bed time

Week Four

“bed time”

This week’s topic is something a little easier: we all go to bed after all. What does bed time mean to you? Is it a relief or a challenge? And end or a beginning? A time for stories, for thoughts, for shutting down? Does ‘bed time’ mean something different entirely to you?

Bed time. Harder to get right than the answer to the time-honoured question ‘Do these sheer micro mini hot pants with split crotch and diamante butterflies make my butt look big?’ (The correct answer, for those who may encounter this is of course: ‘No Greg, you look awesome’).

When I was a wee lad my bed time was strictly 7.30pm. Any later would lead to accusations of being overtired from my parents the next day, regardless of the scenario. It wasn’t quite as bad as the examples below but I seem to recall them using it as an excuse for pretty much anything out of the ordinary that happened.

Example #1: Dad slams car door shut on Seb’s fingers.

Seb: “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!”

Dad (carefully placing severed pinkie in a lunchbox filled with ice): “Stop it. You’re just overtired.”

Example #2: Seb runs past with head on fire, trail of smoke billowing behind him.

Seb: “MuuuuuuuuUUUUUUUuuuuuum!!!”

Mum (without looking up from Mills and Boon novel):“Overtired. 6 o’clock bedtime for you tonight!”

Example #3: A Boeing 747 falls out of the sky and lands directly on Seb.

Seb: (bone crunching squishy sounds)

Parents (in unison): “You’re just overtired and showing off. It’s a nap for you this afternoon, mister!”

After countless years of begging to be allowed to stay up to watch Hart to Hart and Knight Rider my parents finally extended bed time to 8.30pm shortly after my twelfth birthday. This triumph only elevated my status among my friends to ‘second lamest’ in our group, narrowly ahead of Julia Mcgonfrey who had a 9pm bedtime but had a serious social disadvantage in that her parents didn’t own a television. Plus she said ‘Ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaa’ in a loud voice instead of laughing when something amused her.  Kid was weird.

When I moved out of home I cautiously extended my bedtime to 9.30pm which I hoped managed to reflect my new found independence while still affording me the protection a good night’s sleep offered from the car doors, fireballs and rogue aircraft that I feared being overtired would attract.

The following year I discovered nightclubs, shift work, drinking until 2 Unlimited’s lyrics became deeply meaningful and a rather handy trick –  completely blocking sunlight out of your bedroom by lining the inside of a window with foil.

Bed time then became whenever I collapsed in a twitching heap, if not directly on a mattress then at least in a park within three minute’s walk of my house.

Sleep lasted anything from four hours to twenty, dependent on my ability to grab and set the alarm clock as it spun around the room after a night of drinking my body weight in vodka doing volunteer work at the local cat shelter.

After decades of sleeping patterns that would test the mettle of the most hardened late night infomercial enthusiast, I returned to a day job with early morning starts and a requirement to be pleasant to the people I encountered from the moment I set foot in the workplace.

In theory this doesn’t sound very difficult but the reality of only having half your brain wake up after the alarm blasts the song of it’s people at 5am means you have to lumber sideways like a crab as you attempt to bathe then dress, using your (then) only functioning arm. The other half wakes up when you pass out momentarily getting into your car and your forehead hits the horn at full blast in your remarkably acoustic garage.

Once entering the office any attempt at communication – pleasant or otherwise – results in you emitting a strangled croak as a lone cornflake falls from your cheek and lands elegantly between two keys on your manager’s keyboard.

Not only did I have to battle this, I constantly have to factor in that depression and anxiety would also be along for the ride.  After an increased incidence of swearing at my screen, frustrated man-tears and the sudden onset of flailing Muppet arms at work recently I resolved to try setting a bed time for myself in 2013.

Of course, weekends are still for sitting up until bitch, is you crazy? o’clock. There’s no better time for arguing with people on the internet and searching new YouTube videos of people scaring the shit out of Taylor Swift.

My weeknights however now have a strict 10.30pm lights out followed by a 6am wake-up. Seven and a half hours of blissful slumber.

This is interrupted only by my diabetes’ insistence that my body make the equivalent a 44-gallon drum of urine every four hours which then requires a one-eye-open zombie stumble to the bathroom. It’s incredibly annoying but it does finally allow me to rid myself of the recurring dream that I’m being being soaked by a giant purple chicken holding a garden hose. My subconscious early-warning piss-the-bed system is fucking insane.

I’m happy to report that the early bedtime is working for me – better than I could have imagined in fact. Mentally I feel better prepared for the day ahead and I haven’t arrived at work sporting a steering wheel mark across my forehead since late December.

I even tested the effectiveness of my new routine by staying up until 12am one Thursday night and the following day had my worst panic attack in over a year. I couldn’t breathe properly and was shaking so badly that my chair threatened to shuffle across the call centre with the momentum of an off-kilter washing machine.

That was the only time I broke my self enforced ‘rule’ and I’m not going to be testing it out again in a hurry. (And no, I won’t do your laundry)

Yes, I may have to finally concede that my parents were right and Julia Mcgonfrey probably out-ranks me in the coolness stakes but a set bed time that allows me a little more mental breathing space coupled with a notable reduction in unexpected Muppet arms makes it more than worth it to me.

Goodnight, all.

(*thud* *snore*)

rescue

Week Three

“rescue”

This week’s topic was chosen by Kate Dzienis. What does rescue mean to you? Do you need it? Can you offer it? Does it make you want to dress in Hi Vis and lurk by the roadside?

As always I look forward to finding out* …

(* not about the Hi Vis: keep your deranged personal fantasies to yourself!)

Don’t try to rescue people. Help them, by all means, but never try to rescue them. There’s a big difference.  I learned this lesson twelve years ago in the most painful of ways. Kick in the nuts every half hour for a month type of painful.

Did that visual make you shift uncomfortably in your seat? You’re welcome.

David was a good friend of mine. I’d met him when I was 17 and working in a record store. He was a DJ at one of the city’s biggest clubs and he came in every week to go through our new vinyl.

I was obsessed with House music and spent three nights a week at the venue he played for. Over that time I’d perfected the running man, the stomp and the strange little hand movements that were a hangover from the acid house heydays and were now part of rave culture.

When I saw him walk into the shop one Tuesday afternoon I shoved a co-worker into a sale rack of cassette singles in my hurry to dash over to offer assistance, all the while doing my best to look like I didn’t give a damn and was pretty much too cool to be there.

This was of course the internationally recognised default setting for staff working in independent record retailers and I did it well, aside from my first few weeks there, where I ended up looking like I was trying to hide my need to do a particularly loud belch by letting it escape through my nostrils.

After a few visits we became pals and at the club I was even permitted to stand with him in the DJ box a couple of times, gaining ultimate bragging rights. David was also responsible for hooking me up with my first set of secondhand DJ turntables, allowing me to learn to mix and ultimately beginning a journey that lead to me being a full time club DJ myself, seven years later.

David was still one of the busiest and most in-demand DJs around when the owner of the club I was resident at asked him to come and work with us. He fitted in perfectly and soon had our late Saturdays packed until we closed the doors at 6am.

One night he was really late for his shift – he wasn’t the most punctual of people – most DJs aren’t – but he arrived an hour late, looking extremely troubled.  Something had happened to him, and it was bad. He took over the decks from me, handed me my record and said nothing. It was clear that conversation wasn’t on offer so I packed up my crates and left for the night.

The next day the club owner called me and filled me in. David’s life had been threatened by a club promoter after a gig they’d worked together on had lost money. A lot of money. They’d verbally agreed on who would cover venue hire, DJ fees and advertising and all went well until they had a poor turnout and suddenly the arrangement changed.

The promoter now wanted David to pay for everything and informed him of this by sending some large and frightening men to his house. Men with nicknames like ‘Big Mental Ian’, ‘Ripper’ and ‘Stabby’. Men that had been back every day since as a gentle reminder. David had sent his girlfriend Marie to stay with a mutual friend of theirs called Mark and their housemate went to stay with his sister so David was in the house alone. The stress was such that he couldn’t bring himself to eat and he was only sleeping a couple of hours at a time.

David was my friend, so I immediately offered to have him come and stay with me. Nobody knew where my apartment was and I lived alone. If we made sure only the club owner and I knew David was there he’d be safe until he could find somewhere more permanent.

