Even though I was a mere 16 year old when I started they quickly decided I was okay to take down to the pub. Luckily I did my all of my silly drinking in Dudley with sixth form and never got particulary stupid with them.
Well, there was that time in Sinatras, where Phil gave us £100 for a Christmas do. I ended up with £50, Jeff ended up with £50 and having decided it would be a waste to actually have a Christmas meal that year we decided to try and drink it away as quickly as possible.
Favourite moment that night. My dear, dear friend Mark hugging the toilet and refusing to do anything. I believe I eventually put him on a bus. The right bus as well, which given the state I was in was a minor miracle. Luckily he knew someone on the bus and was helped home, otherwise he'd have a long walk back from the terminus.
And then there was a time I decided to go to Edwards No.8 with Martin and Jason and Beckett. It was the premier hair metal venue in the Midlands at the time and I believe I stuck out like a sore thumb, being indie kid supreme as I was at the time. (I think I had a Carter USM front pigtail at the time) Of course, my only option, surrounded as I was by terrible music and worse hair was to get sickeningly drunk. I succeded.
After that I decided for some reason that it would be good fun to go to Edwards No 8 & later XL nightclub at five ways at least once a year for a laugh. And lots of beer.
(Feel free to email me with any other stupid Richard moments.)
And of course, there was the Nostalgia & Comics softball experience.
Being well versed in American culture, several of the staff used to follow the baseball. Now, you have to remember this was in the early 90s. Pre-all night cable TV, pre round the clock sports channels, pre internet. The only way to see baseball in this country? Leave the country, go to the US and watch a game.
Which several staff did as often as they could.
Anyway, someone came up with the idea that we should start playing softball over at Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham after work. It was enormous fun and at one point we had something like 20 odd people turning up regularly to play until the sun went down. The funniest thing must have been the sight of the lot of us, dusty, dirty, sweaty, dressed in baseball boots, ripped jeans, and carrying baseball bats and gloves pitching up at the bar at the Midland Arts Centre in the park for an after softball drink.
(maybe not funny, maybe just scary).
We even went on staff holidays a couple of times:
A boating trip to Henley in 1990.
Captain Dave with his less than safe mooring procedure. The nightly dash to the pub to avoid suggestions of stopping on-board for another game of Pictionary or something equally not as good as sitting in a pub drinking.
Deciding to push on and find better moorings (or a better pub, I forget which) leading to us negotiating a tricky canal section in pitch darkness.
The innaugral Rednecks barmy army football match. (The Rednecks were an early incarnation of good friend Simon's band. See also Vibrosonic and Superatom. A bit like every great band you've heard in the last 10 years, only not as lucky. Future post will cover this somewhere.)
God, we all look so very young here.
A trip to France in 1990:
Still with the same horrible glasses unfortunately.
Anyway, the social scene at Nostalgia was (& still is) one of the best things about working there. How many of you out there can honestly say that going out for a drink with work is exactly the same as going out for a drink with your mates?
I'm lucky because I could say that all the time.