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Sunday, 2 December 2012

Fat Lads Are Good Lads

Howdy y'all. Welcome to another edition of 'Paul's defective memory vomits forth some random occurrences from his youth in no particular order.'

This week my memory is jogged by something I wrote last week. After mentioning Buckshot George; the older boy we hung out with/harassed; being somewhat on the larger side, something went ping in my head and I was suddenly awash with thoughts of a lad in my class that I was quite good friends with for a brief period there. His name was Sam (it wasn't), and I'm a little ashamed that I've never thought to mention him on here before, and also that it took thinking about 'fat' kids to make me remember him at all.

Anyway, let me tell you about Sam...

There are two major things that I remember about Sam...well, actually there are three, but we won't go into the feelings I had about his older sister.

The first, is that we had, for a while, an arrangement where every Monday night we'd go to each others house for tea. One week I'd go to his, the next he'd come to mine, etc... I remember that whenever I went to his, there would be a huge meal laid on, and when he came to mine it'd be beans on toast or bangers and mash. At the time I thought that his other was going to special trouble because I was there, and my own mother was letting the side down by not reciprocating; now I realise that that was just how the two families ate.

One weekend, from out of the blue, my mother announced that he wasn't to come up that Monday, or any subsequent Monday for that matter. No explanation was given; he simply wasn't welcome. Now, I was completely at a loss as to why this lad was my friend at all, so I was convinced that my telling him that he wasn't welcome at my house any more would send him scurrying away. Plus, what would I actually say? How do you tell someone your mum doesn't want them in your house?

I went to school that Monday, and I put it off all day but as home time rolled around I knew I had to say something. Little hands sweating rivers I took him to one side, not wanting to be embarrassed in front of anyone else, and told him. He took it well, so well in fact that you might almost think he didn't really care one way or the other, the swine.

Next day though, he had a message for me. If he wasn't allowed at my house, I wasn't allowed at his.  Fair's fair, I suppose, but I did have a little moment of sorrow that I wouldn't see his sister any more.

The second major thing I remember about him was the time we were preparing for Christmas at school, and each class was assigned a certain piece of the decorations to make for the hall. We were instructed to create giant cows, to hang up in the 'maids a'milking' section. Easy enough you might think; especially since we were provided with the huge cardboard cutouts and all we had to do was paint them.

WRONG! Some of the sights we came up with were like something from an Italian horror movie from the 80's. Which, considering this was happening in the 8-0's, is probably appropriate, when you think about it.

Here's the thing though; his table produced a cow that's spots were... well... I basically told them that they had painted a cow with measles. Which was funny. Once. The 2nd time, not so much, the 3rd time not at all, and by the 10th time I'd made the cow with measles joke the frustration was ready to boil out of their nostrils. So of course I kept going.

That breaktime, he threw me up against a wall, backed into me with his not inconsiderable bulk, and started pulling on my arms over his shoulders. Am I describing that right? He was crushing me and stretching me at the same time. God knows what any adults passing the fence must have thought of this scene of torture, with one boy screaming in agony and the other yelling that 'my cow doesn't have fucking measles!'

Still, I'm sure it brightened up their day.

Those are my two most enduring memories of 'Sam'. We stayed friends through all of Primary School, but when it came to Comprehensive School he was one of the 'friends for a while out of habit but just another face in the corridor after a while' group. I'm a little saddened at that, now that I'm thinking of it.

Anyway, no idea what I'll be talking about next week. You'll have to click on to find out. Until then, don't forget to eat plenty of cheese.