Monday, 5 July 2010
“Summerland holds me in sumerian haze.”
“Gooooooth!” I used to hear this shouted at me about two dozen times a day at school. Most often in quite friendly ways – it kinda became my nickname back in the days when I was the only goth in school. But every so often it was some gang of lads in the year above heckling me between classes. That’s as far as they ever went though, until one day when I was in the Lower Sixth.
By some twist of good fortune, all the friends I made at my first school grew up to be the toughest kids in the playground in later years – the kind that would always be called out of class to see the Headmaster for smoking at break-time, bringing knives into school, or burning down the music room. Strangely enough, the toughest kids can be the most sentimental, which meant I always escaped their bullying as they’d remember the days we used to play with our Smurfs together up the park.
By the time I reached the Sixth Form though, my luck looked like it was about to run out as by then they’d all either left or been expelled (generally the latter). This left me in the clutches of my arch nemesis: the Head Boy. His favourite band was Level 42. Need I say more? He’d parade around school with two lackies and continually tell me to tuck my shirt in. This seemed to become an obsession with him. He seemed to feel I was undermining his authority by completely ignoring his request and walking straight past him without even looking up.
What I didn’t know at the time was that one day he finally snapped and was planning to ambush me with his mates up the school’s bridle path. But it seemed I had a guardian angel. Well, two really. A kid we called ‘Stir’ stepped in to warn them off for me – because his sister in the year below liked me (yes, I know, imagine someone liking me; I was as surprised as you). 'Stir' was one of those kids who would either charm or pummel you into doing something – the choice was yours. They left me alone after that. I only found all this out a few years back. So I’m sending a big belated thanks out now to ‘Stir’ and his fab sister. And a big “ner-ner-ner-ner-ner” to that Head Boy, wherever he is. Oops ... perhaps I shouldn’t do that. I haven’t anyone left to protect me these days.