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We got engaged pretty young. We were only 21 and we wanted to celebrate the occasion in Liverpool with all our friends. A bunch of people were invited and we went out for a meal in Chinatown, some drinks and some dancing. At the end of the night most of us piled back to our tiny ground floor flat on Langdale Road and crashed out in whatever space was available to sleep off the long night out. To begin with everyone slept soundly, but then in the early hours, Chinese food induced disaster struck.

This journey is a big one
And some of it’s intense
Some of it will challenge you
And some give you a sense
That life is toying with you
Trying to bring you to your knees
Trying to underline the consequence
Of eating bad chinese

We used to live in a tiny flat
At the end of Langdale road
It was our first house together
And while we didn’t have a load
Of stuff, we squeezed our lives
Between those walls and
Opened up the doors
To any friends and family
Who’d slum it on the floors
We loved it in that place
And that is why it’s hard
To recount the tale that follows
How paradise was scarred
It pains me now to think
Of happy memories erased
By the horrors that the guests
At our engagement party faced

But here we go
I’ve started now
And I must reach
The end somehow
Although it does involve
Some stress
And some unpleasantness
And mess
And a smell you can’t ignore
And something
All over the floor

Here goes…

We’d got engaged quite young
We were only 21
But our love was going nowhere
We each knew we were the one
No need to wait
And so we didn’t
We just let the heartbeat lead
And it led us with great purpose
To everything we need
So we thought we’d have a party
To celebrate the day
When our lives were bound together
In this quaint old fashioned way
We invited friends from Uni
We invited friends from Devon
We invited all the people
We could squeeze into our heaven
Our cozy little bedsit
In a ground floor terraced house
In the far off land of Liverpool
Of The Beatles and of Scouse

We took them out for dinner
But it wasn’t Scouse we ate
We had a chinese banquet
And the food was pretty great
There were speeches
There were cheers
There was laughter
There were tears
And as the wine refilled our glasses
Inhibitions disappeared
We went for more drinks after
We had a little dance
And in the early hours
We finally took the chance
To retire to our castle
Back on Langdale Road
Having had a proper party
A party that had showed
Our devotion to our friends
Our devotion to each other
Our devotion to a drink
And the compulsion for another
As we all went through the door
I realised, perhaps
We’d invited far more revellers
Than would fit in the gaps
That were available to sleep
But as sleeping bags unfurled
The carpet disappeared
And in its place a world
Of sleeping people head to toe
Nowhere to move, nowhere to go
Just a sea of sleeping creatures
Huddled like Penguins on the snow
A picture of contentment
Tranquility and peace
The calm before the storm
That was about to be released
Because Kelly had an issue
She’d eaten bad Chinese
And then topped it up with
Enough wine to start a duty free
And her stomach couldn’t take it
And disaster was in sight
For those poor slumbering guests
Who were on the floor that night
It began with just a sound
Like a gulp mixed with a yawn
An unlikely beginning
From which calamity was born
The gulp became a belch
Became a full and hearty retch
The guests began to wake
But there was no time to fetch
A bowl or reach the toilet
They were hemmed in like sardines
And in those waking moments
It dawned on them what it means
To be trapped in an inferno
With no means of escape
No way to fight the fire
But to lift their heads and gape
The first wave of vomit hit
Shortly followed by the smell
Like Garlic weaponised for war
The unholy stench of hell
Then Alan started gagging
And other guests did too
The lucky ones with access
Made a bee-line for the loo
Some jumped out of the window
To the courtyard out the back
To take a breath of cold fresh air
To gulp, to groan, to hack
The party had turned sour
There was no way to avoid it
Whatever joy that we had shared
The chunder had destroyed it
By this time were out of bed
Roused by moans and screams
Awakened to a nightmare
A technicolour dream
The carnage of our night out
Our friends disgusted cries
At the stench of last night’s dinner
Laid bare before our eyes
We had to take control
As hosts we had no choice
We had to hold our noses
And calmly use our voice
To coax Kelly to the bathroom
To wipe up with a rag
To gently extract Caroline
From her sick soaked sleeping bag
To tidy up the flat
And calm the souls within
To use up all the kitchen roll
And then take out the bin
We pulled it back together
And every soul survived
Though with more battle scars
Than when they had arrived
So we had got engaged
And we had celebrated
Such a meaningful occasion
About which we were elated
But what we will remember
The main thing that will stick
Is the memory of chaos
And our friend Kelly’s sick

In life there is experience
And some of it’s intense
Some of it will challenge you
And some give you a sense
That life is toying with you
Trying to bring you to your knees
Trying to underline the consequence
Of eating bad chinese

#poetry #spokenword

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