If you ask a bouncer in Kingston: What do you think of students here?” you tend to get the same reaction over and over again. Unstoppable laughing followed by: “Are you serious?”
“They’re your best friends on the way in and your worst enemies on the way out,” says Wayne Lockwood, a bouncer at Pryzm.
Another bouncer scanning someone’s ID shouts out in agreement, while a few other security members chuckle at the statement.
Students of Kingston, meet the bouncers.
They’re the ones holding your hair back when you vomit, the ones that pick you up when you pass out in the street, the ones that sit with you for hours in the medical room after your friends have left, and the ones that turn you away at the door when you turn up with no ID.
But how much do bouncers really have to deal with? Are students really that bad? Here they describe some of the best, worst and most amusing stories at their time on the doors.
But despite all the embarrassment and drunken messes students produce, Lockwood still finds that students are decent people.
“They’re often the most polite out of everyone on a night out.Nine times out of the ten they will wish me a good night on their way out and shake my hand,” said Lockwood. “They aren’t the worst.”
Lockwood has found that the most embarrassing stories are the ones involving accidental nudity. One night involved a group of male students who all dressed up in togas for the night.
But there’s always one guy who gets it wrong, and this time the dunce of the group decided that he would go full commando underneath his toga.
“When he got to reception and everyone was picking up their coats at the end of the night, his toga fell off in front of at least 100 people, and he was fully naked,” Lockwood said, barely concealing his amusement.
Bin bags are going out of fashion
Nudity seems to be a continuing source of hilarity for the bouncers, as Lockwood describes a night where male students dressed in bin liners for a fancy dress social, another winning choice.
Lockwood said: “One of the student girls ripped the bin liner off of one of the guys at one point.”
The young man spent the rest of the night walking round in shorts, with the worst possible footwear to accompany. “Essentially he was just barefoot in boxers. He did not look happy.”
Enthusiasm never killed anyone
What student don’t seem to be lacking in, is commitment to the night out. Phats De Silva, a bouncer at Viper Rooms, describes how he’s watched the excited and rallied dancers going to hero to zero.
One of the most memorable stories involved a group of very “laddish” male students, all showing off and jumping about.
A bit too much enthusiasm and one ended up being carried off to the medical room with a twisted ankle. Did the pain bother him? No, but being left out did.
“Every time the door opened and he heard a song he knew he started crying because he was missing out on the night,” said Phats.
“He started trying to dance and twerking in his chair to Rihanna, bad ankle and all!”
Some students are entertaining, amusing even, whereas others are downright embarrassing.
Oral Simpson, a bouncer at Wetherspoons, had to deal with one male student that repeatedly tried to goad him and the other bouncers.
Simpson describes: “We walked over and he pushed me, and once he did that it was assault, so I have a right to defend myself.
“I threw him to the ground so easily and restrained him, and he started crying and calling for his mummy.”
Please don’t put me on Facebook!
Simpson has dealt with his fair share of aggressive students, some of which prompted the company of the police.
After restraining a male student to the ground, the student went from violent and aggressive, to peeing himself.
Simpson can’t stop chuckling while telling this anecdote: “His friends all were taking pictures of him and going “this is going on Facebook”, and he was going “No please don’t put me on Facebook, please”.
The Tinkerbell Dance
Often the amusement seems to be worth the trouble. De Silva on many occasions would let students off with a warning, simply because the situation was entertaining.
One male student was given a warning instead of a being banned from the club, after whipping off his skirt in the smoking around and waving his “manhood” about.
De Silva says: “He was doing the ‘Tinkerbell’ dance, skipping and waving his wand about. It was just so hilarious watching him.”
One student was so drunk, that instead of peeing in the urinal he decided to use the mop bucket instead, not realizing his mistake.
When the doorman tried to get his attention, the student turned his whole body instead of just his head, peeing all over the doorman.
De Silva cracks up laughing: “Only students!”
For Simpson it’s always the criers that give him a chuckle. After starting the night off well, one 6ft tall student tried to intimidate security with his height, and show off to his friends.
“I asked him nicely to leave,” said Simpson, “and said to him if he didn’t leave I’d embarrass him in front of his friends.”
After still resisting Simpson’s orders, the student was put into a restraint, and then gave in and started crying.
Boy, girl, boy, girl
Not only have the students had their fair share of embarrassment, but often end up making the bouncers look a bit shameful too.
Lockwood describes one night, when a male student, in fancy dress as a woman, managed to fool all the staff until going through the scanner.
“But some of the door staff still didn’t know,” said Lockwood. “One door staffer came to me later and said: ‘Did you see that girl? Wasn’t she nice looking!’ “He didn’t have a clue, it was hilarious.”