A Conversation for Traditional Oxford Cocktails Parties

Oxford bops

Post 1

lil' one

Just to add to the last topic of conversation, I think a must is the Oxford "bop" (closely followed by the experience of "Park End", otherwise known to it's users as "Dark End" or "Shark End"). Unknown in any other place, apart from possibly "Tabland", a much bespake of location, populated by an inhabitants known as "Tabs" (any resemblance to a popular clear fizzy drink is purely coincedental).

A bop is closely linked in attributes to the heresaid Oxford Cocktail Party - to a ignorant onlooker, one might think they are one and the same thing. Yes, the buckets of 'cocktails' are again omnipresent (until about 11pm, when they have quite clearly run out), and again a large central space is cleared for the bopees to gyrate in.

However, this time there is usually some form of dress code, other than black tie. On previous occasions, "fetish", "school dress", "gangsters", "perverted", "sluts & pimps" have been known. Basically anything where it is possible to crossdress excessively, and claim that you only happened to own a gimp suit by complete chance. In fact, you bought it exclusively for this bop.

In very high class bops, a "DJ" is hired to spin tunes. However, regardless of however many requests he or she is given, the music will doubtless be the same blend of fromage as per usual. In fact, the DJ is strictly optional - one wag pointed out that the DJ just stuck a particularly long CD on, and then busied himself waving his hands in the air, to achieve the effect required.

The objective of the bop is get as paralytic as possible, without actually requiring the services of 999 (and then asking for "ambulance" as opposed to "police" or "fire". If one of the last two IS asked for, then the bop can be considered most successful). However, as the cocktails always have a delayed-action-effect (TM), this means that everyone goes from a state of universal sobriety, to unviversal drunkeness / lashed / incoherent / smashed / wasted / wankered / plastered / totalled / inebriated / as drunk as a mole in a hole / etc... This is when people begin to start falling over. At 11pm, the bar mysteriously shuts, and there is a general consent to descend towards the large previously cleared space. A form of "dancing" then takes place (I emphasise 'form'...). At midnight, it is obligatory to sing any song connected to the college. After this, the bop ends.

A general foray of activity is initiated afterwards, whereby the area where the bop had been held is expediently left. The mess will be left to fester until the next day, and to be honest, no one is any state to tidy it up right now (unless they want to contribute to the mess by adding their body, lying in a prone position).

After the collective have changed from their fancy dress into "civillian" clothes (or not, if too inebriated), a location is decided upon for the collective to descend to. This can take a variety of locations: for example, someone's room (but they better be feeling generous - when they wake up in the morning, their room will not resemble the state it was 24 hours ago). Other popular locations are: the nearest "quad" (a strange area constituted usually of grass, but sometimes a combination with weird architecture and concrete); Christchurch meadow; the nearest 'bab van (vernacular for kebab van); or the Purple Turtle.

The last one of these items is somewhat of a mystery to many visitors. Why anyone would want to convene in a cellar, with bright purple neon lights, a dodgy table-football table, and a sweaty dancefloor can cause confusion. But the detrimental side of things are nonetheless outweighed by the attractions: availability of more alcohol, and the er sweaty dancefloor (and the football table isn't too bad if you get the right side). Plus you're far too plastered to even care where you are, as long as you are with a large group of friends, and pissed (the latter part is important - it gives the user a sense that they are having tremendous fun, whatever the location).

After the Turtle, lovingly called the "Turple Purtle", the 'bab vans are once more visited, to test the very strongest of stomachs. In this fashion, the night ends, ready for the morning after. Bops notoriously take place at the weekends, which means waking up is done on a Saturday or Sunday morning (veterans will manage 2pm wake-ups).

There is then usually a long discussion as to what happened last night, as most people have absolutely no idea what happened from 11pm onwards (strangely enough, the time when the alcohol kicked in, and also the time when everyone descended to the dancefloor...). The designated "sober one" from the night before then has to reveal the truths of who pulled who, who slept with who, who fell over in the middle of the road / Turtle / bop etc., who vomed down who's shirt, and so on. Oh, and a few weeks later, someone's camera film gets developed, and the whole process is repeated. But this time, the hard evidence is available. So there's no hiding under stones, claiming that you didn't dance on top of a speaker nude, when there's a picture of it.

Oxford bops

Post 2


I think some Oxford social life hierarchy is in order. It should go something like this:

(1) Normal everyday weeknight in the college bar/beer cellar
(2) Normal weekend in the college bar/beer cellar
(3) College bop
(4) College function e.g. bump supper, JCR dinner, MCR dinner, Christmas dinner etc.
(5) Cocktail party
(6) Vinny's drinks i.e. cocktail party but on much larger scale
(7) College 'Event' - usually Balliol or Exeter colleges
(8) College Ball
(9) Commemoration Ball

This have a number of common factors, especially the alcohol and kebab vans. However, there are definitely degrees of intoxication, sartorial requirement, damage to college property etc. involved.

The damage on a normal weeknight is usually a few broken glasses and general rubbish. But after a Commemoration Ball you can count on at least a couple of thousand pounds worth of damage to college lampposts, toilet facilities, fantastically expensive herbaceous borders etc. Not a pretty sight!

Oxford bops

Post 3

Horny Leprachaun

Woo. It's been /ages/ since I was here last. I'm the author, you know. That's me on the right in [url removed by moderator]. Erk.

Anyway, I am really annoyed with the lack of support in bops of late. Sometimes it seems I'm the only one making the effort. No, I tell a lie, I am the only one making an effort. Every time, I get told what the bop's theme is about 3 hours before the shops shut. I then rack my brains and my wardrobe, and end up stitching something together out of gaffa tape and sheets. And I then walk all the way from my out-of-college accommodation, distracting passing motorists, to the dark, sweaty cellar in Hertford's ugliest quad, just to distract the other boppers from realising exactly how bad it really is. There's not even any decent drinks. They ought to pay me for my efforts, you know.

Must go, I've been invited to Teddy Hall's `Show as much skin as possible' Bop tomorrow night, and I've yet to decide what I'm not wearing.


Oxford bops

Post 4

Horny Leprachaun

D'oh. I've just re-read the terms and conditions. Apparently I wasn't allowed to post that URL just now. Ah well. Run a google for `glyn kennington' if you really must get to my site after the moderators complain at me and remove the link.

Oxford bops

Post 5

rowing girl

Mention must be made of the person who ALWAYs manages to wear the same costume whatever the theme. In my college there is a very inventive scientist who uses his lab coat for any costume. He has been father christmas, a hippy and a swimmer (don't ask). This is the kind of initiative that Britain's 2nd university looks for in prospective students.

rowing girl

Post 6


Hi rowing girl, please wrote an entry to your side so that it becomes possible to chat with you !



Oxford bops

Post 7


Sounds very much the same as a Durham bop, with reconvineing in "Klute" quoted as from MR Peter Stringfellow as the worst club he had ever been to, (or so it is alledged)

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