My Adventure in Debauchary and Hedonism at Notting Hill Carnival.
With hindsight, it was a dare and that fifth glass of absinthe that almost earned me a night at the police station and a two-hundred pound public disorder fine. This is a story about my adventure in debauchary and shameless hedonistic self-indulgence at Notting Hill last Monday.
A few Sunday evening pints of Old Thumper at the Hawley Arms in Camden the day before had some how graduated into some kind of old-school booze-up I should have known better than to indulge in.
While still at the pub, my friend S had dared me (being the fearless one in the group) that if I kissed a female police officer (and I mean French kiss, deep tongue action and all...you know, I don't have to draw you a picture), two-hundred and fifty pound sterling was mine to pocket. All I know is that things were getting out of control big time even before that foul-tasting green liquid made an appearance.
S was living up to his reputation of being the craziest one of the group by doing what he does best - betting huge sums of money on unattainable dares. Everyone seated around the pub's ancient table covered in the conventional detritus of a good old-fashioned knees-up had exhibited the usual mood swings that a serious booze session invariably provided. It was while I was in a somewhat edgy, tense dip that I decided to live up to my reputation. I thought I'd take S up on his dare and bag myself two-fifty of the finest pounds. Cash!
Few events happen in one's life that they'll never forget. Monday 30th August, 2010 is one of those days that I'll never forget for as long as this body still has breath in it.
There was a buzz of expectation on the second day of the Notting Hill Carnival that only exists in this part of west London - eclectic, eccentric and electric all rolled into one. It is one of many reasons why my heart lies in this great city even though I tend to travel alot on business and I miss her terribly when I'm away. That's why multitudes of people of different nationalities and class from all over the world congregate in this little enclave of upper middle-class London for two days each year in August to let their hair down. That includes yours truly and two of his best friends.
Our adventure began at 2pm, Notting Hill Gate tube. 'Tis truly the season of some serious liver-destroying sessions and to be jolly hungover. The day before,I had bestowed my sage-like wisdom upon S and J at the pub to leave their better halves at home. "Make up some lame excuse that she would hate it and there's lots of violence. If she does not cave, promise to buy her flowers and candy plus a night at the movies - she chooses which one..." "Boys day out lads!" I insisted. Being the single one among the three of us, I tend to drive S and J into alot of trouble with their girlfriends everytime I'm in town. Let's just say boys will be boys.
Anyway, I was already off my canister by the time we exited at Notting Hill Gate tube and can't really remember what happened during the five hours prior to my kind-hearted friends pulling me out, but witness accounts suggest I managed to achieve the following:
1. I threw shapes on the 'dance floor' (more like streets of west London) like an ecstacy-addled teenager. Apparently, I also removed my shirt as if performing a mal-coordinated strip routine and then introduced bemused spectators to a dance move that was out of place in broad day light. Word on the street was that my innovative semi-naked backward press-up manoeuvre with suggestive pelvic thrusts did not go down well with the equally drunk female companion that found my moves 'hard to resist' and thus me joined in this spector.
2. I further made appalling clumsy moves on this female. This was not only inappropiate but also a source of continual mockery from my friends since she had the misfortune of possessing a face like... well let's just say she doesn't get asked out often on dates. To have made a move on such a munter was bad enough, but to have been blanked really showed a distinct lack of class.
3. I almost got into a fight with a giant of a man by incessantly mocking his appalling dancing. Apparently, I very magnanimously walked away from this hulking titan of a man before things got physical. I imagine this rugby prop forward still thanks his lucky stars to this day that I had the good grace to let it lie.
4. I ended up puking in someone's front yard having been unable to reach the toilets. Of all the dreadful things I did this was the one I regretted the most. Not only was it about as inappropriate as patting the Queen's bum but some poor sod would have clean it up later. (God forgive me).
5. Finally, after drinking copious amounts of water on an industrial scale, I half-sobbered up and could tell right from wrong - in the short term. It was at this stage that I decided to act on my dare.
The London Metropolitan Police are a humourous and tolerant bunch especially at such events because they are fully aware of the amounts of knuckleheads like myself that are likely to try their patience. I say this because when I walked up to one (very attractive and no-ring-on-the-finger) female officer, the conversation went along these lines:
"Hello ma'am, I know this might seem strange but let me know if I'm out of order for stepping to you this way. See I've been watching you for a while and I just wnat to let you know that I'm feeling you. See those two boys over there dared me to find the most attractive female officer today and French kiss her. (What? I had to be straight with her from the get go). I've been walking around for hours looking until something pulled me towards you." I flirtingly said.
"Sir, you are clearly intoxicated and I would strongly recomend that you go home now before you make a further nuisance of yourself." She replied.
"I know I've heard a few but I can tell left from right ma'am." At this point I stood one leg for about thirty seconds ( thank God for that puking and water earlier) without falling over, and to prove the point further that I wasn't 'intoxicated' as she put it, I walked in a straight line putting one foot in front of the other ( those of you that have been stopped numerous times before know this routine) to the amusement of S and J.
Then I resorted to guilt tripping. "If I don't succeed at this task, I'll have to run around naked as a result and you guys will arrest me. Do you really want to do that, instead of looking for the hard criminals?" Then came the sweetener, "Listen, if you accept this kiss and you feel 'something', I'll buy you dinner at whichever place of your choosing." At this point, she was seriously blushing like a teenager on prom night.
"If I agree to this kiss, it will have to be some where out of view from the public." What! I almost fell over!
Long story short, let's just say that this Thursday, I won't be reachable between the hours of 7pm till late because I'll be 'busy' at a certain curry house in Islington spending my two-fifty with one of London's finest.