Monday, August 30, 2004

July 23 (Friday): Off to Newmarket today. I stumble into work with the weather above not looking very promising. I take a jumper into work with me in the threat/premise that tonight it will rain. Surprisingly this morning I am actually full of beans, I didn't drink THAT much last night and I'm just tired instead of hung-over. Sandip comes back over from seeing Randy Pan and he says he still smells of booze! I go into to see Ivan. He isn't overly keen on the horse racing tonight and looks of the verge of ditching it, dropping out. I explain if I didn't feel so obliged to go I would happily laugh it off. At this point Jack comes into his office and asks me how I'm doing. It seems surprisingly that I am even doing better than him (pissheads the lot of them). He tells me that he had two of the ladies from last night stay over at his last night (three is a crowd I always found).

The day sails/flies by save for a mad rush at the end by Melchard flapping about a client he is seeing Sunday! Who see's a client on a Sunday? Not anyone with sense.

The minibus arrives to take us to Newmarket. It is not a bus; it is a glorified Transit with comfy seats and windows. By this stage the numbers really are down and the roll call now is: myself, Ivan, Brian, Randy Pan and Randy Pan's other half Rarry. Two other stragglers get on the "bus" but god only knows who they are (friends of Jack ultimately). The bus journey is rough, the weather has now turned and now it is hot. I labour conversation with Ivan but neither of us seems in the mood. We get a call from the office and it turns out that another minibus has arrived to pick us up. Bet that was a better one. The journey is long and I am parched and not far from feeling carsick just by way of something to do for entertainment. After a few hic-cups we arrive in good time, some of us raring to go. Myself, personally I just want a drink and something to eat to salvage morale on my part. Being that numbers are so low tonight, there is little change of it being an all triumphing evening so we are entering into proceedings in the spirit of getting as pissed as humanly possible, myself with view to wind jockeying a racehorse. And Ivan's new pyromaniac past now adds a whole dimension to his ways/persona, added to his existing nickname "Screwdriver." We have an initial £10 whip round and go into drinking with gusto. I'm not betting. I hate betting, I only ever lose. I hate horses; horses are loved by over rich people and perverts (often both types are combined). Still though it is a fantastic evening, beautiful weather and really chilled as it is still early evening and things have not gotten too busy as of yet.

The first race occurs. The others bet and I just front, saying I'm just in it for the ambience (what a wanker). For the first time in three visits we actually sit in the stands and watch the horses and I am actually able to see some of the race for the first time. Around me people get very excited but I don't, I'm too cool (and not betting my money). Someone from our crowd wins something but it doesn't seem/sound substantial enough to match the effort. Whatever, time for another beer. Its all going down quicker, better and smarter than last night.

It turns out that Randy Pan is wearing the same shirt that I was wearing at the Christmas meal back in December. He is copying me, trying to be me? Or just be like me. Envious? Whatever, its all probably just coincidence but a meeting of the mutual admiration society occurs between the pair of us (me "nice shirt!", him "I've always thought you've had good choice in clothes").

Slowly Newmarket begins to pack and for a third year running I find myself have a different experience to the last. Finally I get around to betting on a horse, with everyone around me winning money on theirs. I fork a fiver and place it on a horse called Garnett, Alf Garnett I presume, and I want In Sickness And In Health on DVD now! Fucking old nag, doesn't do shit and certainly doesn't win. Its lose and failure only reflects on me and I almost start to cry at the realisation that that five pounds could have been spend on something cool, something like.....any fucking thing tangible. For here onwards, I vow to be sly and not to bet on another thing. Some people might argue "then what's the point of going horse racing?" For the record though, I do pick horses on everyone remaining race of the night and not one of them did shit, so who was laughing in the end?

The food here is overpriced and upper-class. You could easily attach the Fear And Loathing line about this being entertainment if the Nazis had won the war but actually this is entertainment as the result of the Nazis not winning the war. I see Who and he blanks me but his wife doesn't.

My phone begins beeping and people are texting. First it is Staff asking me if I want to DJ tomorrow night at the Arts Centre in between bands. Oh yes! He tells me how is off to Dunston tonight to play a squat gig with the Blitters. That sounds as exciting as it does scary. I also receive a text from Steph, Margaret's daughter who is trying to set Stevo up with one of her friends. She is telling me (us) that she isn't going out tomorrow after all (was we supposed to be accompanying them? Whoops).

As a group we walk to the paddocks where we get to see the horses and jockeys close up. I'm now kinda tipsy so I lead the laughs directly at the height and size of the midget jockeys. Rarry makes comment about how fat the owners are in comparison to the jockeys. Two wrongs do not make a right! As the others place bets I ask Rarry was accusing me of being gay last time I saw her. Seems she wasn't according to her but I was less drunk than her though that night.... While they put on bets, I put on beers.

