IT'S been a while since I've been to The Valley on a Saturday night.
Actually, it's been a good few years, nay decades. That's what happens when you've been married for 30 years. The lure of the nightclub fades quickly.
I was there for a hen's party as the token friend of mother of the bride. While we may have started the evening with a few tips on burlesque by an ex-stripper, it wasn't the chair dancing (I still shudder when I think about it) that was the most educational.
It occurred to me at some point in the evening, that I hadn't realised minis had made such a sensational comeback. I knew that many dress lengths were in vogue, but a walk around the streets of Cleveland isn't a true indicator apparently.
The look seems to be dresses you pour your body into, the shorter and tighter the better. The hair is house paint white and the face is mock transvestite. The shoes should be listed as lethal weapons with platforms the height of a house brick and stilletos to match. And girls seem to have trouble walking in these sober.
Perhaps there is some solace for parents waving their daughters off in these outfits. That is, that if their little cherubs get into any real strife, they can always use their six inch heels for defence purposes.
In fact, had the ex-stripper not confessed her former profession (with some pride, I noted), I could have confused most of the girls I saw for same.
I told one or two of them that if their university studies didn't pan out, there was always the oldest profession to fall back on. They seemed complimented by the suggestion and primped their tail feathers with some degree of pride (I mean some actually did have tail feathers).
I was on the periphery of the event, as is the place of the friend of the mother of the bride and happily so. But all the same, I thought I should at least check out the talent at these places.
Hmm. It was lucky I was on the periphery because any chance of meeting a 50-plus-year-old family man with Christian values who could hold an intelligent conversation was basically non existent.
I did meet, however, one or two drunken revellers of dubious age who I felt might regret their conversations with me had they not imbibed such a quantity of alcohol.
We also met our fair share of bucks and their entourages as a gaggle of hens is wont to do.
I was ready to go at 9pm, but we (the token oldies) kicked on until 11pm before clicking our sensible shoes along Ann Street to be picked up at a sensible location by a very sober driver.
It seemed the hen house was too much for this old chook.