The Santa Pub Crawl is one of the jewels in the Social Circle calendar. Everyone loves it and we take bookings months in advance. So of course, Steve called me and told me to write a blog so new members knew what to expect . “It will be fun” he said “and you can do a funny blog like you did for the Mingle party. People loved that.”
Despite being a member and host for three years, I have previously shirked the pub crawls. There have been a myriad of excuses; ‘I will be tired after work’, ‘pub crawls are not my thing’ or my personal favourite; ‘ugh it will be really busy and there will be so many people around.’ Yes, the irony of wanting to meet new people and avoiding social interaction is not lost on me. But given I am a professional, I decided to don my Santa outfit and go undercover. Purely for journalistic purposes you realise.
So here the 25 thoughts you have on a Santa Pub Crawl and more.
On donning a Santa outfit.
*puts on Christmas music, places a mince pie on a plate and pours a glass of mulled wine to get in the mood*
1. I wonder if Christmas music is used to torture people in the same way Britney spears was?
*Follows YouTube make up guide and perfects red smokey eyes with glitter.*
2. Wow. I look hot. I wonder if I will get a kiss under the mistletoe.
*scoffs entire pack of Tesco’s finest mince pies*
*Wriggles into Santa outfit and tightens belt one (1) hole.*
3. Oh God I can’t breathe.
4, *checks self in mirror* How have my tits merged into a mono-boob?
*downs rest of mulled wine.*
5. I don’t need my coat, it will just get in the way.
On using public transport.
“Hey it’s Mrs Claus!! Are you out ho-ho-hoing tonight?”
6. Holy f*ck its cold.
7.Why won’t anyone sit next to me?
Little girl, rather too loudly, Its Santa! But she is a woman???
8. Curses self for contributing to this 2018 snowflake debate of the year.
On getting into the festive spirit
9. Thank god. I am not the only one.
I make a beeline for the other Social Circle ladies at the Bar who are fortunately easy to spot.
10. OK just a small wine. Pace yourself.
*orders large glass of merlot*
11. Why are there willy straws and blow up dolls on the table?
Steve tells us that there was nothing Christmassy in the pound shop. We are not buying it.
Len arrives, in crisp collar under his santa suit. Me: “ Ha Ha you look like you are going to gift someone a pair of broken legs.”
12. Why am I so awkward?
Richard tells us about his Santa hat which he bought off a dodgy bloke in a pub. At the touch of a button it moves and plays a tune. It is a fun combination of festive and slightly pervy.
The ladies compliment my velvet red lipstick, which duly gets passed around for people to try.
A random passerby, approximately 30, presses his nose against the window and looks at us in the same way a 5 year old would look at a new puppy. His girlfriend was not impressed and drags him away.
13. “How do you go to the toilet with Rudolfs head between your legs?”
Gemma decides to put on a blow up doll puppet show for those passing by the window.
Santa Goes Singing
Steve leads the way to China town. A few of us are nearly taken out by passing traffic in Manchester’s festive live action version of Grand Theft Auto.
Steve tries to take a picture. A plastic willy is trying to escape from the Tesco carrier bag. Because every little helps.
We are shuffled past some bouncers up some steep stairs into a dimly lit smokey bar.
14. What is this place? Are we in a karaoke bar?
15. I am not drunk enough for this. *downs sourz shot*
A man in a flashing Christmas jumper takes to the stage, brimming with confidence as he winks at the ladies and lifts the mike as the words to ‘we will rock you’ flash onscreen.
Sally leans into me. “He looks full of himself but you know it’s going to be sh*t.”
16. His performance is, indeed, rather sh*t.
Steve bounces over. “I have signed us all up for a Christmas song. They only had Mariah Carey. We will be on in a minute.”
17. I am not drunk enough for this. *downs further shot.*
*looks up lyrics to All I want for Christmas because goddammit I am a pro.*
All 15 of us cram onto the tiny stage and Steve hands someone a camera.
Feed the World comes up on screen.
18. I am not drunk enough for this.
Two verses later.
19. *grabs microphone* FEED THE WORLD LET THEM KNOW ITS CHRISTMAS TIME
Takes pictures with Dave against the Manchester Bee. These Santas are getting ready to Slay (Sleigh).
Steve lines us all up outside a massage parlour for a headcount.
20. Where’s Nigel?
“Someone make Nigel festive.” Steve yells. I have somehow been given responsibility for the bag of willies, dolls and Christmas hats.
I hand Nigel a Santa Hat and promise him we won’t lose him this time.
21. O-M-G fab cafe! Please be taking us to Fab Cafe?!?!
22. He is, he is taking us to Fab cafe. *squeals*
You been here before Heather? Someone asks. I don’t respond as I am too busy running inside to see if they have made the Darlek festive. I was not disappointed.
23. Minimum £5 spend on cards. Fek. Orders a Guinness and a tonne of retro sweets.
24. Perhaps I can give these out to handsome men.
Looks around bar. Average age 20 and already visibility suffering an existentialist crisis brought on by the price of housing and avocados.
Gives haribo to boys in party who give to other santa-ettes.
*scoffs rest of sweets*
Annette tries to persuade everyone that Alice Cooper would be much more festive than the Smiths. Everyone agrees. Except the DJ.
25. Lines up for photos. Checks photos. Ugh mono-boob strikes again.
“Where do you get your dress from?”
“Tesco. Hence why I look like a bit Basic.” *laughs at own joke*
Suddenly feel tired. “Steve I got to go.”
“But we are going to ultimate Christmas power Ballads. You know how you love that.” Steve protests.
“Last time I ended up breaking up a fight and snogging a 25 year old.”
“Exactly! You love it.”
I call it a night and say my goodbyes. Annette asks why I am leaving.
“I am tired and old.”
“F*ck off I am older than you.”
Off they went into the O2 Ritz to have a grand old time singing their little hearts out and bouncing around on the dancefloor.
But this Santa had to be home to wrap her presents and write her list of the naughty things those social circle Santa’s got up to on their night of debauchery.
Merry Christmas from everyone at Social Circle!!