An ode to Sugar Wednesdays: The Grease medley, VKs and making friends with strangers in the toilet
Oh how much I wish to be back
It’s Wednesday night and, in a pre-Covid world, you would be getting ready to go out to Sugar to make memories, potential regrets and a pending hangover for the inevitable 9am lecture Thursday morning which you always skip. But in tier three lockdown, all we can do on a Wednesday night like this one is reminisce about the good old days and indulge in the nostalgia which is Sugar Wednesdays.
“You fill a plastic bottle with three parts vodka, two parts lemonade”
It’s Wednesday afternoon, somehow you’ve made it through the day. It’s a socials night, of course, how could you forget? They’re the only thing keeping you going this term.
Animal print is the theme, you swear you’ve already done animal print before but no matter because you ordered a pair of zebra print trousers and your mates have all said you’ll look super cute. You check your phone, Hermes has delivered your parcel and it’s waiting for you by the door. One of your housemates must have collected it for you. What a saint!
You rush downstairs, grab the pink unicorn-clad plastic bag and get back to your room to try them on. They don’t fit, too tight around the belly. Guess you’ll have to suck it in, and really, the rugby lad you shag later won’t care, will he?
Shit, the straighteners sizzles, smoke rising from the poor strand of hair you neglected and subsequently burnt. Well, you reason, I’ll probably look much worse later. You’re probably right.
With a stomach full of cheesy beans and veggie sausages, you head out to the shop, trying to find a last minute drink. A bottle of vodka, a bottle of lemonade, and a case of VKs should do. Sorted. You take a shot of vodka as soon as you get to the house – good way to kick off the night. Down two VKs, give one to your mate. You fill a plastic bottle with three parts vodka, two parts lemonade, give it a shake, hope it doesn’t explode (it does – only a little splash in your lap though), then you take a swig and pull a face, first of disgust, then of content.
“Paranoia anyone?” One girl yells. Someone looks towards you and grins, she’s just said your name. You take a large gulp of your drink. Pull another face. “Alright, what is it then?”
“Most likely to blackout tonight.”
“Has Come On Eileen played yet?”
Flashforward and you’re in the Sugar queue. You don’t really know how you got there as everything seems to be spinning and you are leaning on your mate for support. It’s raining, but you can barely feel it as it falls on your bare arms. “It’s not even that cold” you yell to your mate, arms wrapped around your torso. Neither of you brought a coat. One pound cloakroom charge? Yeah right. Save that for a green apple Sourz.
You take another swig of the vodka-lemonade you brought in that plastic bottle you hope will look like water. You worry that one of the bouncers saw you, so you quickly chuck it into the smoking area. Maybe you can salvage it later? (You won’t.) You’re almost at the door, you can feel the heat pulsing out, smell the smoke and sweat. The bouncer looks at your ID. He’s quite cute, maybe if you played it right… He lets you in. “Do you have a purple card?” Of course you do, you loyal subject, you. Stamp on your wrist (it’s easier to wash off), you’re in!
“To the bar!” your social sec shouts. There you have to shoulder your way through people, it’s the law of the jungle. A round of shots – what is it? Vodka? Tequila? Oh god, you hope it’s not Tequila. Three… Two… One… It was Tequila.
The second room’s heaving, you and your gals are in your favourite spot. Has Come On Eileen played yet? “Oi, he’s over there” your mate points. And he is, that dreamy man of yours. “I’ll give you deets tomorrow,” you tease, shoving your way through the crowd over to him. Since when are you so bold? The rugby lads cheer – tuxedo night, very nice.
“God you’re drunk!”
You have to pee. It’s the fifth time tonight. Every time you sit down on that loo you feel the full force of the alcohol weighing down your brain. Someone bangs on the door. “How many of you are in there?” Security. “Just me!” You get out, go to the mirror and stare at yourself for a bit. God you’re drunk! A girl moves behind you and you catch a glimpse of her red vinyl top. “Oh. My. God.” you shout, “that is so sexy.”
“Add me on snapchat,” she says, and you do. Her name’s Abby, or was it Addy? Anna?
Someone’s crying. You chime in, “Listen babe, you’re far too good to be with him. I’d totally treat you right!” Have you mentioned that you’re bi yet?
“COME ON EILEEN”
You emerge, as a victor, your friends all parked where they were. One or two are missing, probably pinned to a post with a tongue down their throat. “COME ON EILEEN,” you scream, everyone cheers. Then the Grease medley comes on and all your problems evaporate. It feels like all the lights are shining on you. You’re the star, you’re on top of the world. Someone hands you a drink. “I got you a VK,” they say, it’s strawberry. Down it. You dance, you laugh, your scream.
The photographer comes by and snaps several pics after you’ve all begged for more. You dance some more, you laugh some more, you scream some more. Your rugby lad comes to find you, “You coming home with me tonight?” You swoon. It’s 2:23, you need to make the 2:30 Sugar bus home.
“You squirt a load of mayo over your cheesy chips”
You’re on the bus with him. The chants start. “You can’t spell County without…” You yell them at the top of your voice. Do you even have a voice anymore? “I’m so sorry, I’m so drunk” you giggle. Over and over again. He’s also drunk. Everyone is.
Getting off the bus, you stumble. God you’re tired. You need energy. “SULTANS!” you yell. You walk in, Sal gives you a smile, he directs you towards some free water bottles, he knows your order. You squirt a load of garlic mayo over your cheesy chips. “Perrrrrfect,” you hum. A photo is snapped of you for Sultan’s snapchat. It’s started raining so you tuck the container under your shirt to keep it safe.
The next morning, you wake up. Your head throbs. The boy sleeping next to you isn’t as dreamy as you remember, but still, he wasn’t bad. It was a good night. A great night. You’re alright, you’re okay. Sugar will be there next week and you can do it all again.