Well, the play’s over and done with and now normal service on this blog can be resumed. I was pleased to see that many of the old traditions of the theatre group have been maintained, most notably rather anarchic parties. Speaking personally, I take the business of partying very seriously, and so to this end I attended in the following outfit:
And yes, I am drinking Fosters in that photo. I apologise for nothing. Not even the shirt. Especially not the shirt. Following a rather downer speech to the cast from the director, I was personally in the mood to drink responsibly, in the sense that I wanted to be responsible for a beer shortage. God dammit I went all the way into Soho to get that present, I don’t want no downer speeches. What was my point?
Ah yes. The cast party was held in a flat in Whitton, which regular readers will recall is not far from where the ‘rents live. This meant that, after a short nap on the floor, I was within walking distance of a place to get changed, have a shower and generally recover from my hangover.
Now, if you’re not familiar with the concept of the “walk of shame,” allow me to explain it to you. It’s basically the situation where, following a heavy night, one has to make one’s way home. Of course, unless your home has been repossessed overnight, you’re bound to head home at some point, so allow me to qualify. To qualify for the walk of shame, you must be in a hell of a state. You should be wearing your outfit from the previous night, disshevelled, bonus points if it’s someone else’s outfit. You should ideally be hungover. Hair should be worn lank and in all directions. If female, makeup should be smeared and if male the face should be unshaven. Complexion should be an unhealthy, consumptive shade and staggering is considered highly desirable. You may well be occupying that netherworld where you’re still drunk enough to lack coordination, but hungover enough to be nauseous and in pain. Overall, the effect should be that every drink, every dance move, every inadvisable snog is discernable to the casual passer-by.
I have to say, I’ve always considered the “shame” element to be a misnomer. Now, it’s true that most walks-of-shame happen (for me at least) on a Sunday morning. People out and about that time tend to be, well, the sort of people who get up early on a Sunday morning. You can well imagine how such people in suburban West London react to the above outfit. Today, there were an awful lot of people who, upon seeing me coming, decided they were actually going to walk their dog a different route, or figured that maybe the other side of the road was where they want to be. But here’s my point – why should I be ashamed of the reactions of other people? In one night, I’ve had more fun than they’ve had in their entire life. Screw ‘em, I say. I’m reminded very much of the last few lines of Coleridge’s Kubla Khan:
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
Except, you know, instead of “milk of Paradise,” substitute “inexpensive Australian lager.”