“Did you have a good night last night?”- Tom Stevenson
I’m sure this poorly worded question is up there in the top five most asked on a university campus.
It’s a question reserved for the daytime bump into an acquaintance who you greeted the night before, observed their presence and then didn’t speak to at all because you’re not actually friends with them.
The irony of this question is that you’re not allowed to say no.
You’re supposed to say yes and then recount an amusing anecdote about yourself or a mutual friend that made it a good night. However, if you find yourself struggling to pinpoint such an anecdote, you’re in trouble. Your status as an outgoing fellow clubber is under threat. The acquaintance knows the format. You know the format. If you don’t drum up an acceptable story sharpish, your reputation as an extrovert will be under threat. You’ll be one of those people who had an uneventful night. You can’t be fun if over the course of four hours amongst friends, music and drinks you have nothing to show for it. Well you can, actually, but you don’t want to be that cynical bastard who says, ‘No, not really. It was just like all the other seventeen Thursday night Pam Pams I’ve been to this year: drink, chat, dance, cig (x3), Lion King Medley, Mysterious Girl, home.’
Instead, it’s so much easier to play it safe and respond, ‘Yeah, great night. Fell down the stairs twice and Sophie got kicked out. Classic.’