On Friday, my boss left for a business trip in France. At the same time, both flatmates were buried away somewhere respectively cramming for dear life pre-exam and passed out on a 48-hour post-exam bender. I managed to pass the whole day without speaking to anyone (apart from the security guard in the mini-market across the road, who appeared to be objecting to my computer bag. I made indignant and ungrammatical noises in bad Polish and stormed out. Later I realised that he was probably trying to offer me a basket).
At around five-thirty, one of the interpreting students called to ask if I wanted to join them in a karaoke bar to celebrate the end of exams.
-Oh that’s very kind, thanks, but I’m going away next week and I really should prepare... lots of things to do... quiet evening in...
Two hours and four Tatankas later I was bellowing something to do with ‘paradise’ and ‘ganstas’ whilst making hip-hop hand movements that would have made Richard Madeley proud, in a red-lit den hung with felt to create a hot, tent-like effect. With hindsight, it was probably a desperate attempt at soundproofing.
Now, even if I do say so myself, I sing fantastically well after a couple of drinks. And I'm sure I'm not the only one. The same applies to speaking German, R&B dancing and telling amusing anecdotes to stand-up comedians in the Sussex Club (there was only one witness to the last item, and he has since mysteriously disappeared). Add a couple of percent proof and my talents just multiply (along with my willingness to share them).
My favourite solos, ‘Rainy Days and Mondays’ and ‘Thank You for the Music’ were blessedly off the menu, to the immense relief of everyone from here to Tarnow.