By Ellie Miles
For most Durham students, the idea of a sober night in Klute is viewed with trepidation, scorn, and even mild horror. It’s something you just don’t do; being violently trampled and constantly elbowed to the tune of mid-2000s one hit wonders isn’t nearly as fun without having at least three Jägerbombs in your system. Or is it?
There’s been a few times when, against my better judgment, I decided to put the apparent awfulness of a sober Klute night to the test. I won’t lie to you, a lot of the time it is a pretty horrendous experience. Without alcohol to cloud your vision – and your inhibitions – you start to see Klute in all of its ghastly glory; you suddenly start to notice just how thickly the floors are lined with Quaddies, and it’s a lot harder to ignore the two lovebirds that’ll inevitably start getting with each other about an inch away from your face. Not cool, guys…
One particular revelation I’ve had while enduring one of my worse sober Klute experiences is that drunk people can be really, really inconsiderate. They will, mid-sway, douse you in Quaddie and make you regret wearing your only white t-shirt that the washing machine didn’t turn pink; they will seemingly forget the entire concept of controlling their own limbs, viciously punching you in the eye while trying to prove to their equally drunk friends that they can do the Macarena backwards (no, I’m not sure why you’d want to either); and they will bulldoze their way through the crowd, knocking down anyone that manages to get within their ten meter radius of destruction. Maybe I’ve just had particularly bad experiences, but trust me, those nights didn’t remain sober for long.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom on the sobriety front. There is one particular time of year when Klute sans alcohol can be – dare I even suggest it – fun; and that time, ladies and gents, is those first few weeks of third term. You’re not yet in full exam mode, but you still don’t want to go too hard, for fear of thwarting all of those detailed revision plans that you’re obviously going to stick to diligently. If you’re as hideously irresponsible as I was last year, a few good sober Klute nights might come from this state of educational limbo; the place is almost empty, reducing the chance of extreme annoyance/injury greatly, and you can actually have a pretty fun time without feeling the effects of it the next day. It’s a win-win situation, really!
So, next time the thought of going to Klute sober drifts through your mind (which is unlikely – unless you’re teetotal, in which case, fair enough), a word of caution: people are going to assume you’re drunk, and they’re going to assume you’re as unaware of your surroundings as they are. You could end up having the best night of your life; or, as has been my experience, you might end up with a temper that’s been shot to pieces and quite a few bruises. If nothing else, the experience will be ‘interesting’; I’ll leave you to decide whether that’s a good thing or not.
Illustration: Katherine Hurst