I was supposed to go to a function on Thursday night. It was sort of work related. I knew it was going to be boozy. A lot of my work colleagues and friends were going but I had another do to go to. It was an Art exhibition. For me it was a no brainer.
I like Art.
I started getting text messages around 11pm. "Where are you Pete? We have moved onto the Martini bar. At the Grand Hyatt. Come and join us". The Art Exhibition was beginning to peter out and Peter felt like going out. So I went. Now I knew I was going to walk into a scene of mayhem and carnage. These men and women had been drinking for many hours. They were as pissed as newts. They were as drunk as skunks. They were wankered. I expected nothing less. I had consumed a single glass of champagne at the Art Exhibition but I had nursed it. I am not a big drinker.
So I was as sober as a judge.
I guess there were 30 or so people from the function at the bar and quite a few other patrons as well. I knew a lot of the people there. Some well and others not so well. I knew some not at all. They were all jolly and they were very loud.
I was hailed as I arrived. A dreadful cocktail that smelt like coffee was thrust into my hand then I mingled. Conversing with drunks isn't that hard. I anticipated extremes of emotion at this stage of night. Illogical arguments. A few high fives. There was a bit of hugging going on too.
It was entertaining.
About half an hour into this soiree a large, sweaty and bald bloke staggered up to me. He intruded into a conversation I was having with a couple of my friends.
"So you are Peter?" he asked.
He put his arm around me. His grip was tight and his speech was slurred.
"I am" I replied.
"How do you do?"
I would have shaken his hand but he was too close. His face was in mine and his breath smelt of vodka. There was dribble on his chin. It was nasty. I didn't recognize him. I had never seen him before.
He was English.
"I've read your blog" he informed me.
"It's crap. My ten year old could write better. Why do you write that shit anyway? Nobody is interested"
"OK" I replied.
Whilst at the same time trying to disengage myself from his grip. He was a big unit and he was obviously hostile. I felt pangs of concern about my safety. I am a lover not a fighter.
"Have you read all of my posts?" I enquired.
"All of em!" he asserted.
"They're all shit. And I don't like the way you talk about us British".
I felt further panic. I had a flurry of worry. I was trying to rapidly think about what I had written about the English. I know I had not been particularly kind about the Northerners but I write my posts spontaneously and I am never intentionally cruel.
"I just like to write" I tried to explain.
"And I'm Australian. We don't know how to speak or write proper".
I was trying to disarm him with humor.
With self deprecation.
This was an ugly drunk and I knew that I needed to be careful. I had also managed to now take a couple of steps back from this guy. I was now standing half behind a good mate of mine who is a very big lad. Big in the sense of muscle - not lard. I knew that if push came to shove he would protect me.
"They're all shit" the fat English drunk repeated.
”You don't know how to punctuate neither".
"I think you mean either" I replied.
"I don't really know or care who reads what I write" I added.
I felt a bit more confident now in the shadow of my big protector. I was less unnerved.
"And pardon me whilst I check my give-a-fuckometer about your opinion".
I pulled out my Blackberry and made a show of reading some invisible signal.
"Nope. Not a blip" I reported.
The fat boy snarled and staggered away muttering something incomprehensible. I left the venue not long after. I went home.
I never did get his name.
But if you are reading this now. Know this.
I wrote this one for you.
You obnoxious fat ignorant Fucker