Club Culture Through the Eyes of the Incredibly Naive

Oh yes, it’s Ladies Night in Byron. Excitement runs high as my girlfriends and I spend the good part of the evening getting ready – scattering clothes to all corners, smearing on makeup like tribal war paint and drinking that magic elixir that numbs the pain of dancing in  way ridiculous shoes. I, not one to be incredibly girly, bask in all that is this fascinating ritual. And when we finally hit the town there’s only one thing I want to do…Like an obstinate two-year old crying for that checkout candy bar, I wanna get my funk on.

Having been MIA from the club scene for over year, this was my chance to carve up that dance floor in my mum’s platform heels. (Because, you see I don’t own shoes that I cannot walk in…) Little did I know that my special groove time would be something I didn’t quite expect.

This is where my incredible naivety comes into play, because I didn’t expect the absolute sardine can of a meat market I was about to walk into. We got to Byron late. I missed the free champagne (god dammit) and Cheeky Monkey’s (or as I so mistakenly, though probably more accurately called it, Crazy Monkey’s) was packed to the rafters. I was totally confounded by the dance floor filled with aluminum picnic tables and can tell you that it was like dancing on a cattle grid…in a cattle yard. Hot, sweaty bodies all around, rubbing up against you, being pushed to and fro, sticky drinks accidentally poured all over you, all to the beat of some inane top 50 hit that’s been played to death on early morning TV- that and ‘Love Shack’? – hearing that and I’m back at my grade 6 disco…

So, my ‘gal-pals’ and I move onto a club with a much more lineal dance floor – one where  I am able to move more than one inch in all directions. Luckily for me since I just bought a one way ticket to Funky Town. Oh yeah.

And here’s what I realised whilst dancing in my little square with my 3 ‘gal-pals’ (I swear I have never used this word in my life, yet I will say it many times here). I realise that I’m not in a club. Oh, no. I’m on safari, and the sharks are beginning to circle.

4 chicks, no matter what they look like, as hey, I’m no narcissist – but 4 chicks with short dresses and long hair, shaking their groove thangs, is like a torn up fish carcass in the middle of the ocean. Yes, the sharks begin to circle. Now, I don’t really see the appeal of a complete stranger coming up behind you for some unwanted grindage – maybe one day someone will explain it to me – but this is the shark’s preferred method of attack. The best defensive: obliviousness – that and dancing with really large arm movements back and forth. And, as one of my friends so wonderfully demonstrated, a pinch on the ass will inevitably lead to an elbow in the gut…so be warned all sharks.

And generally speaking if your ‘gal pal’ is too drunk to use such defensive mechanisms, sometimes dragging them away all over the dance floor just doesn’t work – the shark has already caught the scent and is not so will to give up their prey. So that’s where ‘neutral guy friend’ can come in handy, translating the disinterest of the ‘gal-pal’ into a language the ‘shark’ will understand. But, sometimes the ‘gal-pal’ is a thrill seeker and shows interest in a shark or two. When that happens all you can do is powerlessly look on and hope that the shark doesn’t eat her face off, or drag her to its shark den. But, if need be, this can be avoided by glorious peer pressure and a quick getaway.

Now don’t take this the wrong way – going on safari is definitely amusing, if sometimes maybe slightly disturbing, but ultimately what I’m trying to say is that it’s all just a bit of harmless fun. After all, aren’t we all just animals anyways?

…No? Okay, well the debate is still out on that one.

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