Behind the rope
July 20, 2004
A friend of mine took me to a nightclub on Friday. There was an
elevated section divided by a rope known as the VIP section.
Six young lads were slumped on cushions around a bucket containing
a bottle of champagne. I asked the tall blonde woman guarding
the rope if I could sit there.
"It's five hundred for a
table", she said.
"I don't want to buy one", I
said, "just sit".
"That's the price," she said.
I couldn't believe it: "Those 22-year-olds paid five-hundred
"Some people spend two thousand in one night," she said.
"Can I at least take a table home?" I said.
"No," she said, as if my uncle was waiting outside with
The table in question was a small wooden cube with a
top -- only a fool would spend in excess of the price of a drink
to sit around it. You could buy one in a market for a fiver.
The friend I was with disappeared. I found another table to sit
-- it was marked reserved but the woman said we could have it
until the VIPs arrived. At an average visit of three hours, it
a second to sit there. That's about £2.77 ($5) a minute,
almost double the rate of a London taxi.
I sat and thought how
much I click at my mouse every day to earn my bread and how
despite all that clicking, a bucket of champagne would dent not
my wallet but the prospect of schooling for my children. I
good few quid by the time my friend got back, perhaps recouping
the cost of the beers he had bought.
I used to frequent such
venues in my late teens, but never used to get in, always
had the wrong
shoes on. After being refused entry at some of London's best
clubs I decided to give up; you get tired of being kicked
in the balls.