How many more “farewell” evenings can a man take?

Last night’s itinerary: straight bar, tranny bar (*), gay bar, lesbian bar. How very inclusive. But just how did I end up singing karaoke in the lesbian bar at twenty to two in the morning, keeping my friends hanging around WAY past their bedtimes, politely waiting until my number came up?

I believe there might be photographic evidence. Let’s just hope it never surfaces.

(What’s that? You want to know what song? Let’s just say that it was wildly inappropriate, and that its wild inappropriateness only dawned on me halfway through the first verse. Stony faces all round. Probably. If I had dared to look at them. All very Phoenix Nights.)

A nice night, but this has got to stop. Get me on that slow boat to China.

(*) Well, I say “tranny bar”, but that’s stretching the definition somewhat. Remember George’s Bar in Broad Street: Nottingham’s last outpost of true Bohemia, which closed its doors for good at the start of the year? Well, the regulars all had a bit of a reunion last night: on the site of the original George’s, which has been knocked through into the Revolution franchise next door. (Every major city in the UK has got one now. Worse luck.)

Yup, we’re talking serious Circuit Drinking territory here: vast armies of bar staff, all pouring gallons of fluorescent industrial chemicals into vast buckets and swilling them around before decanting them into gigantic glass tumblers and charging a small fortune for them. A glimpse into another world. How we shuddered.

Thankfully, the old George’s crowd managed to commandeer a whole section of the “old” territory, approximately where the loos used to be, well away from the ebb and flow of the Pride Of Nottingham binge drinkers. (Binge drinking? We’d never do that.) All my favourite trannies were out in force, including the (very) senior member of the community in her usual teensy-weensy micro-skirt, and the charming couple who use kettles for handbags, all fighting to be heard over the hideous hardcore breakbeat cover versions of “Whole Lotta Love” and “The Sound Of Silence” (ha ha, very funny). It was all a far cry from Ethel Merman’s Disco Album and dancing on the tables to the Chicago soundtrack.

Through the newly installed skylight, we could look up and see Alan‘s bathroom window, three storeys up. “Shall I go upstairs and piss on everyone?”, he quipped. No, dear. Best leave that for another night.

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