He moved in the next day and within a few hours I started to see him look more like his old self. He offered to pay rent and a share of the bills but I suggested he put the majority of his earnings to paying his debt to the promoter. We were both bringing home around $1500 a week at that time so having him there didn’t impact me that much financially.

A few days later David had spoken with the promoter and made an arrangement to clear the outstanding amount over the next 10 weeks. He picked up an extra shift at the club and after his other outgoings (mainly taxis and records) would be left with enough to buy food. He was visibly relieved and I felt a lot more comfortable having him stay knowing that this was being taken care of.

He was a great guest. Always up for a chat, but also respectful of my personal space, he kept things tidy and was considerate enough to replace anything he noticed we ran out of.  He helped me re-organize my record room and best of all brought his computer over and set up my first dial-up internet account and email address for me.

Because there was still a niggling worry that the promoter would change his mind and arrange a visit from his goons we didn’t tell anyone where my apartment was, even Marie. David went to visit her regularly instead and she seemed happy enough where she was.

About 5 weeks into our arrangement Marie called David in tears. She’d accidentally broken something belonging to Mark. He’d flown into a rage and tried to choke her, just flipped out. I could hear her sobbing spilling out of the earpiece as David tried to calm her down.

I offered to drive David over so we could pick her up. He said he didn’t want to put me out further by having her stay, but would really appreciate if we could go and get her. Right now he just wanted to see her and move her out of Mark’s house.

We got in my car and headed to the other side of the city. We pulled into the driveway of the house and Marie was standing there waiting for us, her suitcase next to her. She was still shaking and had large red welts across her face and neck.

I helped her into the car while David loaded the suitcase in the trunk. Mark had gone out so we were able to get her out of there quickly – a relief for me but I could tell that David was getting angrier by the second. He didn’t want to go back to the apartment. He wanted to wait for Mark to return and confront him.

Marie and I managed to calm him down enough to get back in the car so I could drive us all home.

Once we got back they talked in David’s room for an hour or before Marie asked me to drive her to the police station so she could make a statement and press charges against Mark.

David wanted to go with her but she insisted he stay in the apartment, which I thought was a bit odd, but she said that hearing her recount what happened would just make him angrier and she didn’t want to “…put him through that”.

She started to tear up again when he tried to change her mind so we drove to the local station without him. When we got there she asked that I go home again and told me that she would find her own way back.  I offered to wait but she told me to leave.

I watched her walk into the station and started to drive off. Just before I turned the corner looked in my rear view mirror and saw her walk straight back. I thought about turning around and going back but then realised she must have been scared and just needed time on her own. Perhaps she didn’t want to go to the police and David had insisted. So I went home and didn’t mention it.

If David was the perfect guest, Marie was the opposite. She spent the whole day in her pyjamas, left dirty plates, food wrappers and tissues everywhere and slept on the couch from midday until early evening so we couldn’t make any noise without her waking up and complaining about it.

After two weeks of this I came home to find half a packet of uncooked spaghetti scattered over the kitchen floor, milk that I’d bought the previous day left out on the counter so it was warm and two dirty tissues sitting on the sink, one with blood on it. There was a wet towel dropped in the hallway next to a giant clump of hair that looked like it had just been pulled out of a hairbrush and further along, a patch of vomit that looked to have been there for most of the afternoon.

Neither David nor Marie were there. I was so disgusted I shut myself in my room until I heard David come in a couple of hours later. He apologised profusely and cleaned everything up, saying that Marie had a terrible problem with depression and that he was going to get her some help.  He was horrified that she would do this to my home and offered to move out.

I told him that as long as they were both respectful guests they could stay but if anything like this happened again they’d both have to go.

It was one of the most uncomfortable conversations I’d ever had – here was someone I’d known for close to decade doing his best to get through one of the worst times of his life and I was complaining about his girlfriend who was clearly having some kind of breakdown.

Marie returned home that night and went straight to bed without saying anything to me. For the next week it was like she wasn’t even there. I didn’t see her once and the apartment remained immaculate.

Then… she vanished. One afternoon I got in to find her suitcase had disappeared along with David’s wallet, my watch and about $150 in change I was keeping in my wardrobe.

David was devastated and neither of us could work out why she would do this. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little relieved she had gone but I mostly felt bad for my friend. We rang around some friends but nobody had seen or heard from her.

