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Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 Review

Bender of the Year
It is that time again, the end of year of review and awards post. This year was not a banner year for Benders, although it did serve up one of the greatest, and we had the biggest Bradford piss up in decades. First up our Dusseldorf odyssey. It had been planned for months, paid for, and discussed at length. As the days counted down, we began to build a quiet excitement, but just days before we were due to fly, and I mean like a day, a volcano in Iceland spewed millions of gallons of shit into the air. These being the days of Health and safety, all flights were grounded. Myself and Fromagio kept a news vigilance, praying that the ash cloud would change course, but with just hours before we flew, it looked grim. An executive decision was made, and a Hire Van was arranged. Road Trip! We traversed over 500 miles in a VW Transporter, and cut loose on the German city. But the adventure did not end their. We were kicked out of our Hotel after a "discussion" between Trigger and Fromagio got out of hand. This meant that still pissed, we were on our way to Koln. A moment of clarity saw us turn back, and a Holiday Inn was found and booked. Our epic Dusseldorf adventure was back on. The major made a great effort, five hours by train, and Shouty cemented his legend with a drinking feat that will be dealt with later. The ride back was not as packed with incident as on the way out ( on the way out we took a piss stop at a Belgian lay-by that appeared to a hot spot for gay Truckers looking for a bum.) but we still had a fair old hoot. The main contender to this trip was our Good friday Bender around the dive bars of Bradford town. Child Catchers phone was given a couple of beer baths, which ended up with him and Fromagio scuffling on the deck outside the Boy and Barrel, much to the amusement of the lesbians smoking outside. He also managed to wind up a Jamaican chap, who was not best pleased when he hid his grub from him. It was indeed a champion night, but not quite up there with the 'Dorf. Honourable mentions are Izzys head wetting. Boxing day with the Major and Mad Friday Christmas do in Bradford.

Winner- Dusseldorf
Runner Up- Bradford Dive night

Squad Member of the Year

Even in a quite year, and even though he was struggling with his finances, nobody provided the entertainment value of the Right Honourable Shouty. His Yard of Killepitsch exploit is pure legend. This after he had been on the razz for nigh on 28 hours. Of course he was fucked afterwards, but I'd like to see you try it. This was not all he did to earn this award, but it sure went a long way towards it. Even more impressive was the next day. He may have gotten off to a sticky start, but come 8:30 on Monday morning, he was still standing (shakily). A truly legendary performance.

If Shouty proves a worthy winner, there can be no doubting that the fella who ran him closest for Member of the year, is a stand out runner up. He earned the silver medal for antics that are the Polar opposite to the guy who beat him into second, but without him, there is a strong possibility that we would still be stuck in Germany, living rough in the gutter. Dr Shotgun first came to the rescue on our first morning, after being booted out of our accommodation. All of us were still arsed from the night prior, and our Transporter needed moving. But the German police insisted we could not drive unless one of us could pass a Breathalyzer. Luckily I knew such a man, and Alfredo was up to the task. If der Coppers were not enough to contend with, we all told him to go several different places at once, in a Foreign country with no Sat Nav. The second instance of his heroics was the drive home. Once again the van was stuffed with still pissed Muppet's, but this time a 536 mile journey spread out before us. He struggled to get us out of Dusseldorf (he managed on the third attempt) but considering I couldn't get the GPS working on my phone for an ages, it was a good effort. When we finally got the mobile working, we were out of town in a breath. Which is just as well, as my phone ran out of charge almost as soon as we broke out on to the Autobahn. The last 50 miles must have been the hardest, as the rest of us flaked out in the back. Honourable mentions go to Sandro, Dr. Shotguns Shotgun driver, and devourer of Pork sandwiches. Fromagio, who helped organise the transport, and wound Child Catcher up so well. And lastly, to Major, who has travelled not once, but twice to be out on the lash. We will be making the trip to Basel some point this coming year, as the favour needs returning.

Winner- Shouty
Runner up- Dr Shotgun

Newcomer of the Year There is only one chap in the running from 2010. He wasn't even supposed to be there, but he got stranded in Germany. Big Dessi was due to be back in Blighty for some Rugby do, or something, and just happened to miss his connecting flight. In Dusseldorf. The stars aligned, and a new squad member was born. I liked him instantly, as the first night out he duffed up Sprocket, which amused me no end. Of course it could have been all so different. He was not the only fella to get stranded. Unfortunatly for Chubs, he got stranded at work, and couldn't get away in time. The flight was an evening one, and when it was cancelled we had to set off before 10 in the morning, which meant the poor lad missed out. One door opens, another closes, as the saying goes. I think. Still Chubs has made it out on a few shindigs since, and is hopefully to become a regular fixture on our outings.

Winner- Dessi
Runner up- Chubs

UK Pub of the Year
This pub wins hands down, for me any way. Fanny's Ale House has been an excellent starting point for all of our Saltaire evenings this past twelve months. Which are quite a few, as it is a decent night at the moment. It has always had plenty of Real Ales, and enough strong Belgian beers, but it scored even higher this time round as it now has Kolsch on offer. Runner up, if only for it's Karaoke, is the Boy and Barrel. A classic Dive bar in every sense of the word, it has a most eclectic of clientele. From butch lesbians to the City Ointment, it has it all. I couldn't go every week, but as a once in a blue moon pissup, it is well worth trying.

Winner- Fannys Ale House, Saltaire
Runner up- Boy and Barrel, Bradford

International Bar of the Year
A limited field, as we only left these shores, as a unit, once this year. I reckon if you have read this far, you know where that was, so here is the winner and runner up. The winner is Bannerman 6 a club/bar in the Aldstadt. I am not even sure that's what it was called, but it was three stories of drinking madness. Is it a cool spot? No, it is a cheese fest, complete with a dancing cage. It even plays German drinking songs at sporadic intervals. Think of a friendly Pile Bar with better looking women. Runner up, by a smidgen, is the Red Lounge on Carlsplatz, in the same city. A mucho laid back joint, perfect for quaffing Kolsh on a warm spring afternoon. The bartender also had the most impeccable teeth you are likely to see this side of Hollywood. It was also the scene of Shoutys immortal drinking exploit. Honourable mention goes to some

Winner- BannerMan 6, Dusseldorf
Runner up- Red Lounge, Dusseldorf

So Farewell to 2010. A funny old year. Not as bleak as first suspected, but there was a definite tightening of purse strings. Next week I shall post a preview of what we hope to achieve next year, Till then, have a happy New year!

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