Err... just a bit of waffle about some teenagers who should have better things to do.
It was a competition.
How many cheese puffs could you get into your mouth at once? The ultimate warrior could cheek pouch a whole packet, drink some lemonade and sing without vomiting. I aspired to that kind of recognition.
We weren’t losers, we were average middle class kids with liberal views, evolved through constant lack of want and expensive education, monitored by parents who’d never had those kinds of choices. We had the world at our feet. Eastenders on the telly and a belly full of cheese puffs; they were great days.
I reclined on my bed as Rich passed me a spliff. He was digging about in a bag of Malteasers looking for ones with faces on.
“I hope you’ve washed your hands Rich. I want to eat some of those.” Anne had cleanliness issues; Rich obligingly scratched his balls with the other hand and grinned. “Glow, will you tell him?”
Glow was so called because he was so ginger that with the slightest light behind him his whole head seemed to glow. He half heartedly nudged Rich:
“Don’t put sack juice on the sweets; that’s a gross sentence, don’t make me say it again.” I laughed at him and passed the spliff to Anne.
“Thanks Pip.” There was a knock at the door and a tuneful ‘Hello!’. “Come in Mrs Drage.” Anne called out to my mum who clumsily bussled in with a tray of cups of tea and some biscuits.
“Patricia, you’re a legend.” Glow took the tray from my mum and laid it in between the four of us in the middle of the bed.
“Call me Pat. That stuff is stinking out the house, I’ve had to turn all my electric scent diffusers up to maximum.”
“Crank them up to 11 Pat and sit in with us.” My mum lightly scuffed Rich round the head, I’d known him all my life and he treated my mum like his own.
“Oh Richard, with your cheek!! You know very well they only go up to five. Now, my programme is starting, is everyone alright with the tea?” We chorused a ‘yes and thank you’ and my mum scuttled off. She’d be back in an hour with some more tea, and maybe a bit of cake. She always baked when we were smoking, so if the neighbours smelled a funny smell she could tell them it was her baking. She’d taken them cakes before; they’d believe it.
“One day your mum will just settle in and get high with us.” Anne mused, and passed the spliff to Glow.
“No, no she won’t.” I was pretty confident that I knew my mother on this one. Plus Anne had said that every time my mum had brought tea for the last year.
“Let’s go out somewhere. Anyone up for bowling?” The three of us shrugged at Anne’s query, we all knew we wouldn’t be going anywhere. We never really did.
“Bowling is so bourgeois.” Rich started to build another spliff.
“Stop saying bourgeois.” Anne snapped, “You don’t even know what it means. This and that and the other is ‘bourgeois’.”
“I watched a programme on a chimp learning language,” Glow watched too many documentaries, “and when it learned a new sign it just repeated it over and over. Really, you should encourage the development of our chimp Anne.”
“Fuck you, you ginger geek. You like chimps because it gives you hope of getting a shag.” Rich extended a finger to Glow who grinned and flicked some tea at him.
“Don’t throw tea around my room. Unless you’re going to clean it, look at the state in here, I need to get mum on it.”
“I can’t believe your mum still cleans your room Pip, honestly! You’re nearly eighteen! Get a grip.” Anne was genuinely shocked, but then she hated anyone touching any of her stuff, including her mum. She’d been that way since she was 14 when we’d become friends. “Oh let’s dooo something.” Anne was whining, something was bothering her. Glow had noticed too.
“What’s up your arse?”
“Nothing.” Anne shrugged and nibbled on a biscuit. “I just… what about just mooching round the shops.”
“Shops are bourgeois.” Rich just wanted to annoy her. Anne glared at him. “Well what do you need to buy? What do you need to buy right now that means going to be shops?”
“What shops even? The post office in the village? I’m not driving anywhere right now.” Glow was the only one with a car, so if he didn’t want to drive, we didn’t get driven.
“I just really feel I want to stretch my legs out. Come on, it’s only six o’clock. Let’s do something. Anything. Rich, have an idea what to do.”
“Six o’clock? Let’s watch ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’.” Glow cheered at Rich’s idea.
“NO!” Anne really snapped. It took us all by surprise.
“Alright Annie, I was only kidding.” Rich patted her gently. “My brother told me about a cave behind a waterfall…”
“Don’t take the piss Rich, I just wanted us to go out for a bit.”
“I’m seriously not taking the piss. It’s the little waterfall in Dunowan Park. If you take a big brolley you can get behind there and chill in a cave, smoking and watching people who can’t see you.”
“Are you being serious? That sounds sweet. I’ll drive for that!”
“That does sound pretty cool.” Anne was jamming biscuits into her handbag, ready for the off, “Let’s go. But if you’re taking the piss Rich…”