Cantabulous Quintet: Haze
“It’s pronounced Stoosy”
It's week 3 already, everyone's post-Christmas enthusiasm is flagging and the regular cycle of Wednesday Cindies, Friday Fez, and Sunday Life is getting repetitive and dull. In an effort to liven things up and forget deadlines, we all must venture out of our comfort zones. For the classic Cambridge stereotypes, this involves the notoriously edgy Haze night. Will they all make it there and back in one piece?
Harry the Hack has been bigging Haze up to the squad ever since he went there instead of joining the rest of the college in a Freshers' Cindies event in his first week. By way of pure luck, the first Haze of term is happening the night after he finishes his leading role in the ADC late show and the night before his stint as stage manager in an am-dram group that isn't affiliated with the Uni (because it feels much more authentic that way). After weeks of cajoling the other four into buying tickets, they finally submit and he can just sense that tonight is going to be incredible! He shows up to pres in the JCR in his staple wavy garms, with his hair effortlessly ruffled and wild – Harry is ready to party.
Although he spends most of the walk to Haze complaining that it is being held in Revs (which just will not have the right atmosphere for this sort of event), he seems to forget this qualm as soon as he arrives – strutting up to the bar and immediately befriending waiter. Throughout the evening he is repeatedly separated from the group as he is greeted by friend after co-star after other Union steward after ex-lover – seemingly everyone knows Harry the Hack. At the end of the night, the squad don't 100% know where Harry has ended, but they assume that he is safe with friends from one society or another, and leave him to his own devices.
Meltdown Maria vows to ignore her looming deadlines, the fact that she has failed yet to even start her Shakespeare analysis that was due the day before, and the fact that her supervisor actually, legitimately hates her (she promises he really does). She begins the night in an uncharacteristically positive manner. Downing VKs like they are water in a desert, she gives everyone in the squad huge, drunken hugs throughout pres and the walk to Revs. Tina had insisted that they get there early, so when they arrive the dancefloor is empty – but Maria does not care, boogieing alone in the centre of the desolate room. However, once more partygoers begin to join in the dancing, she disappears from view. It is not until the end of the night that the others find her, sitting outside on the kerb, crying, and being comforted by a confused and world-wearied bouncer. They help her up, apologise to the bouncer, and help her home as she incoherently mumbles something about the Taming of the Shrew.
Lance the Lad barrels into the JCR for pres with a half-empty bottle of absinthe raised above his head like a trophy. He sits down with a wide grin on his face, pours everyone (bar Tina who, of course, defiantly refuses) a shot, yells 'Down it fresha!!!', and ensures that everyone is sufficiently binned before they set off to Haze. As he approaches the bar, he sees the rugby boys smoking outside 'Spoons and takes a quick detour to see them (and to make sure that they too have consumed the right level of alcohol (which they have) ). He is nearly talked into watching some form of sports match with them, but remembers that he has already paid for his Haze ticket and the absinthe is already hitting him – even Lance the Lad may be too rowdy to sit and watch sports after so much absinthe. The rest of the night is a blur of jägerbombs and flashing lights. Rumour has it that he and Gap Yah Gabi kissed at around 2am but neither of them can completely remember – so let's just say it didn't happen, yeah?
Gap Yah Gabi is the first person to say yes to Haze – what better opportunity to whip out her 'vintage' shirt (the one that she actually bought in New Look's kids section but that looks identical to something she saw in a kilo sale two days later)? While the others are concerned that the repetitive and wordless dance music will get dull, she insists that the thumping bass will help them to really feel the experience. Although, how she would know that, having never gone to such an event, is a mystery. After drinking an unhealthy amount of Lance the Lad's absinthe at pres, followed by a VK too many at Revs, she vanishes into the toilets for an alarming amount of time, only to be taken out by a female bouncer who hands her to Totally-together Tina to sort out.
Totally-together Tina is ready for this night. She has factored the hangover into her week plan, made sure that her essay is complete and submitted before Haze, and carries with her a bag full of all the necessities – tampons, painkillers, a sewing kit, plasters, and 'emergency cash' that must, under no circumstances, be spent on booze or chips. She refuses Lance's absinthe, sticking to the Pinot as she knows her limits and does not want the entirety of the day tomorrow to be unproductive. She dances with careless abandon for the first hour, but then spends the rest of the night getting glasses of water for everyone else to sober them up. She holds Gabi's hair back while she chunders in the ladies toilets, and negotiates with the bouncers in a successful attempt to stop them from kicking Lance and Gabi out. After helping everyone to bed, Tina settles down with a cup of tea into bed, knowing that she will definitely have time to start next week's reading a day early if she doesn't have a lie in.