A Day At The Races, Playboy Style.

One of the best times I had when I worked for Playboy was when a few of us were picked to go on a day trip to Chester races along with some of the punters. Four of us were on four different coaches and our job was to serve the champagne and nibbles to all the guys on our coach on the journey there but unluckily for me I had the manager of the club on my coach which meant no champagne for me, but the other girls had clearly taken advantage of it as I turned up sober and they were a bit, shall we say, giddy. Working for Playboy was all about image and we were under strict instructions that we weren’t allowed to have any alcohol or place a bet while we there there, which meant that we actually had a chaperone and we spent a lot of our time trying to persuade him to let us have a couple of drinks which was made even more difficult by the number of guys trying to buy us “anything we wanted”. The amount of attention was ridiculous and a lot of time was spent saying “no” to people wanting photos taken, unless it was someone our manager actually knew.

So at the end of the day I got back on the coach knowing I couldn’t have any of the champagne on offer but as soon as the coach set off back to Manchester nearly all of the guys came to me and gave me money saying “You won this love.” “But I didn’t place any bets?” They all said the same thing “No you didn’t but I put one on for you.” The manager seemed ok with it (think he’d had a really good day) as he said I could have some champagne so I accepted and as it was all notes I came off that coach with a small fortune, no doubt the other girls had the same thing happen to them, so what did we do when we got back to Manchester? We hit the clubs of course. Brambles was one of the popular nightclubs at the time and as soon as we walked in the DJ announced that there were “Bunnies in the house!” and after that none of us bought a drink all night. It’s a bit weird when people are only interested in you because of what they perceive you as, they don’t really want to know you as a person you’re just someone they’ve “met” as they push a piece of paper into your hand with their landline phone number on (no mobiles then) someone they can brag to their friends about. It doesn’t matter what you look like, sound like, think like, they’re not really interested in that, it’s all about the image, I met too many guys who only wanted me to tell them about my job hoping I’d tell them some “juicy bits”. They don’t want to hear about how your legs are aching after spending hours on your feet in heels, how your face aches through smiling all the time, trying to fend off the drunken idiot who persists in trying to touch you even though he knows the club rules, how you’ve bruises on your hips because of the costume you’re wearing, how you get daggers from the wives of the regulars at the tables because they think you’re the reason their husband comes in to the club and throws his money away. They don’t want to know the reality, just the fantasy.

So what did I do with all the money that I “won” at the races? Went on holiday of course which is probably a whole other story.

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Too Cool For School

So a brand new themed bar/restaurant has opened in Manchester and judging by the pics and videos I’ve seen, it looks amazing. With lots going on which includes aerial dancers that will pour the champagne into your glass from above, cocktails being served with a burning £20 note, not to mention a catwalk, and with even the waiting staff doing some sort of a performance, the Menagerie is set to be the next place to be seen in. I can’t wait to see it but it would seem my invitation to the opening night didn’t get lost in the post, I’m just not enough of a Z lister to make the cut even though I can be as pretentious as the rest of the people who this place will undoubtedly attract.

It all started with going to the local youth club where most of the kids on the estate ended up going on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. A place that had a record player playing vinyl records of whatever was in the charts, with all the girls showing off their moves on the dance floor in the latest outfit bought by the money they’d earned babysitting. The boys of course were in groups either playing pool or darts, or stood around watching the girls, and if they liked one of them then maybe he’d buy her a soft drink and a packet of crisps out of the money he earned doing his paper round. From the youth club, it progressed to the under 18’s disco which was a whole different ball game. Now you’re meeting a lot of new people in a much bigger venue and there was a lot of competition between the girls to impress the lads who were allowed upstairs to drink alcohol from the bar. By now, the outfits you were buying weren’t from the local market but from decent shops in town, usually trying to buy something no one else had to stand out from the crowd. This is probably around the time you try to get served in pubs, or sit in a corner and send the lad who looks old enough to get served who ends up buying drinks for everyone, no one asked for ID in those days, more like the question “What’s your date of birth?”  with the drink of choice being half a cider and blackcurrant or half a lager and lime.

By the time you’re 17/18 is around the time when you decide if you’re happy to stay in your home town going out to the handful of bars/clubs available every week or maybe see what the nearest big city has to offer. There’s always been pretentious bars in Manchester and the boyfriend I had at the time took me to probably all of them, and I loved it so much that there was no turning back for me. Standing there, looking fab, being seen, pretending that you’re somebody while all the time people watching to see if you recognise anyone. Paying far too much for your drinks and noticing that not many people actually laugh or have fun as they’re too busy being fabulous dahling. But these aren’t the best nights.

The best nights are in the dives where they play the best music, drinks are cheap, and you can really let your hair down. Where you end up going home with a cigarette burn in your dress, lipstick smudged all over your face where you’ve been kissing random guys, and one shoe missing. Where your feet hurt because you’ve been dancing all night, holding a bottle of beer because they don’t do fancy cocktails. Where you’ve ended up chatting with people who you would never usually meet in the places you go to, who actually have a tale to tell. Where you’ve had such a good time if only you could remember it. These are the best nights.

But I am looking forward to seeing this new fabulous place, but I won’t be going at the weekend, I’m certainly not going to risk anyone thinking I’ve got lost on the way to bingo. No, I’ll be going on my day off, sometime in the afternoon when I won’t feel out of place, when it’s quieter and the fabulous attention seeking people aren’t there. Yes I won’t be seeing the theatrical performance put on at the weekends but I can still appreciate the surroundings and if anyone is there at the same time and wants to buy a fabulous former “it” girl a drink, I’ll have a white wine spritzer with soda thank you.

Cheers.

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