“It was an itsy’s witsy teeny weenie polka dot bikini” Another disaster song from my summer of fun in 1990. I swear if I ever see Timmy Mallet Ill batter his smug face with that rubber mallet of his. Anyway last time I promised Id share more with you so firstly lets start with Squirrel Gate.
The Camelot had become the latest place to go as it offered open fields, trees and to be honest it was dark and you could get up to all sorts in the bushes, nudge, nudge, wink, wink. So there I was with the lady of choice at the time, having fun in the moonlight, when an acorn bounces of off my head. I ignore it and carry on until one bounces of off her head, she looks surprised, well she had just been hit by an acorn after all, and said it was my mates watching in the bushes. Now being the quick thinker I am I replies, “Don’t be silly its two squirrels having a fight”. Told you I was good didn’t I. To which, and I swear this is true, she said “Okay then” and we carried on. I never picked them for their brains that was a waste of a good looking girl.
This would have been okay apart from the fact that Wardy, Onions and Ian were the ones throwing the acorns. The numptys had climbed up the trees and were having a great time until Wardy fell out of the tree with a loud thud. This killed the mood massively and I have this overriding memory of chasing him through the trees with my trousers around my ankles. Not a pretty sight and I never caught him either.
The next major incident that I can tell you about that wont get me arrested was going to see Arachnophobia. For those of you that don’t know this was a film about giant spiders killing people in a small town in America (where else huh?). There was about twenty of us going and outside Wardys a little nervous as he doesn’t like spiders. So being a good friend I tell him to stop being a girl it’s a 12 certificate and get in there now or Ill slap him with my hotdog. I wouldn’t have really I was hungry and Id just bought it. The film starts and there are a few oohs and aaahs and the wife to be is getting a little nervous. Me I’m bricking it. How the hell that got a 12 certificate is beyond me. It was terrifying. There were spiders everywhere, I haven’t jumped so much in years. I’m then told by the wife to be to stop acting like a girl and look at Wardy as he hasn’t jumped once. I look along the row slightly impressed at my mates courage and soon realise why he hasn’t moved. He’s got his coat over his head and he hasn’t seen a thing!. Then something lands on me and I jump like an Olympic high jumper. It’s a spider on my lap. That’s it I yell I’m off so I left them to watch it, well everyone except Wardy who is still under the coat. It turns out that some of the cinema staff got bored went and bought a load of plastic spiders and started chucking them in the audience. Utter genius and I was gutted I never thought of it.
I turned 18 as that summer came to a close and to celebrate we all went on a bender to a club in Romford. I’m editing this a bit as to be fair we could get arrested for some of it so add your own bits as we go. John Parry, the white vest man remember him from before, well he starts of off on JD and coke. Which is cool except he doesn’t drink so after a few he falls backwards of his chair and through the ladies toilet door. They scream and we left him. He hasn’t got a clue as he’s plastered and at this point comatose, laying there flat on his back half way in and out of the door to the lavie. After more friendly japes we leave said club and get the bus home. This is where the problems started. Gary is a funny git and when he gets started you cant stop him. So on the way home my delightful sister has decided to dump Ian ( cant remember whether it was the 5th or 6th time but anyway it doesn’t matter they are now very happily married, or so they tell me) so on the bus Ian’s got the hump, Gary wants to play. For the next 30 minutes Ian keeps asking Gary to pick a window as he is leaving by it, Gary replies picking a different one each time. I’m struggling to breath through laughing, Ian’s get more of the hump and Gary has the giggles of his life.
We then realise John has passed out on the bus again, so its decided that when we get to Gants Hill we will run of off the bus and leave Ian and John on it thus solving the problem. This was made funnier by the fact both of them were bladdered and neither knew where the other lived. So how clever we were? Money cant buy you that education can it?. So we do that and all laugh at how clever we’ve been resolving a situation. Everyone goes home and me and Gary then go to Salami’s for a kebab. Happily munching it until, Ian arrives ready to kill Gary. I shit a brick. He was walking like Robocop staring at Gary saying he was going to kill him. He meant it as well. Gary still having the fit of giggles then decides to keep pinching Ian’s nipples (what is it with this bloke nipple thing Ill have to ask him). Ian’s getting more the arse so I decide to take him back to mine. We spend 2 hours walking what should have been a half hour journey due to the fact we are both plastered. We get back to mine and Ian says he’s going home. I wont say how but lets say he didn’t walk. Oh shush up at the back I aint condoning it but this was different times and we were young and reckless as all teenagers are supposed to be.
There were so many more stories to tell but in the interests of keeping this shorter than War and Peace and to protect peoples integrity, not that they had any in the first place, Ill end it there. Suffice to say it was probably the best summer of my life. We all thought we were invincible, that no one could touch us, a few tried then regretted it, the music, the weather, the football, the girls, it just all came together at one moment. It all gelled perfectly for a few crazy months in 1990.
The twelve in Jamie’s cavalier with me and Wardy in the boot, the drunken nights on snakebite at Rollerbowl (now City Limits), the abuse we gave Stevie in the Chinese, the trips to Southend, Gary falling over in Jamie’s van, the turtle power madness. It was a time Ill never forget.
As I get older these memories mean more to me as my responsibilities as a father and husband restrict me more from the madness Id love to get up to. Who knows when I’m a bit older and the kids are older, we may one day do a road trip, just the four of us that are still left, they are like brothers to me, Ill never change that or want to. Well pack up a car and head of around Europe trying all the stupid things we want to do before time catches up with us permanently.
To those mentioned in these blogs and those that weren’t. These two blogs are for all of you. You know who you were that summer and thank you for the absolute time of my life, Ill never forget it or you.