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The Poker

The poker is an esteemed character – fairly early on in the evening they will acquire a slender straight stick – one that they will hold onto for the remainder of the night. At opportune times (generally while the fire fascist is looking the other way) they will poke and slap the embers of the fire – it’s normally borne out of pent up sexual frustration or a power dominance thing. Whatever their drive, it serves an important function and improves efficiency and longevity of the enterprise.

The Nudger

The Nudger is a quiet soul, happy just to absorb the evenings happenings while every so often (with the quiet blessing of the Fire Fascist) will nudge the overhanging un-burnt end of sticks and logs back into the flames.

beach fire

The Musical Dissenter/Track skipper

There will (no matter what music you put on) be a dissenter – some git who will take a dislike to the music playing and make heinous claims for some random mood killing shite from some obscure corner of the musical universe – from banging house track to Bulgarian gypsy wedding music or visa versa. The advent of digital technology means these fuck-wits can skip tracks halfway through – looking at the stars in your deepest intellectual sanctum while embroiled in the track playing, marvelling as it articulates the very fibre of your soul, then this tosser skips the track. In my opinion, it is OK to hit them with a stick on fire.

beach fire

The Yarner

Since the dawn of our species there’s been a Yarner – a bespoke storyteller someone who captivates and entertains in equal measure, someone who can tell the most mundane story and turn it into an epic saga full of romance, intrigue and drama – then end it all with a side splitting punch line. Very valuable – ply with booze if necessary.

The Cook

The cook is the keystone to any good beach party, normally under-equipped and under considerable pressure to perform. They need to be able to butcher, cook, check, divide and distribute hefty amounts of dinner to a ravenous crowd with little more than a blunt pocket knife and a sandy paper plate.

The Vegetarian

Always worth remembering about them, they will start to look pale, hungry and forlorn without proper sustenance. See if a big-hearted provider can get hold of good fish or knock up a decent potato salad.

The beer thief

The beer thief steals other people’s beer – you will never catch them. Bastards.

beach fire

The Marsh Mellow Slayer

Some wonderful, wonderful person will remember the marsh mellows and the slayer will proceed to get three onto a structurally inadequate stick and thrust them deep into the flames, before long they will ignite and turn into confectioneries’ answer to napalm. Panicked and embarrassed they will shake their stick to put out the flames, splattering those around them with droplets of painful, incendiary sugary slime. It is OK to toast marsh mellows for these people – a bit like you would a child.

The Phoner

The Phoner is a truly modern pest who will really spoil the primitive feel of the evening. They will talk to those that deserted for happy hour in the pub, be constantly getting fresh Facebook updates, passing round Youtube clips of cats falling off things, will be silent for long periods of time and then suddenly get all animated about Kim Kardashian’s dress. It is perfectly OK to type in “how do I join ISIS” into their search engines, as you watch yet another unwitting feline suffer the indignity of slipping off a roof in mid-winter Wisconsin.

The stranger

There’s always a stranger – invite them in, learn their name, make them feel welcome and then silently judge them.

The Lovers

Midway through the evening a gap will appear in the faces illuminated by the flames – if the crowd listens’ carefully, squelching noises will be heard coming from somewhere in the darkness. Cheers and hoots to be administered upon their return.

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