It was twenty years ago today…

Durham University, Tuesday, 19th March, 1985, evening:

Hitchin has somehow convinced me, a northern, beer-swilling science undergraduate, to come along to the Law Department disco. I have no idea how he managed to do this. The event is held at the Q-Ball Club, a pool- and snooker-themed discothèque near the centre of town. (Don't look for it, it's not there any more.) I have been warned to be on my best behaviour.

So Hitchin and I and a few lawyer types are sitting drinking beer, and talking, as one does in such company, without prejudice, about Carlill v The Carbolic Smokeball Company and torts and lawyerly stuff like that, when this TOTAL BABE walks up to our table, and starts talking to the lawyers.

I immediately realise that this must be her, the heart-throb of the Law Department—the young lady I have heard so much about from another lawyer acquaintance of mine, Keith (but definitely not—for the record, Soo, if you're reading this—from Hitchin, oh Good Lord no!). At the risk of repeating myself, this young lady is a TOTAL BABE.

At this point, I should probably try to describe the vision of loveliness before me. But I'm not going to for a very good reason: I have no recollection whatsoever of what she looked like (other than her being a TOTAL BABE, that is—did I mention that?). We're talking twenty years ago, for Pete's sake! My memory is one big blur.


I was just starting my seventh pint, you see.

So, anyway, I'm averting my eyes, trying not to draw attention to myself by saying anything (a fundamental flaw in my chat-up technique), when I suddenly realise that the TOTAL BABE is addressing me! I remember her words exactly:

"Come on, let's dance!"

I look behind me to see who she's really talking to, but there's nobody there. She's asking me for a dance! Yeah, right. Hitchin has put her up to this, the bastard.

I explain to the TOTAL BABE that I don't do dancing. She repeats that she'd very much like to dance with me. I say that I'm really not into dancing. She says please. I say that, in fact, I'm totally crap at dancing. She is insistent, saying that it doesn't matter that I can't dance. I explain that I've just got myself a pint. She (I'm not making this up) picks up my pint and downs it in one!


The next thing I know, I'm surrounded by four hefty lawyers. They grab my arms and legs, carry me over to the dance floor, and dump me on my back on the flashing perspex.

I'm not going to be pushed around by a bunch of lawyers. So I stay there, lying flat on my back in the middle of the dance floor, while the TOTAL BABE and assorted lawyers dance round me.

Later, after he has given me a well-deserved slapping, Hitchin swears blind he didn't put her up to it.

I never saw her again.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *