The Student Media Awards: The saga of the awkward conversations.

I apologise for my lengthy absence but I was struck by the most unfortunate affliction. Yes, I have been quite ill. The writing of my dissertation left me in such a state of fatigue that I was incapable of performing any function without first thinking about my sleep debt. Sleep debt is the worst sort of debt, for you cannot escape it. You cannot skip town on it, and you cannot ignore the letters it sends. When it finds you, you are ruined. I thought I could avoid it. You see, after handing in the dissertation, I stayed up all night wondering if I had accidentally plagiarised some old fart, or not - I suppose I shall find out shortly. After about 12 hours of whimpering, I decided that it would be infinitely better for me to receive the devastating news on a high than it would be on a low. So without any hesitation at all, i put on my guid suit, tied my bow-tie, and made my way to the Student Media Awards.

My good suit is a thing of wonder. I do not think that it has ever been worn without compliment.
Let's get on with it shall we? I'll begin from the left.
Picture 1: Aquascutum navy blue suit, Jack Wills Salcombe classic fit pink shirt, and Versace tie.  I nicked the tie from Papa Afam.
Picture 2: Aquascutum navy blue suit, Ermenegildo Zegna White shirt, Moss Bros bow-tie and Tie Rack braces. I don't need to mention my glasses do I?
Picture 3: The only thing different about picture three is that I wore a black shirt from Gap, yellow and blue socks from American Apparel and black Sebago loafers.
I hope that I don't need to mention that I was wearing shoes in pictures one and two. It's just that if you cannot see them, then I need not talk about them.

On the night in question, I looked like this. 
My jacket was resting on my chair, so don't think I left my studio looking like that. The black shirt's from asos, the bowtie's from the tie-rack and the shoes are croc loafers from Johnston and Murphy. It just occurred to me that there is no creationist argument for animal conservation. If we have dominion over all animals then we have every right to kill them all, don't we? And we need not really think of the future generations because even though Jesus said that we must love our neighbours as ourselves, we cannot love neighbours that do not exist. So I'm sorry guys, it sucks to be you. 

The Student Media Awards, are precisely that. I cannot think of any better way to explain them apart from to add that they are awards given to people who involve themselves in student media for their outstanding contributions. I was nominated for two: the best magazine journalist, and the best radio news presenter. I will tell you of how I fared later, for it would be wicked of me to deprive you of your suspense, that would be the same as me telling you that Tyrion Lannister kills his father Tywin Lannister, and that after Tywin Lannister has been killed he loses all the trappings of nobility and shits himself. You're Welcome.

At seven on the dot, I, Afam, the incredibly punctual, strode into the University of Manchester's Student Union, climbed the spiral stairs that led to the first floor and made my grand entrance at the Student Activities Centre. This must be very confusing for you, because the bulk of you do not know what the sauvignon blanc I'm on about. 

I have decided to stop using pokemon names in place of expletives. From now until I decide not to, I will substitute expletives with wine related things. For example...

What the Chateauneuf du pape are you doing here?

Actually... it does sound a little bit daft. I might stop. 

The Student Activities centre was to be the champagne lounge for the event. You know; the bit that you chill in and drink while making small talk before you walk into the main hall. Except that in this case there was quite a bit of small talk without the consumption of anything liquid.

I was completely unperturbed by the lack of anything vaguely resembling a social lubricant. My springy step was no less springy, and my eyes were no less twinkly. Rather than concentrate on my growing thirst I made a beeline for Pubey. Pubey is a friend of mine and it is no coincidence that his name is somewhat reminiscent of pubic hair. I'm not trying to be mean but he possesses the most extraordinary head of butter beer coloured pube like hair. Every time I look at it, my cheeks develop the irrepressible desire to kiss my ears and my one dimple reveals itself. While I was perfectly alright without the aid of a bevie Pubey was not so fortunate. In a fit of desperation he twat the following at me:

"Hurry!! I'm awkward and alone!"

The past tense of tweet is and can only ever be twat. It isn't tweeted. Tweeted is such an uncomfortable word. Never make a word that requires two syllables when one will suffice. To exert your mouth needlessly is sinful. I'm sure you'll find something similar to that in the Bible. 

Enter Pubey and Afam

Afam: Nice tweet

Pubey: Oh! You saw that.

Afam: It made me smile a little.

Pubey: What can I say? I needed some Afamlovin'

Afam: You know I don't love publicly.

Pubey: Do you want to go get a room then?

Afam: Yeah sure! Somewhere on Uranus.

Pubey: I think that's far enough.

Afam: I'd see it go farther still. Don't start what you can't finish.

Pubey: So do you think you'll win? 

Afam: God no! Do you think you'll win?

Pubey: It would be impressive if I did.

Afam: How do you mean?

Pubey: Well, I wrote half of my articles during pre-drinks, and I wrote the other half when I was too hungover to function. 

Pubey and I were nominated for best magazine journalist of the mancunion, the University of Manchester Student newspaper.  We met during one of the few awkward silences in the weekly fashion section meeting in October, but our friendship only gained traction after he followed me on twitter (@Afam20). We live tweet The Voice Uk every Saturday without fail. Yes, this is my idea of a jolly good time, and it's even jollier when I have a drink in hand. 

