It's Sunday evening after the previous night's clubbing, you're slumped in the local old folks' home wearing a pair of stained, too-big jeans, which you're sure until recently were the perfect fit.
Suddenly, over the course of what feels like only a matter of days, your body appears to have withered and contracted in the manner of a grape morphing into a raisin, any last vestige of fecundity disappearing with the last drops of moisture. As you lick at the spittle in the corners of your mouth hoping for some relief from the dryness, you realise that a couple of young lads are eyeing you with suspicion from across the room, marveling curiously at the events that may have preceded this old vessel coming to be washed up in this depressingly dead part of town.
"S'up lads?" you enquire through glazed, rheumy eyes. They look away, embarrassed. It's at this point you realise with a jolt that these young whippersnappers are mistaking you for.....a resident.
"Nah boys!" you correct them, attempting to laugh through cracking voice. " I don't live here! I'm not a.....whispering in hushed tones as you glance around....geriatric!
Christ, I'm only about twenty years older than you two!"
Their eyes widen with shock as your trembling hand reaches out to show them a recent selfie on your Iphone. There. There it is. You're wearing the same top, same jeans, but you look....decades younger.
"See?" You implore, incredulous. "I'm not a pensioner you fools. I've just been to Clockwork Orange."
The awkward silence is broken with peals of relieved laughter and high-fives as you explain that, overcome with post-party guilt at not having visited your grumpy Gramps in the local care home for a while, you decided to pop along this evening before a busy week back at work tomorrow.
"Blimey, mate, you're doing it all wrong!" one of them laughs, reaching over to pat their dear old nan's arm, who's looking on, confused, as his brother pops another boiled sweet into her gummy mouth.
"You wanna take a tip or two from our mate Sam. She's as old as the hills but she follows these simple rules that MUST be adhered to as an ageing cheesy quaver."
He pulls his plastic chair in and leans closer as he prepares to share the hallowed secrets.
"Now listen up, and listen good....."
1. Always follow the 1/4 rule
To avoid looking like one of the Rolling Stones' older meth-addicted brothers, only go on a bender one week in four, tops. At 18, someone's only gotta start the sentence "D'ya fancy coming to....? and you're there : showered, flossed, fluffed and waiting by the front door.
At forty, you've gotta be a bit more selective. Pick and choose your nights with care. Whereas before you'd go to the opening of an envelope, now you want the ensuing three-day hangover to actually be worth it. And who wants to bust those well-honed moves surrounded by a load of spotty oiks off their nuts on some random plant fertiliser they've bought off t'internet, eh?
2. Don't peak too soon
When you're buzzing with excitement about the upcoming festivities, it can be tempting to celebrate the night before with a few cheeky beverages. Big mistake. What starts as a cheeky chupito often ends up surrounded by empty wine bottles on the morning of the big party itself. Fail! On the night before the rave, barricade yourself in the house, turn your phone to silent - smack yourself over the head with a shovel if you need to, but DO NOT, I repeat NOT, get on it! You'll ruin the main event.
3. Be prepared
Remember the boy scout motto. You're old. The post-party hangover is gonna hurt. Fact. Minimise the damage by getting your beauty sleep and eating well beforehand. Take Milk Thistle (liver protector) and 1g Vitamin C (antioxidant) every morning. Oh, and drink hot water with lemon for a few days prior. Aloe Vera juice is pretty good too.
4. Make the most of it on the night
You'll be brown bread soon enough. Get those stylish yet deceptively comfy shoes on and dance like your pathetic little life depends on it. Rave face on, hands in the air, reach for the lasers and grin like a Cheshire cat, safe in the knowledge that most of your mates are tucked up in bed fast asleep, whilst you, you absolute legend, are defying the laws of both nature and gravity and are having it with a largeness those lightweights can only dream of. Take it all in : these memories will need to keep you going til the next party, so make sure you stow them away well.
5. Recovery position
Once you've raved to your heart's content, get yourself rehydrated, chuck a load of multivits and a fistful of 5-HTP down your gullet and hibernate until the next permitted soiree in four weeks' time (see rule 1). By all means make a cheeky foray to celebrate a mate's birthday, have a post-work drink with a colleague, but do NOT be tempted to go flat-out hardcore raving on a weekly basis. That way trouble lies. And remember, what goes on tour, stays on tour. At your age, don't be tempted to overshare. If someone asks "Good weekend?" over the water-cooler on a Monday morning, a simple "yes" will suffice.
"That's it. Simples. You got that mate?"
Having shared these pearls of wisdom, the young lads glance over at the foolish old graver (grey raver) to check he's taken it all in, but it's pointless - the clubbing casualty has succumbed to the heat of God's waiting room (aka Sevenoaks Retirement Village) and is unconscious; furry tongue lolling out of the side of his downturned mouth.
Shrugging, they glance over to acknowledge his spritely grandad, who simply raises his eyebrows and gives them a knowing smile. With twisted arthritic hands, he slips his Dr Dre headphones out of his bedside cabinet, places them atop his wispy white head, then carefully presses 'play' on Jason Bye's latest Clockwork set on his Ipad.
Index finger pressed to his lips in a silent sshhhh, he indicates to the lads not to wake his slumped, slumbering grandson as he double-taps his Google app and with slow, deliberate movements, slips on his half-moon spectacles and types four words into the search engine...
Fancy reading my back-story before you go any further? You can find my other blogs at:
Facebook: Samantha Jane Walsh