You may have noticed a bit of a dichotomy appearing in these posts, that although I was often travelling all over the place as a young man working as an escape artist, I was also acting like a total lunatic. This does have a back-story and while maybe not as 'funny' as previous posts it may help to explain the split.
back when I was at school (back in the stone age for those of you under 25, the wheel had just been invented, everyone lived in a rather garish version of colour and acted like Gene Hunt ), As I was living in my home town where there was mass unemployment due to the steel works being closed and no one had a fucking bean. The idea of a lad starting at aged 11 yrs old was earning more for a 10 minute act than most people did in a month did not go downwell.
Not even a little bit!
.....in fact that's putting it rather mildly.
It made me unpopular with the other kids as being on TV, radio and papers what seemed to them like all the time doesn't make you Mr Popular at that age. (Even less so when it doesn't stop after a few weeks but goes on till the age of 17). So being bullied at school was the norm for me, and I had just about every type of bullying you can imagine.
'High Points' include :
- Being dangled out of a 3rd story school window by my feet
- Slashed with razor blades more times than I care to count (a few scars still show)
- Having my arm set fire to (although later I'd do this for shits and giggles at parties lol)
- A sharpened metal rod shoved somewhere you REALLY don't want it to be....ever... in a metal work class. (yes it did leave a fucking scar before you ask)
- Being beaten up by a mob of over 150 kids as I'd recently been on TV the night before.
- beaten in the eye with a wooden pole leaving me blind in one eye for 48 hours. (the eye I curently have problems with unsurprisingly enough)
I could go on but chances are you're having a problem beliving the stuff I've put above let alone adding the other things. So suffice it to say that I had a rough time at school. It was made a bit easier as at 3.30pm I could go home and I was earning a lot of money. I didn't spend it on much apart from an ever increasing collection of antique handcuffs and some very expensive locks. The money built up and up. My parents weren't pushy showbiz types, far from it. In fact I know the whole idea of me working on stage at that age did worry them, but they were supportive and I have no complaints about them. They never touched a penny and it was still there when I left school.
Now this is probably where both they and I did make a rather huge fucking mistake. The day I left school was one of the happiest days of my life, I went into the garden and burned every book, uniform, bag..in fact any fucking thing that reminded me of school in any way. The idea of going onto college or uni was not going to happen as I was not going to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. (Which I do regret a bit to be honest).
So I embarked on what can only be called the world longest party, fueled by the money I'd earned over the years. (What I didn't party was eaten up in private medical bills years later). I started the day I left school and didn't stop until I was about 26. I grew to resent that after a serious health problem I could no longer be an escape artist as it could cost me the ability to walk and pushed all that away like it was poison.
I've never 'fit in' my whole life and the one thing I wanted at that point more than anything was 'to be normal'. I wasn't quite sure what 'normal' was but I decided to have a damn good bash at finding out. Although I had no real idea what 'rebelling' was, I was pretty sure I was doing it right. You name it and I've probably done it back in the crazy decade of my life. Every day was a party and there was only one rule:
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law".
(A bonus point if you can name who said that quote.....)
I drove my parents nuts once I'd left school as I'm one of life's extremists. other people for example would listen to a song and buy the album, I would buy all the albums, every bootleg and track down every video tape. This repeated in whatever I was interested in. other people partied for a couple of years then settled down to 'working for the man'. Back in the day my mates and I all made a pact to 'keep the faith'. Meaning to live the lifestyle we enjoyed and not to bow 'to the man'. Silly as it sounds I'm proud I'm the only one who never broke that. I may not party every day anymore but I am still prone to the occasional regressive craziness.
An example of recent craziness back before my wife and I had kids was we were walking back in the early hours from a jam session I'd had with my cousins. I was hungry and the only place open was the MacDonald's drive through. So my wife and I joined the queue with the cars and when I got to the window to give my order (to some very strange looks from the staff I may add) I deadpanned the whole thing pretending to drive an invisible car. So yes I do still have those occasional crazy moment although thankfully for my wife's sanity not very often these days. Although every time I mention 'the MacDonald's walk through' my wife still cracks up.
Next time its either going to be: 'Cooking with Alan' or 'The Day I Met my Wife'