I was able to catch up with School-Best-Friend last night, which was lovely. She recently went to a wedding of someone from school and it got us reminiscing about the olden days in the Wild West… um Country.
When I was doing my A-levels, I hung out with three people, School-Best-Friend, Friend-Who-Knows-Big-Words and Beebop. We all had mostly the same classes except for FWKBW – who was doing things like French, Politics and Spanish – so we spent most of our time together.
This involved stalking boys in the library of the adjacent grammar school, eating Bounty bars and KitKats until we felt sick, and going to the pub for chips and mayonnaise instead of RE – oh, what healthy lives we led in those days.
Every morning we would converge in the portacabin – also known as our common room – and catch up before registration. This usually involved me antagonising Beebop, who was not a morning person, until she flipped.
On this particular occasion I can’t recall exactly what I was doing, but she was getting close to breaking point. Unbeknown to me, our fierce head of year had arrived in the common room and wanted silence. I didn’t hear her and Beebop was a bit too engrossed in trying to finish her RE essay.
Eventually Beebop broke, turned to me and screamed, ‘Shuuuut uuup!’ Except she didn’t scream it at me – she screamed it at our fierce head of year who had put her head between us to tell us to be quiet.
Ever had one of those moments where everything becomes slow motion and you feel like the whole world is looking at you? I think Beebop had one of them, while I was frantically cramming my jumper into my mouth to try and contain my hysterics.
I had one of those moments several years later at midnight mass. Every Christmas Eve the four of us used to gather at my rents’ house, eat, drink and be merry and then go to church.
Now, School-Best-Friend and Beebop both go to church regularly but Friend-Who-Knows-Big-Words and I do not. But it was a tradition so off we popped to SBF’s church in my little green mini Jennifer.
So there we were, with me struggling to hear, when Beebop suddenly said, ‘I forgot my glasses, I can’t read a thing.’ Big-Word-Friend then piped up, ‘What is going on? I don’t get any of this.’ We were like a religious version of the Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil monkeys – much to School-Best-Friend’s exasperation. In the end, we had to leave as none of us had a clue what was going on.
And, as if things couldn’t get any worse, I suffered Deaf Tourettes at top volume upon leaving the church and may have said a very rude word while falling down the steps.
Then there was definitely silence, definitely shock and I was most definitely aware of 40 pairs of pensioners’ beedy eyes starting at me agog.
For this reason and the Tabasco sauce incident – which really deserves a whole post of it’s own – I don’t go back to that village much anymore…