Yeah, OK. We have been neglectful little bloggers haven’t we? But pray, lay not the blame at our feet, for Young the Elder and I have been busy fulfilling our duty as the hardest-assed partiers this side of the Greenwich meridian. Excuses? You want excuses? You can’t handle our excuses!
Weekend 1: EL STAG
Two weekends ago, LtE and I were charged with organising a stag weekend for an English mate of ours. Note that I choose the word ‘mate’
here and not ‘friend’
. The way I see it, a ‘friend’
is someone whose company you enjoy, whereas a ‘mate’
is someone who shares your insecurities, gets you into fights and helps you on your merry way to cirrhosis of the liver.
During the whole weekend I couldn’t help but be reminded of wildlife documentaries. I mean, picture it, a Yank, a Mick and eighteen British ‘lads’
out on a drunken, totty-hunt in the backstreets ye olde Barcelona. LtE told me he felt a little like Segourney Weaver in the film ‘Gorillas in the Mist’
, chewing leaves with the dangerous silverbacks and hoping that they would accept us as one of their own. Also, twenty drunken ‘guiris*’
staggering around the Gothic Quarter tend to attract a lot of attention from the local predators. The pickpockets and prostitutes were eyeing us up, looking for the drunkest member of the group as we drifted past, just as leopards will check out a herd of gazelles in the Serengeti hoping to spot the weakest fawn.
By some miracle, none of group got their wallets lifted and nobody ended up either in a hospital ward nor police cell. I won’t go into the details of the whole sordid weekend but safe to say it was a reasonable success. Last day, the groom gave us both an inebriated punch in the shoulder that loosened our fillings and thanked us for organising the gig, which he referred to as ‘seamless’
. High praise indeed, although I wish he had used an adjective without so many ‘esses’
in it. That way he might not have decorated the fronts of our shirts with quite so much spittle and beer.
The highpoint of the weekend (or lowpoint depending on your politics) was the stripclub. I had never, ever been to a stripclub before, so even though I’m well passed my mid-thirties, it did feel like somewhat of a coming-of-age experience. Had I been younger, I’m sure it would have been a thrill and a half, but at this stage it just seemed like a bunch of girls swinging around bars, taking their clothes off and trying to get you to buy them overpriced drinks which they sip once and return to the barman. It was bizarre, artificial and a little sad, just what I had expected really. Still though, as cultural coming-of-age experiences go, it beats the hell out of being hung by your nipples in a tepee.
Now, if that was a stripclub, I can’t imagine what a stripmall must be like. Dear me, I have lived such a sheltered life.
Weekend 2: EL CLUB
Last weekend an old friend from home, Noel came over to visit. Before coming, he offered to be a mule for any product that you can buy in Ireland but unattainable over here. He was not amused when I asked him to swallow a condom full of Marmite**.
Noel is a member of a gentleman’s club in Ireland, which has a link to various other clubs around the world. One of the things he wanted to do while over was to check out the Barcelona affiliate of the organisation. So the second evening of his visit, we both donned jackets and ties, CS put on one of her snazzy frocks and the three of us nabbed a taxi uptown. This club was in one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen and in a part of town where a square foot of real estate would cost you a kidney and a half. The blank stare of the concierge seemed to agree completely with the little voice inside my head that was telling me, ‘Flee now, you don’t belong here’
The atmosphere inside was like a library only more so. Which was just as well because I really needed another fucking reason to feel nervous. It’s also renown for being one of the most right-wing gentleman’s clubs in the city and given that gentleman’s clubs as a whole are not exactly known for their Bolshevik leanings, that’s quite an achievement. So, given the nature of the clientele, we at least hoped to see a sweaty arms dealer or a bodyguarded ex-dictator there and fortunately the establishment did not let us down.
We were in the club bar, sitting on patent leather sofas surrounded by hardwood bookcases when a cleric walked in and asked if we had seen the barman. ‘Not in the last ten minutes’
, I told him and turned back to Noel. The stunned and thrilled expression on Noel’s face was that of a bird spotter who’s just seen a rare crested tit fly by.N: Tha...tha...that was a cardinal.
LtY: Piss off.
N: No really. It was a cardinal.
LtY: Oh come on. Probably just a bishop.
N: Listen you heathen. I’m still a practising catholic, so I know the threads and that guy was dressed as a cardinal.
CS: But the Pope was buried yesterday. If he’s a cardinal, what’s he doing here?
LtY: Yeah, they’ll be choosing a new Pope soon, shouldn’t he be sticking around Rome for the...whatchamacallit...the vote. As a cardinal, he could be a contender, right?
N: I suppose he does. That’s strange.
LtY: Maybe he got knocked out in the heats. Poor guy.
CS: No wonder he needs the barman so badly.
So, that’s our excuse. We’ve been entertaining friends over that past couple of weekends and as Sunday is the sacred posting day, there hasn’t been much time for quality blogging.
We shall try to make amends in the future.
is the depreciative Spanish term for a pale, tacky foreigner. It will certainly not be the last time you see the word in this blog.
is what Darth Vader would have had for breakfast. It is a black, gooey, salty yeast extract that you spread on toast, if you dare. Some people adore it; a lot of people can’t even look at it. I have been addicted to it since I was five years old. It’s not easy to score Marmite in Barcelona, but not impossible.