For me and my mates, our teenage years were all about one destination only – The Wezz.
A land of myth and legend, it was almost like the Hotel California of 2007. You'd check in, but you never really checked out.
A decade later, and I still relive my Wezz days, and occasionally still suffer the consequences of poor decisions made while under the influence of half a naggin.
If you were a Wezz-lover, please read on, and try not to laugh with the nostalgia:
1. The preparation was KEY.
To be fair, half the fun of Wezz was getting ready as a squad beforehand.
Leg warmers, tutu, some sort of Ralph Lauren top and some pearls? Class, you looked bloody class.
And of course, as you grew, so did your style. You went from looking like a fairy stripper to wearing Abercrombie hoodies and Ugg boots, because you are so fashion.
2. Naggins, naggins everywhere.
So you'd leave your house and venture off on public transport (or walk, if you were close). It was on this adventure that you would attempt to have a little beverage. It was also probably the first time you ever popped a squat in public – a lifelong memory.
Drink left over after your walk? Nay bother. It was like something out of James Bond trying to sneak your naggin into Wezz. I actually once heard of a girl who had ripped open a teddy bear, lobbed her vodka inside, and put him back together. I'm sorry, but if that's not GENIUS, I don't know what is.
3. Stalking your prey in the queue.
You arrived – and you felt damn good. You walked down along the queue, treating it like a f**king runway, gawking at the crowd like they're in a zoo. 'Oh, the captain of the Junior Cup team is here. SO hot right now.'
You probably ended up licking faces at some stage during the night; total ledge.
4. Whipping out that membership card, and feeling famous.
Does anyone else remember seeing the 'non-members' queue and absolutely CRINGING with embarrassment for them? Chronic.
I won't lie to you, I still have my membership pass from back in my Wezz days, as a staunch reminder that I peaked at 15.
5. Being a rep made you invincible.
So, back in the day, I was a 'rep' for Wezz, which was exactly what it sounds like.
I sold tickets, for no actual personal profit I might add, but sure, you gotta do what you gotta do. The heart wants what it wants.
6. The smoking area was LIT.
I will NEVER forget having my first ever cigarette in the smoking area of Wezz, and thinking that I was literally the biggest legend God had ever created. Anyone else?
Spoiler alert: smoking isn't actually cool. Ever.
7. The drunk chair
There was always one poor gobshite who just could not hold their booze. They would be excommunicated to the drunk chair (soon became drunk room, as we got older) to sober up.
There were always threats of calling the gardai, or GOD FORBID, your mum – but usually you downed some water and went on your merry way. Blessed.
8. 'Will you meet my mate?'
And so began the most important part of the night – getting the score (I'm actually embarrassed already).
Anyway, you'd lock eyes with some blonde-tipped young man wearing a rugby jersey, and instantly fall in love. Now, obviously you never approached them, that would have been weird, right?
Instead you would send a friend over (or their pal would approach you) and a contract would be discussed, usually ending in you two love bird smooching against the wall, while the ever-romantic Tiesto blared in the background.
9. The sweaty walls (*shudders*)
Let's actually talk about the walls for a second, actually. WHY were they so weirdly moist?
Seriously, there was more sweat on those walls than there is in an actual sauna. Just an observation, is all.
10. The absolute TUNES.
Okay, so Wezz certainly had its flaws, but let me bloody tell you, the music was NOT one of them, lads. The absolute electricity in the room when Get Low came on was unparallelled, and totally humiliating when I think about it now.
Then there was the grande finale – Tiesto. Where does one even begin?
Every single teenager in the place would run into the middle of the dancefloor, in what was probably a genuine safety issue. Then, the strobes began, and people went NUTS.
11. The aftermath.
The lights came on, and you'd kiss the love of your life goodbye (until next time, lover). You'd rendezvous with your ladies, and leg it across the road to get food before your parents collected you.
Abrakebabra or Eddie Rockets? Genuinely one of the hardest choices I made in my youth. Your mum would collect you, and you'd have to lie and tell her that you had an innocent, booze free night! She knew otherwise, but let you at it. You're only young once, right?
12. The memories.
Nothing makes me reminisce quite like my glory days in Wezz. Myself and my friends still talk about the shit that happened when we were 14, and I love that.
As grimy and gross as it was, I think we all made great pals, the occasional long-lasting relationship blossomed, and the memories will last a life time.
Plus, it was great training for Coppers.