Broke London

A car crash guide to surviving life

The Crystal Maze

It’s not every weekend that you get to live your childhood dreams.
That’s right, you heard me. CHILDHOOD. DREAMS.
But this weekend I did.
Ladies and gentlemen. This Sunday myself and a team of eight other super nerds completed

Yes, that’s right. This is not a drill. You can actually compete in the crystal maze and finally give your 6-year-old self everything they ever wanted.
Without giving too much away here is a brief overview of the day.
Slightly shaky start to proceedings as I was quite hungover (looked and smelt like a badger’s arse) as a result of a second date I had been on the night before. It had gone fairly well and I was feeling pretty good about it.
Me: ummm it’s now been half an hour since I left his house and I’ve literally heard nothing. NOT A PEEP.
Nice sensible flatmate: Calm down, its only half an hour.
Me: yeah. Yeah. I’m cool. I’m FINE.
NSF: you don’t sound very ‘cool’
Me: OH MY GOD HE’S BEEN ONLINE. Ok that’s it. I’m dying alone.
NSF: You’re a psycho
Once I had put anxiety girl back in her box, my flatmate and I headed to a secret location in North London to complete the Crystal Maze.
We were nervous. We were excited. We were quite sweaty already which did not bode well.
I was dressed in very suitable clothing for the crystal maze: jeans, tshirt, trainers and a sports bra (which is an indication of just how seriously I was taking this.)
It’s worth pointing out that I did not start the day this way, instead opting for the tightest black jeans imaginable, a see-through polo neck top and platform trainers.
I can pretend it’s because I like to look good on all occasions because of my high levels of self respect.
Actually it was because there were going to be boys there that I had never met before.
You don’t have to say it. I already know how sad that is.
I changed after NSF pointed out that my polo neck would no longer be ‘alluring’ once drenched in sweat.
She wasn’t wrong.
Guys when you inevitably book your tickets to this once in a lifetime incredible experience because you all trust my judgement (lol) and wish to emulate my life choices (double lol) please remember to wear the lightest clothing available to you.
A linen smock would not have been a terrible idea.
Anyhow we assembled in the holding area where we were presented with crystal maze bomber jackets and made to sign pretty hefty health and safety waivers. The excitement of the bomber jacket meant I didn’t even read mine and could have signed my life away to traffickers for all I knew and/or cared.
And with that we entered the maze aka the best experience of my life ever ever ever.
I don’t want to ruin it by giving away any spoilers so here is a quick list of your need to knows:

  • It is just like the TV show

This is no shoddy replication a la certain events in London where you pay ten hundred pounds to go into a warehouse and be greeted by some sort of rip-off pantomime. This feels like the real thing, each individual zone replicated so accurately I nearly wet myself with excitement. The challenges are equally ‘real’ and nothing is played down for ease. At one point I found myself scaling some metal poles, building myself a bridge as I went all in, in pursuit of the elusive crystal.

  • You must, must wear sensible clothes

Three things I know having done the CM. You will get hot. You will be made to run around. You will want to wear trousers that don’t feel like that might spontaneously split at any second. Take it from me, trying to balance on a heavy metal pole whilst trying to slot another equally heavy pole into a slot on a wall would have been ever so slightly easier had I not been so aware of my thong sticking out the top of my jeans.

don’t wear this

  • You must throw yourself into it

This is no time to be cool. I mean, I’m assuming if you were willing to spend £63 quid on tickets to compete in the Crystal Maze being cool is not your top concern but I’ll say it anyway. Each team has a maze master who are amazingly enthusiastic and hilarious in the style of Richard O’Brien’s zany commentary. They give it 110% so, in the words of our maze master Dusty, don’t be a dick. Make their lives easy by enjoying yourselves.
In the case of our team we very quickly lost all sense of social boundaries, shrieking and whooping, sweating profusely and screeching instructions at each other as if we’d known each other for years and would not have to sit awkwardly in the pub afterwards saying ‘sorry I shouted ‘you are HORSESHIT’ at you… cheese and onion crisp?’

  • It’s worth every penny.

Yes, it is £63 pounds to do this. Yes, that’s a lot of money unless you are the type of person who has their finances together and doesn’t automatically know exactly what day of the week pay day is and the exact hour in which the funds will hit their depleted bank account.
But let me ask you this? Can you really put a price on standing in the iconic crystal dome as golden tickets whoosh around your head?

To put it in perspective I would relive my three weirdest and worst tinder dates in order to have that experience.
Just to refresh your memories that would be

  • The guy who was with seven of his mates when I arrived and refused to leave them. Which meant I ended up playing on the fruit machine with Barry from Marketing whilst he chain-smoked with his pals outside. YAY.
  • The guy who threw an eppy when he realised he had lost his sunglasses and kicked a bush loads in furious anger
  • The guy who said the sentence ‘I have absinthe, whiskey or weed in a bong’ when offering me a drink.

I’ll just let those sink in for a moment.
So what are you waiting for!? Book those tickets! You won’t regret it.

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