After a couple of days David’s upset turned to anger. He stopped looking for her – there were rumours among his friends that she had moved back in with Mark – and instead focused on finding a place of his own to live as he only had two more payments to make to the promoter.

True to his word he found a one-bedroom place, paid off his debt and moved out.  He left me an envelope with money to cover the change Marie had stolen, as well as his share of the bills even though I’d told him he didn’t need to.

I felt a sense of relief, for both having the apartment back to myself and that Marie was out of his life.  He was a good guy and didn’t deserve to be dragged down by whatever it was she had going on.

Life returned to normal for both of us until a month or so later. I was playing a gig at a local bar and after I’d finished my set I stepped out of the DJ console to see Marie smiling at me. She rather unexpectedly gave me a huge hug and then apologised for everything, saying she had been under an incredible amount of stress at the time. I told her I understood but I didn’t have anything to say to her.

Her eyes welled up and she told me she had taken the money and the watch and gone to a hospital for treatment. Now she was better and wanted to make amends. She told me she had my watch and wanted to give it back, along with my house key. I felt a dull thud in the pit of my stomach as I realised she’d copied the key I’d given to David without me knowing. I made a mental note to get the locks changed.

I grabbed my records and followed her outside to a parked car. Sitting in the driver’s seat was a scary looking unshaven man with a long ponytail. She introduced us.  It was Mark.  He shook my hand and passed me my watch and two keys. One for the deadbolt and one for the window locks. I hadn’t given David the window key. The only copy was on my key ring. What the hell had this bitch been playing at?

Marie asked if I knew where David was. Straight away I knew not to tell her and said he’d found a place but I didn’t know where.  Anger flashed across her face but she forced a smile and said she understood. I said goodnight and walked to my car.

I sent David a text letting him know what happened and he said he was sorry and thanked me for not passing on his details.

When I got home I called a locksmith and paid him an extortionate amount of money to change the door and window locks.

At 4am that morning I received a text message from an unknown number.

You fucking filthy faggot. You’re dead.

40 more messages came through in the next hour with similar threats.

Just after 5am someone threw a brick through my bedroom window.  I called the police and told them about the visit I received from Marie earlier and gave them the address of Mark’s house.

David had received a similarly disturbing amount of text messages and we arranged to meet up and lodge a restraining order at the police station. In the time it took to get there, we’d both received so many messages our phones were full.  They were similar in content, all sent from four different numbers.

While I was speaking to the officer at the desk, one of the numbers flashed as an incoming call on my screen.

I started to shake and had trouble catching a breath so David took me outside. The officer took my phone and answered it, identifying himself. The caller hung up.

The police wrote out our statements and used some software to download copies of the messages. We were told that both Marie and Mark would be served with temporary restraining orders in the next 48 hours and that the officers serving them would contact us once they had been passed on. We would have to be especially vigilant in the days following as most people react badly to receiving an RO and were likely to try to retaliate.

Within ten days, Mark had been to my apartment six times with various other people, kicking at the front door as I hid on the floor of my bedroom and I had received close to 100 more threatening text messages. The police had not been able to serve the restraining orders because they couldn’t find either of them.

Messages now started coming from a larger range of numbers, late into the night, telling me that someone was waiting outside followed by the sound of shoes running up the front steps and something banging against my window.

The most frightening text came the same afternoon the police had called to say they’d finally tracked down Marie and Mark and served the RO’s on them..

The text was from a number I hadn’t seen before. It misspelt my name and purported to be from someone who knew what I ‘had dun to Marie’ and that he and his mates were going to ‘serve justice on you fag’. It went on to say ‘u wake up with your throat slit’. Then they sent another text with my address and ‘front left window – bedroom’.

I spent the next three hours moving all the furniture out of the front rooms, leaving the blinds and curtains open. I moved all my plants from the balcony into the bathroom and I took the light bulbs out of every room so I wouldn’t accidentally switch on a light.  I went and explained to my neighbours what had happened and they agreed to say I had moved out if anyone asked.

I left a flattened cardboard box, some newspaper and a broom in the bedroom so anyone looking in would be given the impression that I really had moved out, then went to a friend’s house and spent the night.

