Just done my second Radio Prudhoe gig, once you know what you’re doing on the decks and haven’t the distraction of anyone else about, it’s really quite a laugh. I thought so, don’t know about the listeners. Surely everyone likes the Prodigy, the soundtrack to Goldfinger and songs from the Korean People’s Army? Did a few more shout-outs to people who asked me for them on Facebook but couldn’t actually hear the program, one was on a stuffed train to Paddington and said 1st Class was stuffed with dancing girls and G&T – like an orgy a la Romans in Asterix.
All jolly fun. Only problem was nearly having to ram-raid the Golf through the building doors to get in.
I might have mentioned North Korea a few times, having been back from there for some weeks, it was only a seven-day tour, but it was probably the most enlightening, and am grinding through this series on tourism in North Korea for NK News.
Since returning I’ve also done a series of Skeptics in the Pub talks, Barnsley, Leicester, Bedford and Aberdeen done, with Cambridge and Stoke to come in the next few days. All great, fun, but still the subject can garner odd reactions. In a nightclub in Bedford, some last-chance saloon that’s the only place left open at 1am on a Thursday night, so everyone is there, from the town’s bright young things to the pensioners getting hammered, I met this young-ish bloke with a hipster beard. I tell him what I’m doing in Bedford, and he can’t believe I’ve been to NK, just won’t believe it. He tells me he’s something in special forces (like they tell people), mumbles what regiment he supposedly was in beforehand, then says he knows guys who’ve deployed on secret ops into North Korea, and that’s how you get in, so, he emphasised with aplomb, everything I was saying was bullshit. End of chat.
It is indeed remarkable how spontaneously people can bullshit, and with such vigour. Couldn’t really divulge this on tea-time radio though, nor the following.
Aberdeen was very nice, it was interesting not least to see where my grandfather was born and brought up, a century ago now. A century – …. I’m old enough now, I’ve added enough years to my life to now reach back to my grandfather’s birth 114 years ago.
I digress. Granite City is handsome, but surprisingly small, there’s one main drag through the place, Union Street I think, along and off which are a few bars and clubs. To knock the evening on the head, having had a very nice time up to closing time talking with Skeptics in the Holburn pub where I’d been talking, I wandered along Union Street and down a steep hill of a lane towards the station, with my B&B somewhere near, and on this hill, taken out by a gang of seagulls suffice in number to scare every punter coming out the kebab shop, I went towards a bar called Bugsy’s something, which looked quite big and quite nicely down out from the very little I could see through the Venetian blinds. Had that horrible trepidation of the bouncer going to turn me away, as he did the guy in front of me, but he let me in, £3 on the door, and down the stairs I go to the bar …
Hang on, #dafuq, all the women … are in lingerie, and over on the dance floor, there’s … lap dancing. Ermergerd.
Well I’m here now, might as well have one and go – shit, wait, is it like some Soho scam, f*** all to get in, then it’s £80 a pint?
‘How much for a pint of Tennents?’ (being in Scotland this is all there is).
Cool! I have one and then take a table along the back wall, to best observe and be unseen (yeah, right). There is always at least one lap dance going on on the dancefloor, sometimes up to three men being entertained at a time, young men mostly but a few burly middle-aged types (riggers I guess), with the women being very pert, mostly petite, in their 20s I think. Though I know very little about lapdancing, this was really quite unexpectedly full on, yes to grinding, a bit of stripping with extremely close-up views.
Twice I am propositioned by women who come to my table, speaking with eastern European accents, asking if I want a drink, to chat, and then a little dance? Thank you but no, and they bid me a nice evening and go congregate at the bar. At one point a lad in a group is hauled by two dancers onto the raised platform mid-stage where there’s a pole, to which he’s led by a leather collar being held by one of the dancers. He’s rapidly attached to the pole by his hands and to much protest from him and hilarity from others, his jeans are pulled down and he’s whipped by the other dancer, which goes on for a couple of minutes, before he’s brought onto all fours and dragged around like a dog, with the whipping continuing. I think by then he was really quite enjoying it. A regular punter then came to the table next to mine, I know he was regular as one of the dancers came running over to him, ‘why you didn’t say you were coming?’.
He was about 70 I guess, she no more than 22 or 23.
When you wonder where it’s all going, you fall into somewhere like that, and wonder all the more.