I got a fully funded place at QMC, London in 1995 (Astrophysics MSc). I wound up at Stock’s Court post-grad flats. It was in the heady days of Brit-pop and I was London E1, directly above the district line. Bring it! It was also GBP65 a week including all bills but phone though a cleaner was included. He shoots, back of the net!
Anyway, six of us shared a rather nice flat. All blokes and all early twenties so amongst the six of us antics occurred. Yes – antics. (apart from M who was easily the most self-righteous twat I have ever met- he had a trio of condoms given to him by his ex after she dumped him – he never used them). And things, thing-like things happened. You can’t imagine the games of Monopoly. They were something else but nothing quite like Risk in Nottingham (my alma mater) which at one point descended into fisticuffs but that was because someone pissed in Mark’s sink and he tooketh the umbrage most righteous and there was much kicking up the bracket and indeed elsewise. But that’s another story.
Anyway we had a flatmate called H who was Japanese. He was a nice lad and had a penchant for the raising of the wrist – not an alkie – just sociable like. He liked us a lot because whilst he’d previously been at the University of Birmingham he’d never really interacted with Brits. The thing being that you don’t learn languages unless you are immersed and Birmingham (for some reason) has a lot of Japanese students so he hung with them.
In London he was in a flat with four English lads and a French guy.
Anyway, once, in his cups, he told us of his girlfriend back in Japan and how he really wanted to meet a “A big-breasted blonde English woman”. He was missing his girlfriend and yeah I’ve had that so I know. But his girlfriend made a major miscalculation. She was due to join him in the UK and got into Cardiff University on the mistaken assumption it was a suburb of London. We had to explain to H that it was not. Well for whatever reasons she couldn’t change but he could. So after three weeks he was off to Wales. He could have stayed for the big-breasted English blondes but love has it’s ways even if his Japanese lady friend had been entirely at home to Mr Cock-Up. I dunno what she was planning on studying but I hope it wasn’t geography.
So, it’s H’s leaving do. It’s a Friday night. Now in their infinite wisdom the Wizards of Astrofizz had scheduled galactic dynamics for Friday night. So I don’t go out with the lads. Instead I stuck a six-pack of Stella in the fridge (to toast the chap upon his return) and went to my 2 hour lecture. I returned home and had a toasted sandwich and made some tea awaiting the return…
There was a ring on the door-bell. Because I was on the third floor I first looked out the window and there were two of my flatmates one of whom was tight as an owl and the other pissed as a Dutch fart. The latter was very unsteady on his peggies and sorta leminscating around what looked at first blush like a corpse. S who was still reasonably stable yelled up to ask if I could help so I proceeded down. H was groaning and muttering things in Japanese otherwise I would have thought we’d soon be seeing Lestrade of The Yard get his chalk out. As the only sober (and I mean stone cold) person at this dismal scene a lot of thoughts flitted through my head. The main one being, “We’ve only been here for three fucking weeks and we’ve killed a flatmate”.
As you can imagine I was fecked-off now. S and J were pissed immaculate (especially J), H was somewhere between comatose and experiencing St Vitus’s Dance by this stage. For some reason none of us thought to call an ambulance – Those two jokers were too off their gourds and I was already fucked-off with the whole antic. S suggested we take him upstairs so we did. To the third floor where our flat was. Me and S took the arms and J took the legs and we hauled him upstairs. Note by this point He’d already been dragged by two artistes of ze piss from the New Globe pub. Not an inconsiderable distance.
Now H was a big lad, about 6’0″ and of a muscular build. He was also skilled in karate so during his moments of near consciousness on that long haul up the stairs he’d lash out. There were a lot of law students in that block and I wonder if I’d been killed by a pissed beyond redemption Japanese fella lashing out in his fever-dream on the stair-case… God knows. In the end we got him to our landing by which point A who lived in the opposite flat was out in her jim jams asking (and A was not a woman given to swearing) “What the fuck is going on here?”. She had been greeted by a mise-en-scène which Hieronymus Bosch would struggle to create. Not only was the sound of hauling about 85 kilos of what might as well have been dead meat up a stairwell by two pissed blokes and me and the occasional yelling of what might have been Japanese disturbing but it must have looked dreadful and there was somewhat of a Dame Judi for he had befouled himself amidst many flabby-woof-woofs during which he finally followed through.
By this point A had decided (wisely) to play no part in this farrago and retired tutting. She’s from Middlesborough so must have seen some things. H recovered enough consciousness (or at least muscle memory) to crawl on all fours into the flat. After a bit he could stand (sort of) and undressed himself to his be-shitten boxers (in a last hope of preserving dignity). S helped him into the bath and turned the shower on gently. I know not why he did that but I was past caring by this stage. He remained there for about ten hours before emerging and declaring, “I’ve got a bastard behind the eyes”. He didn’t look too clever. J had gone to his room in a drunk’s pinball fashion before H was placed in the bath. H was looking slightly paler than Marley’s Ghost.
So I asked S (who was pissed but not the full house) what happened. They’d been drinking pints with rusty nail chasers. That explained a lot. H just collapsed in the battlecruiser and had to be dragged home. S reminded me the cleaner didn’t turn-up on a Saturday. Good, I guess, because we’d all be out on our arses if she’d seen H in the tub.
My tea was cold by now so I cracked open a can of Stella, played a bit of Civ and went to bed.
So now children. Now you know what to do, don’t do it!
There is no moral to this story.