Dave had been slumped at his desk all day, drenched in strong black coffee, visibly trembling. After the weekend he’d had it was no surprise; the editor had asked him to attend the Swingfields festival just on the outskirts of Malvern, he had no idea.
Welcome to Europe’s biggest swingers festival the signs had proclaimed once Dave had walked down through the “Gentlemen Only” entrance.
“Christ!” he whispered through his teeth.
After jumping ship from The Salopian Star, he’d been pestering the Editor for festival stories to cover for nearly a year, missing out The Wye Not, Nozstock, Green Man the Festival by the Lake, he wasn’t even sent to that appalling one in Upton upon Seven which Showaddywaddy were headlining with a support from the Lighthouse Family, he thanked fuck he missed that one.
He was there from the Friday afternoon to the, erm, Climax, on Sunday night; budgets at the W.E.N wouldn’t stretch to the extra day. Press were strictly forbidden at the event due to a “Lack of understanding of the Swinging and Naturist Community, and their portrayal as perverted travelling sexual deviants”, like a circus he thought, but didn’t really believe that.
The Daily Fucking Mail had created a parallel from the Swingers Movement to the moral panic of the late 80’s and early 90’s Acid House Raves and the passing, unfairly Dave thought, of the Criminal Justice Bill.
After a day and a half, these lot, so far as he could make out, had just wanted to get naked in a wood and shag everyone else partners. It wasn’t like the Hungarian porn he’d watched as research, these folk were from next door, from the curry house, working as a petrol pump attendant. They would “take a letter” as a secretary, and organise conference calls when the need arose. Hell some of these folk were like his Mum and Dad, there were some older folk there. As night fell and the fairy lights danced in the trees, the moans and groans of hundreds of revellers drifted on the practically still air.
How the hell was he going to write this up? He’d spent the weekend simultaneously boozed up and wired on coffee trying to avoid “June” and “Derick” from “just down the road”; they were camping next to him, they had a lot of visitors to their lair and they never bloody stopped.
He had written a stream of gonzo consciousness for the story,
“Hunter would have been proud” he thought to himself as the deadline came and went, and he contemplated his future or not at the paper.