In the Wild: A Thursday Night in Civic

Note: this is a heteronormative, satirical description of a night out in the David Attenborough tradition.

The sticky black floor of Academy is regularly the setting for one of the most remarkable dramas in evolution. A male with long, straggly brown hair broods over the DJ discs, feeling his creation reverberate through his soul and the room. It is just a touch after midnight on a pulsating Thursday night in the traditional Canberran socialising grounds, and six species of male residents have come out to play.

Crowding round the bar, bands of *bois’ bois* chug their $2.50 basics and periodically erupt in their mating call – “Yeah the boys!!” – seeking solace in their established masculinity.  Meanwhile, the *soft bois* are attempting to strike up conversation with any girl they see by proudly noticing their fashionable attire, and following up with pseudo-intellectual musings and a casual mention of their affinity for feminism, in the hope of arousing interest.

Far off, on the couches and in the corners, lurk the swarms of *flirty year olds*, drinks in hand. They’re busily telling anyone that will listen that they’re “stunningly beautiful” in the hopes of catching a smile. In the same vicinity cower the *players*, who have retreated from the mating scene to the couches in the hopes of avoiding their previous conquests – who are flitting round the floor of Acads – in fear they are bound to bump into them, and each other, and catch on.

Soaking up the attention, packs of *fuck bois* swagger around, on and near the side stage in their blue Ralph Lauren polos, rolled-up jeans and white sneakers. They are elbowing each other and scoping out ‘tens’ with aggressive head nods. Sharing the dance floor are the *metrosexuals*, trying to enjoy the night even though their meticulously-structured Insta posts tanked. They distract themselves by desperately reminding everyone around them that they’re “straight EVEN though they love booty dancing and dropping to Beyonce”. Come on guys, own what you like already, sexuality isn’t determined by song preference! *Insert rolling-eye emoji*.

In and around this clan warfare swoop the gaggles of girls, glittering in superiority amongst the strobing lights as they feign obliviousness at their centrality as the objects of desire.


As the night goes on, the pheromones intensify. With a few drinks under everyone’s belts, the competition for the females begins. Unique courtship displays abound with varying levels of success. *Flirty year olds* are an ever-present danger, hovering in the background and hoping to lure girls in. The *bois’ bois* seize their moment and swashbuckle in, trying to establish their masculinity by warding off ‘unwanted’ advances for the helpless ladies. Increasingly often, this is responded to by girl gaggles forming their own bands to make sure these benevolent ‘protectors’ know that they’re not entitled to anything. Two *soft bois* act out their meticulously planned manoeuvre, with one talking about the feminist awakening his girlfriend recently gave him, while dropping that his mate is single and ready to mingle.

Some of the girls inevitably get separated from their friends in the tottering journey to the bathroom. After an avalanche of compliments at the sink mirror, they realise they desperately need to find their friends if they are going to survive the inevitable onslaught of invitations to have a drink or a dance upon their exit from the bathroom.

One of the *bois’ bois* at the bar decides to break away from his crew. He flashes a smile at a girl he spoke to earlier in the day, before he commits the unforgivable advance of a casual butt grab (also known as ‘sexual harassment’). It’s a courtship move that is tried on every night out, but consistently without success, and is never legal without consent … It’s a wonder it hasn’t died out altogether at this point in time.

In other spots, some of the males have been luckier, and are now engaging in tonsil hockey with their chosen counterpart.

Meanwhile, the *fuck bois* guide girls off the dance floor to “talk”. Their quick wit and ability to simultaneously ‘neg’ and compliment while assuring the continuance of their ‘nice guy’ demeanour is key to their courtship display.

The ego’s get larger as more drinks are downed and unbeknownst to the males till they get back to a bedroom, whiskey dick sets in. The night draws to a close.

Some males and females have formed suitable attachments and leave the establishment with the promise of a good night. The rest are left to go home and muse at their misfortune and dream up better ways of dealing with it next time.

This is except for the *soft bois*, who have gallantly offered to help walk some of the females they’ve engaged in conversation with home. They are expecting to be invited in, as a reward for their benevolence, but that is not how the story ends this time, nor how society works. Their night inevitably ends with being turned back out into the -5˚C Canberra weather at the girls’ doors.

Thanks for accompanying us, but we don’t owe you shit.