Week starts with my college\’s alumni club. Looking forward to a setting a good standard for the days ahead. Bit of strange one with which to commence, but I am told that the old boys and girls throw money at you to drink and eat with them. All transport paid for and dinner at a pretty swish London private member\’s club. As soon as I arrive the drinks start flowing. Desperately try to retain dignity talking to a few big dogs, but damn hiccups start giving me away. No one seems to care and the champagne flows freely until 11pm. This is the life that selling your soul buys, I guess, and I can start to see why you\’d do it. Stumble back onto the Oxford Tube and head home to much needed bed.
As I get up I feel like the world is coming crashing down around me. Drag myself through a lecture and a tute with the help of multiple coffees and things are starting to look up. Tonight is a wine tasting evening – how very Oxford. The room for this event is festooned with bottles of wine, cheese and grapes – all JCR funded. We\’re quickly under way with pointers on how to tell one wine from another by smell, taste and colour. Thankfully, with a little help from our more than generous sommelier, I am starting to care less and less whether the current wine is a Sauvignon blanc or a Chardonnay and more about getting to Camera before midnight. The final wine, a rich red if I remember correctly, ends this ‘sophisticated\’ leg of the evening on a high, and we head straight for Camera. This club (which also gives free entry to friends of promoters…) makes a perfect stage for me to do hideous things until roughly 2.30pm, at which point I stagger to bed, accompanied by no more than a juicy kebab.
I wake up next to aforementioned kebab, and in a moment of complete delirium begin to eat the remaining bits of meat. Quelle erreur. After a very cautious and painful re-emergence onto Turl Street, I begin to wonder if this ‘getting drunk\’ thing is really worth it. I mean, I\’m hardly highlighting the world\’s injustices or promoting world peace, am I? I soon get over this emotional tussle and get ready for evening number three, at Fuzzy Ducks. Fortunately, I am the ‘promoter\’ for my college (which involves standing in the bar and selling tickets – very easy stuff) which means not only free access, but, far more importantly, a lot of free drinks. And when I say a lot, I mean a hugely unbelievable amount. The little room where promoters are put houses approximately 25 litres of vodka (between 15) and complementary mixers. A bit crude, yes, but who cares? Not I, and after an hour or so of sipping vodka ‘n juice, my inner fuzzy duck comes out in all its debauched glory. Vague memories of thrusting, gyrating and pretending to be various animals. Bed at 3: dead to the world.
Fire alarm goes off at 10am but I literally cannot move. Get up at 2pm to discover weird bruises down my left side and paint on my back. Absolutely no idea. Feel surprisingly fresh for one hour, then feel like someone is punishing me for every sin ever committed. I\’m finally back in working order by 11pm, ready for the Oxford Union\’s infamous President\’s Drinks. Easy to grab a last minute place on the guest list through token hack friend and despite the fact that the Gladstone Room is filled with complete cocks, the bar beckons me in with its beautiful array of colourful cocktails. OK, so VKs are the order of the night, but soon the sugar is coursing through my veins and I\’m getting into the swing of things. Weird men everywhere. Queue jump is conveniently sorted out by Chief Hack and off I trot with them to Bridge. This has to be lowlight of the week and as the sugar runs out, I realise that Bridge is distinctly average. Pains return at 1am so I return to my bed soon after.
Ah! Sleep like a little baby. Body is in better shape, bruises have become a bit more blue today, and general Fuzzy Ducks swelling has gone down. Not only this, but I can concentrate on a conversation for more than twenty seconds for the first t
ime in about five days. Tonight is the OIFS drinks event in the Examination Schools, which due to their horrendously large bank account is free for all. Funny how putting on a suit has a surprisingly positive affect on your well-being. Boy! It must pay to be a banker. Cava and vodka buckets all night. Despite my stomach clenching every now and then, the drinks go down a treat. Good people there too, and more alcohol that they know what to do with. Lash leads to Kukui, where I manage to drunkenly bumble in free of charge. I\’m herded into VIP area where OIFS people are sharing huge bucket of alcohol. Sweet Jesus. No recollections after this point.
I ring up my editor and ask why I am doing this. She laughs for a while, and points out that I only have a few days left. What a bitch. Why doesn\’t she understand the pain I am in? I struggle through yet another day dominated by Fifa and more abdominal and cranium pain, before heading out again to a ‘presentation evening\’ for a management consultancy firm. I resent everyone in the room, as they ask positive and self-indulgent questions. I sit at the back, sulking with my three bottles of Peroni. The talk is so dull; why are they all pretending to be so interested in management consultancy? Why, when it literally makes no sense and everyone realises this? Anyway, I feel odd this evening, kind of alert but simultaneously like everything is going in slow motion. We head to a crewdate, where venn.com have supplied us with a load of free wine. Pretty decent of them. Brings back memories of the wine-tasting – at which point I go and sit on the toilet for a while. I am sconced for being a member of Cherwell, then sconced again for what I did in Camera on Tuesday night. I\’m toppling over the edge. I\’m engulfed by nausea. I go and sit on the toilet again. This brief respite for some reason leads to more sconcing. I am losing faith in this mission and humanity in general. Bed at 2pm, cold sweats and a banging head.
Thank the Lord for this day. My editor rings me and tells me that they\’ve just got a great interview and that this article isn\’t going in. I swear at her and hang up. Turns out that this was some kind of sick joke. I go to chapel in the early evening and shed a single tear of simultaneous joy that the week is almost over and self-pity as I evaluate this painful and blurry ordeal. Chapel is followed by free drinks, obviously. JCR meeting is my final event of the week, where yet more alcohol is dished my way. I go for tins of Fosters, a classy way to end the week. I force myself to see away a good five cans before admitting absolute defeat. I crawl (not quite literally) to bed. As I lie there, realising that I have indeed managed to get stonkingly drunk for free for seven nights in a row, I think about why there is so much free alcohol in the city of dreaming spires. Is that really the best way societies and events have for drawing in us plebs? As my thoughts drift slowly away my phone beeps: I roll over and check the event reminder. \”Essay due in at midnight,\” it says. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.