Sure enough the messages started up again at 3am, saying that my having moved wouldn’t stop them from finding me and that they’d track both David and I down and make us pay for ‘what we did’.

David and I went to the police the next day to report the restraining order having been broken but none of the texts we could show them came from Mark or Marie’s phones so we had no proof.

We spoke with one of the officers at length about our options and he said that in cases like this it was the thrill of knowing their intimidation was working that kept people like this going.

The fact that they still didn’t know where David lived and thought I had moved was good.  They had also had ample opportunity to come to the club and wait after work for us but hadn’t. He recommended we both change our numbers and wait to go to court, where Mark and Marie would have a chance to challenge the restraining order. If they didn’t show up and we presented our evidence a Judge would extend it.

Both of our phones buzzed with messages the whole time we discussed this so we decided it would be in the best interests of our mental health to call our respective providers to have new numbers issued.

For the next two months I parked my car three blocks away from the apartment, just as a precaution. I only ended up sleeping in the back room for a week then moved back to the main bedroom but was careful to never open the blinds or curtains and I spent a lot of time visiting friends.

During that period Mark and Marie replied to the restraining orders saying they were going to challenge them. I couldn’t believe it. I felt sick to my stomach at the thought of being in the same room as them.

The court date arrived and I David met at his house. When we arrived at the courthouse the poor guy had to do his best to help me keep it together as I was shaking uncontrollably.

We sat at the back of the room with the other people having cases heard that day. We were eventually called up and we sat down behind a long desk to the Judge’s left. There was no sign of the other two.

My sense of relief was short lived as a clerk entered the room with them in tow. They were just late. Mark was wearing an ill fitting, shiny grey suit and had shaved his head, the resultant look presenting him as much more of a drug dealer than he had perhaps intended. Marie looked thin, pale and absolutely wired.

Her appearance certainly explained why so much of the aggressive activity occurred in the early hours of the morning. She was the new ‘face’ of meth. I turned to look at David who was just staring at her with a look of disgust.

After they were seated, Marie took one look at me, threw her head down on the desk and started wailing. The Judge looked concerned and the clerk rushed over to see if she was okay.

“It’s just..” she squeaked between sobs “it’s so painful to see them after all of this. They ruined my life and I… it’s just … I don’t even have any parents or anything..” She then rested her head in her hands and proceeded to caterwaul like a three year old who’d just fallen off a swing.

David and I exchanged a ‘What the hell?’ look as tissues were brought over and the Judge asked her gently if she felt she could continue. David leaned over and whispered that Marie did, in fact, have parents. They had filed a restraining order against her and Mark around the time we did.

Marie bleated a feeble ‘yes’ and the Judge asked me to sit in the box next to him. In small cases like this the people involved cross-examine each other, and it was their turn with me first.

As soon as I sat down, Marie stood up and loudly said “Right, then!”. There wasn’t a single trace of the trauma she was apparently experiencing seconds earlier. And her eyes were perfectly dry.

She asked me a series of questions about David, none of which made much sense but I did my best to answer. Obviously not getting the responses she’d hoped for, she then switched tack, asking the same question phrased slightly differently over and over until the Judge asked her if she knew what repeating something ‘ad nauseam’ meant, then explained she was asking an identical question ‘to the point of nausea’.

Marie then pulled a manila folder out of her bag with ‘EVIDENCE’ written across it in red marker.

She waved it at David and said ‘I have your birth certificate in here, you don’t want me to show it’.  The Judge told her he didn’t tolerate his time being wasted and asked her to sit down. Marie burst into tears while Mark looked furious.

Their plan must have made more sense at 3.30am through a misty crack haze.  David and I then got to tell the Judge our side of the story and we submitted a printout of the messages we’d been sent, with a log of the times they’d visited my apartment.

When they were asked to take the stand so we could cross-examine them, they declined. Marie now looked completely terrified.

Thankfully the Judge saw everything clearly and gave both of them a thorough dressing down, warning them that breaking the RO would mean fines and possible jail time. He did a good job because neither of us received contact from them again.

After we left the courts David and I went out to lunch to celebrate the RO being upheld.  Unfortunately this was was the last time I spent any quality time with him. I certainly didn’t blame him for anything that happened but just didn’t feel comfortable enough to continue our friendship past the occasional ‘hello’ when one of us took over from the other at the club.

