the room, citing that I “looked like a big kid” and not laughing at my comment that I had “just battered two 11 year olds and taken their stash”, made clear that they were less than happy with my fishing/trawler escapades. Having two 250-pound men rushing at you like a couple of undefeated Pampelona Bulls, all the while screaming an endless steam of near-gibberish, tends to make things clear. Or at least somewhat clearer. Or at least clear enough to realise that the next 3 minutes or so had the brutal potential to be life-defining. In a place hardened by 300 years of subtle civil-war, scarred by terrorism and political mayhem – people don’t fuck around. And they fuck around even less so with terminally mashed Scotsmen harassing the general public and regular clientele.
Indeed, it was only the sheer volume of dance-floor traffic that allowed me to drop the rod, hurdle a few adjoining tables, and escape to a darkened corner of the room without being lifted off the face of the earth by these two massive silverback gorillas, both seemingly competing for the coveted alpha-male position, who were posing, for that night only, as officially sanctioned doormen at Belfast’s premier Electro-House venue. A severe evolutionary spike had well and truly caught up with me. After this sudden peak, the trip took a terrible turn in affairs as the two previous nights heavy excesses caught up with me and I struggled, so I’m told, to make even the slightest fragment of sense; babbling like a mad-man about having to make 120 mph u-turns at the end of a cul-de-sac and how I’d heard that rare Marine Iguana’s had already begun to aggressively populate the south-western coastline of my native Scotland, arriving as stowaways in banana crates, and heralding a new era in Darwinian beach-front warfare for all but the most stubborn of indigenous species. Clearly, this was neither the time nor the place for an in-depth discussion of marine biology, but given my now limited capacity for societal function, I was in no state to realize and could be forgiven for such a slip.
Having escaped the clutches of those two skull-heavy goons, the night began to wind down. My blood alcohol level was beautifully high, inhibitions suitably low, and the left side of my face dangerously numb. The icing on the cake, however, was still to come…
To whit, on my way out of the club, I threw up, quite spectacularly it must be said, on the fashionable bean bag seating where I had previously been caught up in a game of dry-land aquatics; walking the tight-rope of social acceptance, perilously balanced between success and failure. The vomit itself was a stunningly delivered projectile effort, with impressive range and an even more impressive angle; arcing gracefully and falling beautifully as the green and red lasers caught it in mid-flight. A sight not dissimilar to when the late afternoon sunrays of the Serengeti catch the tremendous back-splash from a crocodile spearing a fully grown bison to the riverbank in a terrific primal explosion – a true moment of absolute beauty, where biology and horror meet in an awe-inspiring clash of teeth and bone.
Yes, indeed, I am capable of such beauty. Even in the wholesale oral purging of toxins.
I am pleased to announce that leaving the club was by my own free will and the apes never tracked me down. They remained, unaware in their treetop look-out posts, as I sprayed the faux-leather bags with a good 850 ml of triple distilled Russian Moonshine. A fountain of filth. Given the days excesses, the scent would undoubtedly have been similar to a week old maggot-riddled trout in downtown New Delhi, where the temperature remains at its normal 110 and the humidity index almost identical. Having departed the club, at the urgent behest of my friends, before the air conditioning unit had the opportunity to ferry my fragrance around the complex, I am saddened to say that I am unable to confirm this potential fact.
T’was indeed another fine night of chaos and carnage, liberally sprinkled with the best sort of mischief: unintentional, avoidable, dangerous, and, ultimately, without arrest.