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Sunday, 20 November 2011

Little Big Man

Having spent the last two entries on here whining about my inadequacies as a person, I thought it wise to perhaps lighten the mood somewhat with this one. So on went the old thinking cap ( it was a tight fit; I'd not worn it for a while and it's shocking how big your head can get when you don't stop to think*) and I came up with a story that, while it does contain me being daft, does so in a somewhat humorous manner. It's a funny story, anyway; I'm not saying it'll be funny once I've drained it of all life with my deathly prose.

The story is one that took place, in the timeline of my life, a couple of years before the point the blog is currently at. To be honest, I forgot about it; something that will probably happen quite a bit, but what the Hell. So, if you'd like to reacquaint yourself with what my life was like at the time this story takes place, or if you're new to the blog and haven't read the archives (and if not, why not? Get on it!), then it's roughly contemporaneous with this post.

Back? Right, then we'll begin.

My Grandmother, saintly paragon of virtue that she is, does have one vice; namely, she loves a bit of bingo. (I know, Granny playing bingo, what a cliche, but cliches become cliches for a reason, brother!) Eyes down, dibby dabby marker pen thing furiously stabbing at her eight different cards all strewn out before her in her lucky pattern, she was like a woman possessed when she got going. Which was every Tuesday and Thursday in the old Junior School assembly hall.

At this time it was considered perfectly OK to take kids along to these nights, sit them down with a glass of pop and a card, and let them join in the 'fun'. (I'm assuming it's a bit more strict these days; most things are, but I've not been to a bingo game in years so I don't know). Anyway, many was the evening I'd spend down there during the period I was staying with her and my Granda. I guess it was cheaper than a babysitter. (My Granda himself would have been at some pub or other, 'cos whether it be darts, snooker, dominoes, pool or, I don't know, tiddly-winks, he was on a team/team running committee. Dude never slept.)

There were times though; I guess when she just needed a night to herself; when my Grandmother would take a huge leap of faith and leave me at home with my Uncle Darren. The fool! It was on one such night that our story takes place. (I know right? Finally!) I should say at this point that these nights were probably far more fun for me than they were for Darren. He was, after all, a teenage boy, and I doubt that being left alone with a daft little pipsqueak who followed him around like a wee puppy dog was how he liked to spend his evenings. I loved it though; I idolised the guy, and I used to look forward to these nights like no other.

One one such occasion, we had been on our own for maybe an hour, watching TV with me pretending to like the stuff he was watching but not really understanding it, when a knock at the door broke his torture. It was a mate of his, asking could he do him a favour? He had just nicked a load of drink from his neighbours garage and could he stash it here for a bit? (Note to new readers, many of my family were minor villains, or friends with minor villains. They've 'mostly' reformed now). Anyway, the booze; six carrier bags full; was duly carted into the living room, the shady friend disappeared into the night and the TV was returned to.

Can you see where this is going?

Darren announced, after a little while, that he was going in the bath. I was to sit and watch TV until he got out, at which point it would be time for me to go to bed. I was gutted, and decided that I was going to prove to him that I was grown up enough to stay up with him. How on Earth was I to do this though? If only there were some 'grown up' activity that I could indulge in, to show him what I was capable of. Wait, what's that you say, voices in my head? Bags of alcohol? Ahhh.

Have you ever seen a 6 year old after a can? How about after 3 cans? Trust me, a 6 year old after 5 cans and 2 bottles is something even William Friedkin would think twice about putting on screen. I will say, in my defence, that I managed to stand up, the first few times I fell over, and even after I stayed down I never cried. I didn't quite have the energy to remove myself from the rapidly expanding pools of sick I was rolling in, but I had enough self awareness to know that crying wouldn't be cool. As it turns out though, I needn't have worried; it seems that I was fated not to impress Darren at all that night.

He returned from the bathroom and went, to be blunt, absolutely mental. The first time, and the only time that I can recall, that he would ever truly lose his temper with me. Even when I almost killed him he never got properly mad but this... I felt like shit. And not just for the obvious reason.

After he'd finished ranting at me he got me changed, stuck me over the toilet, and set about trying to clean the place up before his Mother got home. I can't imagine he had much luck. I say I can't imagine because I don't know for certain. The last thing I remember of that night is of depositing a bowlful into the toilet. I was told later that he'd found me asleep over the bowl and carried me to bed.


*eh? eh? Bit of clever clever commentary for you there. Someone give me a Phd.

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