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 pounds?”.
“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 his truck.
The table in question was a small wooden cube with a mock marble 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 at — it was marked reserved but the woman said we could have it until the VIPs arrived. At an average visit of three hours, it cost 0.046p 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 only my wallet but the prospect of schooling for my children. I saved a 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.