Why I didn’t have a threesome

There’s no tactical way of saying it, or sugar-coating it in metaphor; I was propositioned for a threesome this week. On the list of male fantasies, this ranks somewhere between work experience as an FHM photographer and a fortnight at the Playboy mansion. When I asked a friend what I should do he asked whether it was a “good” or “bad” threesome. When I confirmed two women would be involved, he called me fifty shades of mental and asked what any self-righteous heterosexual would if confronted by the same story; “Are you gay?”

In my defence, they were slightly older than me. I say slightly. Rumour has it they were in their early forties, so I wasn’t even a twinkle in father’s eye when they were rebelling against their parents and buying East 17 records. They were both looking good, don’t get me wrong. The toiletries aisle in Tesco can perform miracles. In the right light, at the right angle, and with enough pints of San Miguel flowing through my bloodstream, they may have passed for 39.

Hunched over the bar, listening to a crap covers band called The Kondoms (classy, I know) the two women approached me. Straight away I knew they were up to something because they took the seats adjacent and whispered to each other before turning to me and saying “You’ve got lovely teeth”. I’m barely a beginner in the world of chat-up lines, but even I know that praising someone’s oral hygiene is hardly the quickest route into their pants. I can’t see many lads getting laid when their first words to a member of the opposite sex are “I love your fillings, can I have the number of your dentist?”

“Shut up Leanne” said the other woman, hunched against the bar with a glazed expression. She looked me up and down, softened her expression and elbowed in the conversation once more. “You’re old enough to be his mother” she said, swaying slightly on her seat. At this point, I didn’t help matters. In fact, I spotted an opportunity for a few giggles.

“Nah, you’re far too young” I said, with a soupcon of innocence and a cheeky smile. Straight away, their expressions changed from mild interest to rapt attention. Leanne started stroking my forearm like I was a lost tortoishelle cat. “You’ve got lovely arms too” she purred. “How old are you?” asked the other woman, whose look of drunkenness had been replaced by a curious glare.

“21” I said. “Oohh” they giggled.

“I think I’ve found a toyboy” Leanne said, sipping from her glass of wine with as much suggestiveness as she could muster. “We’re going for a dance Isabelle” Leanne suddenly announced, marching her to the centre of the pub where The Kondoms were murdering ‘Eton Rifles’. I hung back and sat back down with my friend, looking at me with a mixture of pity and awe.

“So are you going to fuck those two birds” he said.

“What?” I shouted, incredulous.

“They want you, dickhead” he continued.

“It’s just flirting” I replied, noting that I can barely get one woman to sleep with me, let alone two at the same time. I walked through the dancefloor, heading for the toilet, but I was not nearly nimble enough. Leanne and Isabelle collared me (literally) and began rubbing themselves against me before I had a chance to gather myself. I looked around the busy pub and more or less everyone was watching. At once I could feel thirty women thinking “Oh, what a pair of sluts” and thirty men thinking “Get in there my son”. Not one to party poop, I joined in until The Kondoms finished their horrific rendition of ‘Pretty Vacant’. It could have been the flailing limbs or mere coincidence, but both women’s hands seemed to find themselves in the vicinity of my crotch on more occasions than natural.

Finally reaching the loos, Roger sauntered in. Roger is a legend of my local football club and many years older than the two women I was dancing with, so surely he would shed some light on the situation and offer the guidance that only age and experience can muster.

“They want you to be the filling in their sandwich” he said, unzipping and staring at the wall.

“Right” I said. “Is this a dream?” At this point, Roger should have put on a lumberjack outfit and started singing ‘We Will Rock You’, as the room dissolves to the twinkles of my 7am alarm clock. But this was reality… This was happening. If I wanted it.

Then the worst thing possible happened. Think of the worst possible thing to happen at that moment. Go on. Think. OK, whatever it is, multiply that by ten and you will arrive where I did after I exited the washroom.

The lights, previously dark and atmospheric, were up. The band was taking an interval and Leanne was in the middle of the dancefloor. It then struck me, the ultimate cockblock. She shares many of the same facial features as my Nan. Ouch.

 Once this had sunk in, her further attempts to butter me up were proving fruitless so she eventually gave up and moved on to a bald man wearing an anorak. Still, not bad for a night’s work.


