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Grad Ball 2024: Review by Lady Slaybootsdown

ID: silhouette of Chappel Roan in Lady Liberty drag framed by triangles like a hazard sign xoxo

Lady Slaybootsdown’s






Dearest cunty reader,

This author would, firstly, like to apologise profusely for the publication delay of this issue; when sampling the complimentary refreshments, of which there were many, I observed a half-cut pair excitedly rush to use the ‘Chapel Luge’ - an ice sculpture of St Salvator’s Chapel that chills your drink on its journey down to a tube’s orifice many a minger happily wrapped their mouth around - and I perhaps was too loud when I exclaimed, “forget freshers flu, Grad Ball flu is going to be the new It-Thing,” in jest by the ravaged pick ‘n’ mix station. And, well, the fates must not have found the remark humorous enough for they called upon some trickstrous spirit and gifted me that very affliction.

Meme ID: the scene from Nanny Mcphee (2005) where the kids pretend to have measles and she (spoilers) magically gives them real measles. Simon (Thomas Brodie Sangster) is in bed with measles and is scowling at Nanny Mcphee (Emma Thompson) who holds her hand to his forehead. She’s holding a comically large bottle of medicine that reads “measles.” Text on both Simon and Nanny Mcphee’s heads reads “me” and the text over the medicine bottle reads “nandos my sibling deliverood to my house bc i was complaining.”

Despite being this germaphobic autist’s worst nightmare, the free glass of pre-poured table prosecco, and oozing wall donuts from Fisher and Donaldson, of which there were fifteen-hundred, weren’t that offensive to the tongue once the thought of drunkards toddler-coughing and sneezing on them had been banished to the boondocks of the mind. The prosecco was never given the chance to go flat by the constant flood of party-goers brandishing their free booze tickets and as such tasted just expensive enough to satisfy those few sober enough to care, the rest in attendance must have been pre-gaming since noon and thus it didn’t matter as long as it kept it topped up and tingled on the way down. To that effect I cannot blame the out-going Director of Events and Services, Lucy Brook, for the hooch order. It must be noted, however, the bottle of prosecco sold at the bar, though untasted by yours truly (ADHD medication plus alcohol equals armageddon), was a welcome deviation from the standard set by other over hyped balls, or more accurately described as overpriced Vic club nights in a big tent - I could see neither a Corky nor Tarquin wave daddy’s Amex before their swooning lengers and decree that, rah, £250 bottles of bubbly would make fine showers for their birds indeed, and for that I am grateful. According to Brook, she “scored a banging bargain” on the bottles and ensured her guests could drink irresponsibly for far less than if they had stumbled to the high street. Score indeed.

The free scoop of Janettas looked delicious enough for the fact it wasn’t Stracciatella and legend has it there was free bubble tea also - I am heartbroken to say the latter was nowhere to be found by the time I caught wind of this rumour. I can only imagine it to be so devastatingly delectable for it to have disappeared in minutes. This ball’s sparkling edible diamond however remains the Screaming Peacock burger truck - theirs is the only portion of chips more expensive than a pint I can purchase without wishing many a colourful curse upon 10 Downing Street, and being ridiculously peckish ten minutes before close I indulged in a second helping of rosemary fries.

If one could only pick the brain of Milo Hill as he steps into the role of DoES, what will he personally do to ensure the Screaming Peacock truck parks outside the Union building again once 601 reopens would be the first question to escape this author’s burning lips. Whether he seeks to top the spectacle of the Tesco’s Own glambot would be the second - Brook’s decision to hire this state of the art iPhone-attached-to-a-spinning-ring-light was truly inspired. Crowds flocked to the queue, lovers laughed as the camera whirred around them, and guests played human Tetris in an attempt to squeeze their entire friend group atop the tiny platform. ‘Twas a darling sight to see. The season of balls and deadlines had come to an end and the ton gathered for a final hurrah - while many a guest now held a new degree, the rest had come to celebrate their love’s achievements, and I could not help but feel a strange sense of melancholy when I first made my rounds.

You see, the bells of St Salvator’s were meant to sing for me too. I was supposed to bow and kneel and nod - et super mi - that day, this night, should have been mine. But, I never spiraled the grass to the sound of cheers; I stood gownless beside my friends producing my biggest smiles, knowing I would have to do it all again without them.

However, it wasn’t until a dear friend of mine said goodbye to her older sister for the night that I threatened to ruin the careful brushstrokes around my eyes and rosy powder of my cheeks. Residing within my best friend’s heart for two summers now, I have only seen her put the sun to shame. Even when she did not know me I could feel the radiance of her joy before she burst into each room, but here she stood in the comfort of his arms fighting the same battle as I. She was going to miss her family, miss her sister - and I was going to miss her.

