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Sunday, 14 October 2012

Near Death Experience (but not for me)

Last week I reintroduced Chris to this here narrative of my life with the intention of telling you a story about him this week. It wasn't until after I'd posted that, that I realised the story in question was another jump ahead in my timeline. My memory is a fucking jigsaw, with half the pieces missing and the rest chewed up by a particularly salivarous puppy dog. (Is salivarous a word? No. Should it be? I'll leave that to you to decide. But the answer is yes.)

In the end though, I decided to go ahead with the story. Partly because I'd said I was going to, and I'm a man of my word goddammit, but mainly because I resigned myself to the conclusion that the 'staying to a logical, chronological order on this blog' ship had sailed a long time ago. So here we go.

Chris lived 5 or 10 minutes walk from my house*, but his visits; and mine to his home; were infrequent at best. I guess our solid bond at school fell foul of the 'out of sight, out of mind' rule. Probably not all that strong a friendship then, at it's heart.

Commodore 64. Legend.

When he did visit, it was usually to use our computer. You see, his house was very much a console house, bedecked with all the latest Sega Master System equipment, whereas we had a... Commodore 64! Oh yeah, suck it, bitches! He was fascinated by the novelty of it having a keyboard. I, on the other hand, would have preferred not to have a 45 hour loading time to play a game, so I know which I'd have chosen.

Master System
Anyway, that's not important; what's important is that on one of his visits, he almost died.

Now I don't know; because I can't remember, not because it was some great mystery; how the situation kicked off, but to put it as bluntly as I can... my brother went apeshit. Absolutely batshit crazy. With knives.

He didn't use knives at first. Chris and I were stood outside my house, because he was getting ready to head home, when my brother came barreling out and started hitting Chris. Now, we did what any normal person would do when a 5 year old attacked them. We laughed.

Then he went away and came back with a handful of knives. And we did the sensible thing. We laughed some more. I mean come on, who would take that seriously? Which is not to say that I don't recognise that my first instinct should have been to take the knives from him for his own safety; and I did try; but we were certainly never scared for ourselves. He was little more than a toddler!

Even when he started throwing knives, we were still laughing. Chris at least had the sense, as the seeming target of the bulk of the anger, to hide behind one of the 2 trees that stood beside my house (and were perfectly spaced for use as goal posts, just as an aside) but he was chuckling merrily while he did it. What can I say? We were young(idiots).

Le bruv took to throwing knives at the tree, but he soon got bored and went back inside. We checked out the tree after he'd gone and there were some pretty nasty gouges. My bro had a throwing arm as a nipper! Chris went on his way unscathed, but from those gouges it would have been a very different story if just one of those knives had connected. I'm not saying he'd be dead, necessarily, but I guarantee he'd have a pretty bloody nasty scar.

You're probably wondering where my Mam was during this. Your guess is as good as mine. She had any number of people to whom she would 'pop over for 5 minutes to say hello' and we'd not see her for the day. Saved on teabags.

And that's the story of how my mate Chris almost died. Hope you had fun. Join me next time when I recount the time I met the BFG, but didn't go with him, on account of my big ear phobia.

*Long after I met Chris, I visited his house for the first time and was taken aback to learn that he lived 10 seconds away from where I lived when I first met him, when I first joined his Primary School. We would both head off home in opposite directions, so I assumed he lived miles away, but our two routes looped around and met at the far end. Extraordinary. How did we never bump into each other?

I think his Gran lived somewhere on that red line. Either that or he was going a hell of a long way round to avoid walking home with me. The shit.

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