Sunday, 21 February 2010

All in the Name of Research

Being an unemployed English graduate begs the question of how to put your skills to good use.

I could be a journalist, but I care very little about politics. I consider myself a lax conservative, but this, like which football team I support, is more due to the sway of parental pressure rather than a profound knowledge of inheritance tax or ID cards.

I could be an English teacher but I dislike school children. And teaching.

One day in November the idea came to me: I shall write a book.

And no, this blog is not a shameless attempt to get published (although if there's anyone out there who wants to do so, sweet) - the subject of said book is entirely unrelated to the subject of my blog. My book is about the 1920's.
Barberight (b): this is my own drawing anyone who steals in will get a punch in the face.

I have always had a fascination with the 1920's. The carefree spirit, the wild parties and, of course, the spangly outfits all suit my sensibilities perfectly. So I thought, if I love something so much, why not write about it?

I am in an intense period of research at the moment: I have Waugh coming out of my ears (although am steering clear of Vile Bodies to stop it influencing me), Mitford lingo peppering my speech (Hons and Debs, daahling) and a dash of the Fitzgeralds (Anyone who hasn't read Zelda Fitzgerald's Save Me The Waltz must put it on their reading list now) to shake things up again.

But the best possibile opportunity for research came last night, at the Prohibition Party. This event was so fabulous, so decadent, so utterly thrilling that I simple have to write about it, without of course, disclosing too much information as the event was "strictly hush-hush, what what."

Having convinced three of my nearest and dearest girlfriends that this was an unmissable event, we spent a good four hours primping and preening, finally arriving at the location, which was only revealed two weeks before the night.

And boy, am I glad we put in the leg-work. The place was a seething mass of feather boas and sequins, and even the "chaps" seemed to be good sports - decking themselves out in braces and spats. The atmosphere was sublime: a pop up bar, casino tables (for which we were given "money" on entry) and the glorious pleasure of a live band, donning fez hats and crooning twenties tunes like nobody's business. The highlightof these was a rendition of "Oobedo, I wanna be like you-o-o" (think Jungle Book) which got the whole crowd moving.

The best part of it was that everyone was totally in to it. There was not a single person in "civvies" and it was certainly the friendliest bunch of people I've ever met.

That said, there was one moment of "beef" in which I thought I was going to have to get out the old guns.
You know the scenario: a crowded space, groups of girls dancing in a circle, one bumps into another and a subtle game of elbowing ensues. A charming young lady behind us decided to initiate this game by repeatedly elbowing my friend in the back. Unfortunately for her, she picked the wrong person to deal with. Ellie doesn't take shit. She's Northern.

Thus, Ellie began to do the "backward back nudge," an age-old retaliation manouvere which involves shimmying one's upper body into said opponent's general vicinity. Always one for a fight, I decided to join in, but the funny thing was, my interchange seemed to occur only with the opponent's friend, in a sort of non-related version of a "Yo Mamma" slinging match. Sample:

Moi: Eh, could you kindly ask your friend to stop elbowing mine? Thanks
Opponent's Friend: Hey, tell your friend it's nice to dance, but not into someone.
Moi: Maybe you should tell your friend that
O's F: Maybe your friend should back off
Moi: Your friend clearly has an attitude problem


Ok, so it didn't get that far, and things calmed down before there was any physical violence, which I'm quite glad about, because I have a height complex where I believe that I'm actually the world's tallest women, until I look in a mirror and realise I'm roughly the size of a ten-year and could probably be stepped on fairly easily.

Hardly in the spirit of night, but it's all in the name of research, right?

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