I’ve just read one of Housse’s first posts and I resisted the urge to go completely against the grain of it and the comment thread. It’s not that I have anything against Housse (that is Witho’s job!) or the people that commented, it’s just that I have a different point of view.
Essentially, Housse went on a Stag weekend, didn’t want to do the Weaselling (boulder climbing) and absailing, didn’t want to drink to excess and didn’t enjoy the lap dancing club. Fair enough, he didn’t want to do it, stood up for himself and didn’t go with the flow. Good on him, it’s a tricky thing to do in heavily testosterone influenced environments, I just think it’s a pity he felt obligated to enjoy these things. I realise that is usually people like me who make people like him feel obligated to do these things.....
The thing is, if put in the same situation I would have done completely the opposite: I love getting mucky and dirty, I love climbing things, I love competition, I especially love abseiling and the huge adrenalin rush you get as you start to lean back over the edge and let the rope take your weight, I love drinking to excess with a group of mates and hey, I love going to strip clubs – I appreciate that the ladies are in charge, but I enjoy it. I enjoy being a lad, I enjoy the games that can ensue when surrounded by other lads, if someone says slow down during a big night out I tend to speed up. The number of times I have downed pints when Underworld "Born slippy" is played in the pubs is untrue (see post title for a clue to the chorus). It’s a bit self-destructive, but I know when I’ve had enough/am being a right twat and call time when due. And yes, having been the instigator, calling time is hard to do and I get a lot of deserved stick for it. But you reap what you sow.
I don’t do it because people are pressuring me, I’m not doing it to impress my peers, I’m doing it because I enjoy it. I think it’s fair to say that when I go out with my mates, I do tend to ring-lead and encourage over the top behaviour. That is just the kind of person I am, I’m enjoying it and I want everyone else to enjoy it too. Also, nothing sucks more than sober people reminding you of what you did the night before.
Of course, every now and then you come across some resistance to certain ideas, such as flaming sambuca, streaking, setting fire to your chest hair etc. But usually some cajoling does the trick and people start to lighten up. I don’t see it so much as bullying, I see it as providing a consultation service - suggesting the best way to have my version of a good time. Unfortunately, after one large company bar bill where our users saw my consultation services in full swing, I now have a little bit of a reputation when down the pub with them. Occasionally it can be a real arse, as people expect a certain level, occasionally it can be a great excuse and thankfully I don’t have to try.
On reading Housse’s post, my initial reaction was stereotypical, Lord Flashhart’s voice came into my head with a thundering, “What a POOF, WOOF!” but perhaps I should start to think twice before giving people a hard time. Just because I enjoy getting dirty, drunk and having a complete stranger’s boobies thrust in my face and then her turning around to give herself a good spanking whilst she wears nothing but a skimpy thong, doesn’t mean that the next man will enjoy it (and I do enjoy it, it's not a macho thing). Maybe I should let people get on with it. Or maybe people just need some motivation to get horrifically drunk and I‘m doing God’s work brother?
I think that is why I enjoy Doug, Joe and Mav’s company, we’re all alike. If one of us slows down, the others give him shit until he’s a lap ahead, effectively the bullying is reciprocated. Mav isn’t called two-sips for nothing…….
Huh, full circle, how did that happen?