I was abducted tonight against my wishes [yes, it's possible to sanely wish for abduction - read on for a legitimate example] by miserable wretches masquerading as 'friends'. As I am no longer on the radar of any kidnap-for-ransom types due to no longer possessing a ransom worthy of kidnap efforts, I was initially unable to isolate and identify the motivations driving my friends' cruel and inhumane actions as they [with the aid of brute force in the form of incessant refusals to take "when a blizzard sweeps through fucking Hell..." as an answer] coldly shoved my frail and helpless frame out into the unfamiliar and dangerous arena shared by...the public-at-large.
They dragged me out of my Hermit Refuge and forced me to appraise [with my own unwilling eyes] the bleak reality that is a Sydney pub on a Friday night. In both medical and indignant shock, it took me some time to clear my head and find clues as to the role I was expected to perform in such a gore-filled Colosseum. But slowly, I discovered that I was expected to perform like a trained exotic dancer and entertain their quarry for them. I had been conscripted to provide this product in lieu of their [apparent] inability to reach deep into their alcohol-rattled memories and successfully draw on an anecdote or joke or off-hand remark that didn't inspire the listener to nausea and /or uncontrollable fits of cringing.
Nauseous and cringing, I decided my only hope of escaping this predicament with my sanity more-or-less intact would lie in my ability to break into tap, dance and song a la Shirley Temple. I also took note of the fact that my cooperation might serve to curry favour with my handlers. And I would be lying if I did not admit I had vague hopes of self-inducing Stockholm Syndrome which might allow me to [maybe] even enjoy this torturous trap which had so completely ensnared my attentions and more.
You may be equally astonished to discover that - in the years since I last participated in such degrading activity - not much has changed [in style or substance] in the performing of the Drunken Flirtation Dance. People are still - generically - boring as all fuck. Guys are still - generically - pathetic in their desperate and pitiful sleazy crabbing for attention when placed in the vicinity of the Unfair Sex. The preferred line appeared identical to that practiced by the youth in my day; get blind drunk to the point of alcohol poisoning, boldly embarrass yourself before your God and your Country by approaching numerous random girls without being properly introduced [and without at least a plausible-if-flimsy excuse to offer up to the more gullible of their sex as a substitute-to-the-obvious reason for such gross impropriety].
The lemmings instead march on fearlessly smack into the Heart of Darkness; armed only with a firm desire to sleep with their prey [cost to dignity or wallet be damned]. Any thought expended on such frivolities such as...Your Opening Line...was considered by most to be 'wasteful thinking' and an unnecessary expense of iPhone-limited brain battery power.
The trainwreck of disaster that predictably ensued would have been a lot more enjoyable [as a spectacle] had I not already watched that identical show 173 times in my long and wearied life. I did get some enjoyment out of ridiculing two friends who giggled like embarrassed Filipina bargirls when exposed to the daunting prospect of two [clearly] promiscuous women who [for their part] were employing an equally non-existent degree of subtlety in their attempts to attract my friends' attention/s. By the Sun God, even a quadriplegic could have converted in that spot. My giggling friends dropped 0/2 from the foul line, crushing large pockets of air in their failure to even get close to the net. This was, unfortunately, the highlight of my evening.
Things [as they are casually wont to do] went from tolerable to not extremely rapidly when a non-giggling friend successfully convinced some young ladies to join our group of "casual conversation-makers" [a common disguise adopted by those who attend meat auctions but don't wish to be identified as active bidders - the inane and incoherent rambling can appear (to a moronic spectator) to be *actual* conversation - which may serve to mask the party's clear and obvious intentions; namely, to scan their near environment for any drunk females who haven't yet been sleazed into abstinence].
Crafty subterfuge indeed.
Of course, when one spots a prospective victim not [already] under all-out assault, all pretence to conversation is dropped and target is acquired with an approach [admirably] drenched in a fool's courage...but [less admirably] sans all other ingredients one might wish to include should one wish to bat around 0.111 or higher in this sport. It quickly became apparent that my friends had no such lofty batting average ambitions. They were playing a Numbers Game - and playing it remarkably optimally with an apparent clear understanding of the concept of 'volume' as it relates to 'success'. Churn and turn. My friends are the Wal-Mart of Australian nightlife. And, whilst they might hold ambitions and stuff, I fear they pretty much appeal to the same demographics as Wal-Mart.
When success was achieved and a group of ladies joined our non-existent conversation, I was amused to discover that no strategic or tactical plan existed beyond "first contact" [unstated or otherwise]. There was widespread optimism, to be sure - but if that were, in itself, a tactical plan with any merit...the entire city would be sprawled out into various Greek and Barbarian orgies. Whilst it certainly worked for The Boy Who Could Fly, merely desperately 'wanting' something is generally not [in itself] a precursor to acquisition.
As I was merely an unpaid conscript in this fight, the temptation to remain silent as my leaderless comrades milled about in industrious Fail was - shall I say - appealing. But rather than watch with amusement as that rudderless ghost ship sailed on into the awkward night, my cursed training kicked in and I stepped into the gap of silence with an Errol Flynn Flourish [much to the relief of all present, including the girls - who were surprisingly nervous in the face of yet another 100% chance of success scenario].
