June 23: on leaving parties

(This is a guest contribution from Boxette)

Leaving a party can be a very tricky business. London etiquette dictates that to leave early you need a valid reason. For members of hard working families this is easy: we’ve only booked the babysitter till 11! and off they pop, floating on a sympathetic chorus of we’ve all been there.

Work is another excuse but you’d better be a big hitter: We’ve got to skidaddle because Jeremy has to get up at an ungodly hour for a meeting with the IMF in Geneva. I know. It’s insane. But he loves it! fares rather better than someone who has low-level anxiety about all the things on their list but can’t be specific about what they will do first in the morning.

When all else fails, we can’t leave the dog for too long will charm animal lovers.

But what if you don’t have a big job, a family or a needy pet? Citing a super early Ocado order will not wash. Saying I forgot to water the plants is a slap in the face.

There is one final trump card that workshy, commitment-phobic, pet-allergic South Londoners can play: I’ve got to catch the last tube home can really open doors, particularly in Islington and Hampstead where the residents are scared to cross the Thames after dark.

But what’s this? London Underground has now decreed that the tube is to run all night. The last barricade has fallen. It will be compulsory to party till early morning, to stay until the shots are all drunk and everyone is seriously beginning to question whether they like each other.

The only possible remedy is to do the unthinkable. Move outĀ further even than zone 6, into the badlands of Bedford or Surrey where the tube doesn’t run. Or get a dog!


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