The Hot Tub Movie Club gave me similar waves of confusion as The Underground Rebel Bingo Club did back in first year. The conceit was simple but bizarre: unknown location, unknown movie and hot tubs.
It was almost poetic moving about upstairs in Walkabout- the revealed venue- in a bikini and a towel. Memories of the Baywatch night back in Freshers’ 2010 making their comeback, a sandy blur of red and yellow swimwear. We got changed in the karaoke room (doesn’t this room have cameras?), an unrealised wind tunnel, wrapping ourselves in complimentary HTMC robes. “Complimentary” didn’t mean we were allowed to keep them though, annoyingly.
Drinks was the necessary next stop. There was a poor soul stuck at the bar, a frazzled Australian boy who’d started that day, who’d been left with no ice, no cash in the drawer and clearly no idea what he was doing. He was also a doppelganger of the young man running the night itself. The only difference I could make between the two was that the latter liked to keep it creepy: “Let’s get those robes off ladies!”.
Despite the seven or eight hot tubs, it was only us and one other group of girls booked in. Speaking to one of the HTMC assistants later that night, she was convinced that the company hadn’t made its money back on what was quite a big investment. Although this being her first night helping out, the evenings during the week for Freshers may have had a better turnout.
The tubs themselves were essentially glorified paddling pools, they were relatively comfortable, but didn’t retain their heat for long. Thankfully due to the lack of people, we hot-tub-hopped four times that night to keep in the freshly boiled tubs. The depths held hidden treats which would give the mysophobic a seizure; we found two used cups and a used plaster in our first tub, and the colour of the water when the bubbles stopped was certainly cloudier than preferable. I wonder how many of us have left impregnated or needing to get tested.
Speaking of STIs and sex, Superbad was the selected film, a comedy our group had nearly all seen. I even had my McLovin ID card in my wallet, so we pretty much nattered and drank our way through the evening. To our delight we could eat in the tub too, so waving the bikini bodies off we ordered a selection of nachos, burgers and platters. After a couple of pitchers, my friend declared she wanted a hot tub at her wedding. Clearly by this point the alcohol had fogged our minds like foggy water and the rogue nachos in there, and we were laughing at the CCTV of various drunks dancing to Backstreet Boys downstairs.
Despite the element of je ne sais quois to the whole evening, we all actually enjoyed ourselves. I think after the humdrum of relentless refresher club nights in the last two weeks, it was actually refreshing to do something a little different.