It's interesting going to ones Gym Christmas Party, for one - its impossible to recognise anybody with their clothes on.
My gym party was held at the best and weirdest place in Ladbroke Grove. The Inn on the Green. I love the Inn on the Green. The Inn on the Green is a welcome to all venue. During the summer months you can drink a cheap pint over looking Portobello Green on the balcony, and in winter you can stand over the radiator whilst viewing the snow from the warmth inside. They have live music and bands every week and sic dj's who play great rap music. It's also a place you can hang out and smoke dope and have a bbq cook-off. You smell the place before you see it. That smell of a joint lingers in the air on the walk through the Green to get there.
It is also a place where you can meet the real life 'Begbie'.
We arrived for the Christmas Party early. And sat back to watch people to arrive looking for the semblance of someone I might recognise. I didn't think anyone would recognise me being that I brushed my hair for the occasion and had an outfit on that hadn't been found at the bottom of a dumpster.
A few trainers arrived as did some old ladies who I thought were gym members but like I said it was hard to tell without them being encompassed by the steam of a shower and their baggy skin hanging around their ankles. Clothing is not conductive to parties born of the fitness industry.
I didn't know what to expect from a gym Christmas party? I mean, do you go up to someone and go "hey! how long can you run on the treadmill before throwing up??" If anyone had asked me why I was going to the gym my answer would be "to run better for the trains so I don't pass out and die". Luckily I didn't need to think up any awkward conversation openers because this is when Begbie showed up.
Begbie placed his drink on my table then quickly ran off to the bathroom to take a line. His friend who was three sheets to the wind stood slowly swaying to the gentle tunes of Xzibit. Upon Begbie's return we learnt many things.
Begbie hates Thailand. Begbie said he went to a party and someone asked him how many dudes he had slept with on his trip? "not one dude! I always check the adams apple!" apparently this check of the neck isn't sufficient these days to tell the dudes from the ladies, and you have to do the more stringent "rib check" if you're pounding a chick and she has a scar on her ribs, chances are you are pounding a dude. "there are lots I didn't check though, so how many dudes I accidentally slept with is a mystery".
Begbie really liked Australia. Sydney has the best Meth in the world. Begbie was a reformed drug addict, who went to Sydney for his honeymoon and stayed for years (minus the wife). And this was just our introduction to Meth-Head Steve (aka: Method Steve)
Method Steve was the most interesting person I have met since moving to London. Method Steve is a roadie, and travels around Europe working on every major band over the past 20 years. Method Steve got into a fight with Liam Gallagher whilst working on an Oasis tour, and Liam took a disliking to Steve's shirt. Well Steve isn't someone who will just stand around and cop abuse if you are going to slag his clothing off so he pulled Liam in close, told him "I'm not wearing this shirt for YOU!" and headbutted him in the face. Noel had to break the fight up and Steve was consequently kicked off the tour. Headbutting the driving force of one of the biggest bands of recent times didn't hinder Steve's career in anyway and he has been touring the world with bands ever since. He happened to be working on the Leftfield Tour, he said he would get us tickets for the show the next night. Method Steve was truly one of the most genuine people I have come across in recent times. He said he might not remember the conversation because of obvious cocaine reasons, but he took our numbers and promised to text us the next day.
We stood around talking to Method Steve for a good 3 hours and by the end of the night we were all good friends. I was highly surprised to find a text from Method Steve the next morning saying that he wasn't able to secure the tickets because of all the damn VIP's. Method Steve if anything is a man of his word. Just don't give him a side eye because he will glass you in the face so quickly you'll think you walked out of the house covered in glass shards.
The Inn on the Green never disappoints.