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Neanderthals

Last Friday, my wife was out for a meal with a work colleague. I, faced with the prospect of a night with a microwave meal and a DVD, decided it was a great opportunity to convene that most majestic of gatherings, the boys night in.

I texted a few friends and luckily, it turns out that all of my local mates bar one are also losers with no social life to speak of and were more than happy to come over at short notice on a Friday night to hang out (FYI – the one who couldn’t come was gutted – he was working).

Now, there are some rules about boys’ nights in. The first is concerning food. There are only three acceptable meals that men hanging out together can eat. Firstly, there is the barbeque. There is nothing more manly than a group of hunter gatherers burning meat together. Second, there is pizza, a meal fit for any occasion. Finally, there is the grand-daddy of them all – Curry. I served curry and the boys were very pleased indeed.  Just for the record, under no circumstances is a man allowed to serve up anything French on a boys night in. That is just wrong.

Next up is what to drink? With curry, there is only one viable option – beer. As the boys dutifully traipsed into my home they proudly offered up various bottles of beer – until Julian, the last man to show up arrived. He bought cider. Now, we had a bit of a debate about this and decided that this was just about acceptable – only just though. There was unanimity that wine was out of the question. French wine would lead to immediate expulsion and tarring and feathering.

Finally, there are topics of conversation. Teasing and Mickey-taking are essential. Not a single minute must pass without someone making a joke at the expense of another member of the group. The more personal, cruel and unusual the better. However, the mainstay of any conversation must be sport. Luckily, there are a few sporting events around at the moment. Our discussions on the Olympics were a revelation (the dedicated Olympic road lanes should lead straight from Heathrow to the Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre rebranded as the Olympic Village to ensure that all the good foreign athletes can’t challenge the Brits for medals).  It was even acceptable to talk about France because a Brit was about to win their most precious cycle race.

However, under no circumstances was anyone allowed to talk about their fears, hopes or dreams. All of that insubstantial mushy stuff was kept firmly under wraps.

All-in-all, the evening was a hoot. Between the six of us, we ate four kilos of meat, drank many beers, talked an awful lot of turd and never, not once, did anyone talk about their children, their partners, their health, their careers or their feelings. Perfect.

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