Lodges and Laws


I logged onto Facebook this morning to find a memory dated from Halloween last year. Me and some pals went to the Highlands for the weekend. We booked a lodge for the night and made our way up there for some wine, board games, ‘Scream’ on DVD and a bit more wine (you know…for luck).

So, to recap, a group of young women went to a lodge in the middle of nowhere in a place called Killin to watch horror films while dodging the very creepy manager of the site, who insisted on spending 20 years going through what the place had to offer and regaling us with the hilarious tale of how he had once lived with a group of kiwi women in London (we were mostly a kiwi bunch) but they had changed the locks when he went out one day because, and I quote, he had ‘insulted the All Blacks’. (I am 112% certain that he left out the part of the story where it turned out it was actually because he’s the fella from Psycho.) If that’s not the beginning of a horror film, I don’t know what is.

Once we got rid of him (and searched the lodge for hidden cameras), we got the party started and it culminated in the Scream DVD (what can I say? We live it large.) As I re-watched the film, which I hadn’t seen in years, I remember having several very distinctive thoughts:

  • Scream is a terrible film that has, in no way, aged well
  • I had totally forgotten The Fonz was in it
  • What would happen if we somehow managed to ascribe the shit rules the ginger guy comes up with at the end of the movie onto the dating world? Could that be a somehow useful tool?

I then picked up a heinous chest infection, lay in bed for a week and promptly forgot about it until that little memory picture popped up this morning. So today’s blog, in honour of this auspicious time of year, is a terrible attempt at doing this.

The rules from the film are short and to the point. The go something like this:

  • If you have sex, you die
  • Don’t drink, or do drugs
  • Never say ‘I’ll be right back.’

I’m not going to lie, straight off the bat I ran into problems with every single one of these rules, and one does not have to be spending copious amounts of time with Captain Obvious to see where problems lie. However with some tweaking, I realised I could make them vaguely relevant, so here goes.

  • It goes without saying that sex and death should not be remotely synonymous whilst on a date, so I altered this quite substantially. Instead of ‘if you have sex, you will die’, the rule could become ‘if you have sex in a car dangling off a cliff edge, you will die’, or ‘if you have sex while piloting a helicopter, you will die’, or ‘if you have sex while skiing in front of an avalanche, you will die’. Basically, unless you’re James Bond, just try to avoid sex in certain death situations, is my point. (NB. If you are James Bond, also try to be less sex-offenderish.) Aim to get out of any death-adjacent situation first and then, if you fancy a no-pants dance with someone, by all means have at it. You may also want to take a moment to rethink your life choices if you find yourself experiencing multiple scenarios of this kind.
  • ‘Don’t drink or do drugs.’ This one is also tricky, but for very different reasons. Drugs have never held appeal for me but I’ll be damned if I don’t need a large glass of wine to slide myself through a first date. This rule does weirdly stand up, though. On more than one occasion I’ve been out with someone for the first time, had a glass or two of wine and thought ‘well, this person is goddamn hilarious! We have soooo much in common – time to re-embroider the napkins and tablecloths, I suppose.’ Then we have a cup of tea on a second date and I find out that they think the Muppet’s Christmas Carol sucks and that Brexit was a jolly good idea. Ack.
  • Never say ‘I’ll be right back’. This one is another ostensibly unreasonable one, because you can’t just go off to the loo or to pay or to wrestle that street alligator without explaining that you will, in fact, be returning forthwith. Silently leaving your date with zero explanation, regardless of how long you intend to be away, isn’t an overly endearing quality so I would try looking at this from the opposite end. As a rule of thumb, never tell someone ‘I’ll be right back’ and then disappear completely. People don’t like it. Unless it’s the creepy site-manager guy from the lodge in Killin. Then I would encourage disappearing with all haste and speed.

So there you have it, dear reader. Some of the most pointless dating advice the world has to offer can be found right here and, once again, you are welcome. As ever, I may not be the hero you wanted or needed or even asked for, but dammit, I’m the hero you’re stuck with.

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