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Thursday, September 15, 2005 

In Ret•ro•spec•tive [rèttrə spèktiv]

I am in a melancholy, almost reflective mood, after last night’s drink-fest, so excuse the lack of shenanigans in my post, which by the way, I am typing up in Word as I listen to some guy going over the highlights ytd (year to date). There’s also a song in my head and I can’t seem to shake it, “I like the way you move” by the Bodyrockers. Individually, I like most people I meet, but when you put a bunch of likable individuals in a group, I will hate most everybody. Not making sense, am I? I believe that the more people you put in a room, the sillier they behave and the lower their collective intelligence becomes. The very best places to observe this phenomenon have a lot in common: bars, conferences and churches. Last night at the bar was no exception. Yesterday was a long day and we had an even longer night. We finally managed to crawl into bed at 3am. And judging from people’s faces at breakfast… the majority of us are hung over. I am feeling extremely fragile… like a spider’s web on a very windy day. Hopefully the team building activity after lunch will re-energize me. Dinner last night was a swift affair. The food was great and there were lots of lively conversation, but I think people were in a hurry to get to the bar. We needed to unwind and dinner was yet another formality that we needed to get out of the way. The airline posse had dinner at around the same time as we did. There was a lot of rubbernecking and ogling going on… including yours truly. I may be in serious relationship, but I am not dead. And lets be honest here, the girls are bloody gorgeous. The bar is a typical bush bar. Quaint and cosy are the words I would use to describe it. It boasts a fairly good selection of drinks and is within walking distance from the sleeping quarters. Pool and foosball tables, a tiny dance area, a juke box and friendly staff. It is also the place where the game rangers hang out so there are lotsa stories to be told. And being the macho men they are, the single girls descended on them We, and by that I mean the ppl of my company, hit the bar first… and people immediately went into their little groups. The boys headed for the pool tables and the girls surrounded the juke box. I’m not much of a pool player, so two of me buds and I sauntered over to the barman and ordered a couple of beers. I don’t normally drink beer, but I thought I’d start off slow. I find people behaviours in bars particularly odd. While engaging in their respective conversations, the volume of each group rises exponentially in relation to a certain defining trait. The serious drinkers get louder and louder the more alcohol they ingest and the drunker they get. The saintly ones who rarely drink and are only doing so because they are at the conference, get more serious (and thus louder) the deeper their fear of the unknown, desperately reaching for a higher power to answer their longings and listen to their problems. Unfortunately I don’t think God listen to people in bars. My favorites are the ones who become holier-than-thou and more outspoken the more they consume. As if the alcohol will help them to ward off that which they fear most. I want to start a napalm fire in the swimming pool to scorch and drown them in. We all profess to be at the bar to have fun, to get to know ppl and to socialize. Mostly I think we are there because we don’t want to be seen as outcasts. We desperately need to belong. Everybody just wants to be popular. I am just as guilty of being a pretentious fuckhead as those I ridicule. But unlike the others, I know whe to stop pretending… this is a bar and I am also there to get drunk. There… I said it … so sue me. The whole mood of the bar changes when the airline crew arrives. They are ppl who do not know, so we sober up a little and appear to want to make a good impression. They are louder than we are… and more beautiful too. They speak a language I do not understand. But the accents are cute and we all smile when we look in their direction. Someone throws a few coins into the jukebox and we are bombarded by Pink’s "Lets get the party started". I am always dumbfounded by the utter lack of taste displayed in selecting the most popular choices on the jukebox. However, this particular song seems to have the desired effect and people start to sway to the thumping and screeching of the music. My mate, Gavin, a single guy, manages to strike up a conversation with one of the airline girls. It seems this is just the encouragement the rest of the single guys needed and they are over there like a pack of wolves. Admittedly I feel a slight pang of resentment. The other girls are talking to the rangers and some of the airline guys, most of whom I assume are gay, but let me not stereotype. As the evening wears on, the booze flows freely, conversations heat up and become louder. A group of girls are gyrating on the dance floor, g-strings peaking out of their hipsters. Someone’s smoking pot – I can smell it. Fuelled by the atmosphere and the alcohol, the “usual suspects” hook up and disappear into the night. Yep, the universe has us exactly where it wants us to be. I’m having the time of my life. I have a smile as wide as a leprechaun getting a blowjob from Tinkerbell, a Martini in one hand and I am sitting with a group of ppl consisting of work colleagues and airline people. We are talking about Katrina (yeah, go figure), South Africa and the high flying lives of flight attendants. Boo-Ya… we are in the zone baby!! I am talking to one of the airline girls. She is incredibly sexy and she likes me. Then some drunken son-of-a-jackass comes up behind me and asks me loudly when I was going to kiss her. I am shellshocked! Fuck this! My silence condemns me. The girl feels uncomfortable as do I. I’ve had too much to drink and I and I didn't like being put on the spot. The fact that I all of sudden turned into a prude doesn't help either. I tell the jackass to fuck off before I bury my foot up his ass. Strangely enough his comment brings me back down to earth. I apologise to the girl and leave the rest of my crowd where they are sitting. They all look at me in wonder. "You're leaving? It's only 1:00!" "Yes. I like air. Have fun and goodnight." I am no fun when I feel guilty. On my way out, I run into the boss, two other marketing managers and a couple of female colleagues. They had decided to have an after party drinkathon in Bob’s room. Fool that I am and nursing a somewhat bruised(?) ego, I agree to join them. I drink two shots of liquor, lay on my back on the floor, and then I laugh at the ceiling for a while. Really. I ask one of the girls to rub my temples. Rest assured… Nothing further happened! Just before 3 am I get back to my room and sleep it off.


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