So last night I went to another OUT event, the "Farewell to Winter" party at the Goose near Chancery Lane. This was a ticket-only event and I'd dithered about whether I wanted to go, so when I decided earlier in the week that I quite fancied it, it was sold out. Some people with tickets couldn't go and were offloading them, but for some reason I assumed getting a ticket would be more complicated than it turned out to be so I decided to forget about it and save my money instead.
Then on Friday morning I got a text from Simon saying he and Mike were going. To be honest I didn't really need that much arm-twisting so I messaged one of the people who was offering his ticket. So cheers to James who not only transferred the ticket over to me (the "ticket" turned out to consist of a pin number, which together with your username would let you in) but also didn't want the £4 for it. The event was from 7pm to 1:30am, I got there around 8:20 and thought it'd still be warming up but it was already heaving. At the first two events I was pleased to find out we didn't have to wear nametags - no such luck here, so I had a sticker with "Icequeen" on my T-shirt all evening (an old joke because it's just about the least appropriate nickname for me; it wasn't all that funny in 1999 let alone now, but I'm stuck with it.)
Funnily enough for me going into a room full of a couple of hundred gay men, I wasn't feeling particularly interested in pulling anyone. I guess that's what four wanks in two days will do to you at my age. After leaving my jacket and scarf in the cloakroom I went to the bar - turns out because my pin number started with a 9, I'd won a voucher for a free drink. So that kinda decided whether I'd be on the alcohol or not - as did the fact that double shots of spirits with mixer were only £2.25. Not bad at all for fairly central London. I saw Russell and chatted to him for a bit, then went to talk to David B and Jan, who introduced me to some more people including Andy, who'd been at the bowling alley but we hadn't had the chance to meet, and Nervous Ian. (That's Jan's nickname for him, not mine - based on the rather spurious theory that Ian's so handsome he slightly intimidates himself.)
Simon texted to say he'd arrived a little after 9 so I went to say hi to him and Mike, who seems to have recovered well from his accident. It's fair to say Simon wasn't quite getting into the spirit of things; he didn't think EC1 qualified as Central London, had ripped up his nametag at the door, and wasn't impressed with the company. As he pointed out though, it's usually me who's a bloody misery so now I know he he usually feels (I would like to say I don't think I'm usually that much of a misery.) Mike seemed to be pretty popular, with several guys coming up to chat with him; Simon wandered in one direction and I wandered in another to find the people I knew and hopefully meet more. I did do my best to mingle which has the downside of leaving me looking lost and forlorn some of the time - at one point Nervous Ian spotted me and introduced me to a couple of people including Kevin, Naz and Shaved Head Ian.
The pub is on two floors and the basement was a dancefloor, so I went down there for a bit. As is inevitable when lots of gay people are dancing, there was a handful of people with shirts off. The difference being that there were all kinds of body types on show, not just disco tits - which was both a nice indicator of how OUT seems to be quite distinct from the stereotypical gay scene, and kinda horny. I chatted to people like Russell and Simon again, then Shaved Head Ian came up to me and we talked for a bit. I thought things were looking pretty promising there to be honest, although he did say he was going to leave soon to catch the last tube. Around this time a guy called BJ came up to me as well, and although I said hello I was kinda focusing on Ian. Then at some point Ian went off to the loo and never came back. The rudeness! Especially since he was the one who had initiated the flirting! Regular readers will know what happened next - yep it was the traditional period of Moping AroundTM. Seeing BJ dancing with a topless Andy made me figure that avenue was closed now as well.
They called last orders around 12:20 and I was trying to avoid standing in what I'd privately dubbed Desperation Corner, where people who hadn't copped off yet were standing around. I did go there to chat to Russell though, and then decided meh, I will make it six double vodkas after all. At the bar I saw BJ again and we started chatting. I can't have offended him too much earlier 'cause he said I was "very good-looking" (he must have been very drunk) and pretty soon there was some major snogging going on. He liked my stubble - I'd shaved just before going out but I guess that's Mediterranean genes for you. He also described me as "very, very horny" so his eyesight must be poor. Although I had just been pressing my erection into his leg when he said it, so it could be a reference to that. The place was getting ready to close (long before the advertised 1:30, tsk) so I went for a wee (not easy in the condition I was in) as did BJ, who admitted to Having A LookTM. Hurrah. So did I, mind. Actually it's hard not to, the Goose has the most "display friendly" loos I've ever seen - if you're at the urinal you're basically on show to anyone who comes through the door. Maybe that's why there was such a big queue to use the stalls, I'm sure it had nothing to do with any questionable activities. Maybe lots of people needed to do a great big shit. But I digress. We exchanged numbers and I said I'd text him, which I will - when I say I'll text, I text.
Just to prove I do have some well-hidden ability to be organised, I'd phoned London Travel Information before going out to find out where I could get a night bus from. Luckily, it was only a short walk to Holborn where the N1 stops, and takes me straight home. More good luck, it arrived just as I was reaching the bus stop, and I managed to run and catch it. I entertained myself on the way back by interminably texting Kelly, as well as Simon who'd left earlier without me seeing him. Got home just after 2 and straight to sleep. Unfortunately I couldn't quite manage the full bottle of water that would have done wonders counteracting the 12 shots of vodka, but I did wake up a couple of times in the night and have some more sips. Two coffees and a banana for breakfast helped get rid of most of the hangover. Quite glad I went, then.