Of course, we were not alone in our struggle. After all, it is the price we pay for turning the page. For four years or more we nestle in this town; the people in our classes, our professors, our supervisors all become fixtures in our lives; we love and we lose, and our friends paint our lives in brightest technicolor through it all. Now the day that always felt so far has come and gone, and with every farewell we build this new beginning. But, we’re lucky to have had this night of revelry. We could get lost in the bubble one last time and leave the mourning for the morrow.

So when my other friends pulled me from my sentimentality, I weaved with lightened feet and quickened heart through a viscous sea of bodies to the barrier. The Kilrymont Ceilidh Band had relinquished control of over half the tent’s worth of dancers - for a Scottish university with such a small fraction of home students, the merriment that hour would have made this country proud. The talent of these musicians is undeniable and immediately recognisable by the spinning, sweating trance the crowd was in. Their energy was matched, if not raised, by The Slick. Thanks to them this author’s stage-dive maidenhead is no more and I am proud to say their lead singer remained in the air when the weight was on my shoulders to support his main character moment. Our very own Editor-in-Chief was moments from a sordid death during the whole sticky affair and I can’t say they were the only one - one person took a risk and ran their hands through the casanova’s hair as he journeyed atop his swooning fans, unlucky for them I see all and caught the act in 4k.

ID: a bathroom mirror with the word “slut” written on it in red lipstick.

Of course no St Andrews night out is complete without the entire customer safety team chasing a scantily clad twink across Lower College Lawn, as the masses shout on “free my man! Free my man,” to no avail. Within moments he was dragged from the scene by three CS members, leaving all to wonder what nature of crime and depravity could have led to such a high-speed pursuit. He probably flaunted a bag of designer coke like a moron, which is boringly the case most times, but the imagination has no choice but to run wild - perhaps he was a cat burglar attempting the biggest heist the ton had ever seen and he almost stole the Chapel Luge; or maybe veteran DoES, Mika Schmeling, was watching Bridgerton on her phone and just as Colin stands behind Penelope and the camera pans to the mirror before them and he pulls out a pin and releases her hair - the rude fucker interrupts Mika just as it was getting good. Either would be reason enough to sick the hi-vis hounds on the rapscallion. Regardless, the fox was caught; unlike our elusive Editor-in-Chief once they skulked off in a huff after their partner in crime locked lips with this ladykiller of an author and was swiftly banished with a “fuck off” by their plastered friend.

After completing my inebriated-friend babysitting shift, successfully averting any true horny mishaps, I witnessed a most fashionable queer caught in a five-way snog with their flatmates and their partners. Towards the end of the night, one’s eyes were assaulted by BNOCs everywhere playing tonsil tennis to the sweet, sultry sounds of Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver. A friend and I had just passed severe judgement upon a straight couple… coupling behind us to the same song, and we could not fathom how such an objectively unsexy song could warrant such a heated reaction. Naturally, I turned around and spotted the gays too were guilty of the same faux pas.

One must applaud DJ Becka Clark’s disc spinning prowess - her intoxicating rhythms permeated the marquee, allowing so many couples to abandon taste and reason. That can be the only logical explanation for ABBA being incorporated into foreplay. This selector knew her audience almost too well, her stage presence and the way she played the crowd certainly was a sight to behold. I for one felt her magnetic pull back onto the dance floor when she granted the wish I made to BCKL DJ and played a sickening remix of Espresso by Sabrina Carpenter. I had to forgive him for not playing the song during his set. Having worked with the young DJ over the past year, I can confidently say this was his best performance yet and the pride I felt watching him perform for a crowd of this scale almost overpowered the cosmic need to shake ass.

ID: St Salvator’s Chapel at night with a projected image of a white circle, a bubble, with black text within it that reads “the bubble will miss you.” In the foreground, future DoES, Milo Hill, leaps with arms extended before current DoES, Lucy Brook.

And, so dear reader I bring this issue to a close - Lucy Brook has solidified her legacy as DoES with one final success and, God, was it a rager. She should be proud of all the work she has done for this university and its student body, and she should be proud of the event she organised for us all and I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend and write this piece. The night’s chaos spread through the ton and I could not have written a better ending for it if I tried - just past four in the morning, I heard a rumbling hum outside my window and thought myself delirious from the heat and sweat of the dance floor when I heard a piano being played outside my house. My curiosity took the better of me and I ventured outside to find two lads failing to push a piano they got for free on Facebook Marketplace up the street. They serenaded me with a little diddy, and after spending the better part of the night - drunk - wheeling the instrument home I aided their quest by towing the piano with my car for the last few hundred meters. They knew of The Gay Saint, and so I simply had to give them a moment of fame.

I could not have asked for a more fun, more messy, more thrilling end to the academic year and I hope to see you all at next year’s Graduation and Summer Ball.

Yours truly,

Lady Slaybootsdown


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