"If you wanna be ignored, just ask for 'Dance Monkey' - it'll guarantee you a blank."
The clock is pushing on for dark at Stansted Airport, and I'm being educated on the proper dancefloor etiquette. Nothing's moving as the big board clatters another cancelled flight, so my new mate and I order another bottle of red to pass away what's shaping up to be a long evening.
I'm homeward bound across the Irish Sea, while Julio's heading to Barcelona, DJ-ing a rich kid's 21st party.
Swapping war stories with strangers is a universal occupation in airports, and I'm being enlightened on dance culture by this 20-something from Hoxton whose battered T-shirt declares 'All that scratching is making me itch'. After a decade in the disc-jockey trade, he lists the two other dancefloor requests that rank high on the profession's hate parade: "Please can you play it, it's my girlfriend's birthday", or "Respect, bro, but we're leaving in 10 minutes".
Worse is the weird guy who hangs around the DJ station all night, checking out every move: "It's always your laptop software they're after."
Yet, while the downsides are mildly annoying, it's still a decent life where even a mid-level jockey can bring home a respectable high five-figure salary.
Everybody thinks they could be a DJ, but do they know how to read a crowd? "It take a bees-knees soulja boy to keep the floor movin' when the clock hits five. That's the test." Switching between his East London patter and hip-hop slang, Julio reminds me of the graffiti you see everywhere in Ibiza: 'God is a DJ. Life is a dance floor. Love is the rhythm. You are the music'.
Yet, though the wages of wax are often tax-free, the hours are savage: "It's a midnight to dawn life - buzzing at 20, but gets old quick after 30," he says, filling our glasses. When you think about it, DJs have saved all our lives at some point on the dancefloor of life, right the way back to Jane Birkin's 'Je t'aime' during huggy slow sets at The Wezz.
Fast forward to Orbital's 'Belfast' and Goldie's 'Inner City Life' in the 1990s, onward to High Contrast's 'Racing Green' and Caribou's 'Sun' in the 2000s. Only true quality survives when it comes to getting one's swerve on, a wisdom Boy George knew well: "A DJ must ignore what's trendy because true passion always eclipses what's fashionable."
Whether you dance to sweat or forget, a real-deal desk-master will always stand out from the part-time weekender who's just phoning it in. In a culture devoted to leaving your cares behind, the best DJs are the night-riders of our souls.
"In the end, it's all about making music for the hips and the head," says Julio, clinking my glass. The big board clatters, all flights are back on.
We head for our gates - two minor players on the dance floor of life.
Lessons from a seahorse
There's any number of ways to celebrate International Women's Day next weekend, but a visit to 'Seahorse' at Cork's Everyman Theatre is up there for smiling.
Created by comedienne Christiane O'Mahony, and one of the high points of last year's Dublin Fringe, it concerns Mara, who finds herself in an aquarium after midnight, face-to-face with a pregnant male seahorse.
"Seahorses are awesome - they mate for life but they don't live with their partners. Best of all, the males have the babies." Understandably, Mara ponders how much simpler life would be if she were a seahorse.
Say it ain't so, Joe...
When Joe Biden was taken to task by a 21-year-old college student about his poor performance in the Iowa caucuses, the candidate for the world's biggest job replied: "You're a lying, dog-faced pony soldier."