Psychoanalysis Corner: What ‘Spit Roast’ Email Says About Shamed City Boys

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By Alex Aldridge on

Alex Aldridge extracts the cries for help beneath the ‘G4 Tour Rules’ drafted by Shearman & Sterling trainee Daniel England and pals in advance of their holiday in Dubai

i) Cheating is allowed;

From what I know of City boys, this goes without saying. So why spell it out explicitly? Perhaps it was simply over-exuberant drafting from the lawyers in the group, Shearman & Sterling’s England and Rory Jones, a former intern at Justice, the human rights organisation.

(ii) No anti-lad behavior allowed (i.e. calling girlfriends, being nice to random expats);

*Yawn* The standard tribal mentality you’d expect from those who travel the boarding school-university-City institution route.

(iii) Everyone has each others backs;

As crucial a rule in battle-ravaged Dubai as it is in Afghanistan. But hey, it’s fun to pretend you’re in a war movie, then perhaps get all misty-eyed and sentimental about it later over a few drinks.

(iv) No stealing ties or light bulbs;

Because theft is for later in life when, with a trophy wife, a massive mortgage and four kids at Eton to sustain, you genuinely need the cash.

City lawyer Daniel England: wistful?
(v) Compulsory gunning of parents affairs; (vi) Mentioning parents salaries once a day;

I suppose having your expensive education constantly used to belittle your achievements must get tiresome, but the ‘mentioning parents salaries once a day’ line still seems unusually defensive. Does it belie a sense of shame about not using that privilege to attempt careers more daring than the rather dull City gigs the quartet have settled for?

(vii) Being good lads (i.e. getting a round in for England);

Ultra-conventional endorsement of patriotism and booze. With such lack of imagination, perhaps a high status career outside the City was genuinely beyond the G4 members’ capabilities.

(viii) Chants about your surrounding environment, being oily and how rich we are, are compulsory;

Sweet attempt to evoke feelings of security associated with singing hymns in assembly each morning at school.

(ix) Public school boy 10 minutes (collars must be up) at specified 10 minutes past the hour;

Also mildly redeeming. Self-deprecatory wit suggests the G4 aren’t total dullards, even if they are sticklers for routine after years of institutionalisation.

(x) No cameras allowed after sunset, unless it’s an underwater camera or there’s a spit-roast (for evidential purposes);

‘For evidential purposes’ = ‘In no way are we kinky public school boy perverts’

(xi) high fives (and honey glaze) are obligatory during a spit-roast and after;

This clause seems to suggest that by high-fiving each other throughout a threesome, the men involved protect themselves from any suggestion that they may be homosexual.

(xii) All universal consumption laws will be in effect throughout the duration of the tour; and

Again, over-exuberant drafting from the lawyers in the group.

(xiii) At least one ‘Silly 5’ at the bar per night. All G4 members must go to the closest bar and get loose with their credit/debit cards. All drinks purchased to be consumed within the allotted 5 minute time period.

Use of alcohol to anesthetize against the fear generated by a cruel and confusing world.

Alex Aldridge is the editor of Legal Cheek