At lunch he told me he’d found out from an ex-friend of Marie’s that she had started a relationship with Mark long before the trouble with the promoter and he had gotten her hooked on speed, then meth. Also that her drug use had escalated so much in recent months that they thought she would be dead before the year was out.

She had been telling people that we had beaten her up, stolen all her money, then thrown her out of the house – even stating that we’d started a gay relationship and that David and I had possibly given her AIDS.

Mark had a lot of ‘acquaintances’ and anyone who came to the house encountered this frail, crying, waif who tearfully told the tale of these two disgusting men that had ruined her life.  It was little wonder that the threats came from so many different numbers.

Twelve years on I still don’t like phones and I freeze when I hear an unexpected knock at the door.

Be there for people by all means but don’t invite their crazy into your home.  If you try to rescue someone from a situation they created they’ll just create it again and again and add you as a supporting cast member.

And no friendship is worth that.

**The names of people mentioned in this post have been changed to protect their identities.

Taking The Piss

My cat has it in for me at the moment. She’s turned evil. When I returned home from my gig tonight I half expected to catch her sitting in a big black leather chair, stroking a small mouse and planning world domination whilst instructing her henchmen to do her evil bidding via satellite link.

Tonight I played the annual ‘Sleaze Ball’, a gig at a straight venue organized by the students at the W.A Academy Of Performing Arts. Most of them have names like Jeremiah, Briony and Aria-Jane, and they spend a lot of their time talking very loudly about the theatre whilst wearing a lot of knitted things and generally flouncing about.

Having been a performing arts student for eight months (many moons ago) and having spent most of my time doing all of the above, I relate completely to these guys and have a huge soft spot for them.

My set started at half past twelve, so I packed all of my records at eleven, had a shower and got dressed. When I got to the club it was packed. The theme for the night was ‘Jungle’ so the dancefloor was filled with half naked Zacharys and scantily clad Clairette-Portias, all smeared with paint, glitter and what I assumed were feathers, but may have been small pets that didn’t get out of the way in time.

After the next song it was time for some shows, which generally involved lots of Melody-Anastacias and Zane-Tobias’ gyrating about to tribal techno whilst pretending to lick each others privates. I put it all down to it being a powerful statement against monolithic oppression in today’s totalitarian, consumerist society and applauded politely.

Over the next hour I played a mixture of breaks, tribal and electro and had a great time with the crowd, who were so fantastically responsive it made me want to run out there and hug all of them individually. Well the attractive ones, anyway.

But then I noticed it. You couldn’t help but notice it.

It was really quite warm in there and I usually sweat a lot. Being that I was quite nervous and excited, I was really beginning to heat up. I was sweating like a pig. Well to be honest several pigs. In jumpers. Laying on sunbeds. In the desert. Eating chillies. You get the picture.

With me getting so warm, my t-shirt and vest had heated up too and they suddenly began to release an unmistakable smell. Cat pee. Lots of cat pee. It was as if my cat had saved up a weeks worth in a bucket and poured it over my clothes while I wasn’t looking. Now my heated-upness had released it and it was quite unpleasant indeed.

I was suddenly the smelly kid. The one that reeked and had garlic meatball and anchovy sandwiches at lunch. Oh the shame. Luckily no-one had come anywhere near me while I was playing, and the dj box was raised enough so the crowd were unaware of my sudden change in stature from superstar dj to musically inclined cat tray.

The only problem was that at some stage someone was going to turn up to play after me, and they would have to stand in the confines of the dj box with me, and my newly discovered flair for fragrance.

I wasn’t sure who was next, and being such a huge event it could have been anyone, but of course, this being my life, who should turn up but the one guy I have a really hard time talking to. There’s no problem between us, he’s just hard work, and despite several gentle attempts on my part has yet to bother giving me any acknowledgement beyond a slightly annoyed look every time I open my mouth. So there he is, and there I smell. There couldn’t be a worse person for me to have to do changeover with.

The best way for me to deal with this was to keep him on one side of the box and me on the other, so I immediately feigned interest in an empty shelf to my far left and shuffled over there, nearly choking on my headphone cord in the process. He stepped towards me and asked what I had played. I stayed rooted to the spot and stretched to pick up the pile of records he needed to see. Then without moving my feet, I leaned as far back as I could whilst stretching my arms toward him and handed them over, giving myself a rather lovely looking double chin in the process.

