I did the unthinkable and went to the LCR sober

It actually wasn’t too bad

Do Something Different Week might be a distant memory, but nevertheless, I decided to break with tradition and go to Tuesday’s Damn Good sober. Already intoxicated on the excitement surrounding the SU elections, I was ready to experience an LCR night totally devoid of drink.

Pre’s were an interesting experience to say the least. I’m fond of the odd alcoholic beverage before a night out, so, I encountered a multitude of raised eyebrows from my friends. Many questioned my decision, but all soon lost interest as their own waviness grew.

The pre’s game du jour was that staple, beer pong. Playing sober undoubtedly allowed me to have a better aim and improve my standing from horrendous to just slightly shit. I felt like the sweet shop owner down the road from a primary school, as I helped others slowly but surely ruin themselves while knowing I was fine.

Wavy wavy water

Water is undoubtedly easier to down in large quantities and my beer drinking friends are certainly happier with it than my regular tipple of wine in the ring of fire king cup. However, while it’s easy to give a drink a miss for a while after a session of excess, you can’t really do that with water…

Coming out, the first thing I expected to feel was much colder in the queue. Luckily, given the relative balminess and my naturally warm blood, this wasn’t really an issue. Secondly, the smell was something that had crossed my mind as a potential pitfall of being in total command of my senses. I’m thankful, then, that I must have got lucky, the smell of vomit was not nearly as pungent as I had feared. I was, however, in the unfortunate position of being able to tell that the atmosphere to start with was pretty dead, but it did soon pick up.

Water Pong

And the music? It was a 2000s night, and some of the songs toward the end of the decade made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. When was the last time you heard All I Ever Wanted? Not being drunk really made me think. This wasn’t just music to jig to in a drink-fuelled haze, it was my childhood. I felt old.

Not being drunk didn’t, however, help me in any way to work out what the hell those dancing blokes with the t-shirts actually do on stage.

Being sober allowed me to count the number of times throughout the night that I switched from Blue Bar to the main LCR. It was eight and highlighted both the time we waste switching and the secret exercise us LCR-goers are giving ourselves. Being a well reputed natural wanderer when intoxicated, self-induced sobriety also meant I *gasp* stayed with my friends, a clear bonus!

Blue Bar was one area about which my perspective was drastically altered. I used to despise it when my friends dragged me down. However, having spent some serious time down there, I realised that the music is, far from the repetitive bollocks I thought it was, actually great to dance to. Just because it’s not Jamie T, as my friend so succinctly put it, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s shit. Crikey, I didn’t expect a cultural education…

Singing the Blues

The mosh pits are vicious. And I mean really vicious. Being sober allowed me to think about my teeth, toes and ribcage, looking after myself well enough on the edge of the pit, but some people were going from it. When you look at it in the cold (fluorescent) light of morning, you wonder why anyone would find voluntarily getting involved with such brutality fun. Whatever floats your boat though.

I even managed to find the normally-illusive photographer fairly easily, pose properly, and even do my hair (almost) before the shutter snapped closed!

In terms of friends, I remembered everyone I saw, some with hilarious tales to tell them the next day. And I managed to properly cast my eyes over everyone to make sure I saw most people and avoided the “oh, no, I didn’t see you” talk.

It wasn’t even one o’clock when force of habit got the better of me. I drunk a VK. Then I drunk a few more. I felt terrible afterwards. The sweet liquid, flowing through my parched lips like the elixir of life, though, made the feeling of cheating well, well worth it. Normally, when I start on VKs, I’m far too gone to appreciate the taste, but the fruity undertones were this time not lost. I even sniffed it and swilled it round my mouth like a wine connoisseur. What a tosser. Still, I enjoyed it. Sorry.

Then, before we knew it, it was time to head home and back to the debrief where I assumed the role of reminder-in-chief of my friends’ antics and cringeworthy dance moves. I was able to talk a lot more sense than normal. Plus, in a shocking turn of events, I didn’t even find myself sitting in my kitchen at 4am sobbing over a girl.

The next morning wasn’t so great. A hangover, normally the overriding feeling, was replaced with a concoction of aches in every joint and real fatigue. And that’s no better. However, crucially at this time of the semester, my wallet looked a lot healthier after having only spent a few quid on entry and little else.

Got work the next morning and don’t want a hangover? Can’t drink for medical reasons? Too poor? Take my advice: that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to miss out on the beloved sesh.

University of East Anglia