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A Guide To The Rager




To some, it is an urban myth. To others, it is a way of life. To so many of us in the throes of young adulthood it is the source of our FOMO funks. It is the fantasy of the escapade of all time, the night of Total 100% fun that cleans out our bank account, takes two years off our life and leaves our wits splattered across the wall like spaghetti.


Periodically, we ask ourselves: “why do we do it?” We question whether the expensive club fees, £7 tinnies and 2 hour night buses are really worth it. Then we remember the impossible dream of The Ultimate Rager: a night out when the vibrations are good, the cold ones are plentiful and the pearly gates of Party Nirvana open wide to beckon us in.

The key ingredients of a classic rager:

  1. Everyone will momentarily forget to moan about rent, Brexit (natch), gym membership packages, skincare, quinoa, brunch, morning jogging plans, that friend from uni with a husband and four kids, work, mould, recycling, the commute, headaches, the MayBot, the weather.

  2. There will be a bus. There’s always a bus. You will become best friends with whoever is sitting next to you. The bus will be the best part of the night.

  3. Someone in the group will slink off to the corner with a wildly unsuitable sexual partner they just met. Everyone else will feast on the drama like starved hyenas and try not to laugh.

  4. One member of the troupe will stage a shocking defection at 1AM, mumbling about family lunch and book group and will immediately be erased from everyone’s memory card. This will become one of the great regrets of their life

  5. There will be a rumour of an obscure and unlikely celebrity sighting, like Lil Kim, Toby Young or someone off Love Island, but no one will witness it first-hand

  6. Someone will introduce jugs of Monster. Everyone will say this is a brilliant idea. It won’t be a brilliant idea.

  7. Someone will have ‘creative differences’ with a bouncer.

  8. One especially sensible and controlled member of the group will become unfeasibly drunk to the delight of everyone. They will be mortified and keep a low profile for the next six months

  9. Someone will lose their bank card down a rip in their puffa jacket and mass hysteria will ensue

  10. At some point, everyone will stand on a random bit of pavement under a bridge for 45 minutes, and no one will know why

  11. Someone will decide to take loads of pictures at 2AM “cos it’ll be funny!” The pictures will be so horrendous they will make you doubt your life, your sense of self, your place in the world and your sanity. They will be on social media by dawn

  12. Someone will go missing and be discovered hours later, full of stories of a “lone rager” they had with a whole new group of mates

  13. Wherever the night takes you, there will be a pit-stop at Brixton McDonald’s

  14. Through the night you will check off TFL’s most peripheral offerings such as the DLR , the Emirates cable car and the Waterloo water bus

  15. Plans to “go to a club” must be introduced at 3.30am, debated for three hours and then dismissed.

  16. An existential unravelling will occur around 4am when someone sees death in the sink

  17. There will come a point when everyone is so rat-arsed geographic orientation will break down completely and no one will know whether they are North or South of the river

  18. Someone will proclaim undying love for a friend

  19. At the end of the night, you will buckle and take an Uber. Someone will take ownership of the Aux cord like it was their God-given destiny. They will play tunes from the early noughties. Everyone will sing along, badly and loudly. A moment of rare innocence and solidarity will ensue. Someone will, steamy-eyed, declare it to be the best moment of their life.

  20. Shortly following, you will attempt to use Uber’s ‘split fare’ feature. This will be discussed for the best part of half an hour. Somehow it will go wrong and the Head of Uber Operations will send a passive-aggressive Facebook message the next day asking for money, starting with ‘Hey guys!’

  21. You will end up sleeping over at someone’s house, fully dressed, four zones away from where you actually live

  22. Someone will go back the next morning to collect a lost item. No evidence of the night before will exist.

  23. There will be a collective debrief. Everyone will look like death warmed up. Everything will be funny. Everything will hurt.

Written by Jess Bird and Matilda Curtis

Illustrated by Jess Bird

Cover illustration by Christopher Bragg

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