Our conversation ended there for at that moment that we were joined by our editors, Prince, Jay and Libby. Why, you wonder? Don't worry the answer is only words away. You see, it would have been infinitely ill mannered of us to discuss our less than standard working habits in front of our bosses. You must leave your bosses ignorant of your working habits. There's really no need for them to know about your 10am naps in the toilet, is there? And if they do, that's just poor form. After saying hello, I dismissed myself and went to meet Jet and his friend Cassius.

Enter Jet and Cassius

Afam: How's it going?

Jet: Quite well actually. How about you?

Afam: It's awful. I hate making small talk without drinks. What is one expected to do when there's an awkward silence? You can't sip the air you know.

Jet: That's a good point. You're dressed well.

Cassius: I agree, but did you forget to wear socks?

Jet: Keep up with the times Cass, he detests socks.

Cassius: Really? Isn't that unhygienic?

Afam: I don't think so, but even if it was, the sight of my ankles more than makes up for it.

Jet: Those are rather nice ankles.

Afam: Thank you. I call it my anklage.

Cassius: Thank you for revealing your anklage. It is almost preferable to a cleavage.

Afam: High praise indeed.

Jet: What do you think of my look?

I gave him the once over and commented on the only thing he was wearing that I felt was worthy of comment. That is not to say that he looked awful. It is just to say that it was a little bit bland.

Afam: I love your shoes. They're blue suede brogues, aren't they?

Jet: Yes you ought to invest in a pair.

Afam: I would but I've already got a pair of brogues and I don't think I've got enough space for two.

Jet: How many pairs of shoes have you got?

Afam: I think I've got 18. Is that too many?

Jet: Hardly. I've got no fewer than 25.

Cassius: I've only got 6.

This got me thinking, "What's the acceptable number of shoes for a young man to have?"

I've got a pair of casual sneakers, 3 deck shoes, 2 boots, 2 espadrilles, 2 leather flip flops, 4 formal loafers, a pair of casual loafers, a pair of brogues, and 2 sports trainers. The problem with me is that as my feet are no longer growing there's really no reason to give away or throw out shoes that I'm no longer fond of. Furthermore, as I grow more fond of my shoes the longer I own them, it is incredibly difficult for me to part with the more battered pairs. I resole them when I can and if I can't immediately, I replace them but hold on to the originals until I can resole them.  I'm also more than a little bit of a hoarder. I see myself owning several more pairs, not because I need them, but because I can't bear to part with the ones that should be given to Captain Reginald as chew toys.

Captain Reginald is my 6 year old Rottweiler; one of his favourite scents is eau de pied; closely followed by eau de arse 
The captain and I had just finished a good old wrestle. 
For the good of all young men I decided to do something I haven't done in a while. No, I don't mean shave my armpits. The last time I shaved them I was 16; they haven't really grown back since. I decided to carry out a SOCIAL SURVEY!!! I find these things incredibly exciting; just as exciting as picking my nose in public. I started my engine and sent out a flurry of messages. These are some of the replies I got back.

You all remember BFG don't you? He's the vanguard of the Famourage (This is the Afam entourage. I made it up myself. I feel really clever now). He isn't the most avant garde human being in the world, but  what he lacks in innovation he makes up in steadfastness. He has 15-20 pairs of shoes.

Sir Jafaar:
Sir Jafaar is also a member of the famourage. Sir Jafaar is a fop, a dandy, a popinjay, a poseur and a peacock. If there is anyone in the world who can make me want to own a pair of mustard yellow trousers it is he. I know that this doesn't seem that significant but it is. Yellow is too much for my mild sensibilities, the radiance of it invokes in me feelings of such disgust that I dare not describe them. Sir Jafaar has 35 pairs of shoes.

Yes, this is the same Pubey from earlier. He has 11 pairs.

Kappa was my junior at the boarding school I went to before Cheltenham. I am not yet ready to utter its name. I feel like the moment I say that I went there, I will be greeted by an apparition of my disciplinarian and my old bully. My old bully was truly a despicable character, but he bought me drinks at the Radisson so all is forgiven. Yes, I am that cheap. My disciplinarian had the tenacity of a dog with a bone. Even if you were to evade him, he would find you and reward you with a few well placed slaps for your commendable efforts. However neither of them is responsible for my most bizarre memory from school. The culprit is one ex Jesuit brother; I suppose that I should be pleased that he is no longer a brother. He whipped my arse with a belt when all I was wearing were my very white, very tight Marks and Spencer hipsters. I was only 16 at the time. Kappa has 6 pairs, but this is understandable for Kappa is still quite young.

This, I think is the closest I've ever come to really kinky fun. 

Henny and I were both researchers on my school's Target 2.0 team. I would explain what Target 2.0 is but I cannot be bothered and this blog post is already long enough. He was the one that alerted me to the fact that I no longer sounded very Nigerian. He has 15 pairs.

Some of my twitter followers were good enough to reveal how many pairs of shoes they had. 

