Work shy, drunk, anti-social and promiscuous — Generation Y - tales from house-sharing years

When Jim moved in with his girlfriend, Alan, known to one and all as, Tony, as in, Tony Scarface Montana, due to his penchant for cocaine, joined the mad-house (share).

August 12th was Tony’s birthday. As a present we bought him a lap dance. After a night of booze at that strip club, and then strangely the lap dancing stage turning into a free-for-all dance floor, it was time to go home. Being as it was three in the morning, and being that I had no money in my pocket, and being that I had been talking to one of the dancers for the last few hours, it seemed reasonable to walk home with her rather than getting a taxi, which in any case I couldn’t afford. Surprisingly, Sally, I never found out if that was her real or stage name, also thought this was a good idea. However, I’d mis-calculated when making the walking home suggestion . . . that it would involve a two-mile walk. As we made our way, I prattled on talking all kinds of shit . . . until I fell into a hedge on a deceptively even piece of pavement. ‘It was a tree root, a dead rabbit that I tripped over; I’m not that drunk,’ I assured her while unsuccessfully trying to push myself out of the bramble bush.

The next thing I knew; I was walking down a random road. It was raining and I had no idea where I was. My hands were bleeding from the scratches, my trousers had been torn, I was shivering uncontrollably and there was now no more Sally. If I’d seen a bus stop I would have taken cover and dozed till sun up — alas, there weren’t any. My only option, to find an unlocked porch to doss in. Several doors, a few lights turned on, and Fuck off, you drunk, shouted at me later, a random doorway was found.

Two hours of blissful sleep later, I woke up, my body sore from the concrete and being turned into a pin cushion from the bramble bush. I still had no idea where I was. I walked to the end of the road, and then realized, I jog down this road all the time. I was only a five-minute walk from home.

That evening and looking in the mirror, I admitted, that my drinking was getting out of hand. I would drink if there was something to celebrate, drink when I needed consolation, but most of all, drink to make something happen, as something, good or bad, wonderful or foolish, was better than nothingness, boredom and frustration. It was time I spent a few days away from the lads and reflected on where my life was heading.

Brooding, I decided to have a day of contemplation and culture; I went into in central London. Having visited Tate Modern and the National Gallery, I walked around St James’ Park pondering life. I considered leaving the Territorial Army and joining the regular army. I decided against that, otherwise life would surely have been very different to what it is now . . . that is to say, ending my days, in a hole on the beach, with an assassin pointing his silenced pistol at my head

Bored, and with no particular destination in mind, I was soon walking through Soho. Thirsty, I went into a pub. With an orange juice and lemonade in hand, I had a challenge to see how long I could go without alcohol, I found a seat and picked up a newspaper on the table, the headline grabbing my attention.

Work shy, drunk, anti-social and promiscuous — Generation Y

The British public define Generation Y, as: work shy, drunk, antisocial and promiscuous. Social mobility studies have shown that this trend is being exacerbated by the growing wealth gap as compared with earlier generations who could expect job security, a pension and a house.

In the internet age, and with the dramatic social and economic changes, they have been profound changes in the expectations of the lives of those moving from youth into adulthood. There are no longer the certainties of trade unions, when men were men and worked in labour intensive industries. A sense of masculinity is being replaced by the metro-sexual ideal, moisturiser instead of working men’s clubs.

As youth enter adulthood in the early Twentieth Century, and with so little room at the top of the best careers, and the housing ladder ever harder to get on, a ground breaking study has found, downward mobility, in which people find themselves in a lower social class than the one in which they were born. The report concluded, “The later in the century a person was born, the more likely they are to find themselves with a lower social standing than their parents.”

That sums me up, I thought, wondering why and how I had changed from the idealistic young man sitting at the summit of Mount Meru, to a caricature.

Three beers and a double Jack Daniels and Coke later, my abstinence lasting less than an hour, I left the pub. A random guy walked up to me. ‘Do you want sex?’

‘No thanks,’ I replied to the pimp.

