Perhaps it were as our old men asserted
and National Service was not such a bad thing
or else we were typical Brits abroad -
insecure, neither in love nor at war.
For safety we carried both condoms and cutters,
arriving mob-handed we joined the queue singly
or latched on to others, to escape detection
and perfect the patter; a willing accomplice
increased the chances of squeezing past bouncers
and into the pants of someone - anyone
looked good after six pints of cider.
We’d reconnoitre, read the signals flashing
on globes and strobes, find a mirror for a final comb
then it was all for one or each man on his own.
So much depended on timing and tactics,
on attacking before beauty grew ugly again
and fit bodies became fat once more;
on taking the slaps and knockbacks in your stride,
on the DJ playing Lady Marmalade
before everybody was Kung Fu Fighting.