He stood in the spot I needed to occupy to play the next record and started flicking through them. “Scuse me dude!” I yelled, forcing a smile. He looked up to see me gesturing wildly at him, arms flailing while grinning like some kind of lunatic. God knows what he thought, but it scared him enough to back away. I shuffled over, still leaning as much as I could away from his direction and played my final record.

As soon as I had mixed it in, I unplugged my headphones and leapt back to my side of the  box where I packed up everything in record time, ran behind him with my cases and jumped out. Sure, he probably thought I was a total freak but I was pretty sure that he’d entertained that concept before tonight.

At least he hadn’t smelled me. I don’t mind being regarded as weird as long as no-one refers to me as “…you know, the tall one. Gay. Reeks of piss.”

So, tragedy averted, I carefully ran around the edge of the club, away from the people, and headed straight for the front door. But of course, halfway to freedom a gorgeous muscle boy in a loincloth lunged at me, threw his arms around my waist and yelled ‘Awesome set!’ in my ear.

I tried to wriggle free but I had a record case in each hand and he just grabbed me tighter. “I hear you at the Leederville all the time! Great tunes!!” he continued, before suddenly wrinkling his nose.

“Um, have you..”
“I know!! I spluttered. “It’s Giorgio Armani! I can never wear it, it changes on my skin. Smells like cat piss!! Gotta go, so sorry!”

He looked a bit confused and released his grip so I scuttled past him and power-minced to my car, swearing under my breath the whole way.

I sped home, where I spent half an hour scrubbing the smell off my skin in a hot shower while soaking my clothes in boiling water. Strangely enough, the cat was nowhere to be found.

I’m trying to look on the bright side. I mean it’s not as if he was the only totally hot shirtless man that’s spoken to me in 10 years of DJing.

Oh wait. He was.

Shit.

 

Request Pest

norequestsbatman

Working in an environment where you have to entertain people who are usually seven different shades of mindless due to drugs or alcohol (more often than not a highly frightening quantity of  both) can be quite a challenge.

People say things that their brain has yet to process properly. The following are my favourites.

Bear in mind that DJs have a very short amount of time to talk to someone before they have to return to the mix, so they have to get conversations over and done with as quickly as possible.

1.”Hi! I ‘m here for the first time tonight, and I’m here with my friends Miranda and Toby and Marcus, and we went out to dinner earlier, and we were talking about a song that my cousin Lisa played at her wedding and hey, do you have your tongue pierced, euwwww, did that hurt? So anyway it’s got this singer y’know the one that sang the song about the thing ummm what was it? You’d know it… it’s in the charts and it’s in that movie, the one with her from Ally McBeal, but not the dark haired one……hey! I’m talking to you!…..”

2. “Do you have any, like ‘proper songs’?”

3. “Hi! You know how the music’s really boring tonight? Are you doing that on purpose? What do you mean ‘get fucked?’ It’s a legitimate questi..OW!!”

4. “Hi, what are you playing tonight? What’s next? What’s after that? How come? Can I go through your stuff? How come? Who else is playing tonight? What do they play? How come?”

5. “Hi, can you play harder? I want it harder”

6. “Can you stop playing this hard shit?”

7. “We’re all on pills that make the sounds go like really spaced out. Can you be careful what you’re playing? My mate Dave is completely losing it.”

8. “Hello, can… wow, you’ve put on a lot of weight, haven’t you? HA! Can you play Madonna?……. Hey you look really pissed off, are you ok?”

9. “Can you play some Kylie Minogue? I don’t know, any one. They’re all good.”

*five minutes later, while Kylie Minogue is playing*

“How much longer until Kylie?”

10. “Can you play Ministry of Sound disc two track ten…..No, that’s what it’s called. Don’t you have any Ministry of Sound? You’re not a very good DJ. I don’t know, it’s disc two track ten! On Ministry of Sound. For fuck’s sake, you played it last week.  I’ve got it on tape in my car, If I go get it, will you play it? ”

All of the above should provide clear illustration as to why it’s good that it’s so hard to get a firearms licence in Australia.