‘I have lots of good looking girls,’ he persisted. ‘What do you like? Young or old? Thin or fat? Thai, Polish, black? I have every type.’

‘I’m fine,’ this said half-heartedly, the alcohol increasing my susceptibility to suggestion.

‘Just look, then make up your mind.’

Against my better judgement, and knowing I was being a fool, I followed him. Five minutes later, I was introduced to his female associate. ‘Go with Hilda,’ the pimp told me. I obliged and followed Hilda down a small side street and then up a creaking, poorly lit, staircase.

‘Which one?’ Hilda asked, as she passed me a photo album. I chose a young looking, dark skinned African girl with braids. We agreed on £50 for half-an-hour with Winnie from Cameroon.

‘Love, some men are abusive with our girls. I kindly ask you to leave a £500 deposit; you’ll get this back after your time with Winnie,’ Hilda reassured me.

‘You’re kidding?’ My bank balance barely had £500 in it.

‘We need to make sure you don’t hurt our girls,’ she insisted. I was already mentally committed, and so even though I knew what I was doing was utterly stupid, I couldn’t yours truly. I went to an ATM, withdrew all my earthy wealth and then followed Hilda down another small alleyway. We descended into a lap dancing club where I gave the £500 to the bar tender before following Hilda to another poorly lit room in a great deal of anticipation.

‘Just wait while I get Winnie.’

20 minutes later, and with no sign of Hilda or Winnie, it dawned on me that I had been well and truly conned. For the next 30 minutes, I frantically ran around the streets of Soho looking for Hilda; she was not to be found. I tried to find the lap dancing club that held my deposit; it was locked. Shit, what a fucking idiot I am for falling for the oldest trick in the book, I admonished myself.

Very pissed off with my stupidity, I sat in the White Swam pub for the next six-hours, occasionally visiting the lap dancing club to see if it had opened. At 11pm, I finally saw a huge man come out the doorway. ‘Is Hilda there?’

‘No.’

‘Winnie?

‘No.’

‘My £500?’

‘Fuck off.’

If I’d been told to fuck off now . . . it would have been the bouncer, rather than me ending up in hospital . . . as you will find out. But on that sorry night, I finally gave up hope of seeing my money again. I had no choice but to put this episode down to one of life’s harder lessons.

More annoyed and depressed than you can imagine, I sat at a bus shelter for half-an-hour, the drizzle freezing me to the bone as I waited for the night bus to return me to my warm, if empty bed. It arrived just as I was starting to doze. I paid for my ticket with what little change I had in my pocket and then drunkenly fell asleep, reassured that I would be woken at the terminus by the driver before walking home.

I was awoken not by the driver, but when I felt someone’s hands going through my trouser pockets. ‘What the fuck are you’re doing?’ I shouted at the five youths, one of who was waving my empty wallet in his hand. He walked forward and punched my unsuspecting face; he broke my nose.

‘Stop those thieving motherfuckers,’ I shouted through my clenched hand that was holding my bloodied nose.

I ran down the bus and jumped of it just as it was pulling away. ‘HEY YOU,’ I shouted as I caught up with the youths, ‘give my wallet back.’

‘Or, what? You’ll call the police?’ the boy nonchalantly mocked. ‘Wanker.’

I punched the apparent ring leader in the face. Seconds later, I was hit on the side of the head with a bottle; I was knocked out.

Regaining consciousness, there was a small crowd around me who’d witnessed the whole episode. ‘Stay where you are,’ an old, motherly lady advised. ‘I’ve called the ambulance and police.’

‘Thanks,’ I just about managed to say, as I felt great pain in side of my head and the sticky warm blood that dripped down my face. After receiving stitches in hospital and making a police statement, I went home and crawled under my duvet feeling very depressed.

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Chris Statham

Chris Statham

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Entrepreneur, student, pie eater, father, novelist, traveler, poet wannabe, pub visitor, husband, rugby enthusiast and part-time wizard.