The good news — I’ve pulled. The bad news — it was in a gay disco

By Paul Lester, April 20, 2009

Spring is here and a young-ish Jewish man’s fancy turns to… wretched, neurotic self-regard. Well, usually it does, but not this month. No, this month I’ve taken a sabbatical and kept the navel-gazing and melancholic self-absorption to a minimum — quite a strain, as you can imagine.

People often say I remind them variously of Woody Allen, Larry David and Peter Griffin, the idiot-savant from American TV cartoon Family Guy, with the accent, obviously, on the idiot. But these past four weeks I’ve been going out a lot and the results haven’t been too disastrous, although admittedly, I’ve got a high tolerance when it comes to misery and pain.

Yup, things are definitely looking up. I’m having something vaguely resembling A Good Time. I feel happy (don’t worry, it won’t last).

There’s the divorced mum at my kids’ school who gave me the eye the other day. And there’s the married woman who wants me to have an affair, even though I know her other half, which I’ll admit is wrong but he did once make an antisemitic remark — he’s Catholic, not a self-loathing Jew — so I’m struggling with this moral dilemma (she’s got a face like a Cubist painting, mind, so I’m not struggling that hard).

I’ve even been contacted by several dating gurus who hold pulling seminars and want to teach me techniques to attract the opposite sex. One such expert, a particularly optimistic chap, swears that, after a few sessions, I’ll be able to “number close” in bookshops, supermarkets and on trains. When he shows me how to do it in a submarine I’ll be really impressed.

Then there’s the club I’ve been going to recently in Tufnell Park, a suburb of north London so rough that, as a rule, you would only dare pass through it very quickly in a bomb-proof Hummer manned by a crack Uzi-wielding SAS squad.

Why, I hear you ask, would I want to spend an evening in a part of town described, mainly by me, as the Beirut of the West? I’ll tell you why. Because it’s got girls, and girls is what I do, in the same way that most normal blokes my age do cars or football or expensive German beer with unpronounceable names that give you terrible gyp.

Women can give you gyp, too, but not the ones from Tufnell Park. No, the ladies of Tufnell Park are charming and great and generally unimpeachably awesome, which is why my friend Dave and I found ourselves last Thursday in a line with a whole bunch of them as we queued to get into the local disco.

To be fair, on the evening in question we were looking especially resplendent; our clothes bearing some of the hippest labels money can buy (they don’t accept food stamps at Primark, and they laughed when I showed them my old Student Union card at TK Maxx), but even we were stunned when the bouncer signalled to us to come straight to the front, so eager was he to get us in and thereby immediately increase the club’s cool quotient.

So we strode briskly past the procession of eye-catching ladies — and it was mostly ladies, promisingly — paid the eight quid entrance fee, and sashayed in like stereo Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, only to be faced with a hall-full of females dancing suspiciously closely together.

Now, either they were boogieing in unison in a deliberate bid to tease us, or it was gay night. It was gay night. And the reason the bouncer wanted us in was the club needed more homosexual fellas to balance the numbers. No wonder he was so generous with the frisk.

I glanced over at Dave’s black boots, tight jeans and T-shirt emblazoned with an oriental dragon and realised how butch he looked — as though he’d stepped out of a remake of Queer Eye For The Straight Guy called Queer Eye For The Even Queerer Guy. Basically, he had about him the air of a gentleman who prefers the company of other gentlemen. And I was that other gentleman. Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

We didn’t stay long. Still, we met a very lovely guy called Marcus on the way out, and we’re all going clubbing together next week.

Last updated: 5:24pm, September 3 2010