Corrie over Leveson any day

In moments of solitude, I often ponder the state of the government. Sad, I know. There are no beach babes frolicking about in skimpy underwear playing beach volleyball during my mind’s moments of respite, just protracted thoughts of Jeremy Hunt, David Cameron and the Leveson inquiry.

On the subject of Leveson, Cameron must be pulling his hair out. Usually when a prime minister announces an inquiry into something, it’s performing the express purpose of sweeping bad things under the carpet. “Look”, the PM will say, “We know you’re angry with us about this. But I’m going to appoint a very old gentleman who hasn’t seen his toes in decades to analyse what happened in a totally impartial way”. Then everyone carries on as if nothing happened. Not this time.

I’d like to see the entry for ‘impartial’ in Jeremy Hunt’s lexicon, mainly because Hunt’s handling of the BSkyB takeover bid brings to mind General Melchett adjudicating a court case in which Blackadder is accused of shooting Melchett’s pigeon: “Impartial. Adj. To engage in chummy, sycophantic text messages with the people you are supposed to be overseeing”. So an inquiry which was supposed to draw a line under the phone hacking scandal suddenly shines a light on the gaping chasm in government independence when it comes to all matters Murdoch.

Labour offers some resistance to the whole caboodle, Ed Milliband slowly edging his party away from Blair’s time, when The Sun was seen as a political bell-weather rather than a celeb-focussed, sexist slab of sludge run by clever people appealing to the lowest common denominator (then again, three million sales a day indicate this may be a case of ‘give the masses what they want’). Whenever Ed Milliband gets in a rage about the government’s antics, you can almost imagine a scene in which Tony Blair is asked to be the godfather of Rupert Murdoch’s son. Blair’s cheeks go rosy red and he says in a breathless voice, “It would be an honour, Rupert”. Suffice to say, it doesn’t help the cause.

I was recently working in a school – a high-concept shock-fest which has been open as an academy for seven weeks and looks quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen: the dining area had an IT suite dangling from suspenders above it – and entered the staff room during break for a cup of tepid tea and a fridge full of angry notes saying “Don’t nick my yoghurt you scoundrels”.

I sat down and watched the television in the corner, which was showing BBC News 24. The Leveson inquiry was being broadcast live and a teacher sat next to me and eyed the screen too. “I’ve been watching Leveson all the way through” she said, heaving a pile of paperwork from her lap to sip from her flask. “It has become my favourite soap” she continued, transfixed to a live feed of Jeremy Hunt giving his testimonial.

When you think about it, Leveson could easily be a new soap. Untrustworthy characters that belligerently expect to get away with everything? Oh yes. Persistent passive aggression? Certainly. An old family dynasty that has been around for years? Meet the Murdochs. Crap acting? Watching Rebekkah Brooks give evidence makes the cast of Hollyoaks look like Bafta contenders.

I sometimes wonder how fun it would be to write the subtitles for the Leveson inquiry; whenever some government minister or News International mogul says “I don’t recall” in response to a probing and potentially fatal question, I could write “Not only do I remember exactly what happened, I can also recall the weather, the front page of The Morning Star and the winner of the 4.25 at Walthamstow”.

In recent weeks people have criticised David Cameron for ‘chillaxing’ too much. He has got in to some hot water for saying that he enjoys watching DVD box sets with his wife. Apparently this indicates that he is not devoting enough energy to running the country. Levels of outrage were running so high that even if the DVDs were discovered to be ‘The Killing’ and ‘Borgen’, broadsheet newspapers would still have come down on Cameron like a tonne of bricks. But the Leveson inquiry has made it clear that Cameron’s spare moments have been spent texting Rebekkah Brooks or riding on her horse. These little titbits of information mean little in isolation; put the pieces together and you start wondering where the line is drawn between our politicians and those of a Murdochian persuasion.

Cameron thought LOL meant ‘lots of love’ and stopped using the acronym once he discovered its true meaning. Some drew attention to this as an example of Cameron being out of touch. I would argue that the reality is even more worrying; he is expressing positive feelings for an ex-editor of The Sun and one of Rupert Murdoch’s favourite protégées. The only time you should care for someone who has edited The Currant Bun is when they are dead, dying or you’re listening to their voicemail messages.

