Catching Night Guy on camera is a very rare occurance.
Everyone, meet Night Guy.
Here’s the deal with him. First off, we need to start with Regular Zeke.
Regular Zeke is a very introverted guy that has engineered his entire life around solitude. He’s not introverted because he’s shy or unconfident; he’s just fine with his own company and relishes the fact that he works alone, in his own home, with only a cat to talk to. He sometimes can’t even be bothered to talk to the cat.
But Regular Zeke is also a borderline alcoholic. He drinks purely for medicinal reasons to soothe his sinus infection, his sinuses being infected with sobriety. We’ll call that guy Drunk Zeke.
Drunk Zeke is also fine. He’s jovial and vaguely social, but also equally fine just being inebriated in his own company. If he is with people, he’ll laugh a lot and talk nonsense. If he’s on his own, Drunk Zeke will still laugh a lot – in an empty room – and write nonsense.
You’re in safe hands on a night out with Drunk Zeke. He will not stop drinking until you’ve had enough and passed out. You’ll never here him utter the insipid phrase “Well, it’s pretty late, we should call it a night.” And at the end of it all, he’ll make sure we all magically teleport to our respective homes. Nobody will know how it happened, but it will happen, even if there are vast distances involved and we can barely put one foot in front of the other. Nobody ever loses their phone or gets stuck outside their apartment with Drunk Zeke.
However, there’s a rare though non-zero chance that Regular Zeke will take a detour on the evolution to Drunk Zeke, and a random Night Guy will appear.
When Night Guy does appear, he tends to appear around drink three. From that point on it’s game over.
Night Guy is Regular Zeke, inverted.
Inverting introversion is a mad concept, but that’s what is happening here – take an attic-dwelling misanthropist with no social life, add three glasses of wine, and all of a sudden you’ve got a man with a maddening cabin fever who wants to meet every person on the planet, get them as wasted as he is, punch a hole through a wall, buy a hot air balloon on eBay, establish a fine art gallery and finish the night off by fucking a kebab.
And do stuff like infiltrating a military vessel, obviously.
Night Guy utterly terrifies me with his laser-like ability to identify the very worst idea on the table, then pursue it with all the dogmatism of an Islamic State fighter. The ship thing is a pretty good example, although the difference is that Mrs. Iddon managed to subvert Night Guy on this occasion.
It was the end of the night and I’d been up for nearly 24 hours, plus my willingness to get into trouble was on a seesaw balance with my lack of desire to move my muscles. As such, she didn’t have much difficulty in applying a tiny bit of weight to the correct side of the seesaw and talking me down.
But the important thing is that she did. If a responsible adult hadn’t been present, I absolutely would have attempted to get on that ship.
In the cold, sober light of day, half of me is grateful – the un-imprisoned, non-shot half – that the trusty Mrs. Iddon was near to remind me that very few of the ideas that pop into my inebriated head are workable, and of those that are, most of them are illegal.
But half of me wishes that I’d gotten on board. Or tried to get on board, anyway, because obviously I wouldn’t have succeeded (I don’t know what it is about me being fascinated with infiltrating ships; I’m not Jack Sparrow no matter how much I wish I was.)
I strongly feel that the entire purpose of life is to gather stories. Ideally you generate the stories yourself, but collecting stories and experiences is about all there is to do in life outside the basic leveling-up shit like surviving and having kids.
Case in point: I once knew a girl who met Marilyn Manson backstage at a show, and he invited her back to the tour bus. Also partying on the bus was Rammstein and the band behind Rob Zombie.
“So you obviously went, obviously. I mean, that’s obvious. What happened next?”
“Nah. From what he was saying, it sounded like a massive, drug-fuelled orgy.”
I was aghast, and took a considered few moments to choose my next words carefully.
“You’ve fundamentally failed me as a friend.”
“Your decision not to get on that bus makes zero sense to me.”
“Come on. Would you have got on that bus and screwed Marilyn Manson?”
“Because I owe it to my friends to tell that story. You could have done that. We could be standing here with you blowing my mind with one of the awesome anecdotes I’d ever heard. But instead, you went home and had a chamomile tea or whatever. You denied every friend you have, and every friend you will ever have.”
She couldn’t quite understand where I was coming from. I never really spoke to her again after that.
Anyway, I’ve just spent 800 words talking about Night Guy and the importance of stories, but not actually providing anything more than a half-story in which Night Guy gave up on a bad idea. Really, that’s the antithesis of Night Guy.
Here’s a better example. Here’s Night Guy getting kicked out of a casino and nearly getting arrested in Malta.