Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Shadow of a Snakepit

The Arctic Monkeys’ new record is a murky affair, a grower, but I continue to be impressed by young Alex Turner’s lyrical stylings. Take, for example, the chorus of Pretty Visitors:

All the pretty visitors came and waved their arms
And cast the shadow of a snake pit on the wall.

Which is a pretty effective expression of the blackest sort of misanthropy that sometimes occurs when one feels that everyone at a party is having a great time except you (also known as Designated Driver Syndrome).

One can imagine Morrissey* warbling it (A-ha-hah-all the pretty, oh so prrretty visitors, oh-hoh they ca-ha-hame and wa-ha-hey-hey-ved their arms, Oh they wa-hey-heyved them, And they cast, they cast, the shadow the shadow the shadow the shadow, The shadow of a snakepit on the wall, Oh absolutely vile!)

Back in my university days, a friend and I went to a big house party which, we were assured, was of the fancy dress variety, with a specific theme of At the Movies. In true sitcom/anxiety dream style, we turned up in full Clockwork Orange regalia and of course no other bugger was in costume (save for one chap who’d put on a hat). This was especially galling as we’d gone to great lengths to create an authentic droog look on a shoestring budget, even including the codpieces (grey Y-fronts stuffed with rolled-up socks).

Bravely, we didn’t run away, but faced the trauma head-on by drinking a bottle of vodka each and falling asleep on the stairs (which is perfectly acceptable behaviour amongst students). Below, the snakepit writhed without us, in the living-room, hallway and, to a lesser extent, the kitchen.


*although in fact Morrissey put the thing rather more prosaically: There's a club if you'd like to go, you could meet somebody who really loves you. So you go, and you stand on your own, and you leave on your own, and you go home, and you cry and you want to die. All together now!

14 comments:

malty said...

As ever Brit your meanderings down the tunnel of your psychosis addled and alcohol fueled youth warms the cockles, introduced to the delights of Morrissey by my son the initial reaction was "could you play that somewhere else please, it's upsetting the budgie"
As the only person at last Saturday nights party with a full blown dose of flu not one Kraut spoke to me, sitting abandoned in a corner, surrounded by makeshift crosses, mucus laden snot rag in hand, I thought..das funny old world.

Brit said...

Wotcha Malty! Thank god you're back. Makeshift crosses?

malty said...

Apparently they convened a meeting not long after I had arrived, sneezing at no one in particular, and decided that, as Angela had only ordered one point five million doses of Schweine flu jabs the safest bet would be to serve me with holy water and create a wall of crosses, even though I had promised faithfully that, if given the opportunity, I would vote for the SPD.

It may be of interest to note that the middle one designed the Porsche Cayenne

Brit said...

How appallingly disrespectful to a man of your standing.

Gaw said...

How true: fancy dress very rarely turns out happily. Another hopeless scheme of merriment.

BTW did you edit out the uncontrolled vomiting induced by the rapid consumption of a bottle of vodka? I bet you both looked a treat. Your eyeliner probably ran.

David said...

Actually, everyone is having a bad time. It's just that each of us interprets everyone else's failure to say that they're having a bad time as meaning that they're having a good time. Then we're too embarrassed to admit that we, alone, are not enjoying ourselves.

PeterJ said...

It took me more than 20 years to admit to myself and others that I'd never enjoyed a party, not once, not ever. Including my own wedding reception.

I was talking to my 24-year-old daughter yesterday, and she said she didn't enjoy them either. However, she still felt the need at her age to pretend.

Enlightenment will come.

And as for dancing...

Brit said...

Oh I can't go along with such extreme anti-party sentiments, David and PeterJ.

The key to a really good party is that there be no sexual jealousy and that everyone gets drunk at the same pace. Rare, admittedly. The creecket music also helps, as evidenced in this Gaw post.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Top lyrics those from the monkeyboy - impressed. Yeah, sexual jealosy kills a party, as does having a girl/boyfriend who can very rapidly come to the conclusion that one is uncool and a twat. But then I'm rarely invited to parties, so I suppose I shouldn't complain :-)

martpol said...

I sighed nostalgically when I read this, reminded as I was of a 'British' themed fancy-dress party in the latter days of university, in which a disproportionate number of young ladies turned up in skimpy resemblance of their favoured Spice Girl.

For some reason, I think I went as Einstein.

Richard T said...

As an enthusistic practising pedant, just how does a snake pit cast a shadow?

Peter Burnet said...

Nice catch, Richard T, although something tells me you may not get invited to a lot of parties.

Brit said...

I envisage some sort of ground-level light source, Richard. Perhaps a flaming torch, discarded by Indiana Jones, flickering on the floor of the pit.

tablet pc windows said...

This will not succeed in reality, that is what I think.