High Life

By Taki | The Spectator, January 1, 2011 | Go to article overview

High Life


Taki, The Spectator


New York

My son J.T. managed to seriously shorten my life by inviting close to 75 young people to my house for an end-of-the-year party, among whom I found some seriously beautiful girls who were out way past their bedtime. My routine for my children's bashes is a simple one. I train hard either in judo or karate, work up a very good sweat, shower, shave, put on my finest Anderson & Sheppard suit, go to the drawing room where the main battle is about to take place, and start downing vodka and cranberry juice. I never touch food, as it produces a hangover the next day. After about one hour and around five drinks, I am feeling no pain but am completely lucid.

Then the scrum begins. My friends, writers such as Lewis Lapham, Terry McDonell and Jay McInerney, come in first, then the wave hits. One thing I've noticed about American 'good family' youths and their Brit counterparts, the former don't puke their guts out all over the place, nor do they break things.

Sure, some fall asleep, but there's never any violence. That's reserved for stately-home British types, and I'm glad to report only one young Brit was at my boy's party and he behaved impeccably.

Around 6 to 9 a. m. I started to ask the young things to leave, but only because the staff were passing out from exhaustion.

More than 50 bottles of Chateau Lafite had been drunk, and I'm only talking about the red wine, young people today preferring white. Despite the carnage in my cellar, only one boy was found asleep under a piece of furniture a few hours later. See what I mean about the difference an ocean makes? I felt surprisingly chipper after four hours' sleep, but then, slowly but surely, it catches up with one, especially if one's been bad the night before the big night.

This was the Bright Lights, Big City author's fault, who scheduled his blast the evening before mine. By the time I arrived at 21 Club, the place was jammed and I couldn't make any headway. One man in particular was anchored in front of me, so I shouted 'EXCUSE ME' as loud as I could, but it was like asking an Albanian to wash his feet. A total waste of breath. So finally I gave him a push and broke through. 'Do you know whom you've just pushed?' said a friend of mine, smiling like the cat that's swallowed the you know what. It turned out to be the governor of New York, and blind to boot. I quickly went over and apologised profusely, but the gov just smiled and said, 'Don't worry about it, people have been pushing me around all my life . . . ' It made me feel real good, as they say out west, so I headed for the bar and alcoholic redemption. …

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