I rattled on and on in glorious fashion, inevitably awing all and sundry - not to mention delighting the crowd which had gathered to listen to my rambling as if I was a more attractive Jesus / Obama / Messiah. As the sole stoker, I shoveled coal into that engine with demonic jawsome. I lubricated all and sundry like a welcome shower of KY Jelly; pulling shy types into the conversation like a gentleman, throwing out open-ended questions into the air like a lady student of law - and I'm proud to report my CPR kept that abortion of a group flirtation effort alive and breathing many hours past it's expected Time of Death [+/- 5 min from Time of Birth].
But - alas - whilst it may certainly appear [to the naked eye] that I possess an element of deity, the stark truth is I am merely [often, barely] a man and incapable of canonization-worthy miracles. Like a Viagra pill deep into a sailor's shore leave, I petered out after delivering glorious hof for hours past the expected duration for effective delivery of service. Exhausted but satisfied, I turned the strike over to any friends who wished to step into my [admittedly, daunting] boots.
I was - of course - instead greeted by a wall of awkward silence. Bemused but not surprised, I flirted with the idea that maybe one of the girls would be man enough for the job - but of course that line of thinking was girlishly silly. One girl - to her drunken credit - attempted a line of discussion which had potential but, unlike Nelson Piquet Jnr, she unintentionally crashed in spectacular fashion long before Turn 17.
The next half hour was - for want of a more painful adjective - painful. Like giving birth or 2009 or Fritzl-painful. Torturous. Unforgiving. Brutal. I cared not a thing for the attendant floozy's, but I resented my not-inconsiderable efforts evaporating in front of my increasingly misty eyes. There is nothing so painful as watching wasted efforts go up in [unsmokable] smoke. I solemnly swore [for the 47th time in my life] that I would never invest 'effort' into anything ever again.
Fighting to mask my disgust from being broadcast by my chiseled and expressive facial features, I instead courageously grit my teeth as I braced for the inevitable impact of the mundane. The blow hit with the force of a tsunami wave - and the fact I had lived through identical tsunami waves probably 138 times before [and lived to tell the tale] was of no small comfort when it washed my Castles in the Sky clean away. I instead found comfort in the thought I might discover a discarded string of rope with which I could noose myself, and thereby craftily sidestep the ongoing torture.
To cut a long story short...I found no merciful rope.
The subsequent hour of conversation would [if one were to create such an abomination] produce a highlight reel which looks roughly like this:
- cut to awkward conversation where friend attempts to guess female counterpart's ageI would have given my net worth and much, much more to any abductor who put in a tender, bid or quote which might have delivered salvation from that god-awful hour of misery. I was a helpless Monet watching my canvas being drooled upon and touched up by an entire kindergarten armed with crayons, Play-Dough and drunken exuberance. A celebrated architect imprisoned in my own Bastille. Charlotte trapped in my own web. Merely another victim of Life's Endless Irony - with no one to weep for my suffering or reward my courage under, in and around the fire with a Medal of Valor. Or other equally important token gesture which serves notice to all that, on a dark and dangerous night long since lost in the annals of such otherwise-unworthy-of-archive history, I [the wearer of Victoria Cross-flavoured salad on my deceptively effeminate chest] displayed conspicuous gallantry in the face of seemingly insurmountable faggotry. And [bravely] lived to tell the tale.
- due to having no other scene to cut to, continue screening coverage of the "age guessing game" as it passed the 10 minute mark [having passed the suicide-inducing mark exactly 9.8 minutes prior]
- cut to my furrowed brow as I realise I'm trapped [somewhat ironically] in a torture chamber of my own witty making, then pan down to my quivering lips where a consultant trained in the reading of which would confirm I was masking my growing hyperventilation with repetitions of The Lord's Prayer along with ad-hoc, panicked SOS pleas to any god that might be in radio range to please please turn me into a bird so I can fly far far away from here etc
- cut to awkward attempt at friend attempting to establish physical contact on the outskirt of huddle...shocking all spectators [perhaps even himself] when his sexual assault is deemed 'welcome' / successful [fine line, that tightrope - dignified men choose not to walk it]
- cut to chatter which effectively traces atop the outline of an identical dialogue completed only an hour earlier...a conversation triggered by yours [mostly] truly
- fin. merciful, merciful fin.
My present safety from the wandering hands of an ardent Fritzl should - in time - allow me to lick clean my [many] wounds. But I can reliably inform the good here reader/s of my rambling that the cliche "what does not kill you makes you stronger" is, in fact, poppycock horseradish nonsense [of a Biblical nature]. The pain from the deep gashes may depart [in time], the tears may dry on my cheeks, but the meticulous gashes inadvertently leave their distinct calling card and I'm yet to meet a chick that digs emotional scars.
And, though naked before God and Tube8 [as I stand here now], I am but [still] fully clothed. And I swelter in endless humidity. For, you see...I am but still wearing a fitted suit quilted together from two decades worth of such scars.
John Horatio Vincent III, Esq. is a writer originally from Brisbane, Australia. He currently lives in Bangkok, Thailand.