Fri 27 Feb

I was aware of Licky Shazhorn chiefly through the socioeconomic expertise that saw her first lending me tuppence towards an iced bun in the warehouse café, then trading hypotheses with Freddy Bangles and Earnest Groucho, two mutual friends from Germany who’ve been sniffing around the working class these last few summers. Renowned as one of the few women capable of taking on Bateman face-to-face (most preferring to simply smash him over the head, or up a dark alley, with a tea tray, from behind) it is Licky’s latent skills as nursemaid that are unexpectedly put to the test tonight.

Another work night out ends in tragedy

Perhaps the dry mouth that results from coughing up a last-minute public tribute to colleague and footer bud Hicks is responsible for my choosing Starjuice over champers at his well-stocked leaving do. If we are to blame the recession for my choosing the cheapest (and strongest) option at the Status Quo cocktail bar then how to explain mine and Licky’s buying double pints at two-for-one, and then drinking them twice as fast? Surely one for her statistical chalkboard and something for the more sober to muse over as cake is nibbled, cigars half-smoked, and the remnants tossed outside to my gentleman troll and his friends.

The party self-selects down Oxford Road to Cramped where, upstairs amidst the palms, screened until the last minute, Daisy joins us looking…Daisyish. Ever the gentleman, and to avoid any kind of misunderstanding, I am quick to dangle my new drinking partner over the side of the building – allowing Licky a comprehensive yet terrifying view of the freshly demolished Spa shop before we move on. Do I deserve punishment for such actions? Here it comes dear reader, despite your protestations. Innocently attempting to trip Licky over – several more pints to the good – I take a tumble, a single blonde forelock and several pounds of forehead smashing into an unrepentant Manchester. So the city had been waiting all this time, almost a year, since I Glasgow kissed Krakow in much the same way? Jealousy is a terrible thing, pride too, of which there is little as Licky dabs my wounds with just a smidgen more pressure than is strictly necessary.

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