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Not The Average Childhood

If I were to summarise my childhood (up to 18), it would not make for a very positive story. However, growing up in a small house with my Brother, Paul, our Mum and our Dad was not always so bad. Many people would agree that Paul and I were not the average siblings. In fact, we were metaphorically off our tits (in later years, ACTUALLY off our tits but that's another story).


I may have disclosed some of these daft insights before so my apologies if I'm getting a bit "during the war..."


I remember going to my best friend's Sister's Birthday party one evening after school. I would have been around 13 or 14 and Paul, two years younger. We didn't know ANYONE who was going apart from my friend and his Sister. Having nothing new to wear, we turned up in ties and glasses cut out of paper. It was utterly ridiculous. The young ladies at the party just looked at us as if we'd just stepped off the planet Klom. We were fucking helpless and the lack of appreciation made it even funnier. Fortunately, my friend's Sister remains a good friend to this day.


Around about the same time, we replaced the generic disc in the middle of our generic 'dial' phone with a picture of 3-2-1 host Ted Rodgers. Ted Rodgers remained quite literally in rotation until we upgraded to a push button model and neither of our parents even questioned his presence.


When we were younger than in the stories above, I recall a visit to the barbers. My Mum took myself and Paul so we must have been quite young indeed. Paul sat in the barber's chair as I watched from behind. As Barry, the barber, raised his comb and scissors, Paul's eye met mine in the mirror and that was it. He fucking guffawed uncontrollably. After a minute and a few 'come on now, don't be silly's from Barry, Paul gained his composure. He did so right until Barry re-attempted an approach with comb and scissors - eyes - guffaw! This went on two or three times until Barry appealed to my Mum who was torn between an irate barber and laughing with her bonkers kids. I believe we both got our hair cut but from that day I think Barry dreaded us coming into his shop.


Some Urinals (yesterday)

My final yarn happened on one of our many holidays to Scarborough. Again, I think this was probably in our pre-teen years. My Dad took us to see loads of shows while we were on holiday. You name any z-list act from the 80's, we've seen them. Cannon and Ball, Little and Large, Joe Longthorne, Norman Collier to name but a few. At one such summer season extravaganza, the particular show in question reached the end of the first half. During this intermission Paul and I joined the queue for the gents' toilets. The front of the queue stopped at the doorway. When both Paul and I had both acquired use of a urinal (each), there was still an enormous queue at the doorway. Paul concluded his business sooner than myself. After zipping himself up he turned, walked up to the bloke at the front of the queue and shouted, "NEXXXXXTTT!!!!!!!!". He then scarpered pissing himself and I remember the sound of his self-gratified laughter fading as he got further way. I couldn't piss straight for laughing. None of the other 'lavatarians' reacted to this batshit-crazy occurrence in any way. We were clearly not as British as everyone else!


I assure you, this is just the tip of the iceberg. We didn't try to be different but we just did things that other people didn't do and because other people took themselves so seriously, it simply fuelled our need to take the piss.

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©2020 Phil Ruston

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