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Past Events – Christmas Meal 2004
Thursday 9 December 2004
Report by Stephen Poole

And so it came to pass on the evening of December 9th 2004, yet another BANG! Festive Feast. And what a feast it was with what I believe to be a record attendance- possibly. This year the name of the selected venue, The Hole in the Wall, caused a great deal of confusion. Was it really some Mafia hideout? (Retreating Steve had already threatened to shoot someone who hadn’t paid their deposit.) Or was it actually a cash machine? Well it was very nearly McDonalds as our booking didn’t initially appear to get registered, resulting in a larger than average staff turnover. A few phone calls later, and all was in order, and the final preparations made for what would prove to be a great night out. Although initially monkey suits had been suggested as the dress code, it was decided instead to opt for the more traditional Black Tie, which was adopted by most.

The evening began with a rounding up of first years at Pulteney Bridge bus stop, ready for the trek up to RSVP for a rendezvous with the others. Retreating-Steve had offered to be a guide to our Bath newcomers, though unbeknown to him Chair-Steve had cunningly managed to catch the same bus as them, and cruelly suggested bypassing Retreating-Steve altogether and leading them there himself. This was later denied, and all made it to RSVP ahead of schedule.

Now onto the meal itself, and the great memory test of recalling what you actually ordered. The food itself was of a particularly high standard and was believed to be enjoyed by all. After all the fuss with the booking arrangements the staff proved to be most helpful and competent, though one teasing error did take place. At one point some were tempted by a higher quality dessert, only for the mistake to be rectified and the dish taken away to be consumed elsewhere. As is always the case at BANG! events, working (and non-working) cameras were in force, and fortunately the only shootings were that of a nosy lens. The plastic surprises in the crackers also provided a certain amount of entertainment; Tom disguised himself with a moustache, while Ed allowed his goldfish to swim freely in his water-filled glass.

One worrying fact became known during the night; BANG! truly is full of pyromaniacs. The naked flame of a candle proved to be too tempting for many. Details are sketchy but it is believed a plastic sheep was one of the casualties. This is far more worrying still considering that BANG! members were performing the role of fire stewards at the forthcoming University Carol Service. Ed was consequently promoted to be an Usher, due to setting his cracker ablaze and attempting to set the hat of retreating-Steve alight (whilst being worn by the aforementioned Steve).

Post-dinner, many late night stalwarts headed down to the Huntsman for a celebratory drink (or two). For reasons now hazy, the conversation turned to special kinds of tape used for attaching clothes to important bits and pieces, far too risqué to be discussed here in too much detail. It was also decided once and for all (by the educated few) that the Venue was better than Elements. Unfortunately sleep-deficient Chair Steve had to leave early to recover for his architecture crit the next day, leaving the rest of the (now) merry band to either dance the night away or fall foul of carol singing drunks…! Only one of such drunks appeared, with his own carol sheet no less, entertaining all and encouraging participation by Tom, Brad and Sam, who gave a stalwart performance!!! After this stunning performance, members slowly pealed off, with the last group ambling to the bus stop at 1:30. A successful evening, with much enjoyment and merriment.

See also: the photos!