A brief burst of positivity

It’s easy to be cynical nowadays. Hell, I count sarcasm as an essential life skill for dealing with the day-to-day social contact that is necessary in this great hubbub we call life. Yet somehow I have managed to feel proud this week. People often tell me that my writing is amusing (at least compared to being thrown head-first into a mincer) but a little too downbeat about humanity in general. It is much easier to slag something off than identify a problem and posit a solution, they say.

Then again, I would argue that all bankers should be subjected to illicit tortuous practises that are harsh enough to make watching the England football team losing on penalties (again) feel like divine inspiration. Problem: bankers. Solution: torture. See, it’s not all whingeing and whining. Stuff my banking solution in your pipe and blow it up the arse of someone who might actually heed your advice.

I never really listen to people who say that what I write is relentlessly casting the world in a negative light because they are all pin-headed, knuckle-dragging tossers, shoving us closer to the pits of civilisation. During the course of this meandering collection of loosely related words, I shall invoke feelings of warmth and harmony (I haven’t started yet, will give you a shout when we get there). Not because I am listening to the chorus of naysayers who say I should celebrate the good things in life rather than focussing on the wicked. It’s because I have had four of the most satisfying days of my life.

The University of Sussex holds a summer school for year 10 pupils to move on campus for nearly a week and sample the student lifestyle. With nearly ninety kids to look after, all of whom need constant supervision, it’s a big task. But the awe-inspiring nature of some of the kids (warmth arrives right about now, in a day-glow warmth capsule) restores my faith in humanity, at least until I see Bob Diamond’s face again.

Take child A who, for the purposes of anonymity, we shall call Ziegler. He was bullied at school and suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, making social interaction particularly heard. He was having a miserable time of it before he arrived. Just two days in and he was grinning ear to ear, delighted that a group of girls came over to sit with him at dinner and treat him like a friend. As a redcoat (the informal name for us current students which admittedly makes it sound like we might break out in collective dance and ask if anyone wants to meet Rory the tiger) this made me a little emotional because we all loved Ziegler. The other redcoats concurred. “Go on Ziegler!” shouted Alex when he heard the news, as if his son had just discovered the Higgs-Boson particle.

By the end of the week, Ziegler was cracking jokes in a presentation to his peers and speaking with so much confidence, I wasn’t sure if it was the same person in front of me. He later said that it was the best week of his life and that he was now positive about the future in a way unimaginable just a week previously. Not going to lie – my eyes were a little wet at this point. We redcoats treated Ziegler like an equal, an adult, and he had never experienced that, rather a succession of bratty teenagers who deemed his sweet nature and desperate attempts to be liked as a millstone around his neck, rather than a brilliantly mature thing.

Exhibit B: Milly. She only started learning English five years ago yet was the most eloquent, articulate fifteen-year-old I have ever met. She has participated in work experience at the Houses of Parliament and knew more about current affairs than all the redcoats put together. Not only was she possessed of intelligence, she also had enormous emotional intelligence, a rare feat in a person so young. She was humble about herself, not arrogant or showy-off.

Then there was my flat, as I was overseeing five of the lads. The first night was difficult as I had a cool, pint-sized Essex heart-throb, a funny, relaxed geek and three awkward fellas who went to the same school in Sussex. My natural allegiance was with the awkward fellas, as I fully understood where they were coming from, having been as relevant as Betamax when I was fifteen. But after a game of cards on the second night, the group started to gel and by the end, we were laughing til midnight and taking a group photo for the memories. They even bought me a chocolate cake and two Pot Noodles on the final day, presumably because I told them I was on a diet the night before. When I bought my laptop into the living room to show them a few videos about student life, one leaned over and asked “Have you deleted your browsing history?” with a wonderfully knowing nod. They certainly know more than we give them credit for.

Once the children had been seen off premises (and my lot had been told “Get your GCSEs or you will have me to answer to”), we marched to the nearest watering hole for six hours of heavy, alcohol-induced, non-PC banter. Even in an inebriated state, we were all in agreement – we felt much better about the world, better about the future of this nation and happy with a decent week’s work. Back to the usual carping next time.