Pam slips are leather sandals, bathroom slips are bog standard flip flops and choes are shoes... I'm not really selective about my followers. #AfamForThePeople

It would seem that the average young man owns 14.3 shoes.

I cannot remember precisely how we extricated ourselves from that lull in the conversation. A good conversation is meant to flow like water through a series of pipes. It's meant to flow here and meander there. A good conversation must skip between the shallow and the deep, and the serious and the mundane, without pause. After Cassius admitted that he had 6 pairs of shoes, a blank descended upon us, for Jet and I weren't prepared to discuss the reasons why we had so many. We had to contend with the thought that we were shoe mongerers and hoarders. I'm not uncomfortable with the thought that I am a shoe hoarder but I suppose it's the same way a discontent man with everything feels when he meets a very content man with nearly nothing. Our eyes became glazed and we let ourselves into the dining hall in silence coloured with bland comments about the interior design.

The hall itself was wonderful. I did however notice a fundamental flaw in the planning of things. There were only two bottles of wine per table of ten! I was alarmed! In situations like the one described above an individual is confined to one glass for the duration of the meal. If he were to have any more, the rest of the table would turn to look at him like he was not only overly fond of his drink but also incredibly selfish. I marched myself to the nearest bar and ordered three shots of tequila to get me going. There is no liqueur as despicable as tequila. It is the foulest, most sickening thing in all the world. It is perhaps a little masochistic of me that I consider it my go to drink for fun times. It's almost like I feel I must pay for my drunkenness with the foul taste of the enabler. I strolled back to the venue with a sway, maybe even a light sashay, added to my usually springy and perky step. I arrived at my table in time for a third questionable conversation.

Enter Anna Marie, and I

Anna Marie: Can you believe that they're proposing that there be a Men's officer for the Student Union.

Afam: And why shouldn't there be a men's officer for the Student Union? I cannot see why there is a women's officer in the first place.

Anna Marie: It's because women need an additional voice for the consideration of their issues.

Afam: Do men not have issues too? If we expect the existing frame work to deal appropriately with men, then we must expect that it deal appropriately with women.

Anna Marie: But the world is run by men. Women earn less than men. We need someone on the Student Council who will fight for us unreservedly.

Afam: So do we.

Anna Marie: But you don't! Everything in the world is run by men. You even control our standards of beauty. You objectify us and belittle us.

Afam: I disagree. I think human beings in general have an inherent tendency to objectify the people they want to fuck.

Anna Marie: I cannot believe you just said that. You are the very definition of a chauvinist pig.

Afam: I think that's taking it a little too far. You misunderstand me.

Anna Marie: I do not think that there was much to misunderstand.

I realise now that I was wrong. I treat women as equals. I always have and I probably always will, but that isn't the same for everyone else in the world. I shouldn't impose my standards on the rest of the world. 

After tempers and tensions died down, the conversation around the table found it's way to less controversial material, children.

Enter Jet, Cobelle, Anna Marie, Cassius and I

Jet: How many children do you want to have Cobelle?

Cobelle: I don't know. I think I should be fine with four. I guess I'll know after I find myself in the Gambia.

Cassius: You're volunteering in Gambia over the summer aren't you?

Cobelle: Yes! I'm very excited.

Afam: You'll do well to take care when you're on the beach.

Cobelle: Why?

Afam: Well, there are men there.

Anna Marie: And why should that be an issue?

Afam: Well the men there work out on the beach, hoping to catch the eye of some young or old woman for good times.

Elena: If Cobelle wants some Gambian fun, there's no reason why she shouldn't.

Afam: I'm not sure that she wants Gambian fun that she has to pay for.

Elena: On the bright side, maybe she'll come back with a nice mixed race baby.

Cobelle: What!!

Elena: I love mixed race babies! I'd love to have one right now.

Jet: That can be arranged. We've got Afam here. I'm sure he'd be thrilled to offer his studly services.

Afam: I'm already raring to go, plus you'll fulfil my dream of having a bastard.

Cassius: Sounds like you'd be killing two birds with one stone.

Cobelle: But why would you want to have a bastard?

Afam: So that my bastard could go and have a bastard, then I'd be able to say here's my bastard and my grand bastard. I got the idea from the song of ice and fire. 

It is lucky that the universe and I were working in perfect synergy on that evening, for before the people sat at my table could react, the award announcements began. I waited with bated breath and full bladder as the names were called but my name was absent from the list. I didn't get to read my hastily put together acceptance speech and as you can imagine, I was devastated. I really wanted to win. My shoulders sloped as I walked to the bar to drown my sorrows. It is perhaps best that I end the saga here, for after my sorrows were drowned, I didn't make much conversation. I danced like a dervish instead.

Happy Days,


moskeda said...

i did laugh my ass off with this post. Twat? eau de arse? 14.3?
Please always buzz me up on nu posts

Mo Ray said...

I think I have severely underestimated all this uni has to offer. Sounds like you had a top night lol

Afam said...

I'll be happy to. I never turn down any opportunities for spam.

Afam said...

It was a brilliant night. :)

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