A rarely seen glimpse of one the most fascinating creatures known to me was to be had over the weekend in Belfast. Spotted in a dark corner of the Speakeasy bar in the Students’ Union it was not hard to identify the infrequent reveller. His crazy hair and bizarre mannerisms give him away every time.
His use of SU watering holes is not restricted to the Speakeasy, but when free drinks are in the offing, that’s not a bad place to start looking. Quaffing amicably with like-minded party animals his choice of liquid refreshment is served in a tall glass of blackness topped with a foamy white head. As the evening progresses, he may well opt for something in a tumbler of a golden hue accompanied by a small jug of water. When 4, 5, 6 (or as the reveller describes it ‘many’) glasses have been poured down the reveller’s neck, his speech becomes harder to interpret and the increased volume is of little assistance.
At any point in the evening, he may well wander off aimlessly in search of a bicycle, taxi train or doner kebab. At which point fellow revellers tend to disperse.
He was spotted on the following evening in the back garden of a house near the Ormeau Road. He had used the top deck of a bus to reach the University Quarter, and then sauntered across the Lagan with a large plastic bottle of cider to give to the hostess of the party.
Undaunted by the presence of so many people he had never met before, he entered into the conversational badinage with aplomb. A white-haired gentleman kept the pride of party animals entertained with his amusing anecdotes about gigging and such. At the table covered with bottles and cleverly beer-soaked peanuts a modest fellow from Bangalore engaged the party animal (that is moi, in case you hadn’t guessed) with his interest in politics, conflict resolution and excessive drinking.
A small pride of party animals wandered off in the small hours towards the Ormeau Bridge and the dispersal was genial, a happy conclusion to the male bonding ritual.