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Saturday 30 September 2000
Swinging London: Or, Shag Or Die

Shoreditch High Street, midnight. I am standing at a bus stop outside the Rainbow Sports Bar. The sign is neon and the windows are frosted glass. There are boucers clustered outside. One has a pony tail. The other is a woman with a face like nails. Her mouth seems to be permanently pulled into the shape your mouth makes when you say 'you FAAKKING CAHNT!'

Catherine nudges me, motions towards a bouncer. He's six foot something and fucking huge, and blonde, like an old overweight labrador. 'Your boyfriend's looking at you' Catherine says. I look back at him. 'You would, though, wouldn't you?' I say to her. 'You couldn't help yourself. You just would'. We think we're funny through our lager haze.

The door to the Sports Bar swings open. A girl is wiggling onstage, holding onto a silver pole. The shapes of men inside gaze up at the tiny black strip of her g-string. We stare at all the men going inside. Shaven heads and check shirts. A man staggers out and, facing the wall, right next to the bouncers and the door, starts to piss. It runs down past his feet towards the bus stop and we all take a step nearer the kerb.

'So, which one?' Catherine says. I just can't decide.



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