This One Time, At Band Camp (and how that makes me seriously friggin’ past it)

Aside

This week I thought it would be a great idea to write my blog post into the notes on my phone when I was half asleep. It wasn’t.

Some choice gems that seemed particularly inspired at 3am (yes, still from the single bed at my sister’s) were:

  1. A rant about helping kids from underprivileged backgrounds aim higher.
  2. A reminder to tell you all about ‘that one time I got locked in Cardiff Castle, had to be escorted out by the Po Po, and then decided to tell a room full of people at a Weakest Link audition the day after all about it’.
  3. Some spiel about how Dexter should have died in season 4.

Although I’m sure you all would be fascinated to read about any of the above topics, and maybe when I’m really scraping the barrel for ideas I’ll regale you, what occurred to me when I was reading over my sleep-deprived ramblings was that this all could get a little ‘this one time, at Band Camp…’

Shit, even using that quote kinda dates me. I’m in the no-man’s land of my late twenties, a place where my cultural references are not quite old or cool enough to have gained cult status, but I’m certainly not a shit-hot graduate with a thousand followers on Twitter.

I’m pretty sure American Pie isn’t old enough to be retro, is it? So that means Road Trip isn’t either, and there’s scores of freshers out there finger popping each other’s ass holes who don’t know who Tom Green is or where he put his bum.  Oh, for shame.

So is that OK? Writing about that kind of shit? I mean, if I want to be taken seriously as a writer, maybe I should be writing something a bit more important? But then again, who’s to say what’s important?

I went through Uni looking back on my teenage years and thinking, shit, where was all the culture? I was gutted that my parents weren’t Guardian-reading, smoked-chipotle-frittata-eating liberals with degrees and fancy-pants jobs, and that they didn’t push me to do anything in particular with my book smarts. I still pretty much shit myself if a Made in Chelsea-alike so much as looks at me.

Despite lacking the folks mentioned above, I got stick for being too posh in high school. In year 7, because I talked ‘properly’ and wore my tie the right way around a friend (who shall remain nameless) declared in front of a large-ish audience that I bought my loo roll from House of Fraser.

Back then, I wanted a perm, a track suit, a sovereign ring and a pack of ten Lambert and Butler to smoke on the back of the 52. By the time I got to 6th form, however, I realised that I was as common as a see-through pair of leggings barely hiding a hungry, less-than-shapely arse in the queue at Primark.

(Yesssssssss….. that’s another 17 minute Google Vortex! Seriously, type ‘fat arse, see through leggings’ into Google. There’s a whole Twitter account devoted to Leggings Fails!)

Oh the irony.

I think it says a lot about the country at the moment, about wealth inequality, non-existent aspirations, and the near impossibility of a classless society. In the school I was working at before I decided to pack it all in, sell everything I owned and piss off to see (a teeny tiny part of) the world, I met a kid who had never left Cardiff and thought you were in France if you crossed the Severn Bridge. Who’s fault’s that? Certainly not his.

I’m not saying that I’m like this kid. Clearly I had a lot of opportunities that he might never have thanks to the parents that I’ve painted such a vivid picture of so far. (What’s that? You haven’t heard much about my mum yet? Ha ha! All in good time…) What I’m saying is that we should value the experiences of these kids as much as we value those of kids born into a life of privilege and instilled with a sense of, to quote Debra Morgan, a metric fuck tonne of entitlement.

I shouldn’t have quoted Dexter. They don’t deserve it. Not after that last series. Shoulda canned it after Trinity, guys.

What I’ve come to realise is that maybe it doesn’t matter that I didn’t read a Dickens book until I was 23, and perhaps I should embrace the fact that my soundtrack to high school was most probably Born to Do It.

I’ve got my own influences, my warped sense of humour/intense cynicism was not spawn in a vacuum, and if I think it’s worthwhile dissecting my hapless twenties on a public platform then maybe someone else will, too.

Anyway, back to those hapless twenties. Pearls of wisdom that I’ve received this week, relating to my progress in getting on and making something of my life, include:

‘Have you ever thought that maybe your workspace should be a bit less… bed?’  Attributed to my sister – she’s just jealous I make money in my jamas without being a hooker.

‘Didn’t someone get stabbed there last week?’ Brother’s new lady friend – on the flat that I’m finally moving into.

And, last but not least…

‘…………………………………………………………………………………………………….’ That’s grave-like silence, from every single job I’ve applied for.

My response to these? Well, I’ll borrow it from my niece’s favourite toy, a dancing Pooh Bear that sings about being a little chubby.

‘Oh bother.’

Hey wait, looks like I did get in all those topics from my midnight ramblings. Just not the Weakest Link audition. Oh well, guess I’ll just save that one for next time…

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3 thoughts on “This One Time, At Band Camp (and how that makes me seriously friggin’ past it)

  1. Lenny

    Yo don’t mess with band camp for reals! That stuff’s intense! Ha

    You did it again though Shab. Love you! And your writing!

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