Pipe And Slippers

The London Paper  –  3 Oct 2008

“The children now have bad manners, contempt for authority; they allow disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children now are the tyrants, not the servants of their households. They contradict their parents … and tyrannize their teachers.” Am I quoting Margaret Thatcher or perhaps some moody Archbishop or high court judge? Nope, apparently those opinions were voiced by the Greek philosopher Socrates almost 2500 years ago. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

I’ve always vowed that I would never turn into the kind of tiresome old buffer who looks at the youth of today and despairs at their shenanigans but a recent experience leads me to conclude that the generation below me has properly lost it.

The other day I decided I needed to go out partying in order to escape the deeply depressing fact that the recent financial turmoil has cost me well over 100 grand. I find it difficult to deal with the fact that although I’ve been telling every joker in town that they should sell their shares I forgot to do so myself – WHAT A TOTAL MUPPET!

Anyway, a mate managed to get me and three pals onto the VIP list of a club that we’ll call ‘The Yolk’. He told me it went onto until 8am and that most of the people then left it to continue dancing at another event called ‘Secret Sundaze’ that went on until 2pm! Those timings should have given me the clue that things were gonna get a little bit out of control but I needed to let loose the juice and so found myself heading towards Kings Cross in a cab around midnight

What I witnessed on entering said club made my previous night out clubbing in London look like a Christian Union meeting. I was surrounded by hundreds of wide-eyed nutbags who were dancing like their life depended on it having clearly spent most of their pocket money on various letters of the alphabet – specifically: A, C, E and K … that’s Acid, Coke, Ecstasy and Ketamine. I must have been the only (relatively) straight one in the house and just being surrounded by such nutters made me feel like I’d been slipped a few disco biscuits, as well as REALLY, REALLY OLD.

People were stumbling around with dead eyes like pharmaceutically-challenged zombies and conversation seemed to be incoherent at best. There didn’t even seem to be much pulling going on as these young folk sought oblivion through getting as mashed as humanly possible. I mean I’ve done more than my fair share of partying but these juveniles seemed to be taking things to a new level and Ketamine, which seems de rigueur these day and really puts people into a totally different universe, was never around at the peak of my raving days in the early nineties.

What was even worse was that about every hour or two some comedian would shout ‘Oi Cityboy’ and try and push a pill in my mouth. Initially I thought they’d realized that I had a headache and were trying to give me aspirin but my mates soon informed me that they had a different agenda. Anyway, I left the heaving, sweaty mass of crazy messed-up youth behind at the relatively sensible hour of 5am and took a taxi home wondering what had become of the younger generation.

I don’t want to cast ill-informed aspersions about the 18 to 25 year olds living in this great city but are you all drug-addled, hard-partying mash-ups? I hate to sound like Old Socrates but as Danny Glover says in Lethal Weapon ‘I’m getting to old for this s**t’! Despite previous claims, I may have to hang up my raving shoes and get the pipe and slippers!

Thoughts ?

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