Jamie Ross: Top five least favourite things about flat parties

St Andrews is a tiny toy town. A lack of foresight by medieval town planners has ensured that there is no space for any form of entertainment and, with the […]

St Andrews is a tiny toy town.

A lack of foresight by medieval town planners has ensured that there is no space for any form of entertainment and, with the advent of political correctness, we don’t even have the option of passing an hour by burning a Protestant alive.

As such, we are required to make our own fun here and, all-too-often, this takes the form of a rubbish house party. ‘But, Jamie, I really enjoy house parties’ you might wrongly be thinking to yourself, blinking in confusion at your laptop screen like a drowsy cat. Allow me to explain myself in five simple points.

1. Social unease. Roughly speaking, house parties consist of five people you like, forty people you don’t know and ten people you hate so much that you would happily gather them all into a big sack and hurl them into the sea. Taking this mixture of people and cramming them into a tiny bizarre-smelling flat is more of a cruel experiment of human physical endurance than a fun evening out.

The majority of your time will be spent ‘hoveled’ in a corner with your friends, and you will eventually wonder why you didn’t just go to a pub where the try-hard you’ve avoided since you met him in halls isn’t parading around the room wearing a bra from the laundry basket.

If, at some point, you do manage to strike up a conversation with someone new, it quickly becomes apparent that a stranger is just somebody who hasn’t had the opportunity to annoy you yet. The questions of “Where are you from?” and “What do you study?” will reverberate around your head until you can no longer differentiate them from your own constant internal screaming. Return to your friend corner. It is safe there.

2. Drinking games. My stomach has roughly the same capacity as a mouse’s shoe. As such, I cannot down any significant volume of liquid and, at house parties, this makes me a risible imitation of a man.

However, I’ve recently taken the stance that competitive drinking games are a pathetic method of alpha-male posturing which only the worst kind of person could possibly be impressed by. I’d still secretly love nothing more than to be good at them, of course, but this stance allows me to conceal that burning desire with an outward display of sneering indifference.

3. Toilets. No house in St Andrews was designed with the intention of absorbing the impact sixty students, and this is at its most shockingly apparent in the bathroom. If you do somehow manage to reach the front of the winding queue without soiling yourself, you will then have to wade through a cocktail of bodily fluids so diverse that a truly considerate party host would provide each guest with full biochemical regalia. In fact, the brazen disregard for basic hygiene that I’ve witnessed in house party toilets led to the coining of my top party tip – be safe, never touch anyone.

4. Pulling. Those of you who read last week’s column on my stumbling advances towards Tesco Girl – who, coincidentally, I haven’t seen in Tesco since, which has made me worried that she saw it and immediately requested a distant transfer – will be aware that I am hardly silver-tongued when it comes to women. However, flat parties are especially bad places for anyone to pull.

First of all, harsh overhead lighting exposes two things which go unnoticed in the dingy refuge of the Lizard; that no one looks attractive after 11pm and that everyone who has ever danced looks like a clanging bell-end. Fatally, this leaves seduction entirely down to conversation, during which I will inevitably, in a desperate scrabble for common ground, ask “Have you seen the state of the toilet?”

5. The End. The single most depressing part of the night. It’s all over and you haven’t pulled, the soles of your socks are drenched in human urine, you’ve poured most of your Tesco Value gin onto your crotch after being forced to ‘Save the Queen’ and you’ve just been asked what you study for what may be the one millionth time.

And that’s your idea of fun, is it?