|Image via Akseli Koskela|
Crystal Castles at the Big Day Out in Sydney 2011 --
that was a night out!
There are simply too many vitiating factors that allow a contract with one’s sensible sober self to be able to be set aside. For example, obviously a contractual term specifying “one drink” should be read as “one round”. One drink is one round, everyone knows that, you can’t let someone buy you a drink and not return the favour; and if you’ve bought three or four drinks for everyone else you’ll want to get your money’s worth. Additionally, if the current establishment is a bit quiet, going somewhere more lively is always going to imply an obligation to stay at that place a bit longer. Midnight is really two, that’s another element to remember in the construction and interpretation of contractual terms with your evening self. You’d know this if you’ve ever tried to act on a commitment to go home at midnight - the first hour of the day is also the liveliest hour of the night. It’s almost impossible to leave when so many other people are obviously having fun, even if you’re not.
Although, to be fair, the idea that you can just make do with three hours sleep and then you’ll be fine is really nothing but a convenient legal fiction and in truth a most mendacious lie.
So it has come to the point that during the cold light of day I now view my night-time self as a person of Mr Hyde type malevolence. For example, last Thursday I went to see an event that was part of the Sydney Writer’s Festival: the Chaser’s “Empty Vessel”. As a precaution I put no less than five alarms on my phone between the hours of ten and eleven-thirty reminding me to go home at the end of the event. Being a Thursday I could brook no chance of waking up hung-over for work. I don’t really think this is socially acceptable after you’ve completed your first under-graduate degree. Not to mention the fact that it’s not exactly professional either.
Anyway, the scary thing was that as I was diligently putting reminders on my phone to keep my night-out self on the path of the righteous, I could just picture myself later surreptitiously deleting them from my phone and dancing with wild abandon in some King’s Cross den of iniquity.
OK, maybe that last line was half fantasy -- deleting them from my phone and ordering a second round in any case. Because the second round is no longer lying to yourself. After the second round you’re on a night-out.