Man About Town: A bum deal for Londoners

Practised and firm, this wasn't a laddish slap or a playful pinch, but a hungry grasp

Share

The room at the back of the Groucho Club was full to overflowing - huddles stood outside the two doors in the slim hope of getting in. Those of us who had managed to push into the hot space had to adjust our shoulders to deal with the mass of fellow guests. The event was an auction for the Teenage Cancer Trust, and I watched as hands went up to bid many thousands of pounds for works by some of today's leading artists, when I became aware of another hand. On my buttocks.

Practised and firm, this wasn't a laddish slap or a playful pinch, but a hungry grasp: one hand, two cheeks. If it was an attempt at bidding, there was no way the auctioneer would have seen it.

Despite the squeeze (from the crowd that is), I managed to turn around to see who this hand belonged to: a grinning middle-aged man. As he saw me, his smile dropped. "I'm so sorry," he said. "I thought you were someone else." I was quite keen to find out who this someone else was, but as I've said already, it was pretty crowded and noisy in there. I caught the eye of Mr Grabby Hands a couple of times afterwards and each time he mouthed "sorry" at me.

I wondered whether it might be a new, trendy way to greet friends. But earlier in the week I had been among some extremely fashion-conscious types at Le Caprice restaurant at a dinner for Joe's Jeans, and the well-manicured hands of the extremely fashion-conscious types where kept where everyone could see them. Similarly at the Cannes Film Festival, where I am now writing this, and where such familiarity could be claimed as continental -  the folks are managing just fine with the two kisses.

There might be a cautionary tale in there for some, but I don't know how many readers are in the habit of grabbing the bums of people they *think* they know in busy places. But if there are, stick to the safer shoulder tap, it's worked for a long time.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Officer (HMP Brixton Mentoring Project)

£24,000 per annum pro rata (21 hours per week): Belong: Work as part of a cutt...

Construction Solicitor / Partner

Highly Competitive Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - Senior Construction Solici...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

DT teachers required for supply roles in Cambridge

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: DT teachers required ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Fifi Geldof (left) with her sister Pixie at an event in 2013  

Like Fifi Geldof, I know how important it is to speak about depression

Rachael Lloyd
'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering