END OF AN ERA DINNER at The Roffen Club
A formal dinner to mark the impending closure of the famous Roffen Club, spiritual home of GASS and the site of many a riotous party. The chaps all turned up in dinner jackets and made their way to the restaurant for a slap up dinner.
We were then roundly entertained by two top flight comedians, Jeremy ODonnell and Shaun Collins
Phil did the walk of shame when his bladder simply could not hold any more and Shaun Collins took the opportunity to do something he had never attempted before - he took the whole audience out of the room and out of sight - Phil shook himself off, washed his hands, and came back to - a completely empty restaurant. Shaun was impressed by the fact that not only was Phil not fazed but that he nicked someone else's drink. Nice touch Phil!
Once that was over we carried on into a humdinger of a meeting. Loud, sweary, muleish, but great fun. The basis of the problem was a general feeling in GASS that we did not actually need to make our number larger, in fact a bit smaller wouldn't go amiss. We went for years with an absolute upper limit of 20 and only recently went over that limit. The big difference now is that we have very high attendance. Members felt that we were becoming to unwieldy and too fractured and that we should aim to drop back to a limit of 20. Obviously there was then a discussion about chucking members overboard to reach the magic 20 straight away, should it be last in (Wayne), or youngest (Owen) or the the most annoying (Hugh) or the red faced shouty one (Brian), but we decided to let natural wastage take its course. The vote was pretty much unanimous to let nature take its course and slide back to 20.
There was also a suggestion that the new habit of all rushing to sit down in two distinct groups was not quite in the GASS spirit either and it would be better if the 'old and young' thing toned down a bit. We are all mates and we are one club, mix it up a bit.
Finally Graham took the floor to say that he (and others) was bored with the meetings in 2017. Brian responded by asking Graham to name names, which he was decent enough not to do. Brian explained that organising meetings was becoming increasingly difficult because every man and his dog wanted to put in their two pennyworth. To many people were arriving at an opinion on a meetings idea and expected their views to be accommodated. This was a nightmare from an organisers point of view. GASS has a lot of different meeting styles and the idea is that you try and attend them all because it is without a doubt that some of the worst ideas make the best meetings, and vice versa, you just have to roll with it. You can't tell beforehand if a meetings is going to be good, bad or indifferent and whinging that you don't like a particular idea was having the unintended consequence that Brian was losing faith in his mandate to do unusual things through a potential lack of support.
Let's drop the lobbying, come up with some good ideas, and if you don't quite like the idea go along with it anyway instead of trying to get a group together to object. That way we get some humdingers and some flops. BUT remember guys - this is a Tuesday evening, not a Saturday, it's just a laugh, don't over think it!!
And now it truly is the 'End of an Era'. The last meeting at The Roffen. Where is our new spiritual; home going to be??????????? Watch this space.