I arrive at 9:32, sharp. It’s common knowledge in the douchey-er crowds of St Andrews that 32 minutes late is right on time, so I’m already playing my part with pizzazz. At the door, attractive girls with clipboards refuse to make eye contact with me. I’m used to this, being a Jew and such, so I slip into the Vic unnoticed and unannounced. This has its ups and downs. If security for a Dont Walk (note, please, the lack of an apostrophe) event is so scant, then what kind of people are crawling out of their social class to get in here? All kinds of vermin, is the probable answer. Another negative repercussion for sneaking into this event is that I miss my free glass of champagne. On the upside, though, I feel invisible. And to be seen by Dont Walk-ers is comparable to feeling your soul split into seven horcruxes.
Upstairs are more drinks and more girls. When I ask a security guard where the bar is, he shrugs and says, “Man, where isn’t it?” This is a statement I interpret as so deep and profound that I briefly suspect he’s some kind of voodoo shaman, or at least a minor deity of a religion I’ve not heard of.
Everyone here is just the kind of person I’d kill to sleep with, but would rather die than talk to. It’s exactly what St Andrews does best. And, to my experience, St Andrews does it better than anywhere else. We are world class in at least one department: douchebaggery.
I guess the excuse for bringing together all these beautiful and vacant people is “fashion”, so I should probably comment on that. The girls all wear dangerously steep heels and daringly short skirts. The guys are more reserved, sticking with the classic tweed and khaki, with an occasional flash of corduroy. Not a single male shows even an ankle. One stands out, however, wearing a grey t-shirt. I suspect that’s meant to be ironic. Big ups, t-shirt kid. I like you.
Drifting through rooms, I find the bar and order a Miller and hand over some amount of money and get some amount back. It tastes inexpensive, at least, so I’m reassured I wasn’t cheated.
Somehow I get a press pass and a stamp on my hand from someone. How this happens exactly is beyond me, but it does take place, and I suddenly feel an injection of purpose and importance into my Friday night. Yes, I think to myself, there is a reason I am here. I am writing an article. I represent readers. I have information they want. Yes, I do matter.
With this surge of courage, I talk to a girl, then a guy, then another, far better looking guy. But none of the effort really pays off, as I have nothing to contribute to conversations concerning thoroughbred horses or hard drugs. I’m not joking. That’s actually what they wanted to talk to me about. (I’m also not joking that I have nothing to contribute to said conversation topics).
Eventually, tipsy and jaded, I leave the party. No one smiles as I leave, so my subconscious chooses to interpret this as a communal understanding that a party without me is quite simply screwed. Maybe – ie, probably – my subconscious is wrong. But it feels good to fool myself anyway.
What did I learn from all this? What kind of information am I trying to impart to you, reader? Good questions, both. What I discovered for sure from the Dont Walk launch party is this: the University of St Andrews is a thinly disguised breeding ground for impossibly beautiful people who are all far less interesting than me. And likely you, too.
On that note, I wish you all a merry Christmas, happy Chanukah, or convivial Kwanza. Doubtless, the revelations I’ve imparted to you in this gonzo article will far surpass any other gift you receive. See you next year, Viewpoint readers!