FIRST I WAS AFRAID, I WAS PETRIFIED – or how to leave a party with dignity in tact

Well Gloria, it?s a crying shame this fear did not manifest itself as much-deserved stage-fright on account of your shockingly bad cabaret act, or in fact, literal turning to stone. Although, fair do?s Ms. Gaynor, this song is a very good method of psycho-social classification.

Picture the scene: you are at a party at a friend of a friend?s house. You don?t know that many people. You?re drinking some warm Cabernet Sauvignon and you dare not re-trace your earlier abandoned beer-can, for fear of fag-butt hitting back of throat shocker. Some hep cat (ahem) sees fit to slap on a 70s CD. Much of the gathering are deemed to be arses of vast proportions for dancing to YMCA (is it worse or better to get the ?C? the wrong way round? Abstinence is the only honourable course). Some people are hanging back – good for them, you think. On comes Mamma Gloria belching out her so-called rally call to sisters of both sexes – and most kick off their shoes and boogy, expansive arm-movements, miming, tears, hair-renting. The shameful bastards. You now know who you can feasibly talk to or decide your actions (A) with the help of this easy equation:

x = number of people dancing to YMCA
y = number of people dancing to I Will Survive
n= total number at party

A= n – (x+/or y)
taxi-fare home

If the answer is greater than one – you might enjoy another hour of the party before feeling compelled to start a fight, if Abba hasn?t made an appearance so far, it?s only a matter of time. Below one – go home, it?s not going to get better, unless you hanker after ghastly tearful rebound snog to Thank you For The Music. Top conversational gambit: “You?re so easy to talk to, I feel like I?ve known you for ages”. Now where?s that mini-cab number? Tanya is out of here. Alone.