The night takes a bit of a dip when I check my GPRS on my phone to discover that Victor has been voted out on Big Brother. Dude was the best thing but apparently while I was out cavorting last night, he was making a real arsehole out of himself at the pretend wedding.

The remainder of the races fly by, with us winding up spending the remainder of our night in the bar. Brian, the arranger of this trip, who normally doesn't drink decides to take up drinking tonight and spending the entire whip on the weirdest concoctions of booze ever seen to man (Baileys, Baby Sham and Red Bull or something). Needless to say he gets the most tipsy (but not drunk) I have ever seen him.

The final race happens and we spill outside to where a Bee Gees tribute band has taken it upon themselves to entertain the masses. Brian leads us blindly for a peak but immediately we return to safety. The crowd is packed but onstage it is pretty vacant. My worst memory of this act is when me, Ivan and Randy Pan wind up in the portakabin pisser (actually pseudo plush) and Randy Pan is singing at me "how deep is your love?" while I am trying to do my business. Is this a mild form of cottaging?

Next up is Mama Mia, the height of tackiness. I decide to slip off for some more chips at this point; I think they have this creamy, mustard barbecue sauce which has taken my fancy. Pissed up, I find a place to sit and sit scoffing my chips probably a right state while in the background four people pretending to be Abba while away the remainder of the evening. Upon finishing my chips I realise I have lost the others and it really is too dark out to find/look for them. Mildly I begin to panic but fortunately immediately find them where we were stood previously and this is where I find Ivan and Randy Pan now talking shop while Brian dances like a fool with Rarry, equally lairy. I also enjoy the opportunity to chip in my two cents because I really don't think the bosses of the firm hold me in high enough esteem nor realise my knowledge and capabilities (and potential that goes with that). So why not pick the best possible time to display this fact: when I am pissed out of my skull, incoherent at best. God knows what triggers it but Ivan and I get into a massive argument perhaps sparked by him telling me what I do wrong at work and/or my attitude problem. Randy Pan also tells me again that I am "too laid back" to deal with clients. That's a red rag to a bull, how can a person be too laid back to deal with clients? I ask him how many clients and who I have fucked up. No response. Who knows what's what from here but all I know is that I wind snarling at Ivan and getting it straight back from him. My arguments are ridiculous and with hindsight I realise I was/am arguing without an agenda. So what's the point? I do remember Ivan saying to me "I take more pride in my work than you ever will" which I find a really bold statement, if probably true. Suddenly an OK night against the odds goes completely tits up. Almost immediately I realise I've fucked up by having an argument with Ivan, almost to the point of hurting his feelings more than anything. After being pissed arrogant, I suddenly find myself acting very sheepishly.

Thankfully the night ends and we leave to get the bus/mini coach/glorified transit home. We are supposed to be picked up at 10.30 but no one turns up to take us home. I guess two coaches arriving to pick us up was always going to equate to no coaches picking us up to take us home. After a number of angry calls to the coach company (yeah, that will really encourage them to pick us up so late on a Friday night), one way or another we wind up on a coach going god knows where. I sit at the back and ask the bloke next to me where we are heading and it turns out the bus is going to Swaffam ("isn't that near Norwich? They're shit, I support Millwall").

Eventually the bus stops and we get tossed out onto the streets of Newmarket at closing time on a Friday night, mad time. Unreserved, I take a piss in public outside a seemingly prominent night club on the high street, I suspect in an attempt to egg the night on to get any worse. By this stage I am super hammered and oblivious to all around, these really should feel like bad times but just do not. We wind up sitting on the steps of some building opposite a banging nightclub. Apparently, it is said, Rarry was up for going into the club and I felt equally the same. While we sit on the steps jollying it up, some lad turns up and begins talking to us. Rarry takes the bait and chats and we listen in as he moans about leaving his £180 Burberry jacket in a nightclub he has been thrown out of and how it still has all his gear in it, this little bitch is claiming to be a dealer. As Rarry talks to him, claiming to be counselling him, Randy Pan flaps concerned the kid might flip on us. Eventually he fucks off. I don't remember much else about our wait for the bus other than at one point having my shirt up and everyone rubbing my belly for luck. I guess I must have passed out on the steps.

A bus turns up to take us home eventually and now awakened (I guess) I get something of a second wind which sees myself talking utter bollocks and singing Estelle "1980" lyrics back and forth to/with Ivan. As soon as that gimmick wears off, again I fall asleep in public (on the bus) and find myself home around 2 AM. What a fucking disaster.

np: Estelle - 1980


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