A couple of beers later…

So anyway, I’m off to Magaluf in a couple of months. Yes, in seven short weeks, I shall be jetting off to a citadel of irresponsibility, dirt cheap fishbowls and young people with fabulously few morals – oh what a week it could be. Then again, we could live out The Inbetweeners Movie and cop off with dinner ladies, fall asleep in an ant’s nest and make general pillocks of ourselves.

To celebrate the holiday being booked, we had a cheeky night out in Brighton. The Queen may have been celebrating her Diamond Jubilee the same day and there may have been a bunting tsunami around town, but our reason for meeting up was that we had booked a hotel where the online reviews said that the girls bathe topless around the pool. Amen.

I wasn’t expecting to go out out. I was just gonna have a few beers, slur my goodbyes and hop on the train home. Problem was, this was a Tuesday night, so the drink was cheap enough to make one a dribbling mess before the clock struck midnight. I had elected to wear a red and white striped t-shirt, so I looked like a cross between a colour-blind burglar and Where’s Wally? Furthermore, due to unforeseen circumstances – Mum hadn’t put a wash on – I had no jumper or jacket to wear apart from my suit, which is fine when I’m wearing a decent shirt but not when I look like a children’s literary character. I should have gone the whole hog and bought a wand, a pet owl and some robes, walking around shouting “Expelliarmus!”

Jamie, Russ, Dean and Mike were all convincing me to stay out – no idea why; I think they felt safe in the knowledge that they were not the biggest tit in the group. And as the drinks kept coming and 9pm was but a distant memory, this became the new reality. We approached Oxygen, a small side bar which does a roaring trade. One of Oxygen’s promotions was a ‘Meal Deal’ of two cocktails, two Jägerbombs and two shots, all for a tenner.

“Ahh, one for the family” Mike said, while the barman dished out five meal deals in double quick time. I always thought a liquid meal involved carbohydrates like Lucozade but no, Oxygen are redefining these terms, bastardising the language of alcohol. When it comes to language, the cocktails provide the most GPM (giggles per minute). If you say “Can I have sex on the beach with a slippery nipple and follow it up with a few orgasms please” to a barman, he shall return with a score’s worth of booze. Say it anywhere else and you will be prosecuted under decency laws.

Oxygen also had a wide range of shots with ridiculous names, including “Minty Asshole” and “Gangbang”, which I suppose replaces the tradition of asking for “One of the red thingys”. Now it’s called something gauche like “Virgin’s Period” to make you blush.

Next we went to ‘Madame Geishas’ (never been there before, so I was expecting all sorts of oriental madness but it turned out to be similar to other clubs) and continued our epic drinking, with doubles costing just a couple of quid. We all did the same thing; when we first entered, we were slumped against the bar, chatting as if we’d just met in the street, attempting to lock in a sense of coolness and detachment from the lunatics clogging the dancefloor.

While doing this – giggling and laughing and making sure that other people think you are having a good time – your eyes wander around the room and clock the people, the music and any girl drunk enough to not care if you look less inviting than an elephant’s arse. Under no circumstances do I ever think I will join the thronging masses bumpin’ ‘n’ grindin’, but there comes a tipping point, usually preceded by the words “fuck it”, where I will march headlong into the centre of the dancefloor and start thrashing limbs in odd directions. Unsurprisingly, this usually coincides with me losing track of what happened.

All I do know is that a couple of hours later I found myself a mile and a half away from ‘Madame Geishas’ attending a house party with a bunch of strangers. I think I was walking back to my place of rest when I started talking to some people on the street, most from Exeter University. My next memory in the slideshow of my drunken oblivion was sitting on the doorstep of a busy Brighton street at 4am, discussing politics and philosophy with a very good looking girl and her gay mate, who if I remember correctly was called Sebastian (sometimes you’re just setting your child up for homosexuality).    

Then at 10am I woke up, suit crumpled from sleeping on the living room floor. Behind me were my two new friends, snoring away on a comfortable blow-up bed. On the sofa beside me was a Chinese guy who I distinctly remember shouting at us for being too loud at one point. And on the opposite side of the room were two Asian girls, hunched against a filing cabinet. Bottles of wine were everywhere and there was the unmistakeable whiff of wacky baccy. I calmly sat up, got to my feet and strode out of the door, never to see them again. A couple of beers, I said. Does no-one ever listen?